Norris University Center hosts programming to liven up summertime in Evanston


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Norris University Center is hosting summer programming throughout July.

Selena Kuznikov, Reporter

DJ and performer Corey Bless said he was enthralled to see people enjoying the sunshine outside at Norris University Center’s Lunch at the Lake in 2021 ― and he expects Northwestern students and Evanston residents to do the same this year. 

“That crowd was receptive, people were dancing,” Bless said. “Others were just enjoying the vibe and the distance. It was great to see people smiling and happy and getting a chance to feel good outside.” 

This year, Norris is hosting three Lunch on the Lake events on Wednesdays and three Summer Cinema events on Thursdays throughout July as a part of its Summer Session programming. Norris will show “Luca,” “Enchanted” and the original “Space Jam,” and all events are free to attend on the East Lawn.

Norris Program Manager Linda Luk said Norris has a long history of hosting free summer events on the Lakefill for Evanston residents and NU students and faculty.

“Our goal is to offer some fun outdoor programming for the community, bring people together and have a wonderful time enjoying our summer,” Luk said. 

She said attendance for last year’s programming was “outstanding” because it provided an  option to be outside safely. She said some groups, like Funkadesi, have large local followings that went to the events.  

Lunch on the Lake begins at noon, and attendees can buy lunch boxes with rotating options that include turkey and provolone sandwiches and banh mi. Prices for the on-site lunches range from $10-$13. Summer Cinema showings start at dusk, with free popcorn given out starting at 7:30 p.m. before the movie.

McCormick freshman Ashley Burwell, who is staffing the events throughout the month, said she was able to enjoy the lunch and movie events with her colleagues while they were working. 

Burwell said the first week of programming had a very large turnout, with students, adults and kids alike showing up to enjoy the summer weather. 

“I love music and I like listening to different genres of music,” Burwell said. “All of the musicians who are coming for Lunch on the Lake have diverse musical tastes. It’s really exciting to have all these people come, as well as listen to new music.” 

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Twitter: @selenakuznikov 

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