Courtesy Dominican University
Dominican University's Performing Arts Center (DUPAC) has received a Community Bank of Oak Park and River Forest Best in Class Award from the Oak Park Area Arts Council (OPAAC) in recognition of the quality and breadth of its programming and the positive impact it has had on other local arts organizations. The award, which came with a $1,000 grant from Community Bank, was presented by OPAAC during its annual meeting on March 20 at Pleasant Home.
"I am so proud of this special recognition because it honors the work that we do for our community," said Leslie Rodriguez, DUPAC director. "We are pleased to bring top-notch entertainers to residents of Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park—right in their own backyards."
Over the past 10 years, Dominican has showcased such renowned performers as Renée Fleming, Garrison Keillor and, most recently, Audra McDonald. In addition, the university has presented concerts by such popular artists as Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, David Bromberg and Shawn Colvin and brought the world to the local community by hosting performances by the Tibetan Monks, Ensemble Español and Ragamala Dance.
The Performing Arts Center was also recognized for its support of other local artists by providing space at discounted rates for the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest; Actor's Garden, a summer theater program for young people; and several dance studios. In addition, the university's theatrical productions routinely employee local actors who serve as mentors for Dominican students.
"Dominican's Performing Arts Center provides a great service to our community by presenting artistic productions not often available to communities our size," said Camille Wilson-White, executive director of the Oak Park Area Arts Council. "The center is a fantastic asset to the community."
Founded in 1901, Dominican University is a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic institution offering undergraduate programs and master's degrees through the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the Brennan School of Business, the School of Education, the Graduate School of Social Work, and the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, as well as a doctorate in library science. In the 2013 issue of America's Best Colleges, U.S. News & World Report ranked Dominican University in the top 20 Midwest master's level universities and one of the Midwest's "Great Schools at a Great Price."