Highland Park, Community

News Briefs: Spoken Word Fest Nov. 8-11 in Highland Park; NT Township caucus seeks volunteers; Regina’s 13 Illinois State Scholars

Art comes in many different forms, even some you can’t see.

The Art Center Highland Park, 1957 Sheridan Road, is focusing on one of those, storytelling, for its first Spoken Word Festival on Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 8-11.

The center is capitalizing on what it sees as a growing trend.

“Poetry and storytelling groups have been meeting all over the area lately,” said TAC Executive Director James M Lynch in a press release. “So we figured let’s start an annual festival to give them a centrally located platform for their work.”

At 7 p.m. on Nov. 8, monthly poetry producer Lynn West will present “Native American Heritage: Footsteps into Culture,” featuring poetry, music, storytelling and visual art highlighting Native American Heritage.

Featured in the free event will be Vincent Romero, performance poet, storyteller and lecturer; Mark LaRoque, storyteller and poet; William Buchholtz, who performs on a Native American flute; and Margoth Moreno, silversmith and painter.

Two days later, from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, author and poet Janea D. Harris — who is also an art center board members — will host a Spoken Word & Poetry Open Mic. Creative word artists are invited to share their work with the community and work toward the goal of connecting our collective communities through the arts.

The open mic night is open to the public but the center is asking guests to register using this link.

The Spoken Word Festival concludes on Saturday, Nov. 11, with a pair of events: a storytelling workshop at 10 a.m. and a full evening of storytelling beginning at 7:30 p.m.

In the morning session, Lou Greenwald will provide guests with the tools and techniques to weave engaging tales. Greenwald has taken workshops from Donald Davis, Jay O’Callahan, Chicago’s Scott Whitehair, Beth Horner, Megan Wells, and many others and has performed on stage at Storylab, This Much is True, Short Story Theatre, The Moth in Chicago, Madison, Phoenix, and many other venues.

The workshop is limited to 12 participants and costs $65 with all proceeds going to the The Art Center.

The evening program features storytellers like Mike Leonard, a Winnetka resident, and former “Today Show” feature correspondent, who will share his story “A Rough Head Start.” Leonard will reveal how a childhood blow to the head on the streets of Glencoe altered his way of thinking and oddly made it possible for him to succeed in the broadcasting business.

Ellen Blum Barish tells a story entitled “Thank You, Mrs. Rosensweig,” recalling how as a 6-year-old, she grappled with the existence of God after being taunted by a classmate and her first-grade teacher.

Glenview resident Larry Glazer tells a story about faith, devotion and a son’s perseverance in his story “Early Education.” Bill Stewart, a Lake Barrington resident, recalls his Meister Brau summer and his encounter with a bird in “Bird Brain.” Nadia Felecan, originally from Transylvania, Romania, shares how her middle-school French teacher unknowingly helped her cope with her family situation and inspired her to become a French teacher. Her story: “Love of My Life.”

Tickets are $15 online or with cash or check at the door, depending on availability.

For more information, call (847) 432-1888 or email info@theartcenterhp.org.

New Trier Citizens League looking for more volunteers

The New Trier Citizens League — a nonpartisan community caucus that slates candidates for New Trier Township elections and watches over Township functions — is expanding and seeks dedicated volunteers, according to a release from the organization.

The league partners with the Township to stay focused on its core mission of providing leadership, advocacy and resources that benefit the physical, mental and social well-being of residents. 

To expand its service, the citizens league reportedly is seeking volunteers who can devote a modest amount of time. All must be registered voters in the Township and reflect geographic diversity.

For more information, contact New Trier Citizens League President Peter Tyor at petertyor@gmail.com or (847) 924-8457.

Established in 1850, New Trier Township government serves the 56,000 residents of Glencoe, Kenilworth, Wilmette, Winnetka, and portions of Glenview and Northfield. The Township’s office is at 739 Elm St., Winnetka.

13 Panthers named Illinois State Scholars

Regina Dominican Principal Dr. Kassie Porreca announced last week that 13 students from the Regina Dominican High School graduating class of 2024 have been designated as Illinois State Scholars.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state’s college access and financial aid agency, presents this prestigious recognition of academic achievement to exceptional Illinois high school students annually. This year, more than 16,700 honorees join the other students who have been honored since the designation was first introduced in 1958.  

Regina Domican’s awarded students are: Reese Bankston, Caroline Bilas, Maggie Bramblet, Julia Cerimele, Riley Costello, Charlotte Frazzini, Lily Grillo, Kate Ludden, Eve Nathaus, Daniella O’Connor, Kate Riggs, Kathleen Tran and Maddie Witchger.

“We are incredibly proud of the academic accomplishment of these young women. Being granted Illinois State Scholar status is not easy, and requires evidence of academic excellence both on the standardized college admissions exams and in the day to day work in their classes as evidenced by grade point average,” Porreca said in a statement. “Every one of these students is also a great human being who demonstrates service, leadership, friendship, and compassion in our school community every day. Congratulations to our scholars and their parents.”

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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