Arts in the County 2010
Raue Center for the Arts
Live entertainment at the Raue Center is as intimate as it gets. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theater named for its benefactor — Lucile Raue — Raue Center continues to attract the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 800-seat theater, located in historic, downtown Crystal Lake, is a gathering place for the region’s citizens and has become a true destination. Raue Center also features three art galleries designed to enrich the lives of members of the community and beyond.
2010 Highlights: The Moscow Circus (right); Awesome ‘80s Comedy Show featuring Judy Tenuta, Bob Rumba and Emo Philips; American English, Church Basement Ladies; a magic show; regular comedians at Lucy’s Café; regular classic film nights; and local performers.
>> For more: 26 N. Williams St. in Crystal Lake, 815-356-9212, www.rauecenter.org.
Woodstock Opera House
The Woodstock Opera House hosts a spectacular variety of programming and events each year including concerts, theater, dance, visual art, educational programming and more. Situated on the downtown historic square in Woodstock, the opera house is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the country and one of the most recognized historic theaters in the Midwest. The opera house is a fully modernized theater, without sacrificing its historical authenticity. Its Stage Left Cafe offers a variety of beverages, souvenirs and entertainment.
2010 Highlights: Tribute bands of 1969 Woodstock artists; “1776,” “Oklahoma,” and a variety of bands and performers.
>> For more: 121 W. Van Buren St. in Woodstock, 815-338-4212, www.woodstockoperahouse.com.
MCC Campus Art Galleries and Collections
Gallery exhibitions at the MCC Campus Art Galleries and Collections include works from emerging and established local, regional and national artists. The galleries feature diverse solo and group exhibitions with the intent of exposing students and the community to the wide range of media, styles and content utilized in contemporary art practice. Visiting artists often present lectures and workshops in conjunction with exhibitions. The galleries are also used for exhibits of student work and specific course-related installations and projects. All galleries are free and open to the public.
2010 Highlights: Peter Van Ael, Gallery One and Gallery Two, through February 16; Nick Satinover (prints and lithographs), Epping Gallery, through February 25; Jessica Gondek, Interpreting Antoni Gaudi (painting and prints), Gallery One and Gallery Two, February 25 through April 10; PACE: Postcard Art Competition Exhibition, Epping Gallery, March 2 through March 30. The Portrait in Print Collection is on permanent display in the MCC Library.
>> For more: 8900 Rt. 14 in Crystal Lake, 815-455-8785, www.mchenry.edu/artgallery.
Lakeside Legacy Arts Park
Founded just five years ago, the Arts Park is owned and operated by the nonprofit Lakeside Legacy Foundation with the purpose of preservation, protection and enhancement of the property. It boasts two galleries: Sage Gallery and the Charles Dole Gallery. The building also houses several resident artists in the Creative Arts Center’s upper floors.
2010 Highlights: First Fridays, Lakeside Festival, OktoberFest and Christmas at the Dole. On Friday, March 5, Artists of Lakeside Legacy Arts Park and Creative Artistry Fine Arts School will be performing their artistic skills for all to view via art “stations” set up throughout the Sage Gallery and inside the Creative Artistry Art Cottage directly behind Lakeside. Above: Johanna Gullick (above), pictured in her garden drawing lilies last summer, teaches at her studio at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.
>> For more, 401 Country Club Rd. in Crystal Lake, 815-455-8000, www.lakesidelegacy.org.
Old Court House Arts Center
The Old Court House was constructed in 1857, a classic brick structure designed by one of the country’s most prominent architects, John Mills Van Osdel. Thirty years later, the adjoining Sheriff’s House (now La Petite Creperie & Bistro) & Jail building was added. In the ’70s, two Woodstock residents purchased the deteriorating complex and an extensive renovation program was completed during America’s Bicentennial. Today the stately complex is a proud landmark known throughout the area, with much of its historic space now occupied by the Old Court House Art’s Center’s unique galleries. The internationally known Dick Tracy Museum also is located here, honoring America’s most trusted crime fighter and his originator, longtime Woodstock resident Chester Gould. Artists’ studios occupy the south wing, formerly the jury sleeping rooms. Restaurants occupy the ground floors of both buildings.
2010 Highlights: Five large galleries exhibit a variety of rotating and full-time pieces, including jewelry, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, drawings
and mixed-media pieces.
>> For more: 101 N. Johnson St. in Woodstock, 815-338-4525, www.oldcourthouseartscenter.com.
Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair
The Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair draws thousands from all over the world the second weekend in July every year. Among the highlights are an art show, DIY fashion show, garment competition, demonstrations and special guests. Pulling off such a large fair requires the hard work and continuous planning of founder and director Carol Cassidy-Fayer and her team of volunteers. “We’re always talking about evolving and growing the fair,” she said. Previously held at McHenry County College, this year, the event will be at the Lake County Fairgrounds (1060 E. Peterson Rd.) in Grayslake July 16, 17 and 18.
>> For more: 815-276-2537, www.fiberandfolk.com.
Off Square Music
Off Square Music (OSM) is a not-for-profit organization that sponsors several types of events in and around
>> For more: www.offsquaremusic.org.
Memorial Hall Civic Theatre
Dubbed “The Hub of the Village,” Memorial Hall was built in 1906 by the bequest of $10,000 from Charles Dewitt McConnell, a grandson of William McConnell who was the first settler in the town of Richmond. Throughout the early history of the town, the McConnell family epitomized the industriousness and sense of civic spirit that today characterizes this rural village. For 100 years, the Memorial Hall building has been a hub around which community life in the Village of Richmond revolves. Primarily built as a community center, the building originally housed the J.B. Rotnour Troupe in the 1930s that provided quality entertainment for the town. Currently, the Memorial Hall Advisory Board (MHAB) is hard at work re-establishing the Village Theatre District. The stage looks over the auditorium, which holds a capacity 200 persons. All the characteristics of the original theater boom in early Richmond are still visible inside the building and based on the momentum of the MHAB restoration, awareness and use of the building promises to be electrifying.
2010 Highlights: Two performances of Riverview Theatre Company’s variety show and benefit concert Riverfest! are slated for March 6.
>> For more: 10308 Main St. in Richmond, 815-678-4271, www.richmond-il.com.
McHenry County Historical Society and Museum
On July 4, 1976 the county historical society’s museum in Union officially opened to the public. The comprehensive collection includes several preserved buildings: an 1847 log cabin; an 1885 town hall (Perkins Hall); an 1895 one-room school house used for school programs in the 1900s; and a 20th Century modern tourist cabin. In 1982, a local history research library was added to the museum; and in 2002, the society acquired the Pringle School, located on River Road. This limestone building is in the process of being restored. In addition to operating the museum, the society plaques historic sites and structures, holds adult workshops and classes, makes available traveling exhibits and arranges a wide variety of school and other group programs.
2010 Highlights: Heritage Quilters Basting Day (March 24); and the 24th Annual Sampler Lecture Series featuring presentations on “True Crime” (above, call 815-923-2267 to register). The museum’s history bus, “The James,” is currently exhibiting “Gangsters & Gin Joints.”
>> For more: 6422 Main St. in Union, 815-923-2267, www.mchsonline.org.
This nonprofit theater company was founded in 2009 to flip the perception of live theater in McHenry County by bringing bold, original and underperformed plays to the stage. Its performances have been well received by critics and audiences alike. In addition to wowing guests, Theater Undreground (yes, that’s the correct spelling) seeks to mentor both local and fresh theatrical talents. Past productions include “A Quartet of Comedies,” “Not What You Expected” and “Huffs (& Stuffs),” featuring improv and a one-woman comedy show headed by Kelsie Huff, a Richmond native and Chicago comedian/actress.
Riverview Theatre Company
Riverview Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization whose goals are to present entertainment to the community, create experiences and educational opportunities for those pursuing the theater craft, and to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts. McHenry is the home to Riverview — the city’s thriving downtown riverfront district provides an inspirational backdrop for the expansion and appreciation of the fine arts. Riverview presents a rich tapestry of theatrical experiences, from the classics to the latest musicals, comedies and dramas. Live stage productions will bring opportunities for all members of the community to participate in all aspects of theater, both behind and in front of the curtain. Young people will get a taste of the limelight through RiverKids Children’s Theatre.
2010 Highlights: Third Annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival and Play in McHenry’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, featuring “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)."
>> For more: 815-354-7796, www.riverviewtheatre.org.
Cosman Cultural Center
Since its construction in 2003, the Cosman Cultural Center has stood at the heart of Huntley’s appreciation for the performing arts. Bands from Tom Chapen to the Huntley High School Jazz Band have wowed audiences, and shows ranging from its dazzling dance classes to the Community Theatre’s inaugural performance of “Steel Magnolias” have graced the stage. For three years, GreenRoom Productions (right) has been holding its monthly improve at the Cosman Cultural Center in Huntley. Improv shows are the first Saturday of every month at 7 p.m. with a second show at 9 p.m. Show after show, people leave with tears in their eyes at the hilariously perfected comedy GreenRoom has mastered.
>> For more: www.huntleyparks.org and www.greenroomtheater.com.