In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Although Christopher Paul is a professional photographer, he doesn’t like having his picture taken. Since he knows what it’s like to feel a little uncomfortable on the other side of the lens, he spends his time crafting shoots that are as engaging and easy-going as possible for his subjects, whether he’s capturing family portraits, engagement photos, or keepsake wedding stills. Rather than working out of a studio, for example, he always shoots at a location of the subject’s choosing. He prefers shooting outdoors. People not only tend to relax outside, but natural light is far more flattering than that of a flashbulb. He also shows subjects proofs during as they pose, so they aren’t surprised by their final shots.
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!
After 6 years of award winning instruction in dance and the performing arts, VPA has launched its brand new Adult Program. This exciting new program offers an array of dance and fitness classes suitable for all levels, from the beginner to the seasoned veteran.
Winner of several contest awards from the Wedding Photojournalist Association including photographer of the year in 2012, Steve Matteo still remembers his early days as a news photographer for a small suburban weekly, rushing back to the newsroom to watch the film slowly develop and a sliver of history take shape. Though he went on to tackle more exciting assignments and career changes—working at the Daily Herald, compiling images for UIC's yearlong City 2000 photo project, and photographing Princess Diana's visit to Chicago in 1996—one thing hasn't changed: the thrill of knowing that his camera has memorialized a story forever.
Today, Steve is equally at home shooting for Fortune 500 companies and clients such as Northwestern University as he is creating individual portraits. When he photographs a wedding, he uses the same ingenuity and photojournalistic eye that he honed while working as a sports photographer for HBO Sports and as a news photographer for the Associated Press. His wedding photography, meanwhile, has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, garnered a 2012 Bride's Choice award on WeddingWire.com, and won the 2012 WPJA Photographer of the Year.
Students play the music they want to at North Shore Music Institute, where a staff of working musicians lead private and group lessons on instruments including guitar, keyboards, bass, ukelele, and buckets. The school's band program helps connect students of similar age, skill, and musical preferences in an eight-week program where they learn two assigned songs and two songs of their choice. Designed for garage bands with airport-size ambitions, the program guides groups through every step of the process, from instrument tuning to autotuning.