OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC
CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF NEW $18 MILLION FACILITY AND MARKS 55TH ANNIVERSARY WITH 55 DAYS OF SPECIAL PROGRAMMING AND EVENTS
Old Town School East Building Opens Doors at 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue,
January 9, 2012
New facilities include 3 dance studios, 16 acoustically engineered classrooms, a flex-use performance hall, environmentally advanced construction, and artwork by R. Crumb
CHICAGO – November 17, 2011 – Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music announces Grand Opening plans for its new Old Town School East Building, located at 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue directly across the street from its current Lincoln Square home. The community is invited to celebrate the Grand Opening and first day of classes in the new East Building with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and ritual blessing of the bricks on Monday, January 9, 2012, followed by building tours and an all-day community sing-along.
The Grand Opening kicks off a celebration of the School’s 55th anniversary, starting January 9 and continuing for 55 days. All three locations in the Old Town School campus (the pair on Lincoln Avenue, and the original site at 909 W. Armitage Avenue) will participate in the 55-day celebration, which features specially priced concerts and free classes and workshops, all demonstrating the wide range of the School’s offerings. Both on-going weekly series as well as one-day-only special events are highlighted, including:
An MLK Day Celebration with Chicago favorite Ella Jenkins
About the New Facility
The new East Building is the Old Town School’s fourth facility in Chicago and its first-ever new construction, creating a Lincoln Square “campus” as the Old Town School West Building remains open and active. The East Building greatly increases the School’s ability to meet growing class size needs and community demand for expanded programming in the vein of its current offerings, which serve a broad range of ages, styles and talent levels in multi-cultural music and dance.
The new East Building offers a variety of improved amenities, including:
New Artistic Features
Throughout the Old Town School East Building, new artistic design features celebrate music in functional as well as aesthetic ways, including:
About the “Green” Design Features
From site choice to energy-saving heating and cooling systems, the new facility was designed by Chicago-based VOA Associates, Inc. to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification standards. The new facility is located within walking distance of public bus and train lines and designed to include bicycle storage, all to promote alternative means of transportation. Water efficiency through plumbing technology is utilized to reduce water usage throughout the interior and a green roof is located atop the building with plants native to the region. And recycled products, regional materials and renewable resources were used throughout the construction, with a majority of construction waste being diverted to recycling and reuse.
About the Old Town School
The Old Town School of Folk Music, considered the largest community school of the arts in the United States, teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. Founded in 1957, the School offers 700 accredited classes in music, dance, theater and visual arts that span a wide range of artistic genres. The School’s critically acclaimed concerts showcase some of the finest and most diverse local and touring artists in our intimate and acoustically superb hall. Ticket prices remain among the most affordable in the city and special events like the Chicago Folk & Roots Festival and World Music Wednesdays make music accessible to all with free and reduced-priced programs.
The Old Town School also supports artist-in-residence programs in twenty underserved Chicago Public Schools, provides early childhood music education in two subsidized child-care facilities, and engages in exchange programs with cognate institutions in six foreign countries. The Old Town School now owns and operates three facilities – two situated in Lincoln Square and one in Lincoln Park – that include 425-seat and 150-seat concert halls, 51 classrooms, two music stores, a cafe and a resource center. The School also offers its popular Wiggleworms® program at four suburban satellite locations.
For more information on the Old Town School of Folk Music please visit www.oldtownschool.org.