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Arts Week Evanston has expanded to Arts + Humanities Month for 2009. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. on Oct. 2, with a free open house at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center,

927 Noyes St

. With activities and entertainment for all ages, the open house sets the stage for four weeks of programs, performances and activities that are entertaining, stimulating and just plain fun.

Among the events are an arts walk along

Central Street

, a circus arts performance at Actors Gymnasium, an art trunk show at Simply Art Chicago and a picture book workshop for children at the Evanston Public Library. In addition, the month is chock-full  of musical and theatrical performances. The Evanston Symphony Orchestra, Piven Theatre, Orion Ensemble, Savoyaires and Light Opera Works are all on board.

 Literary events include the Evanston Public Library/NU Humanities Lecture Series and author programs. The popular Dance Showcase returns but to a new location. This year’s showcase is at 3 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Josephine Louis Theater on the Northwestern University campus.

Many Arts + Humanities Month activities are free while others are offered at reduced prices.

 A complete Arts + Humanities Month schedule will be available at www.cityofevanston.org/artsmonth by mid-September. Arts + Humanities Month is sponsored by the City of Evanston’s Cultural Arts Division, the Evanston Arts Council, the Public Art Committee and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.