Lois Weisberg portraits – (left) by George Zuniga, (right) by Fernando Ramirez
See slideshow below!
Project Onward’s May 14th CELEBRATION OF LIVES IN THE ARTS was an unparalleled success! The exhibition and reception was held in memory of Lois Weisberg, Founder of Project Onward (PO). The event at the former Judy A. Saslow Gallery, generated more than $24,000 in contributions and sales. In fact, art sales alone set a one-day all-time record of nearly $12,000. This income is a significant step in offsetting Project Onward’s yearly cost of $7,000 per artist. All agreed that Lois, who passed on January 13, 2016, would have been more than proud.
Marsha Woodhouse, Project Onward Board President, introduced Lois’ sister, June Rosner, who accepted a floral bouquet in her memory and thanked Project Onward for the honor.
LOIS WEISBERG For decades everyone in town knew who you meant when you mentioned “Lois”. She was an influential arts administrator and cultural icon in the City of Chicago, serving as its Commissioner of Cultural Affairs from 1989 until 2011. In 2004, seeing the need for a program in which mentally and developmentally challenged artists 18 years and over could continue their work, she founded Project Onward. Over time, she saw its roster grow from 8 to nearly 60 artists. June Rosner and many others at the event recalled that in all the intervening years, the artists of Project Onward were never far from Lois’ heart.
JUDY SASLOW Board President Woodhouse also asked CELEBRATION attendees to salute Judy Saslow, long-time supporter and enthusiast of Project Onward. Among other things, Judy allowed PO to use her former gallery for the exhibition and lent a mighty eye and hand to organizing the event. Woodhouse also noted that in March 2016, Judy, made a founding contribution to Project Onward’s Artists Emergency Fund. Distribution guidelines are being established now but the Fund is generally intended to bridge gaps in cases of food, housing and other dire situations. Project Onward is most grateful for the Artists Emergency Fund and all her other gifts. All present roundly applauded Judy for her generosity.
President Woodhouse noted that others deserved thanks for helping put on the evening: Project Onward’s many volunteers, without whom the event would never have happened. Baderbrau Brewery, Filbert’s Old Time Root Beer, DJ Kevin Hsai and Avril Greenberg, Adjunct Professor of Culinary Nutrition, Le Cordon Bleu all donated time, products and services. Introduced and thanked by name were PO’s extraordinary Board of Directors, Bonnie Uhlir, Bonnie McGrath, Jan Getz, Wanda Lenoir, Virginia Dan and Natalia Zuniga. Staff members Mark Jackson, Robyn Jablonski and Sandra Tanzer were also introduced and thanked.
DJ Kevin Hsai continued to “spin “until the evening’s conclusion at 10pm and a good time was had by all!