Last week, we had three events that showcased our new Auditorium and Arts Center spaces. On April 8, we hosted a presentation by Alice Waters (chef, cookbook author and founder of the Edible Schoolyard) as part of our 2014 Franke Family Fund Program focus on food. The event was open to the public and was the first time our newly renovated Auditorium welcomed people beyond our School community. The space couldn’t help but impress visually and technically.
The following day, our 2014 Harold Hines Visiting Fellow Marjorie Agosin (poet and social activist) presented to our Middle and Upper Schools in the Auditorium. Her life story and her passion served as an inspiration for us all.
Finally, “The Purple Wave” party and auction was held last Saturday night sponsored by the Benefit Board. The primary purpose of the event this year was to come together — parents, faculty, staff, and alumni — to celebrate the completed renovation of our Arts Center and Auditorium. It delivered on all counts and celebrate we did. (It was almost difficult to remember that we were at North Shore because of the space, the decorations, the lighting.) The staging of the party in the Arts Center transformed the space and allowed the party to flow from one room to the next and spill out onto the patio. Many parents commented on the functionality of the space — transitioning from a classroom to a special event.
These three events highlight the thought, planning and creative design that went into transforming these two iconic buildings. In addition to what is visible, there is more that is unseen. We organized studios and classrooms by discipline making them adjacent to each other. We integrated technology into each space. We increased the amount of teaching-and-learning space for the arts by more than 5,000 square feet. In addition, we have a new school gathering space that is over 4,000 square feet when glass walls are opened from adjacent studios on the ground floor.
All of us should be extremely proud of what has been accomplished. Proud of our spaces but also proud knowing that our students — who they are and what they have the potential to become — and our faculty — committed, focused and energized — have spaces that will enable meaningful education. People. Program. Place. North Shore’s arts programs are essential to each student’s experience and we now have the spaces to enhance the program even more.
North Shore Country Day is a private, college-prep school for high school, middle school and elementary school students in Winnetka, IL, a suburb of Chicago.