Glenwood Avenue Arts District: A feast for all senses

Glenwood Avenue Arts District: A feast for all senses
The Mayne Stage Theater, Photo by Hannah Lutz

The Glenwood Avenue Arts District captures the central heart and soul of Rogers Park’s candid creativity. The Arts District stretches from 6900 N. Glenwood Avenue to 1400 W. Glenwood Avenue. Old fashioned narrow cobblestone streets lined with picturesque storefronts and restaurants and an elaborately designed mural under the ‘L’ flawlessly accentuate the urban area

Rogers Park’s thriving underground art scene will please all senses. If the buzz of Rogers Parkers isn’t enough, theaters and music venues add a melodious hum to the district. Red Line Tap, which is an extension of Heartland Café, is a venue for musical acts every Tuesday through Sunday. Performances vary from rock, metal, indie, bluegrass, singer songwriter and even open mics. The popular Mayne Stage Theater also holds many concerts. This Friday, they’ll be having Megitza Quartet, a local band of charismatic multicultural musicians. Rogers Park shows its flair for the dramatic in its theaters. TheoUbique is currently setting the stage for Light in the Piazza. Their acclaimed production will be shown until May 20. Thespians at the Lifeline Theatre are preparing for their next show, Pride and Prejudice, which will debut on April 20.

For the eyes, the many art galleries and studios contribute to Rogers Park’s unique flair. NorthSide Dance Theater is a dance studio on Glenwood that offers classes in jazz, ballet, hip hop and modern. The studio caters to children and adults of every skill level. In the realm of visual art, Glenwood Avenue features B1E Gallery. The gallery’s main attraction is its uniquely radiant outdoor sculpture garden. The Glenwood Avenue Arts District also expands its art scene with Mess Hall. Mess Hall is an experimental cultural center whose aim is to intertwine visual art, riveting politics, urban planning and ecological design.

To top it off, the Glenwood Avenue Arts District will fulfill any ravenous desire with its great variety of restaurants. Most restaurants in the area are along Morse, but Heartland Café resides on Glenwood. It has been open for more than 35 years and remains a main attraction in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Heartland Café has an active music scene and an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner with plenty of vegetarian options. Los Portales Mexican is a just one of the nearby restaurants on Morse. It offers a huge menu of south of the border cuisine, like tacos or burritos, along with Americanized dining, like gyros or burgers.

The Glenwood Avenue Arts District brings some neighborly sociability and healthy habits with the Glenwood Sunday Market. Every Sunday, Rogers Park dwellers can buy fresh produce from Midwestern farmers in their own neighborhood.

Another notable community builder the Glenwood Avenue Arts District brings to Rogers Park is the annual Glenwood Ave. Arts Fest. Last summer over 100 artists and merchants were represented at the festival. There was endless music and entertainment, and local artists rented storefront windows to exhibit their pieces for sale. This year, the festival will begin with a Friday Night Kickoff on August 17 and continue through Sunday, August 19.

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