Arts & Entertainment

The Elgin History Museum is housed in an 1856 landmark building known as Old Main that was once part of the Elgin Academy campus. The building was designed in the Greek Revival style. The museum has a staff that helps welcome visitors to the museum, educates the public about Elgin history and assists with research inquiries.

The Elgin Area Historical Society, which was founded in 1961, is a thriving organization that operates within the museum. The society has a board of directors with a mission that is driven to preserve and educate the community about Elgin history.

Through permanent and changing exhibits, the museum brings to life Elgin’s rich heritage. Permanent exhibits include Elgin National Watch Company, the E. Maude and Carl Parlasca Native American Collection, and Elgin Road Race memorabilia.

The Elgin History Museum is housed in an 1856 landmark building known as Old Main that was once part of the Elgin Academy campus. The building was designed in the Greek Revival style. The museum has a staff that helps welcome visitors to the museum, educates the public about Elgin history and assists with research inquiries.

The Elgin Area Historical Society, which was founded in 1961, is a thriving organization that operates within the museum. The society has a board of directors with a mission that is driven to preserve and educate the community about Elgin history.

Through permanent and changing exhibits, the museum brings to life Elgin’s rich heritage. Permanent exhibits include Elgin National Watch Company, the E. Maude and Carl Parlasca Native American Collection, and Elgin Road Race memorabilia.

Elgin Art Showcase

January 2007, the City of Elgin opened the doors to the Elgin Art Showcase, Elgin’s newest performance and gallery space. Located on the eighth floor of the historic Professional Building at 164 Division Street in the heart of downtown Elgin, the Art Showcase offers an intimate space for local artists to exhibit their work and performers to display their talent.

The Elgin Art Showcase is located near City Hall parking and downtown restaurants and is handicap accessible. The theater boasts a spectacular view of the city, a grand limestone fireplace, and a 100-seat capacity. The gallery space is equipped with picture rails and track lighting.

Elgin Artspace Lofts, located 40 miles northwest of Chicago's Central Business District at 51 South Spring Street, Elgin, IL 60120, is a project that combines the rehabilitation of an existing structure with a new building.

55 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families plus 5,874 square feet of retail and community space for arts-friendly businesses and nonprofit organizations

 

 

Elgin Children’s Chorus

Rehearsals begin September 11th: Register today!

Join Children’s Chorus Conductor Becky Narofsky in our upcoming ’17-’18 season.
Participating in EMC Children’s Chorus will help your child grow as a musician and as a person, teaching work ethic and confidence alongside musical techniques.
With our motto Sing. Perform. Friends really helps to envision what your child will get out of joining the chorus. Keep everything after rehearsals are mondays.
We’re so excited to announce that the beloved and renowned Elgin Children’s Chorus is going to become the Elgin Master Chorale Children’s Chorus!
The Elgin Children’s Chorus has long been a staple of the arts in Elgin, and we’re proud to honor that tradition and start a new chapter.
Introducing our new Conductor, Rebecca Narofsky – an Elgin Children’s Chorus alum!
Participating in EMC Children’s Chorus will help your child grow as a musician and as a person, teaching work ethic and confidence alongside musical techniques
Fall and Spring concerts at Blizzard Theatre

Rehearsals are Mondays, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Elgin Community College

All children ages 7-15 are welcome to register.

Elgin Community College Arts Center

Experience amazing artists, delicious pre-show dinners, and easy accommodations (parking is plentiful and free) at the Elgin Community College (ECC) Arts Center! The ECC Arts Center features two intimate theatres (the largest seats 662) and presents a range of exhilarating music, theatre, and comedy performances. Past performers include Ben Folds, Mavis Staples, Lewis Black, Rosanne Cash, Tommy Emmanuel, and John Hiatt. By partnering with ECC’s award-winning Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs, the ECC Arts Center offers pre-show dinners in conjunction with many events. The ECC Arts Center is also home to six college ensembles (ECC Concert Band, ECC Concert Choir, ECC Jazz Combo, ECC Steel Bands, ECC Musical Theatre, and ECC Theatre) and five community in-residence ensembles (BFH, Children’s Theatre of Elgin & Fox Valley Theatre Company, Elgin Master Chorale, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Hamilton Wings’ SCORE!).

