Students hold arts show on airport runway

September 19, 2008 6:46:47 PM PDT
Chicago students from the After School Matters program got to put on a runway show Friday night. The program's annual celebration is being staged on O'Hare International Airport's newest runway.

Over the years, the fundraiser has been held at U.S. Cellular Field and Millennium Park. But the news location landed the prize for most creative spot - Runway 9 Left, the first new runway to be built at O'Hare in 30 years. Thankfully it was not yet open to airplane traffic.

Paintings, sculptures and dance were on display.

After School Matters was founded as a summer program back in 1991. Then 220 teens participated that year. This year, it runs year-round with opportunities in arts, science, technology, and all programs take place after school, when kids are most likely to get into trouble.

Maggie Daley, who runs After School Matters, said kids often say they find it to be a more meaningful outlet than hanging out on the streets after school.

Twenty-five hundred donors were expected at the fundraiser.

Planes begin taking off and touching down on Runway 9 Left November 20. The runway and a new control tower will open that day.

On Sunday morning, a run is scheduled on the runway. The 5k is a little more than three miles, and the runway is exactly 1.5 miles long.


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