“A Bright Night for the Arts” returned in person to showcase the art of Evanston


Dylan Wu/The Daily Northwestern

Event-goers appreciate the ways in which the local artists express themselves on canvas.

Fuma Ueda, Reporter

After COVID-19 forced the event to go online in 2020, “A Bright Night for the Arts,” an annual celebration of visual and performing arts of Evanston, was held in person on Thursday night at the Evanston Art Center.

The event, hosted by the Evanston Arts Council and the city’s mayor, incorporated elements of both visual and performing arts, a first in the event’s history. Toby Sachs, the chair of the council, said he was “ecstatic” to have people physically back together to celebrate the flourishing arts scene in Evanston and give the arts community an opportunity to gather. 

“The great thing is that though we can only fit 200 people in the room, they represent so many cultures and art forms from sewing to circus, from orchestral music to painting,” Sachs said. “I hope that that represents many parts of the community.” 

Sachs said representing all forms of art, be it visual or performing, was at the heart of the council’s mission. Artist Dan Oliver’s latest body of work, “AFIRE,” decorated the walls of the first floor, while circus artists from the Actors Gymnasium performed tricks like juggling. 

Diane Breslow, an attendee of the event, said she came to participate in order to better support Evanston and its arts, after finding out about it through an email sent by the city. 

“I think it’s important that art be brought to communities, not just to major museums,” Breslow said. “Every citizen and resident should have access to art, and the art presented here today are very thought-provoking.”

Northwestern was also represented at the event, with the night’s musical performance being provided by Medical Orchestra. The orchestra’s principal conductor, Taichi Fukumura (Bienen  M.M. ’17, D.M.A. ’21), is a member of the Evanston Arts Council. 

To close the event, Mayor Daniel Biss touched on the importance of art showcases before giving out the annual Mayor’s Awards for the Arts. Recipients included artist Doug Haight, creator of the multimedia project See My Story, which focuses on Evanston’s unhoused population; Tim Rose, executive director of the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and the dance studio Identity Performing Arts, recognized for continuing to provide dance lessons to children in the Evanston community during the pandemic. 

“There is, I’m afraid, not that much that feels universal these days. The hunger to express ourselves and the deep joy that comes from finding creative ways to express ourselves, that’s universal,” Biss said. “And so it’s in that spirit that we come together this evening and celebrate all the work that people have done.”


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