Since 2012, the Westside Cultural Foundation (WCF) has been dedicated to bringing cultural and educational outlets to Chicago’s West Side. Inspired by a lack of funding for cultural activities in his neighborhood, Westside resident Michael Scott Jr. founded the non-for-profit organization in service to the youth, adults and seniors of the Lawndale, Austin & Garfield Park communities.
We spoke to CEO Natashee Scott about the organization and their work.
The Westside Music Festival- Saturday, August 17- This highly anticipated annual concert has become one of the hottest events of the summer. Known for its 90s Hip/Hop and R&B theme, this year’s event will be one of the best yet. Acts will include Monifah, Chicago’s own Da Brat and Crucial Conflict, and R&B superstar Faith Evans as the headliner. Chicago native SandyRedd of The Voicewill also make an appearance. This family-friendly outing will include a Back to School backpack and school supply giveaway, Ladies of Virtue, appearances from vital community organizations and more.
Also, as a lead-in to this year’s Festival, on June 16, the WCF will host a Senior Luncheon at the Lawndale Christian Senior Center at 3745 W Ogden Ave. Seniors will be treated to food, games and live entertainment with Chicago’s own Dante Hall and Serita Brown.
Ailey Camp Chicago – Up to 100 youth ages 11-14 can learn the art of dance with Alvin Ailey trained dancers in this FREE annual 6-week summer program. Students learn West African dance, Jazz and Ballet as well as leadership, self-discipline and communication skills. The program culminates in a final performance. This year, the Ailey Camp dancers performed live on WCIU’s The Jam Morning Show. It’s a wonderful culturally enriching summer opportunity open to Westside and non-Westside residents alike.
Though the Westside Music Festival is a massive event that takes up to a year to plan, the Westside Cultural Foundation stays busy in the community. Throughout the year, the WCF sponsors various events including Movies in the Park, Canvas painting with seniors, Holiday Toy Drives, a Holiday Banquet and more. Stay tuned to find out what the Westside Cultural Foundation has in store next year.
WANT TO HELP?
The Westside Cultural Foundation is 100% volunteer run and new volunteers are welcome. If you’d like to help, visit www.chicagowestsidemusicfestival.com under Get Involved.
And make sure to catch the Westside Music Festival this Saturday, August 17 from 2pm-9pm in Douglas Park at the Intersection of Ogden and Sacramento.