Burn Boot Camp strives to empower women through fitness

July 9, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Burn Boot Camp strives to empower women through fitness

If you’re lacking motivation in your current fitness routine, have no fear—Burn Boot Camp will help you stay on track. Feel the ‘burn’ at Burn Boot Camp, a new women’s focused fitness facility set to open this summer at the Renaissance Place in downtown Highland Park. Providing mental, physical and emotional transformations that result in lasting change, Burn Boot Camp welcomes all fitness levels. The Burn Boot Camp workout is designed to maximize your results in just 45 minutes with an average burn of 700 calories per camp. We caught up with Danielle Bulger, Manager of Burn Boot Camp in Highland Park to learn a little bit more about the new fitness facility.


We love the quote on your website: “We vow to educate, influence, and inspire every life we touch with knowledge in our heads, love in our hearts, strength in our bodies and passion in our souls.” Can you tell us a little bit about Burn Boot Camp’s mission? 

The community atmosphere we create at Burn sets us apart from other fitness facilities. Our goal is cultivate a family atmosphere where women are supporting and encouraging each other both inside and outside of the gym. We offer unlimited rapid 45-minute camps with no reservation required, in addition to complimentary child watch and unlimited 1:1 focus meetings with our head trainer.


What is one detail you wish the community knew about your business? 

Burn Boot Camp is the fastest growing women’s fitness facility in the nation! We provide an environment of like minded women who inspire, strengthen and empower each other. We welcome all fitness levels and offer personal training in a group setting.

What is your vision for Burn Boot Camp in Downtown Highland Park?

Burn Boot Camp has had a life changing impact on our lives as owners (also Burn clients) and we wanted to share this amazing community with the women of Highland Park.


Experience a Burn Workout before they open their doors. Burn Boot Camp is offering FREE outdoor pop-up camps this month at the Renaissance Place. All workouts are co-ed, open to the public and no reservations are required. Everyone who attends a pop-up camp receives an entry into a raffle for a FREE 6-month Burn Membership. Workouts take place July 11 at 9:30 a.m., July 18 at 9:30 a.m., July 23 at 8:30 a.m., and July 25 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information and to sign up for a free 30-day trial, visit www.burnbootcamp.com/highland-park-il.

Downtown Highland Park Photo Contest

July 3, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Downtown Highland Park Photo Contest
In honor of Independence Day, we want to celebrate the patriotic spirit of Downtown Highland Park! Tag your snapshots with #DowntownHighlandPark on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We’ll re-share the photos (and videos!) that truly stand out.
We can’t wait to see all that red, white and blue!
Questions? Email [email protected].

Volunteers Needed at the Moraine Township Food Pantry

June 24, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Volunteers Needed at the Moraine Township Food Pantry


The Moraine Township Food Pantry is moving across the street to a great new space at 800 Central Avenue. Volunteers are needed to help move, sort and shelve the food from Saturday June 23 through Sunday July 1 (or earlier, if they get it done sooner).

Please submit a Volunteer Application and Waiver Form to Anne Flanigan Bassi, Moraine Township Supervisor at [email protected] and call 847-432-3240. PLEASE DO NOT SHOW UP WITHOUT CALLING.


Regular or occasional volunteer opportunities:




  • Box and carry food up the stairs here at 777 Central and load it into cars / trucks
  • Unload food at 800 Central Avenue
  • Check expiration dates and sort food at 800 Central Avenue
  • Shelve food at 800 Central Avenue



Because of the need to keep the shelves constantly filled, and because we will open the pantry three days a week instead of two, we will need a lot more volunteers! Please fill out the attached volunteer application and stop in to see if our needs match your interest and schedule.

We need folks who will sign up for shifts weekly, bi-weekly, or agree to sub when volunteers are sick or on vacation. REGULAR VOLUNTEERS MUST BE AGE 12 OR OLDER.

We are so fortunate to live in a community of people who care about and help their neighbors who may be struggling.


  • Produce sorters – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday mornings
  • Shelf-stable food sorters – checking expiration dates and sorting by type of food –
  • Shelvers – re-stocking shelves – with the Pantry open three days, we will need lots more shelvers
  • Cleaning up after Pantry day – admittedly the most unglamorous of all the tasks offered for your consideration, but sooooooooo necessary
  • Produce buyers once a week – we’re covered for now but would love a bench
  • Store Donation pick up – we pick up at five stores eight times a week and always need people who will help every week, every other week, or are on call for subbing if a regular is sick or on vacation. The stores will take away our days if we don’t pick up or refuse all the food offered.
  • Unloading NIFB pallets delivered the first Wednesday of each month

See the wish list of necessary items needed to equip the new client-choice Pantry. Scroll down the wish list and select an item to donate or buy in honor of a friend. Your contribution is tax deductible.

