Artistic community gets into the music biz

October 30, 2008 10:09:11 AM PDT
Known for their colorful artworks around the city, the Arts of Life, a not-for-profit community for artists with developmental disabilities, recently got into the music business. Several artists are writing, recording and performing songs that enable them to showcase another form of creativity.

Two years ago, the Arts of Life started a music program. Executive director Denise Fisher says the artists pushed for it.

"They played music organically in the studio, and then we found Ryan, our art director, and he kind of took it to the next level," said Fisher.

The Arts of Life Band is the name and their first CD is also named after the band.

Each band member had to audition, says Ryan Shuguem.

"Find out what they want to do and what they're interested in, like if it's going to be covers, originals, singing or playing," Shuguem said.

Money from performing and CD sales goes back to the music program.

"We don't want to take away from the art piece to do the music piece, and so right now all the proceeds will go back, straight back into the music program so we can get the equipment that we need," Fisher said.

Band member Jean Wilson knows the reason she was selected.

"Cuz I'm a good singer," said Wilson.

Thursday night, October 30, from 8 p.m. to midnight, the Arts of Life Band will be performing at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. It's their CD release party. THERE is a cover charge of $7 and the CD will be selling for $10.

For more information, go to www.artsoflife.org and www.myspace.com/artsoflife/.


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