The film At Home in Evanston, which won a special projects grant of $1,000 from the Evanston Arts Council last year, will be shown at the Evanston Art Center, most likely in April, the council learned last week.

Leslie Delmenico (right) working with Northwestern international student Donyca Jiao

Evanston resident Leslie Delmenico, a part-time theater teacher at Grinnell College in Iowa, with Senior Faculty Status, has been working since 2020 on the making of a 50-minute film of intimate home performances from six diverse residents of Evanston. 

The residents will speak of their experience living in Evanston from their different perspectives. Those presenting are an international student at Northwestern University, a homeless man, a woman in a nursing home, a gay minister, a second generation Latina and one of the first home-owners to receive reparations – a woman living in the Fifth ward.

Though the grant was awarded last year, the timing of the film’s completion changed and Delmenico was unable to take advantage of the grant, necessitating reapplication.

Delmenico has partial staff and funding from Northwestern University. After the showing at the Evanston Art Center, it will be available at three other public venues, and finally on YouTube in September, all free.

Delmenico plans to have viewers break into small groups after viewing the film to discuss its contents and their own perspectives on living in Evanston.

Yancy Hughes. Credit: Yancy Hughes

Yancy Hughes, the newest member of the Evanston Arts Council, was introduced to the virtual attendees at the council’s Feb. 14 meeting. Hughes is a freelance commercial photographer with a studio at the Noyes Cultural Center.

Further council business consisted of a change to the scheduling of Arts Council meetings. They will now be held on the third Tuesday of the month rather than the second and, as of May 1, will be required by state law to be in-person.

The possibility of a brand new lakeside Arts Festival, enthusiastically supported by Mayor Daniel Biss, was discussed. There are two potential avenues for the funding of such an event, both requiring complex applications, negotiations and discretion, for the time being anyway.

Fifteen to twenty applications were received for the vacant City of Evanston Cultural Arts Coordinator position and have been narrowed to four. Virtual interviews will be conducted next week.

Gay Riseborough

Gay Riseborough is an artist, has served the City of Evanston for 11 years on arts committees, and is now an arts writer at the Evanston RoundTable.

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