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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oct. 1: Bike Light Giveaway

In a continued effort to promote bicycle safety in Evanston, on Thursday, October 1, the City of Evanston will hold its 2015 “Pedal Bright” Bike Light Giveaway and Installation event.
The exciting initiative will provide bicycle safety information and help cyclists increase the visibility of their bikes as the days get shorter during the fall and winter seasons. Teams of volunteers will install a limited number of free bicycle lights, distribute city bike maps, and provide a quick tutorial on the rules of the road for bicyclists.
Bicycle lights will be installed while supplies last on Thursday, October 1, from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., at two Evanston locations:
  • Robert Crown Community Center, 1701 Main St.
  • The Weber Arch at Northwestern University, Chicago Ave. and Sheridan Rd.
The morning and afternoon hours are often peak times for bicycle traffic on local roadways. Later sunrises and earlier sunsets make visibility especially important for both bicycle commuters and recreational cyclists. Bicyclists in need of lights are encouraged to have a light installed at one of the locations. Lights will only be installed on bicycles without lights; lights will not be handed out to individuals without bikes.
Illinois law requires that every bicycle when in use at nighttime be equipped with a front lamp capable of emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet, and a red reflector on the rear visible from 100 to 600 feet. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to a red reflector.
The City is proud to announce the event's sponsors and partners, including:
  • Evanston Police Department
  • Northwestern University
  • Northwestern University Associated Student Government
  • NorthShore Evanston Hospital
  • Evanston Township High School
  • Evanston Bike Club
  • Downtown Evanston
  • Wheel and Sprocket
  • The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices
Additional sponsors will be announced. Those interested in being a sponsor should contact
For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents in Evanston may simply dial 3-1-1.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sunday: View the Total Lunar Eclipse with CIERA Astronomers

Upcoming Events for CIERA - Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics

Observe the eclipse through telescopes. Talk to CIERA Astronomers!

Multiple telescope stations will be available to shorten the lines.

Maximum point of eclipse occurs at 9:47 PM. If the weather is questionable, check our Facebook Event for updates.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

CIERA is the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics at Northwestern University. Visit us:

8-11:30 p.m.

Segal Visitors Center, Top Level, 7th Floor Parking Garage 
1841 Sheridan Rd   
Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Monday, September 21, 2015

Public Art by Heather Hancock in Downtown Evanston

Have you seen this? Downtown Evanston commissioned local artist Heather Hancock to install a temporary mural on the building at the corner of Grove Street and Sherman Avenue, also known as Other Brother Coffee. Titled "Flourish", Hancock used masonry tape and repurposed reflectors to create a new experience in the streetscape. "Flourish is a playful re-imagining of lines and forms from the built world as organic, growing elements." Stop by during the day and night to see how "Flourish" changes with light. If you share a photo on Facebook or Instagram, use #flourishdowntownevanston. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Swing Set Drum Kit at Evanston Streets Alive!

This Sunday, 1-6 p.m., on the corner of Elmwood and Main Streets, Dave Ford's Swing Set Drum Kit will be open for swinging and music making! Stop by and say "hello"

Streets Alive is a Pro-Walk, Pro-Bike, Pro-Place initiative of Citizen’s Greener Evanston (CGE). CGE’s mission is to create a more livable and resilient city while decreasing the community’s carbon emissions. CGE promotes and facilitates green transportation options such as walking, biking, transit, and car-sharing, educates and mobilizes the community, advocates for appropriate policies and infrastructure, and implements a variety of programs that aim to engage underserved constituencies.   For 2015, CGE is excited to partner with the Evanston Environmental Association to bring the Green Living Festival to Streets Alive. The City of Evanston is also a major partner and sponsor of Streets Alive.

Visit or email

See activity map below

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fun Alert: Evanston Oktoberfest

Be a part of the first-ever Evanston craft beer fest! Bring your friends and family to enjoy an afternoon of craft beer, food, and fun, fall festivities right here in downtown Evanston!

October 11 - Evanston Oktoberfest will celebrate Evanston's craft breweries and brewpubs, featuring four pours each from Temperance, Smylie Brothers Brewing, Peckish Pig and Sketchbook Brewing. There will be plenty of delicious food available for purchase from some of Evanston's finest resaturants and food vendors. Attendees will also enjoy live music, dancing, kids activities and more!

