CHICAGO HEIGHTS | On May 11, Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., will host a free Arts & Jazz Festival. This festival will conclude the “Rediscovering Chicago Heights” community photo voice project that has taken place over the past six months.
“Rediscovering Chicago Heights” is an ambitious community wide photo voice project that was led by Union Street Gallery and funded by The Chicago Community Trust. Union Street Gallery collaborated with community leaders to choose adult residents of Chicago Heights from varying cultures and walks of life to represent the community and document what was beautiful and meaningful to them in Chicago Heights. Professional photographers Alonso Balderas and Joe Compean were also invited to take part in this project. Renee Klyczek Nordstrom, Adler School of Psychology student and USG studio artist collaborated with gallery board and staff to write the grant for this project and help develop the programming associated. The goal of this project was to redirect community focus from negative to positive.
Compiling the photographs from the citizen photographers and the two professional photographers, Union Street Gallery will present an exhibition of photography which celebrates diversity, beauty, meaning and positive aspects of the Chicago Heights community April 19-May 11.
From noon to 6 p.m. May 11, the Union Street Gallery will host an Arts & Jazz Festival to celebrate the project, the exhibit, and community of Chicago Heights. The festival will also help promote art and art appreciation within the community. The festival will be free and open to everyone, all ages. Outside on Otto Boulevard there will be live jazz music throughout the day, food, and drinks. Inside will be the exhibit of photos from Chicago Heights, visitors can meet and mingle with the photographers, and visit the art studios and meet the resident studio artists at USG. Visitors will be asked to vote for which photo should win “Best in Show” award and the winner will be announced at the end of the festival.
Along with the exhibit and festival, the gallery will be creating a book with photos and quotes by the citizen photographers that will be available for sale on May 11. This book will help this project have a lasting positive impact on the community and help the gallery raise funds needed to keep events like this festival free and open to the public.
Participating citizen photographers are: Diane Banta, LeeAnn Bartolomei, Charles Beard, Chicago Heights Beautification and Preservation Committee, Collette Clark, Esteban Colon, Mary Compton, Brian Denton, Phil Faso, Brittni Garcia, Linda Golden, Aracely Hernandez, Gloria Holman, Wendy Howell Oliver, Valerie Kearns, Aline Keith, Angella Martin, Tim Martin, Mark Millon, Lois Nemeth, Dan Pizzoferrato, Dasean Quinn, Jacqui Reyes, Millie Robles, Peggy Schaeffer, Beth Schimanski and Lilly Stevens
Union Street Gallery is a nonprofit art organization. All proceeds from the exhibit go directly to the artists and they in turn donate a portion to Union Street Gallery to help support our exhibits, art programming, and art education outreach.