The door of the limousine opens and flash bulbs burst in a thunderstorm of press and paparazzi. The crowd shoulders each other behind velvet ropes, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the diamond-studded star at the head of the red carpet. When the sea of people parts, a self-assured third-grader is revealed as she greets her fawning public.
Popcorn Media gives kids the chance to experience strutting down the red carpet during their Movie Star workshops and weeklong camps. Attendees soak up the secrets of screen acting from a director who works with Disney and Nickelodeon studios while producing their own unique work. They oversee each production element that goes into a film's creation, from lighting and filming to rehearsing and giving their parents an autograph. At the end of each session, kids attend a red-carpet premier of their work amid the applause of friends and family.
A not-for-profit visual arts organization for 51 years, The Art Center (TAC) provides a visual arts education to Highland Park and its surrounding communities in the Chicagoland area, assuring access to the arts for all ages and cultural interests. Classes, exhibits and events year round make TAC a cultural hub!
Within School of Rock's fun, educational atmosphere, seasoned rockers and their pupils rip through instrumental basics at weekly private lessons and group band rehearsals. Entrancing ballads burst from drums, keyboards, guitars, basses, saxes, vocal chords, and classically trained tea kettles at the trial lesson, a prelude to full-fledged enrollment. Dip a toe in the tumultuous waters of stardom, unearthing the ideal instrument, instructor, and weekly schedule at the preliminary jam session before crowd surfing a swell of musically inclined comrades in the Rock 101 and subsequent Show Rockers bands. During band practice, harmonious herds forge new friendships, experience the exhilaration of live performances, and learn the hypnotic powers of playing “Free Bird.” School of Rock provides the drums and keyboards, but participants must bring along any other instrument of choice.
A staff of more than 30 qualified yoga instructors sporting diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise have made Sanctuary Yoga Highwood an inclusive studio for practitioners of all abilities and interests. Credit for the place's welcoming vibes also belong to owner Amanda Small, whose Mississippi-borne Southern hospitality inspires her to create a warm space, in both the emotional and physical sense. Though not every class is heated, some of the Vinyasa flows are performed in temperatures as high as 98 degrees to promote deeper stretching and to detoxify the body. For a less strenuous session, students can try one of Sanctuary's specialty classes, such as Stretchy and Gentle and Yoga Basics. An adjoined retail lounge keeps guests outfitted with exercise apparel and accessories from brands such as Yogitoes, as well as with organic candles and aromatherapy products that freshen up homes filled with sweaty yoga apparel and accessories.
Artist Lisa Jones, the founder of Art by the Glazz, has a painting hanging in the White House and one in the Pentagon. Both locales are impressive places for the artwork of any artist to reside, particularly one who “found out [she] liked to paint by mistake.” Lisa began her painting life in her 30s shortly after the death of her mother. A friend convinced her to go to a painting class in the hopes of alleviating Lisa’s depression, and within three weeks of this class, Lisa had three clients who were commissioning work from her.
A few years later, Lisa created Art by the Glazz, originally intending to use the operation as a fundraising tool for nonprofits. Today, a portion of Lisa’s painting classes still benefits art education in public schools, and she stations these informative, fun sessions throughout the Washington D.C. metro area and takes them on tour through New Jersey and Chicago. Throughout the years, Lisa estimates that she’s swapped paint and sipped wine with more than 1,000 people. One memorable student, a woman who had suffered a stroke, hadn’t painted for five years until her husband brought her to Art by the Glazz, where she once again took to the canvas with paint and brush. Most of Lisa’s students arrive to class with no formal artistic training, and their level of fun, Lisa says, “depends on how much [they] let [themselves] go.” It’s easy for her to tell when the class has gone for it. Colorful palette flourishes mingle with laughs, toasts, and even songs, as budding artists recreate a favorite landscape, still life, or parking ticket.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this challenging, yet hopeful, philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.