Art Awakening — A New Day at The Art Center of Highland Park

The Art Center’s Gala on May 4 manifests the theme “Art Awakening: Making Art Available to All.” Art has the power to do just that: awaken the mind, spirit and senses. What is even more exciting is that “art awakening” applies to the Art Center (TAC) itself. At the end of February, TAC announced the appointment of James Lynch as their new Executive Director.

A dream come true for Lynch, he brings 20 years of experience as an arts advocate. He has served on the Highland Park Cultural Arts Commission for seven years, and is a past Chair as well. James founded the Highland Park Cultural Arts Network and has significant experience in theater arts, having served as a producer, director, performer and teacher. In fact, he has taught “Acting for Non-Actors” at TAC in the past.

James describes the mood at TAC as a “New Day” — describing himself as the “Chief Possibility Officer” rather than as an Executive Director. James is excited to work with the team to create what he describes as a “center for collaboration,” a place where creativity and collaboration abound. Bringing his most recent experience as owner of an executive coaching and consulting practice for family-owned businesses, Lynch is bringing a business lens to TAC. While continuing the mission of providing education and appreciation of the contemporary visual arts, he is surveying what students want. James ensures that in-demand classes will remain and that new classes and live events are created. James is actively seeking partnerships with other non-profit organizations and local businesses as well. All are welcome to enjoy and participate!

One of James’ first official acts as Executive Director was to secure Janet Davies of ABC 7 as the Mistress of Ceremonies for TAC’s upcoming Gala. In addition, the Midwest Young Arts Conservatory will be performing at the event.  It is indeed a new day at TAC and we’re excited to see “Art Awakening” in Downtown Highland Park.

To learn about the the Art Center Gala, art classes and other events, please visit

Click here to purchase tickets for Art Awakening on Friday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.