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DuPage Foundation launches Arts DuPage

The DuPage Foundation, which seeks to raise the quality of life throughout DuPage County by fostering philanthropy, has launched its newest initiative, Arts DuPage.

There was a public launch party with several hundred attendees held on Feb. 7 at the College of Dupage’s McAninch Arts Center., will serve as a new online resource for the community. It will list events from several arts organizations throughout the county.

Arts DuPage’s new online resource will feature a variety of DuPage County area arts and cultural events and activities, as well as additional listings of classes and workshops, fundraisers, organizations, venues, public art and individual artists.

"We want people to explore—see a show, visit an exhibit, and take their family or friends to an art festival," said Barbara Szczepaniak, foundation vice president for programs, in a release. "DuPage has a vibrant and thriving arts sector, and we want people to know all of the great things happening here for them to enjoy and participate in."

The initiative is a county-wide arts council focused on promoting creativity and nurturing engagement and investment in the arts throughout DuPage County.

The idea for Arts DuPage came about in 2011, when the Foundation realized how many arts organizations there were in DuPage County, and how none had been brought together in one place.

"Thanks to a generous commitment from an anonymous donor, all expenses for the first three years of this exciting initiative will be underwritten," said Dave McGowan, foundation president & CEO, in a release. “By providing the public with comprehensive information about what to do and where to go for unique cultural experiences, the Foundation hopes to inspire greater participation in the arts and creativity throughout DuPage County.”

Szczepaniak said that arts organizations wanted to know about each other and wanted a “common calendar” so the foundation began a feasibility study.

“We wanted to know how the community would embrace it,” she said. “The results came back, and citizens said they wanted it.”

There are already about 80 profiles on the site, and there’s representation throughout the county. Anybody can access Arts DuPage at any time, and use the resource to explore different events in the community and further research any arts organizations in DuPage County.

Szczepaniak said that the College of DuPage shares a lot of its events on the site, as well as Elmhurst College and North Central College.

“I’m floored by the response that we’ve received,” she added. “People embrace, love and appreciate art in DuPage County.”

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