7 In Your Neighborhood: Beverly Arts Center

March 18, 2012 4:36:59 AM PDT
It's always busy at the Beverly Arts Center where people can either burn some calories with a good workout or nurture their creative side in an art class.

"I always say the fun never stops at the Beverly Arts Center," said Kristine O'Reilly of the arts center.

The multi-discipline center has been around for 41 years and offers classes in music, dance, visual arts and theater.

More than 1,400 students of all ages are enrolled in more than 135 classes.

"A lot of schools unfortunately are cutting their programs so I think the Beverly Arts Center is a valuable asset to the community," O'Reilly said.

Over the years, the center has become a destination not just for the Beverly community, but for the region.

"Not only is it Beverly and the surrounding suburbs of Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn and Alsip and Merrionette Park and Blue Island, but it's also getting close to downtown," said Mike Nix of the arts center.

The arts center also features gallery space for rotating exhibitions of art by both professional and emerging artists.

Also, the 400-seat theater is a unique space for aspiring actors to study the performing arts. Plays are produced all year long.

It's also a small concert venue for professional musicians, many of whom have graced the stage.

"We have this amazing theater," said the arts center's Shelee Frazee. "The stage, I would put it comparable to a downtown theater and yet it's very intimate."