On behalf of the Oak Park Art League Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank all who supported our spring fundraiser, Retro Prom, on Saturday, March 7 at Wire! Everyone looked fabulous in their prom attire and danced until the wee hours. We are grateful for the support we received from generous friends and businesses in our community. Local celebrities, Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley, Deputy Chief Tony Ambrose, and OPRF High School football coach and teacher John Hoerster, brought their “A” game to our first Lip Sync Battle. Donations of original artwork by local artists and contributions from area restaurants and businesses helped to double our fundraising goal through the silent auction and raffle. 

We are especially appreciative of our sponsors in underwriting, including: My Music Lessons, Forest Agency Insurance, Russo’s Auto Body, Tamale Hut Café, Community Bank, and Kellie Scott of Trends and Divine Consign. 

Supporting us at the Grand Master Level were our friends Mary & Frank Pellegrini with Prairie Title Company, whose office also serves as a satellite gallery for the Art League. Continued support from the Oak Park Area Arts Council and Illinois Arts Council help sustain our arts mission throughout the year. 

The 2016 Illinois budget proposes a 20% reduction of funding for the arts, so more than ever, fundraising, private dollars and community support continue to be essential to protecting the future of small arts organizations like the Oak Park Art League. 

To all who attended the Retro Prom, donated to the Lip Sync Battle, contributed to the auction and raffle, or volunteered time, please know that you made a difference. The event was a great success, raising funds to help maintain our historic building and support our programs, plus also contribute to a student enrichment scholarship that will be awarded at a special exhibition of student work in May. 

All in all, it was a wonderful evening celebrating the arts and elevating awareness of our community nonprofit arts organization. Watch for another costume-themed event in 2016!

Jennifer McNulty

President, OPAL Board of Directors

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