Q&A With Highland Park Players’ Director, Dina DiCostanzo

ON THE TOWN, the energetic wartime musical about three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City, features thrilling music by Leonard Bernstein with playful lyrics and book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The show’s celebrated score includes a number of musical theatre standards, including “Come Up to My Place,” “I Can Cook, Too,” “Some Other Time” and “New York, New York.” Performances take place at the Northbrook Theatre from October 12-28, 2018. Sign up today at www.highlandparkplayers.com!

What do you like about “On The Town”?

The score by Leonard Bernstein is what first drew me to “On The Town”. It is sweeping and glorious and sets the perfect mood for 24 hrs of love and adventure in New York City. After that, the clever script and relationships are really special.

How does “On The Town” differ from other classic musicals?

“On The Town” is one of the first ‘earlier’ musicals that really tells much of the story through the female characters. The females are as much the leading players as the men. The women are written just as funny and clever as the men and I chalk that up to Betty Comden who co-wrote the script with Adolf Green.

How is “On The Town” still relevant to today’s society?

I think that sometimes love and relationships are still fast and fleeting the way they are in “On the Town”. The notion of connecting really strongly with someone, romantically or platonically, and then likely never seeing them again…How time flies when you’re having fun and how we should relish those good times and special connections we make. I think all of that is still something people in 2018 can relate to.

Dina DiCostanzo is the Director and Choreographer for this fall’s production of On the Town. 

Auditions for On the Town take place at the West Ridge Center (636 Ridge Rd. Highland Park, IL) on Tuesday, July 17 – 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 21 – 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Callbacks take place on Monday, July 23 starting at 6:00 p.m. All roles available for ages 14 and older. Please prepare 16 bars of a song to sing and bring sheet music in the key you plan to sing in. Rehearsals begin in early August. Specific dates/times TBD.

Take a Break: Opt for Some ‘Me Time’ at Lash L’Heureux Coterie

May 23, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Take a Break: Opt for Some ‘Me Time’ at Lash L’Heureux Coterie | 

When somebody tells you to relax, it’s easier said than done. Life can get pretty hectic for the most of us — from juggling work, school, children, daily commutes, among many other tasks — all we have to do is take a breath and find a moment for some ‘me’ time. Recently, I was invited to experience a facial at Lash L’Heureux Coterie. Esthetician Leslie McRae took great care of my skin and I felt like a brand new person. After receiving my facial treatment, I walked away with tips and methods on improving my skincare routine. It’s hard to explain how relaxed one will feel after the pampering is over with. Shockingly, I took a nap on a Friday night at 6 o’clock because of how relaxed I felt. All a person wants to do is relish the experience by throwing on some comfy pajamas, having a glass of wine, and totally vegging out.

I recently sat down with Brian L’Heureux, owner of Lash L’Heureux Coterie, for an exclusive Q&A about his boutique salon in Downtown Highland Park.

Tell us about Lash L’Heureux’s humble beginnings and where did the name come from?

When I, Brian L’Heureux, along with my mother, Dottie L’Heureux, decided to open our business back in 2010, we knew exactly what we would call it… Lash L’Heureux Coterie. Let us break down the name and tell you a little more about who we are:

  • Lash… Yes, we do lash extensions — but ironically my father, Adrian L’Heureux, was given the nickname Lash L’Heureux at a young age. There was a popular Western motion picture star of the 1940s and 1950s named “Lash LaRue”— and that is how you pronounce our last name. The name stuck with him his entire life. Often times, I get called “Lash” from those that are familiar with the Hollywood cowboy.
  • L’Heureux…Our family name is from French descent. The translation means “the happy one.”  The name is very fitting to our personalities. We love positive energy and want to bring a little bit of happiness to our family, friends and clients. Nothing makes us happier than having a few laughs with a client and see them leaving the salon with a smile on their face.
  • Coterie…the definition is “an exclusive group of people with a common interest, a high-end set, a clique.”  Beauty comes in all shapes and forms and “coterie” displays our common interest. Everyone deserves a little luxury and we want to bring that to our clients in the services we offer and the salon environment itself. If you aren’t aware of it yet, you will be. Our clients love beauty in every detail and are like a secret society that believe it is high maintenance to be low maintenance! The services we offer (lashes, brows and facials) give our customers an ease to their everyday routines because of the regular maintenance done at our salon.

