Hecky’s to be honored at Evanston State of the City Address

Amanda Gilbert

Hecky’s Barbecue will formally receive the 2011 Evanston Arts & Business Committee Leadership Award at the Mayor’s State of the City Address.

Evanston’s Cultural Arts Director Jeff Cory said the award recognizes local businesses that demonstrate leadership in arts and cultural support.

“This is the city of Evanston’s fifth year giving this leadership award,” Cory said. “It’s designed to support arts in Evanston.”

Hecky’s Barbecue, 1902 Green Bay Road, was chosen because it provided support to many arts-related groups throughout Evanston, such as The Actors Gymnasium, Evanston Township High School Jazz Band, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and the Youth and Senior Theater Ensemble Project.

Hecky Powell, the owner of Hecky’s Barbecue, said his business contributes to the arts through many food and financial donations to those organizations.

“We are proud that we are being recognized for our contributions,” Powell said. “We hope other businesses contribute to the arts as well.”

Powell said he decided Hecky’s Barbecue would focus on endorsing the arts in the city because he said creative programs often receive inadequate funding.

“Anytime a school has a shortfall of money, the first place it starts to cut funds from is the arts,” Powell said. “But the arts are definitely necessary in the world.”

Hecky’s Barbecue has contributed not only to Evanston but also to the Northwestern community.

Powell said that his business has had a relationship with NU for almost 20 years, selling food at the concession stands during football and basketball games.

Hecky said NU families also love their barbecue ribs and sausages made in the restaurant. NU parent Joyce Renz, a New York resident, said she loves eating the restaurant’s food when visiting her daughter at NU.

“Evanston is blessed to have Hecky’s Barbecue,” Renz said. “They care about their customers and the community as a whole.”