Thursday, February 24, 2011

Community Comes Together to Celebrate LPCS Volunteers

Staff and volunteers mingle before the show
Last night, LPCS staff, volunteers, guests, and Graduates came together to celebrate all of the work that volunteers do for LPCS.  It was a fun-filled evening of food, conversation, and cabaret at the Greenhouse Theater!  Attendees were treated to a performance of classic songs, Broadway tunes, and modern classics by James Edward Dauphin and Anita Kallen and were accompanied by Christie Chiles Twillie on piano.  All three of the performers generously donated their time.  Before the show, volunteers and guests mingled while munching on a variety of snacks. After the show, volunteers were treated to a table full of delicious desserts!

Every year, volunteers donate nearly 18,000 hours of service to LPCS.  That is the equivalent of adding 8 1/2 full-time staff members to LPCS!  Volunteers help teach life-skills classes, make and serve meals, work at the front desk, serve on a variety of committees, stay overnight, and serve in a variety of other positions.  Without the continued support of LPCS volunteers, our programs wouldn't be nearly as successful as they are.  All of the hard work that volunteers put in translates directly to our guests.  Thank you LPCS volunteers for all of your time, energy, and dedication!

A huge thank you to Popcorn Palace, Potbelly Sandwich Co., Starbucks Coffee, and Swirlz Cupcakes for generously donating food and drink for the event.  Thank you too to the Greenhouse Theater for donating the space.  And of course,  a huge thank you as well to the performers without whom we couldn't have had a show!  Last, but certainly not least, thanks to the Volunteer Committee who helped organize the whole night.  Thank you everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Learning through Teaching

Imaginarium, 2010
I first heard about LPCS when I was a student at School of the Art Institute in Spring 2010.  Our class worked with some of the guests for several weeks on a Community Art Project entitled Imaginarium, which we then displayed in a one-night show. We worked together, on separate panels that were finally interlocked to make a free-standing sculpture. Each piece was different, and couldn’t stand up on its own, but together they made a wonderful thing, much like each one of us in our community.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but found the guests to be so friendly, eager to learn and try new things, expressing themselves through different visual media, I felt privileged to be a part of it. The staff and guests are so welcoming, some of my classmates and I didn’t want our "Art Class Wednesdays" to end, so we continued them weekly throughout the summer.

Now I teach it one day a month, and it is one of the most gratifying things I have ever done: for example, when a guest who claims “oh, but I’m not an artist,” jumps in anyway and tries, and ends up creating something beautiful and unique, the smile on their face is priceless. Even though it takes a bit of planning to balance time for my own homework and hunt for art supplies, I love the friendly creative energy at LPCS so much, working with the guests in these art classes is absolutely worth it. I am honored to have been invited back to participate with the LPCS guests and students in this year’s SAIC Community Art Practices class, and look forward to the new amazing work we will create. We look forward to meeting you at our truly unique show in May, so mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 4th!
--Leona, SAIC student and LPCS volunteer

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Community, part 2

On Wednesday, as I sat warm and dry inside my apartment, marveling at the change in the weather (what a difference a day makes, eh?), I saw something wonderful happen.  About 10 people in the building across the street from me, gathered together, snow shovels in hand, and worked as a community to clear their parking lot (complete with a six-foot snow drift in the middle).  It was wonderful to see so many people come together as a community to accomplish such a feat. Wonderfully, the same thing was happening right here in Lincoln Park!  One the neighbors who lives just down the street from LPCS gathered up shovels from other neighbors, gathered some guests up, and a shovelin' they went!  According to one neighbor, "it was a great day and we had fun.  We also did a great thing for the neighborhood!"  Thanks to everyone for helping make Lincoln Park easier and safer to get around!