The new DuPage Community Arts Festival is coming to Wheaton – Shaw Local

Affirming that the arts are an integral part of the community, a DuPage County Council member spearheaded the creation of a new performing arts festival.

“For us to come out of this pandemic stronger than before and to help the recovery and to really strengthen our economy, we also need to focus on the arts,” said Lynn LaPlante, member of Glen Ellyn County Council.

LaPlante was the main driving force behind the creation of the first DuPage Community Arts Festival, which will run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 28 at the DuPage County Event Center & Fairgrounds in Wheaton. The festival will include three concert stages, a family arts activity space, nearly a dozen food trucks, a beer and wine tent and more.

“It’s a day-long artistic immersion experience,” said LaPlante, who is also chair of the DuPage Fine Arts ad hoc committee. “We’ve been working on it non-stop for 18 months.”

Plans were underway to hold what was hoped to be DuPage’s first community arts festival last fall. But a spike in COVID-19 variants (and then restrictions on vaccinations for young people) prompted DuPage’s bipartisan fine arts committee to postpone.

Glen Ellyn-based musician Ralph Covert is set to perform twice at the festival. His family rock band Ralph’s World is an early act at 10 a.m., then Ralph Covert and The Bad Example perform more adult rock at 1:30 p.m.

“Watching the program, there are a few times where I personally go back and forth between stages due to the assortment of great music,” Covert said. “The range of different music styles and cultures that reflect each other — it’s going to be exciting.”

Some of the musical acts include the Ides of March with Jim Peterik, the Orbert Davis Quintet, Muriel Anderson, Son Monarcas, the DuPage Symphony Ensembles and more.

“There are so many people who would love to go out and see live music,” Covert said, adding that the arts can help economic development.

LaPlante agrees, citing how the DuPage County Convention & Visitors Bureau estimated patrons attending the Cleve Carney Art Museum’s 2021 exhibit of “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” at the College of DuPage helped inject $10 million. in the local economy.

“I truly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats,” LaPlante said of featuring artists and musicians from DuPage County at a new festival event.

“We’re hoping thousands of people will attend, and it will help raise the profile (of local artists and organizations) to attract new subscribers, new attendees,” LaPlante said. “The goal is to help everyone.”

About Madeline J. Carter

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