What will a customer expect when receiving a facial?

When we moved into our larger location at Renaissance Place, we had room to expand our services and started to offer facials. Our top esthetician, Leslie McRae, is at the top of her game and provides the experience that is above and beyond a typical facial. She is knowledgeable and customizes each facial to each individual’s needs and goals. Using state of the art DermaSound and Ultrasonic Technology, Leslie treats skin conditions — from aging to acne and everything in between. She is also a very intuitive massage therapist that can sense a client’s tensions. While your enzyme treatments are doing their work, Leslie makes sure her touch puts you at ease. It is hard to describe the level of relaxation — it is something you just have to encounter yourself. Our custom facial experience costs $125 and is recommended every four weeks for both short-term skin care goals and long-term preventative maintenance.

Describe Leslie’s experience:

Leslie is a licensed esthetician and massage therapist with over 25 years of experience in both fields. Her extensive training is not only in the salon setting, but also in the clinical and medical fields. Her facials and massages provide our clientele with the best experience of achieving results and relaxation, all in one session. She is passionate about educating and empowering her clients on methods to better care for their skin, body, and overall wellness. Leslie creates both inner and outer beauty by balancing both health and beauty with her nurturing approach combined with the essentials of science.

What does it mean to own a business in Downtown Highland Park?

We have always had a connection to Chicago’s North Shore and have always felt at home here. Downtown Highland Park has always had an active, community feel. Our clients come from all over the North Shore, the City of Chicago, the Western Suburbs, and even some travel from out of state. We take pride in the services we offer, but if it weren’t for our vibrant community, clients might not be quick to travel so far. That is why we chose Downtown Highland Park to open the premier lash salon on the North Shore.


Contact Info:

For more information / to book an appointment, visit www.lashlheureux.com or call 847-748-8749.

Lash L’Heureux is located in the Renaissance Place at 1849 Green Bay Rd. Highland Park, IL 60035.

Questions? Email [email protected].


Written by Ariana Pup, Marketing Director of Downtown Highland Park

Want to be featured? Email us at [email protected].

Pulling Down the Moon Adds New Acupuncture Practitioner

Pulling Down the Moon is increasing their days of service, hours of availability, and number of practitioners at their downtown Highland Park office!

Christina Livas, Licensed Acupuncturist

Highland Park: Tuesday & Thursday 4-7 PM (starting 5/22/18)

Christina holds a Master’s degree in Acupuncture from National University of Health Sciences. There she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Salutatorian. Christina is a nationally certified Diplomate of Acupuncture through NCCAOM. She is also certified in cosmetic acupuncture and facial rejuvenation. Christina has been practicing since 2012 and during that time has worked with patients suffering from emotional issues, infertility, pain management, and PTSD.

Through her internship and practice, Christina has helped many men and women with infertility issues to conceive both naturally and in conjunction with IVF/IUI. Along with helping patients conceive she has helped numerous women with pregnancy support. Christina’s goal is to help people achieve and maintain health and wellness through natural medicine.

To book an appointment with Christina or to contact Pulling Down the Moon, visit pullingdownthemoon.com or call 312.957.6235.


We compiled a list of all the different ways you can spend time with mom this Sunday, May 13! Check out all the Mother’s Day happenings, gift ideas, and deals from our local businesses. Treat your mom, aunt, or grandmother (or all three!) to brunch at one of our restaurants or cafes and then explore downtown Highland Park!

Remember to always shop local > downtownhp.com/shopping.


Embrace the Race 5K Help make an impact and sign up for the Embrace the Race 5k. Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 8:00 am at 445 Central Ave, Highland Park , IL 60035. Embrace the Race is a fun and inspiring event to raise funds for breast and ovarian cancer research at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Beelows Brunch: Treat mom to something special this Mother’s Day! Brunch at Beelow’s 10AM to 2:30PM. Call (847) 780-3300 to make a reservation.

Bella Via Restaurant: Celebrate Mom for lunch (11am-2:30pm) or dinner (4:30-10pm) at Bella Via Restaurant. Complimentary mimosas for lunch! Call (847) 681-8300 to make a reservation.

