Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Skokie Photo Project's photo fun at the Backlot Bash

All Skokie Photo Project's Picture #1, severely cropped

The Skokie Backlot Bash will be more than bands, rides, food and movies this year.

The All Skokie Photo Project's Picture #1, the big group photo taken at the Festival of Cultures in May, will be on display at the Skokie Heritage Museum, 8031 Floral Ave., 12-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, August 28 and 29.  Maybe you remembering me writing about this picture which launched the Project earlier this year.

At 50 inches wide and 30 inches high, approx. 300 people are in the picture, including the Mayor George Van Dusen, Jan Schakowsky, Lou Lang, Beth Coulson, Howard Meyer, Krishna Goyal, Scott Holtz, Ann Tennes, Janet Rosenberg, Jim Szczepaniak, Norman Kozak, Julia Clarke, Bill Schmidt, Bill Novello, Jin Lee, Ken Grossman, Roy Swenson, Svetlana Kramarova, David Battaglin, Omprakash Kamaria, Rich Reeder, Jelly Carandang, Joel Farber, Nora Cotter, Mark Adler, Jenna Dodson, Paul Pitalis, Nanciann Gatta, Louie Posey, Robert Yuen, Mary Recchia, Leah Raffe, Matthew Robins, Jason Block and so many others who make Skokie what it is today and friends.

This will be the first public display of this picture. The Village's Janelle Silva gave the picture a "Wow!".

Other photos made since the launch will be on display too.  

Lasting Memories, the portrait and wedding studio in downtown Skokie, will be shooting for the Project on Saturday and Sunday starting at noon each day. They'll be making free prints for everyone who poses. Even those who've already had their picture made for the Project are invited to come get another one made.

The All Skokie Photo Project will also be making two other large group pictures during the Bash. I expect it will be me shooting the picture of the audience just before the screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Skokie Theatre on Saturday night. Another picture will be made from the main stage at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday.

All are invited to shoot pictures of the fun at the Bash and submit them to the All Skokie Photo Contest to possibly win a year's worth of cookies from Sweet Atilla's and for potential inclusion in the Skokie Historical Society's photo archives. If you don't have a camera, you can check one out from the Skokie Public Library.

The All Skokie Photo Project is updating the world on what Skokie is about now, at the beginning of the 21st Century, through photographs and the stories that go with them. This year-long project aims to make (or collect) pictures of everyone that makes Skokie what it is today. Inclusivity and creativity in all aspects of this project are key to its success. Contact me at to discuss yours or your organization's ideas.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Q and A with Scott Holtz, Rocky Horror Picture Show event organizer and...

Scott Holtz and other big cheeses in Skokie have enlisted the help of Dr. Frank N. Furter and Meatloaf to help save the Skokie Theatre.

And so the Rocky Horror Picture Show will play at the Skokie Theatre August 28.

To better understand Scott and his cause, I posed some questions. Here's his response:

Q: What inspired you to organize this screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show to benefit the Skokie Theatre?

Scott: The Skokie Theatre needs our help! It is a gem of a space and could be central to what is coming for Downtown Skokie. It is a gathering place. In the past when times were hard places like the Skokie Theatre provided the escape the public needed. We must work to save what we have in downtown Skokie to use that to get more here. A full house at the Skokie Theatre nightly would support more nightlife here. The matinees could offer more opportunities for a noon shopping/eating crowd.

Q: Why Rocky Horror?  Why not Sound of Music or something more mainstream?

Scott: I wanted this event to be an experience. The Sound of Music is fine to watch on your TV at home or live on stage. Rocky Horror needs to happen in a public space with people. It (RHPS) doesn't work on DVD in your living room. What fun is audience participation with 1 person? Besides - you look pretty silly doing the Time Warp alone.

Q: What is so special about this theatre?

Scott: Its past, its present and its future. It's been re-invented many times. Just as we struggle to find the identity for Downtown Skokie the same struggle has occurred over the life of the theatre. Where the current vision started with just jazz , the Skokie Theatre has evolved into including everything from live theatrical performances to cat acrobats.

Q: Why should others--local, country and state government officials; real estate developers; area businesses; community members--care about this
theatre and help support it?

Scott: It is a theatre. It has a life. I cannot imagine another use for that building or that property. It can become a key in the Village center. Steps from Village Hall and one of the finest public libraries in the country, it has a place. There is sculpture all over the Village Green. A successful theatre could help turn Downtown Skokie into a fine regional art/education/performance center.

Q: What do you see in the Skokie Theatre's future?  What do you envision it could be in order for it to remain viable?

Scott: It needs to offer a variety of programming options and become more community friendly. There needs to be a solid marketing effort to provide an awareness for the theatre. Marketing has always been word of mouth and by chance. I think if more people are aware of the theatre and what is doing selling tickets would be much easier.

By day Scott is website designer living and working in downtown Skokie. He used to work in theatre as a set and lighting designer. In is scarce free time, Scott is board member of IMODS (Independent Merchants of Downtown Skokie) and Skokie Chamber of Commerce where he was named Volunteer of the Year for 2009. Scott has been instrumental in forming the Economic Development Task Force for the Skokie Chamber. With Caryn Watson, he runs Skokie's Classic Car Show. Oh, and he can run a 5 K in 28 minutes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday's Garage Sale to Benefit Multiple Sclerosis Sufferer

Next week, Sunday, August 8, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  a multi-family garage sale to benefit a multiple sclerosis sufferer is scheduled to be held at 9636 Lawler in Skokie, that's across from Old Orchard and down the street from Niles North.

Items for sale include collectibles, 32” TV, desk, furniture, maternity clothes, plus size clothes, housewares, rug, paintings, lots of stuff for the college students and more.

The family hosting the garage sale are the Taxmans, my cousins.