October 10, 2013

Since last year, the Logan Family Saturdays program has brought together families from across the South Side and greater Chicago communities through monthly arts programming, with events that include everything from concerts by world-renowned musicians to sensory arts-and- crafts workshops led by University of Chicago students.

As Logan Family Saturdays approaches its second year, the program is diversifying its offerings and introducing discounted passes to provide families with a broader, more accessible arts experience.

“We’re making an effort to have a diversity of arts programming across disciplines and cultures this year, and we are really happy to be debuting new, exciting programs,” said Emily Hooper Lansana, associate director of community arts engagement for Arts and Public Life and the Logan Center.

Among these new programs are family matinee performances by acclaimed storytellers and musicians like the ensemble Third Coast Percussion and the Asian storytelling duo Eth-Noh-Tec. Tickets for individual matinees can be purchased, or parents can buy a Family Pass and attend up to five performances with any combination of four children and adults for the discounted rate of $75.

“The idea behind the program is that it is an arts resource for families that also is really affordable,” explained Amy Iwano, executive director of University of Chicago Presents, the University’s professional music series. She added that free workshops offered through Logan Family Saturdays “give kids a taste of the arts and allow parents to see if it resonates.”

The workshops span disciplines and allow local artists and arts organizations, such as Hyde Park School of Dance, Hyde Park Suzuki and Gingarte Capoeira to engage children with the arts in a friendly, interactive space. Some of the workshops are led by UChicago students, including members of ArtShould, a student organization dedicated to engaging Chicago youth in the arts through after-school programs and events.

“Our Logan Family Saturdays program is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with arts organizations on campus as well as many of our community partners to provide arts programming to families across Chicago,” said Bill Michel, executive director of the Logan Center.

He noted that while these partnerships often involve arts and cultural institutions, they also include University students interested in community arts engagement, such as students from the Department of Music's performance program sharing their instruments with families before and after concerts.

It’s this combination of varied partnerships and hands-on activities that creates a truly stimulating experience. J. Alan Love, program coordinator for Arts and Public Life and a father, said, “It was the first time my son was that close to instruments. The artists gave my son a chance to actually play—that was awesome for him.”

Logan Family Saturdays runs through July. Details about Logan Family Saturdays, including the workshop and family matinee schedules, are available at: http://arts.uchicago.edu/ content/logan-center-family-saturdays-0. For ticketing information, visit http://ticketsweb.uchicago.edu.