Bottle & Bottega Celebrate Mother’s Day with Mom at our BYOB studio. Make something beautiful for her to remember! Seats are going fast! Sign up for an event and get complimentary Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes. BYOB: We’ll supply the Orange Juice….you supply the Bubbly. Ticket price includes all paint supplies, instruction, aprons and a 11×14 take-home canvas!

Pulling Down the Moon Virtual Wine Sip: Mother’s Day can be the hardest day of the year if you’re facing Infertility. Don’t face it alone! Join us the day before Mother’s Day instead. Pour yourself a glass of wine (or your favorite mocktail), hop online, and join Pulling Down the Moon and The Broken Brown Egg for a fun, friendly, and hope-filled afternoon as we decompress, inspire, and encourage one another. **Every registered attendee will be entered into a raffle for a special gift!** Space is limited, pre-register here.

Anthropologie: Stop by on Saturday May 12th from 12pm-3pm to shop locally made floral arrangements for Mother’s Day + Bring the kids for a hands-on craft + Enjoy Sips and Sweets while you Shop the new Spring/Summer collection + Complimentary Gift Wrapping for Mother’s Day! Featuring Chicago based Floral Designer, May Floral.  1780 Green Bay Road Highland Park, IL. 

Club Pilates Intro Class: Give Mom the gift of Beauty, Grace and Strength. Sign up with Mom for our complimentary Mothers Day Intro Class this Saturday, May 12 at 1pm. Come enjoy a sweet treat and the gift of Pilates!

Enaz: Check out our daily jewelry trunk shows happening this week & find the perfect mother’s day gift! Complimentary gift wrap as always!


Adesso: Find a gift that is iconic, stylish, artisanal, unique, fresh, essential, functional, and simply perfect.

Floral Gardens: Find the perfect fresh flowers for mom! To pick out a bouquet, visit the website or call (847) 432-3420 to place your order NOW.


Riche Organics: Need a last minute gift set for mom? Pick up one of our bath bomb gift sets. We offer pre-made sets, and on the spot customizable gifts that are handcrafted, cruelty-free, and organic!


Cos Bar: Relax with Facials! Enjoy a complimentary mini-facial from La Mer and receive a deluxe gift with your qualifying purchase on Saturday, May 12.


Gordon Salon: Treat Mom to a Gordon Salon experience this Mother’s Day! Choose from the luxury enhancement services like the beauty-on-demand mini facial or the perfecting plant peel, pramasana scalp treatment and more. Schedule your mother-daughter appointment today!


Love That Spice: Mother’s Day Sale at Love that Spice. Take 25% off any teapot, tea cup or tea tin gift set.  Offer Expires Saturday, May 12, 2018.

Alixandra Collections Shop earrings, ponchos, bracelets, handbags and more.Don’t forget…gift wrap is free!


Body Evolve: Celebrate Pilates Day and Mother’s Day at Body Evolve. Get two private pilates sessions for $140. * Purchase by May 14, 2018. Expires six months from date of purchase. One per family. 847-926-8490.

Betts: Happy Mother’s Day Shopping! Save 10% off  on Handmade Jewelry by Renata Mikota 14K, Gold Filled, Sterling, Semi Precious 5/9-5/12

NS Wellness: In honor of Mother’s Day, we are offering 50% off of any 60 or 90-Minute Massage for any first timers out there.  Give the gift of massage or use it for yourself! This promo is available from 5/4/2018 to 5/18/2018 and must be used by 5/31/2018.

Pulling Down the Moon: For Mothers…Past, Present and Future! Give them the gift of a $99 Wild Card Gift Card. Purchase this limited time Wild Card special, then choose from an Initial Acupuncture Consultation (save $51), Fertility-Enhancing Massage (save $26), or Initial Nutrition Consultation (save $51) for only $99!

Nozicka Center for Coaching & Hypnosis: An offer to all mothers: A one-hour relaxation session. Step out of the world for a truly wonderful time just for YOU! My special is $99.00 for one session! A savings of $50.00.

Nic + Zoe: In honor of Mothers everywhere, join us in our stores or online now through May 13th to receive a Free Gift with Purchase. Spend $250+ and receive our Signature Print Manicure Kit -OR- Spend $500+ and receive our Signature Print Cosmetic Bag + Manicure Kit.

