Mundelein merges groups to form new arts commission

A new group will oversee Mundelein's public arts projects and promote the arts in town.

The village board formally created the Mundelein Arts Commission Monday by merging the missions of the human relations commission, the utility box art review committee and the police statue planning committee.

Those three groups now will disappear.

The new commission will be charged with developing a long-range plan to "meet and expand the community's cultural and artistic needs," Mayor Steve Lentz said in a news release.

"The village board believes that it is essential to promote the arts and cultural opportunities in order to best communicate (a) welcoming vibe throughout the village," Lentz said.

The change comes as a nonprofit group based in Mundelein called the Northern Lakes Arts Collective seeks to establish an arts center in town. The group is led by village Trustee Kerston Russell but is independent of village hall.

Village Administrator John Lobaito pointed to the popular Kirk Players community theater group and Mundelein High School's award-winning show choir as examples of Mundelein's connection to the arts, as well as the potential benefits of a local arts center.

"An arts center provides a dedicated place to continue to cultivate these talented members of the community, bring in artists from outside locations, and share with members of the community," Lobaito said.

The three now-defunct committees had distinct tasks, but all related to the arts on varying levels.

The human relations commission organized the annual One World Festival and oversaw the village's Diversity Award program. It had been active since 2008.

The utility box art committee was created in 2014 to oversee a project in which local artists were asked to decorate those metal boxes throughout the downtown area.

The police statue committee launched in 2013 to oversee fundraising for a statue honoring police officers, as well as other elements of the project. The bronze piece will be installed at the police station this summer.

The arts commission will consist of seven volunteer members who will be chosen by Lentz and confirmed by the village board. Members haven't yet been selected.

Applicants for seats on the arts commission must live or work in Mundelein or own a business in the village. They also should have professional, personal or academic experience with some aspect of the arts. Professional marketing experience can be substituted for an arts background.

To apply, call Lobaito's office at (847) 949-3225. Applications also can be found online at

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