The Nature Consortium
Nancy Whitlock deals in the ineffable. After becoming a stay-at-home mom, she yearned for a connection to her neighborhood. One day, she was making cards using swatches of fabric and colored pencil, and got the idea to host an art festival on her block with the theme “What Is Your Art?” Neighbors came together and shared quilts, paintings, photography, and kids activities. Still not satisfied, though, Nancy hosted an even bigger festival in Lincoln Park the following year to celebrate the connection between art and nature. From there, she expanded even further to offer programs as Nature Consortium.
The Arts in Nature Festival continues today from Camp Long. Every year, people return to view musical performances and multimedia presentations in the woods and take part in naturalist activities in the meadow. In addition to the festival, Nature Consortium connects people to art and nature through two primary programs: Urban Forest Restoration Project and the Youth Art Program. The Youth Art Program provides out-of-school training in painting, music, culinary arts, urban arts, and dance, whereas the Urban Forestry Restoration Project sponsors volunteer parties to remove invasive species and plant native trees while local musicians play. Nature Consortium’s regular events also connect people with art and nature through wine tasting in the woods, an art walk, and outdoor indie-film nights.
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