City of West Chicago
475 Main Street, P.O.Box 488, West Chicago, IL  60185

Contact: Rosemary Mackey Sally DeFauw
  Marketing and Communications Coordinator  
  rmackey@westchicago.org sdefauw@westchicago.org
  Phone: 630-293-2200 630 - 231-3376

Immigration: Building a Community

Young visitor sitting in immigrant steerage bunk
 in the childrens' hands-on area of Immigration: Building
a Community; opening reception at the Museum on the
 evening of June 10.

West Chicago City Museum receives $2,000 from the
Illinois Humanities Council to provide exhibit programming for
Immigration: Building a Community

West Chicago, Illinois - June 19, 2006 -The West Chicago City Museum is proud to announce that they have received a grant of $2,000 from the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) to support programming for the exhibit Immigration: Building a Community.

The Museum's new exhibit looks at the four main waves of immigrant groups to West Chicago. Families who are representative examples of immigrants from England, Ireland, Germany and Mexico to West Chicago are featured. Their stories range from a rough ocean crossing on the deck of a sailing ship to life in a railroad boxcar camp. They tell of the variety of the immigrant experience and the commonality of being a stranger in a new land. Many artifacts that survived the journey to America enhance the exhibit.

Sally DeFauw, Curator of the West Chicago City Museum, stated that, "The IHC grant will allow us to provide a variety of programming that complements the exhibit, so that there is something of interest to everyone. It will also enable us to create bilingual exhibit labels. We appreciate the IHC's support for our public outreach related to this outstanding exhibit."

Starting in September of this year and continuing until May 2007, programs related to four ethnic groups and immigration in general will be presented. Ethnic dance, music, and cooking programs are just some of what is planned. A beginner's class in genealogy will help people get started on their family histories, their own immigrant stories.

"The IHC is proud to support nonprofit organizations that promote the importance of the humanities in private and public life. Through their efforts, Illinoisans have greater access to lifelong learning opportunities," said IHC Executive Director Kristina Valaitis. "These champions of the humanities make their communities and our whole state more vibrant."

The IHC's grant program is its oldest. Since 1974, The IHC has welcomed grant proposals from nonprofit groups that have a story to tell about the state or who have a way to use the humanities to enrich community life. Non-profit organizations may apply for Mini grants up to $2,000 and major grants up to $10,000.

For more information about the Illinois Humanities Council, please contact the IHC offices at 312-422-5580 or visit their website at www. prairie.org.

West Chicago is the fastest-growing city in DuPage County in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. With a current population of more than 25,000, West Chicago is a diverse, family-oriented community with a rich cultural mix and a proud heritage. West Chicago is the first Illinois community established by the railroads and continues to be a convenient transportation hub served by three major rail lines, Illinois' third-busiest airport and three state highways. West Chicago offers award-winning schools, a growing industrial park and convenient access to parks, shopping and restaurants. Additional information can be found on the city's website at http://www.westchicago.org/ or by calling Rosemary Mackey directly at (630) 293-2200 x 139.

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