Evanston Oktoberfest runs from 1:00 to 5:00 pm for General Admission ticket holders and VIP ticket holders get early admission at 12:00 pm. Please note that all food is available for purchase so please bring cash. See below for additional ticket information. Evanston Oktoberfest will take place at the parking lot behind the Hilton Garden Inn located at 1818 Maple Avenue (also known as the Downtown Evanston Farmer's Market location). 

Evanston Oktoberfest is hosted by Downtown Evanston, a nonprofit organization that manages and markets the downtown Evanston business district. Ticket sales help cover the event costs for the participating breweries and Downtown Evanston. 

VIP Tickets ($50 plus tax)
  • Early admission at 12:00 pm
  • Four 3-oz pours of a special cask ale (1 from each brewery)
  • 3-oz pour of a specialty drink from FEW Spirits (more info to come soon!) 
  • Commemorative beer sampling glass
  • Sixteen 3-oz pours (4 from each brewery)

General Admission Tickets ($35 plus tax)
  • Commemorative beer sampling glass
  • Sixteen 3-oz pours (4 from each brewery)
  • Admission from 1:00 to 5:00 pm

Designated Driver and Kids 13 and Older Ticket ($10 plus tax)
  • Commemorative water bottle

Kids 12 and Younger (FREE)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lorena La Grassa Family Fund

Last month the Evanston arts community lost Lorena La Grassa, to her 4 year battle with cancer. She left behind a husband, 2 young sons, and a daughter with autism. The family needs help, please take the time to view the Crowdrise page for the Conde family, and consider contributing in whatever way you can.

Lorena's story:

School has just started, and as summer freedom gives way to long days in the classroom, the three children of the Conde family struggle with a much more difficult transition.  Their mother, Lorena LaGrassa, passed away on August 9, 2015, after a 4-year struggle with melanoma.  A beautiful wife, mother and visual artist, Lorena gave all she had to raise and nurture her children, particularly her 11-year-old daughter, Mila, who has autism.  Now their father, Derek Conde, needs to be home to help Mila and her two brothers, Giacamo (13) and Marco (10), come to terms with their new circumstances.  We are raising $20,000 to help the Conde family through the first four months of this difficult time.

Lorena was dedicated to giving her daughter Mila an optimal environment to navigate the difficulties of autism as well as a pristine diet tailored to support the highest mental functioning.  She home schooled Mila, and Mila did well in an environment that was familiar, friendly, and free.  Now Mila will start a new school year without her mother, and leave her familiar home schooling environment to attend the local middle school.

This transition will be difficult.  As a child with autism, Mila requires constant nurturing, guidance, and structure.  Inherent in the condition of autism is the need for “sameness” – rituals and routines.  The transition for Mila will be fraught with frustrations as she struggles to adapt to the loss of her mother at the same time as she enters a completely new world of public school.

Within a week of Lorena’s death, Derek has already attended the first school district meeting for Mila.  There will be frequent IEP (Independent Educational Plan) meetings, particularly in the beginning, as the teachers, teacher’s aids, and administrators learn how they will accommodate Mila.  These changes come only incrementally, and only through further meetings.

In the course of Lorena’s 4-year illness, Lorena and Derek have exhausted both personal and family resources. Derek had taken periodic leaves from work when Lorena became too ill from chemotherapy to care for Mila.  Upon Lorena’s death, once again Derek has had to take a leave of absence from his position at Trader Joe’s to care for the children.  The family needs support to pay for all basic living expenses, including rent, utilities, food, and clothing, as well as childcare and a fund to help ease the constant financial stress.

To help the Conde family during this emotionally and financially trying time, you can contribute in one of three different ways:
- The fastest and easiest way to help, is by making a monetary donation via Crowdrise.
- Via Sign Up Genius, where the Conde's have a weekly grocery list. Go to and "find a sign up" using the email Sign up to contribute as little as 1 item from the list, or as much as the entire list!

- Purchase a piece of jewelry designed by the late Lorena LaGrassa. Etsy shop run and managed by friends of Lorena LaGrassa, on behalf of the family. ALL proceeds go directly to the Conde/LaGrassa family.

Thank you for taking the time to read our story, and please know that every donation, no matter how small, is LARGELY appreciated.

Photograph by Chris Bradley