“My father played in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and wanted to bring an affordable, professional concert experience home to our community. That’s how the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra was born.” — Victor Muenzer, Music Director

The art centers, galleries, museums, theatres, operas and orchestras here foster an appreciation of beauty, creativity and originality. Spread across the diverse fabric of these communities, our many visual art groups provide something to inspire, provoke and enrich the lives of visitors, residents and the community at large. Spread an afternoon checking out the history museums, treat your senses to a local opera or orchestra. Bring the kids along. Help keep the visual arts alive in our communities. You'll be glad you did.  


Park Ridge Historical Society | 721 N Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068 | (847) 696-1973 | | The Park Ridge History Center celebrates the people, places and events of Park Ridge through exhibits, education and community engagement.  The historic building was designed by the prominent Chicago architectural firm Holabird & Roche, and called the Solomon Cottage. 

Des Plaines History Center | 781 Pearson St, Des Plaines, IL 60016 | (847) 391-5399 | |  The Des Plaines History Center collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Des Plaines and its people and provides access to those resources through exhibits, educational programs and research facilities.

Koehnline Museum of Art | 1600 E Golf Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016 | (847) 635-2633 | | The Koehnline Museum of Art is committed to establishing and encouraging an adventuresome environment for art. 

Donald E. Stephens Museum of Hummels | 9513 W. Higgins
Rosemont | 847-692-4000 | The largest display of M.I. Hummels in the world! 

Niles Historical Museum | 8970 N. Milwaukee Ave. |  847-390-0160 | The building is one of the largest museums in the northeast area, staffed by the Niles Historical Society. The building is one of the oldest municipal structures in Niles and is a local landmark. 

Norwood Park Historical Society | 5624 N. Newark Ave | 773-631-4633 | www. | The historical society is housed in the Noble-Seymour-Crippen house, the oldest house in Chicago.  

Brickton Gallery & Art Center | 100 S. Western Ave., Park Ridge | (847)823-6611 | Established in 1997, Brickton Art Center is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization serving the people of Park Ridge and surrounding communities through creative outreach services in art therapy, art education and exhibitions using various artistic disciplines and media.  Art gallery open to the public. Classes offered for youth, teens and adults.  

Kalo Foundation/Iannelli Studio Historic House Museum | 255 N Northwest Hwy, Park Ridge | 847-792-1970
| | The Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge was established in 2006. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the rich artistic legacy of the city of Park Ridge. The Kalo Foundation acquired the studio & home of famous sculptor/artist Iannelli and his wife Margaret. It is one of 20 historic sites once considered among the most endangered in the state.  After working on Midway Garden, Iannelli settled in Park Ridge in 1919 and opened his doors to many great artists and architects. The Studio became a hub of creativity with many clients.


The James Downing Theatre | 6740 N Oliphant Ave, Chicago, IL 60631 | (224) 725-3696 | | The John Waldron Arts Center houses The James Downing Theatre, and an Arts Resource Center of plays, music, and scores. This grassroots group seeks opportunities to foster community goodwill through artistic enrichment and by nurturing ties to the Edison Park and surrounding communities.

Pickwick Theatre | 5 S Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068 |   (847) 825-5800 | | The Pickwick Theatre is an art deco movie palace designed by Roscoe Harold Zook, William F. McCaughey, and Alfonso Iannelli.  The Pickwick opened in 1928 as a vaudeville stage and movie theatre. The Historic Main Theatre seats a little under a 1,000 in the new mega theatre with its 54-foot-wide screen.  


Petite Opera Productions, Mary Wilson house Beyer Auditorium part of St. Mary's Episcopal Church campus |306 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge | (847)553-4442 | | An organization specializing in exposing newcomers to opera in a fun, approachable way.  They pride themselves on taking the stuffy out of opera; small scale operas, English only, great performers.

Park Ridge Chorale | (847)825-5499 | | The Park Ridge Chorale performs at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Park Ridge. The Chorale performs three times a year, with about 45 members each term. Auditions are held at the beginning of each term. The Chorale follows a traditional schedule, with a spring concert of classic choral music, summer concert of popular and Broadway songs, and a holiday arrangement in December.


Park Ridge Fine Arts Society | P.O. Box 89A Park Ridge | | The purpose of the Park Ridge Fine Arts Society is to provide a musical showcase and the means for enjoyment of serious music through free community concerts, and to engage in such activities and programs that will foster all of the fine arts.  The orchestra performs concerts in the park at Hodges Park. 

Park Ridge Civic Orchestra | 720 Garden St, Park Ridge | (847) 692-7726  | | The Park Ridge Civic Orchestra features 70+ professional musicians, renowned soloists and top-ranked student talents and serves the north and northwest sides of Chicago, its suburbs, and beyond.  Founded in 1994 by veteran Chicago Symphony Orchestra first violinist Edgar Muenzer. Now led by a group of successful local business owners, musicians, civic leaders and others, PRCOrchestra continues to bring enriching, live classical music to the community.  

FUN FACT:  Famous sculpture/artist Iannelli who lived and worked in the studio at 255 N Northwest Hwy, in Park Ridge more than 40 years until his death in 1965, designed sculptures for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, the Rock of Gibraltar relief on the Prudential building in downtown Chicago, and the art deco elements of Park Ridge's Pickwick Theatre, including the sculpture in the main theatre hallway and the fire curtain, according to the Kalo Foundation. An 11-foot tall sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which once stood at the entrance to Immaculata High School on Chicago's North Side, was also created by Iannelli, Kalo Foundation members say, and it, too, is on display inside the studio.

Local Tip: Summer Friday nights don't get any better than the Symphony playing on the steps of City Hall in Hodges Park. Come early and pack a picnic, including wine! Enjoy the end of the week as your kids play in the blocked-off street with all the other many kids. Always a summer highlight! - Melissa Poindexter