Arts enrich life for Curran, community

Julie Curran has never considered herself an artist. But she knows and appreciates the important role that art in all forms has on people, families and communities. That's why she's been part of the DuPage Foundation's Arts DuPage Advisory Committee since it was established nearly five years ago.

'It's one of the things I like about living in Hinsdale and about living in DuPage County," Curran said of the area's vast and varied opportunities to enjoy art in its many forms.

One of the ways Arts DuPage supports, promotes and advocates for the arts in DuPage County is through the Arts DuPage website. The comprehensive collection of artists, organizations and events makes it easy for DuPage residents and visitors to find opportunities to enjoy, observe and participate in concerts, performances, exhibits and more.

"People sometimes look at art through the wrong lens," Curran said, not considering the many forms that art can take.

Just as Curran has always loved all forms of art, she also is a longtime supporter of the arts in Hinsdale and the surrounding community. A former president of the Hinsdale Center for the Arts, which closed its doors in 2012, Curran also is a fan of the Ly Hotchkin Arts Program at The Community House. Other local favorites for Curran are the Morton Arboretum and any performance by the Elmhurst University Jazz Band.

A community's art scene isn't just about entertainment.

"Art is an important part of building an economy," Curran said.

As one of 14 members of the Arts DuPage Advisory Committee, Curran said she brings a business lens to the county's art scene. A former bank executive, she understands the economic impact a theater, orchestra or art gallery can have on an entire community.

Especially when there's not a pandemic to consider, a concert at a local church or school is an opportunity for nearby bars and restaurants to fill their tables with pre- and post-concert diners. Towns with a vibrant art scene help employers to recruit employees.

"Art helps attract new business," Curran said, because art creates a community where people want to live.

October is designated as Arts DuPage Month by the DuPage Foundation - a month dedicated to promoting the many opportunities available to enjoy art while remaining safe at home. Curran said the pandemic has made the Arts DuPage website more valuable than ever as organizations and artists seek creative ways to share their talents from afar.

She said even those who have spent decades in DuPage will likely discover something new through a visit to the website.

"Get into our website and just take a look at all the different things that are available to do," Curran said. "Try something different."

- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean