Backyard art fair aids Arlington Hts. library's Makerplace

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation secured a generous donation from a local neighborhood group that put on a backyard art fair to raise $550 for the new Makerplace.

The neighborhood group consists of 12 couples, including foundation board member and Arlington Heights resident Renee Schwingbeck. The group typically gathers for a monthly game night, often with a unique theme chosen by the host couple.

When it came time for Fernando and Sue Egea to host, they decided to put a unique twist on game night, turning it into a fundraiser.

Sue has a degree in fine arts and teaches art for young children, while Fernando is the president of JOURNEYS | The Road Home. They decided to combine their interests and hosted a backyard art fair that would raise funds for one of three charities to be voted on by the group.

Prior to the art fair, the Egeas gave each invited couple a canvas and watercolors to create a work of art. On the night of their gathering, Sue placed black backdrops throughout her backyard, where everyone could display their artwork.

Attendees then voted on the top three pieces - and which charity to support - and participated in a silent auction. The group voted to support the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation.

"It's generally a very creative group," Schwingbeck said. "So it was fun to change up our monthly game night and do something creative that would also benefit the community. I hope other neighborhood groups take a page out of the Egeas' book and consider using their gatherings to raise funds for local organizations like the foundation, which supports both the library and Makerplace - both of which are such valuable assets to our community."

The new Makerplace offers hands-on experiential learning opportunities, including an art space where community members can take classes or work on independent art projects. For more information on the Makerplace, visit

For more information on the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation, visit

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 tax exempt organization that provides funds to help develop and sustain a world-class library. The foundation provides support to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library by securing financial and in-kind donations.

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