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Doyle: An affair to remember

Community voice

Question: What do you get when you combine 20 local artists, 20 chairs and a caring community?

Answer: A transformational art experience for everyone.

This spring, Bridge Communities debuts A Chair Affair, a celebration of art and its restorative powers. We partnered with 20 DuPage County artists — and in many cases, they’re award-winning and nationally-renowned artists — who were given the creative challenge of taking a secondhand chair, stool or bench, and transforming it into an entirely new piece of art.

The recreated masterpieces will be displayed in several storefronts throughout downtown Naperville from May 27 to June 11, when shoppers and community members will be able to vote for their favorite chair online. Then, you can join us and the artists on June 12 at a gala event at North Central College’s Wentz Hall, featuring an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and both silent and live auctions. Proceeds from the chairs will benefit homeless families in DuPage County served by Bridge Communities.

Special events are always fun for us, but what makes this one even better is the sheer spirit of community we’re seeing as people get involved. We have a piece coming from the Women’s Wisdom art therapy class of People’s Resource Center, a chair reimagined by all the women in the class working together. Another chair, inspired by the city of Naperville, is titled “This Town Rocks!”

The best part of A Chair Affair is what it is at its heart: an art experience that’s both by the community and for the community. Each of these one-of-a-kind masterpieces have genuine meaning behind them, as they were all made in honor of, and to benefit, the 109 homeless families Bridge serves each year. They’re families that weren’t perfect; families that went through difficult times; families that might have been a little broken and bruised. And thanks to a caring community, they’re families that are repaired, transformed, and discovering beauty and strength again.

Buy your ticket now and join us for an exciting night of creativity — it’ll truly be “an affair to remember.” To get your ticket and vote for your favorite chair, visit

Lisa Doyle is the communications manager for Bridge Communities

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