Contact: Sarah Eilefson
June 26, 2012
NATIONAL VETERANS ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW LOCATION
History-Rich Art Institution to Remain in Chicago with Plans for Growth
Chicago, Ill. (June 2012) – On Monday, June 25, 2012, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) signed a lease to continue its presence in the city of Chicago at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Although the lease will start on October 1, 2012, the NVAM plans to publicly debut its new home in the Six Corners neighborhood on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012.
The NVAM has had a Chicago arts presence since 1981, but it opened its first and current home at 1801 S. Indiana in Chicago’s South Loop Prairie Historic District neighborhood in 1996 when then Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley determined that the museum needed a permanent home. The permanent home location helped the NVAM thrive, but it later proved to be financially challenging for the organization. These challenges ultimately led to the Chicago Park District taking over ownership and management of the building with the museum holding a use agreement with the Park District. That use agreement initially ended in April of 2012, but was extended to the end of this year. The additional time allowed the museum to negotiate and finalize moving to the Six Corners location.
Six Corners Site a Locus of Arts and Culture
NVAM Executive Director Levi Moore said, “After evaluating sites for more than a year, the Six Corners property in the Portage Park neighborhood just consistently kept coming out on top as the best fit for us in what we consider the next step in our evolution. We are going to be a part of a neighborhood committed to using cultural arts as a tool for neighborhood revitalization, which totally fits our strategic pillars of creating innovative art experiences, serving as a resource for art therapists and educational and international outreach. To do that, we need strong partners and we will have them through entities like Alderman John Arena’s office, the Arts Alive 45 organization, the Filament Theatre Company, the various community and business organizations and, hopefully, the Portage Park Theater.”
On the NVAM’s relocation to his Ward, Alderman John Arena stated, “I’m honored to have such a venerable institution come to the 45th Ward. This is exactly the type of cultural attraction we need to further the redevelopment of Six Corners. We welcome the museum with open arms.”
Cyd Smillie, President of Alderman John Arena’s 45th Ward Arts Alive/45 group stated, “I consider the NVAM a welcome addition to the neighborhood, especially in terms of contributing to the value of school trips to the area.” Smillie added, “Coupling the Filament Theatre’s performance space downstairs with the NVAM’s art gives both organizations the opportunity to really develop beyond just the experience of looking at the art. There will be the facilities and personnel to really explore some of the ideas in additional ways that makes a field trip even more meaningful.” Arts Alive/45 is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating change through art to strengthen northwest Chicago neighborhoods.
Both Smillie and NVAM General Manager Ted Stanuga noted the availability of public transportation options and parking spaces in the Portage Park neighborhood which surrounds the Six Corners property should benefit the NVAM. Smillie also indicated the location’s proximity to the city’s interstate highways and the fact that it is surrounded by seven public schools, two high schools, three universities and several parochial schools should boost NVAM’s admissions.
Stanuga added, “Relocating to the Six Corners area will enable us to expand our traditional outreach to Chicago Public School students and area community and veteran groups in addition to jump-starting our new efforts to connect with colleges and universities.” Finally, NVAM Board Chairman Mike Helbing stated, “We think our new home will be a popular cultural addition that students, families and organizations in the Six Corners area will take advantage of.”
Fundraising Efforts Continue
In order to ensure the successful relocation from the South Loop to Portage Park, the NVAM has initiated a capital campaign and fundraising efforts, including seeking corporate naming rights for two of the major art galleries. For more information or to donate, contact Paulette Boyd at 312-388-0310 or visit http://www.nvam.org.
About the National Veterans Art Museum
Formerly the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, the National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.
The National Veterans Art Museum is located at 1801 S. Indiana Avenue, Third Floor, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 general admission and $7.00 seniors and students. Admission is free for veterans and active military and their dependents. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270 or visit http://www.nvam.org.