Music and Arts Festival Planned at the Grayslake Heritage Center

Nine acoustic musicians will perform in the courtyard of the Grayslake Heritage Center, and fourteen local artists will show original work when the Grayslake Arts Alliance stages its second annual May Fest celebration from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 5.

The festival, which will climax the arts group's members' show season, will also feature the work of students from Grayslake School District 46, picnic-style refreshments provided by Something's Brewing and Uniquely Sweets and Arts Alliance members. Featured will be a replica Maypole for kids to decorate.

"We have been planning this for quite some time. When we tried a similar event last year, it got rained out and we had to move everything inside. We are hoping for a break from mother nature this year," said Ernie Schweit of the arts alliance.

If it does rain, the event will be moved to the community room inside the Heritage Center.

Plans call for the musicians to perform beneath a tent at the entrance to the Heritage Center. Rows of chairs will be placed in the courtyard and artwork will be displayed along the sidewalks nearby.

"The museum will remain open during the festival," said Michelle Poe, interim director, "and visitors are encouraged to see exhibits inside, including a bicentennial photo exhibit currently on view. Everyone who comes through the doors will get a ticket they can use to vote for their favorite image of Illinois in the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum's Focus on Illinois Bicentennial photography exhibit," she said. "The winning photographer will be announced at the end of the summer. We also have a children's scavenger hunt throughout the building."

Scheduled to perform 25-minute sets during May Fest are students from the Chapin Jazz Studio, Cath Kasmer (acoustic folk and roots music), Vicki Logan (native American flute originals) Margie Skora (contemporary banjo), Jack Kennedy (singer-songwriter), Chuck VanderVennet (contemporary indie originals and covers), Joe Rossi (classic rock and indie originals), Leah Shoshanah (indie originals) and "Jazzman" Jeff Justman ("Beatle Jazz, '60s music and originals).

The list of artists showing work includes Leslie Armstrong, Kimberly Butts, Maureen Fisher Rivkin, Lily Gaines, Marie Hines, Debbie Kalinowski, John Lacson, Zee Lacson, Paul Price, Ernie Schweit, Heather June Toser, Rebecca Calloway, Catherine Kanvik and Edie Wendricks.

Foundation46 Arts Commission will display perspective drawings and watercolor paintings created by District 46 students Eliza Brady, Kendall Day, Denyse De La Rosa, Kaden Thomas, Naomi Perez, Mary Grace Vergamini, and Devin White. The foundation will also have informational handouts at a table near the student artwork.

The Grayslake Public Library will have handouts promoting Comic Book Day, which is scheduled at the library the same day.

May Fest will be the event at which GAA artists can make their work available for sale. A portion of each piece sold will be donated to the Arts Alliance to cover future programming.

The Grayslake Arts Alliance, a registered 501c3 charity, is a group of area artists dedicated to bringing the arts to Grayslake through education, participation, and development.

More information about the group is available on their new website,, where visitors can also donate or become a member of the group.

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