West Ridge Artist Spotlight

As with many events during this time,  our scheduled summer art exhibit, featuring pastel paintings by Ray Noesen and Denise Grossman,, was cancelled. In lieu of live events, we are excited to launch a new video series - the West Ridge Artist Spotlight, produced by videographer  Mirko Popadic of West Ridge. Get to know a featured artist of the WRA group - their creative process and work. Our first artist in this new series showcases Ray Noesen, a visual artist who works in oil pastels.


WRCO 2020 Annual Meeting


According to our by-laws, the WRCO Annual Meeting usually takes place in June. Given the COVID-19 situation, the board decided to move the meeting to August with the hope we could meet in person. Our meeting was to include a discussion about the Fair Tax Amendment (which we will vote on in the November election) and feature a speaker from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. Since the center is not holding in-person meetings at this time, they have scheduled a virtual meeting with us on October 1.  Watch for information and a link to join this informative meeting.   

Due to increasing COVID-19 rates, we are holding our Annual Meeting virtually via ZOOM on Thursday, August 20 at 7:00PM. Please join us by using this ➡️ link.
If prompted for a password, enter this number: 975549

WRCO Nominates Music House

Music House, in existence since 1951, is a unique performing arts school offering classes in music, musical theater and dance. Owners Jeanne and Rich Trumbo have created a welcoming place for all children and parents who live in West Ridge.  Despite their busy schedules, they are generous with their time and space for projects aimed at improving the community.  During this stay at home time, they have continued classes and support for their students through extensive on-line programming.   

The 50th Ward Mutual Aid Network issued $500 grants to nine small businesses in the ward.  Money was raised through selling Solidarity Window Signs.  They would like to offer the same support to more establishments.  Visit this link to learn more and donate.

2020 Candidates Forum

2020 Candidates Forum

Over 80 West Ridge community members gathered on February 9th at Devon Bank for the 16th District House Representative and 50th Ward Committeeperson Candidates Forum. Moderated by Mick Dumke of ProPublica Illinois, the candidates addressed attendee questions regarding a variety of West Ridge community-focused topics.

West Ridge Story Festival

The West Ridge Story Festival, held December 14-17, was enthusiastically received by residents. The festival featured plays written by Boone School students, Mather students and West Ridge residents who attended the 10 week intensive playwriting course. The Northtown Library, Indian Boundary Park and Music House hosted the event with 60-70 people attending each location.

For 2020, Silk Road Rising will be holding additional workshops in our community. Watch for information here and in our newsletter. 

"Obstacle Course" Video Play

Jamil Khoury, founder of Silk Road Rising Theater, presented his video play at the Northtown Library on November 21. The video explored reactions to a proposed Islamic Community Center in Naperville, IL.

ON Devon Festival

On Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2, thousands of neighbors and others joined together for a celebration of community and diversity.

The ON Devon Fest, sponsored by the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce, Republic Bank, SSA#43 and Alderman Deborah Silverstein, brought together dozens of artists and makers, entertainers, food vendors, and human services organizations.

Among the entertainment was the American Indian Center’s singers, young violinists from West Ridge’s Music House, Bollywood dancers from Mandala Arts, Tsukas Taiko Drummers, youth tap dancers, the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and more.  Delicious treats were on sale from Fresh Farms, Helix Café, Badou Senegalese restaurant and Urban Tables plus a local brewery. Other features included: Bee Love Honey was selling products made from beehives located at O’Hare International Airport (This program supports formerly incarcerated people providing them with skills and employment); a bouncy house and a balloon maker; LOOM Chicago, plus bookmaking with North Branch Projects, portraits by William Estrada, and paper pet cartoons drawn by David Sokoloff at the WRCO table.

Over the course of the 2 days the Fest was attended by over 3500 people, but a very special guest came on Monday - Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She came to see our community and learn about our neighborhood.

The diversity of the 50th ward is its strength.  ON Devon – which brought together neighbors of every age and from all over the world, new immigrants and old timers – was a beautiful example of that diversity.