Mindful Eating with Dr Larry Kaskel

What is mindful eating? Dr. Larry Kaskel is the Director of Executive Wellness at North Suburban Wellness in Downtown Highland Park, and took some time to talk with us about this important topic. Dr. Kaskel is a Highland Park resident, and recently moved his practice from Libertyville to Highland Park. With a focus in clinical lipidology and internal medicine, Dr. Kaskel emphasizes prevention, nutrition, and less medication with his patients. An avid paddle tennis player, he strongly believes in a peaceful office environment to help his patients with whole body wellness.  Offering weekend and evening hours, he is always accessible to those who want highly personalized service.

The following excerpt is from Dr. Kaskel’s book, Let Food Be Thy Medicine:

“Mindfulness is the sense of being wholeheartedly present in the moment with whatever is happening then letting go and moving on to the next moment. Mindful eating, then, is learning to be fully engaged with your meals. In short, that means listening to your body and eating as much as it needs.  It means eating as much of a variety of foods as recommended here as possible so you get all the micro- and macro-nutrients you need. It means watching your mind as you eat.

Watching your mind as you’re eating is the tricky part. Left to its own, the mind will lead us to cravings and overeating, especially of the foods we like.  People often mistakenly think that we should focus our attention on enjoying each mouthful ‘to the fullest.’  That makes us want more, and wanting more just leads to overeating.  Our meals and eating should be nutritious and nourishing, not a source of gluttony.”

Here is an exercise in mindful eating:

Pick a restaurant that you like. Make a reservation there as early as possible for dinner, just when the restaurant opens and when there are the fewest patrons in the restaurant: maybe a Monday night at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. The quieter the restaurant, the fewer distractions there will be to pull you away from your mindfulness. Make the reservation for one. This is an ‘eat alone’ meal.

Arrive a few minutes early. If you are asked where you would like to be seated, say, ‘Anywhere is all right.’ When the server arrives and asks if you want a drink, ask for a glass of water without ice. When it’s time to order dinner, ask the server to pick an appetizer and an entrée for you. Skip the bread. Mention that you know the restaurant and just want to be surprised. Do mention if you have any allergies.

Mindful eating is about being present with the eating, not about picking and choosing. So far in the exercise, you really haven’t picked or chosen much, other than the restaurant.  While you wait for the food, just sit there, still and calm, hands in your lap and allow yourself to sense your body. Let it relax into the seat. Relax your back against the back of the chair. Relax your core into the seat. Next, relax your face, letting go of any tension; then your neck and chest. Finally, settle the soles of your feet comfortably on the floor and relax your hips, thighs and legs.

When the food arrives, say, ‘Thank you.’ Eat slowly. Put your knife and fork down between bites. Fully address your attention to the experience of eating, to what it feels like to press the fork into the food, what it feels like to lift the food to your mouth, how the food feels and tastes in your mouth as you eat it and swallow it. Then let it go and take the next bite. Immediately let go of any judgement about the food. When you leave, just leave, mindfully. That’s it. Learn to do this with every meal and you will have conquered your eating issues.

At home, start the practice of mindful eating with these general guidelines:

  • Don’t eat while standing or in front of the refrigerator door.
  • Eat slowly and mindfully.  Put your fork down between bites.
  • Skip dessert, unless it’s fruit.”

To learn more, visit Dr. Kaskel at:  Dr. Larry Kaskel

Bottle & Bottega Debuts in Downtown Highland Park: Help ‘Uncork’ a New Business

Bottle & Bottega Inks First Multi-Unit Deal with Existing Franchisee to Open New Highland Park Studio  

Chic and Sophisticated Art and Wine Studio Debuts in Highland Park

The wheels are off. Bottle & Bottega has parked itself permanently in Highland Park. The premier art and wine concept announced today the official opening of its new permanent studio location in Highland Park, conveniently located on Sheridan Road. The studio will serve as a hub for public and private painting parties as well as corporate partners seeking a unique and vibrant setting for their events.

“We’ve been running events throughout Highland Park the past few months and we’re so excited to finally have a home to host daily events,” said Chris Bonk, owner of Bottle & Bottega Highland Park and Bottle & Bottega Arlington Heights. “After witnessing how much fun people were having in my Arlington Heights studio, I knew that Highland Park was the perfect fit. I can’t wait to welcome our loyal fan base and new guests to join us in Highland Park and toast over a glass of wine.”

