Zumba classes. Drumming sessions. Poetry slam workshops. A monthly handmade arts fair called HoneyCraft Market. Though these events may seem disparate, they do have one thing in common—they all take place at Mixin Mingle.
Naté Grindeland opened up the space in 2011, and far from a typical community house, Mixin Mingle adds high-street elegance to events with the help of hardwood floors, and black leather antique-style couches. The storefront serves as an all-purpose space for a variety of organizations and artists of all stripes. Perched on the square featured in Groundhog Day, Mixin Mingle boasts sprawling rooms that can host a wealth of activities including private parties, journaling sessions, handmade soap-making seminars, kickboxing classes, and henna demonstrations.
In 1883, inventor Henry Ferris garnered plenty of attention for his new creation: the hay carrier. Perhaps most of the atttention came from Harvard, IL hardware store owners Charles Hunt and Nathan Helm, who urged him to move into their shop. The store became the Starline Factory, and in the following decades, the trio thrived on patents for cutting-edge farm equipment. Even so, their venture couldn't last forever. Around the turn of the 21st century, the building was abandoned and slated for demolition. That is, until a similarly minded entrepreneur, Orrin Kinney, intervened. Since then, Kinney has given the old, four block-wide building new life as a series of art studios and exhibition spaces. Now the creative home for more than 20 artists, the Gallery hosts regular events such as public paint-and-draw sessions, 4th Fridays open houses, and sleepovers where artists can gossip about the hottest new paints. An open floor plan allows for lavish events?from corporate parties to weddings?for up to 500 guests.
Outside of the packed theatre, a sleek sedan glides its way to the curb. An expectant hush falls over the gathered masses as the door opens to reveal the car's famous passenger. There is a pause, and brief silence, before frenzied cheers are punctuated by a flurry of popping flashbulbs. Scenes like this, common in entertainment capitals all over the world, are what the photographers at Photo Booth of the Stars seek to replicate on a small-scale at private event engagements throughout Chicagoland. Their brand of memory-making has proven especially popular at weddings, where reception guests can pose in front of backdrops that celebrate matrimony with pictures of hearts, rings, and the best man giving a thumbs up.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
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.