Highland Park residents and architecture aficionados are sure to recognize the new studio, located at 1894 Sheridan Road, for it’s historic Prairie Style architecture synonymous with famous Highland Park resident John Van Bergen. The building, which was constructed in 1926 and is the last standing example of Van Bergen’s commercial work, formerly served as a furrier for 90 years. The building was also featured in the movie Risky Business in the famous Porsche chase scene with Tom Cruise.

Bringing out the creative side in all of us regardless of skill or practice, Bottle & Bottega is one part artistic adventure and one part cocktail party. Through a blend of hands-on DIY art sessions, on-site professional instruction and, of course, a glass of wine, Bottle & Bottega helps guests create a masterpiece that they can be proud of taking home. Guests have the option to indulge in a variety of artistic mediums, including canvas, wood pallet, glassware, mosaics, Illumin-Art and various seasonal offerings. Whether enjoying a birthday, anniversary, mitzvah, bachelorette party, date night or just a girls’ night out, Bottle & Bottega offers a warm, chic and sophisticated DIY art studio where guests can relax, have fun and explore their creative sides.

The official ribbon cutting and grand opening after-hours party will take place on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30-9:00 p.m. There will be complimentary beverages & snacks, live music, a taste of their 10 different art forms, and a raffle for prizes helping the charity WomenHeart (The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease)! Check out the secret Fur Vault and enjoy plenty of lively conversation!

For more information about Bottle & Bottega Highland Park and to reserve your spot at an upcoming studio event, visit the studio’s website, check out studio’s online event calendar, call (224) 334-3248 or email [email protected].

The Language That Everyone Needs – theCoderSchool

According to an October 2017 CNN interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cook states “Creativity is the goal. Coding is just to allow that. Creativity is in the front seat; technology is in the back seat.  It is sort of the blend with both of these that you can do such powerful things now.” In addition he says: “It’s the language that everyone needs, and not just for the computer scientists.  It’s for all of us.”

Coming soon to Downtown Highland Park, theCoderSchool is the first coding school of its kind in the Midwest. The Brown and Kreindler families are excited to open their first school on North Shore. According to Justin Brown, “In the next five years, coding will be as essential as learning a foreign language. theCoderSchool appealed to us as a way to teach kids of all levels how to code, and be able to create a family business where not only our children, but the whole community could benefit.” Justin’s wife Robin goes on to say: “It takes a village to raise a child, and as a mom, we want to do all we can to prepare our children for the future. Coding is the future and that is why we’re so excited to bring this opportunity to our local community.”

There are multiple programs that will be offered for students at theCoderSchool. The first is the 2:1 Code Coaching, which uses an incredibly small student-teacher ratio to provide students with focused attention and customization.  The Code Coaching adapts organically over time to promote continuous learning and engagement. In addition, classes are offered for kids ages 6-10 with a 8:1 ratio, Code Camps, and a Premium Coaching option with a Coder Fair presentation every 3-4 months.

Chad and Karen Kreindler, the other half of the owner-team have experience in EdTech and with the Glencoe School District. Both look forward to bringing the value of personalized learning and customizable Code Coaching to Highland Park and the North Shore.

Learn more at:

theCoderSchool Highland Park


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 theartcenterhp.org.

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

A Highland Park Community Cheerleader





Ryan Newberry L’Heureux is a busy guy.  He’s been a cheerleader of Highland Park now for almost 10 years. Ryan is a real estate agent at the Highland Park @properties office, working with families across the North Shore. His positive reviews have garnered clients who utilize him time and again. Not only has Ryan had great relationships with his clients, but he has held positions on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of The Art Center.

Since day one, Ryan has been very involved in our community. Several years ago, Ryan was one of the key founders of the New Resident Fair, a source of information for residents new to Highland Park. Ryan has made it the focus of his business to be a partner, not only with local non-profit organizations, but also with businesses such as Beelow’s. He truly enjoys connecting people within the Highland Park community.

Adding even more to his full plate, Ryan helps his husband Brian with their Highland Park business, Lash L’Heureux Coterie. A glamorous space in Renaissance Place (right by Starbucks), Lash L’Heureux not only does eye-enhancing procedures for brows and lashes, but their on-site licensed aesthetician provides incredible facials, makeup application and massage. Rocking 5 star reviews on Yelp, Brian clearly has a loyal following!

Celebrating Highland Park and his clients, Ryan and @properties have partnered to offer an amazing promotion for those looking to buy a home. Buy a home with 3% down and they’ll kick in another 2%.

Contact Ryan here to learn more about the grant program and @properties:  Ryan Newberry L’Heureux