The natural history collection belonging to Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Lord was first exhibited in the Lords Park Pavilion in 1898. However, it was the Lords' desire that their collection be housed in its own building. In 1904 local architect David E. Postle was contracted to design a building to serve this purpose.
Construction of the current building's central structure began two years later, to be paid for in donations, the largest donation coming from the Lords. When Mr. Lord died in 1906, the center section of the building had been completed as well as the basement of the west wing, at a cost of $9,856. The following year, the metal roof covering the west basement was removed and the west wing was completed. However, after the death of Mr. Lord, interest in the project declined and the north and east wings of the building were not completed as originally planned. Further delays in opening the Museum were caused by breaks in the floor in 1908 and disagreements over hiring a full-time curator. The goal of housing a museum collection was forgotten as the building served as a storage place for hay from 1909-1911, and as the City Dog Pound, with animals being disposed of in the basement, from 1911-1917.
Originally named Lord Memorial Museum, the building finally opened on November 12, 1920 as the Elgin Audubon Museum, the Audubon Society having completed an agreement with the City of Elgin in 1917 to operate the Museum. The Audubon Society was to approve the curator and maintain the exhibits, while the City assumed the finances. The first curator was Charles J. Adkins, who served from 1920-1946, while at the same time working as Parks Caretaker until 1929. The exhibits and display cases, including those made to order by Rhineheimer's of Elgin, were moved from the Pavilion to the Museum; and in 1921 the Zeigler brothers donated additional cases. In 1933 the basement partitions, fireplace and restrooms were added as a government work project (WPA), at a cost of $2745.
When the Elgin Audubon Society disbanded in 1961, the City of Elgin's Department of Public Property and Recreation took over complete operation of the Museum. The Museum's name was changed to the Elgin Public Museum in 1975. Although lacking the balance of model in architectural integrity because the east wing was never built, the Museum was recognized by the National Registry of Historic Places as an example of Neo-Classical architecture, as well as for its local historical significance.
Finally in August of 1998 ground was broken to complete the east wing. The exterior of the east wing was built to match the original building. Architects Dalquist & Lutzow went so far as to match the brick and oolithic limestone detailing. The interior was built to complement the original design while keeping ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) requirements in mind.
The Elgin Public Museum reopened in July of 2000 with a handicapped accessible north entrance, elevator and public restrooms. New exhibits included Exploring the Waterways: The LaSalle Expedition, Nature of Elgin and a hands-on Children's Discovery Room. The Museum Store was expanded as well.
The Elgin Public Museum is now the oldest building in Illinois built expressly as a museum that is still serving that purpose. Its Neo-Classical style of architecture is unmistakable from the front with its two free columns and two square-engaged columns. Inside the Museum, visitors can still experience the beautiful and original oak woodwork, plaster wall ornamentation and ceramic tile floors.

Elgin Symphony Orchestra

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra experience is unmatched for a fun, relaxing, cultural experience. Now in its 65th season and under the direction of new Music Director Andrew Grams, the ESO continues to delight audiences of all ages, year after year. Patrons can enjoy a drink, time with friends and even shopping in the lobby of the Hemmens Cultural Center. After Saturday night performances, the audience is invited to "Mingle with the Musicians" at the local restaurant, Elgin Public House. From start to finish - the ESO brings world class, big city entertainment without the hassles of the big city. Come Experience ESO!

2017-2018 Performance Schedule

Hemmens Cultural Center
45 Symphony Way
Elgin, Illinois 60120
Website - Link on Tourism Bureau's Website

Elgin Theatre Company, Inc.

The Elgin Theatre Company has a rich theatrical history.  A list of every ETC production, as well as other historical tidbits can be found here.

For over fifty nine years Elgin has enjoyed a vibrant and active community theatre group. Over the past several years, the word is out - there is quality theatre northwest of Chicago.

Many of our patrons are amazed at just how much talent we have here in Elgin and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy productions that rival those "downtown" (and at a fraction of the cost).

The goal of the Elgin Theatre Company is to provide quality entertainment and education to all residents of Elgin, and beyond. It is also a place for those wishing to explore and exercise their talents in a friendly, open, and warm atmosphere.

The Elgin Theatre Company exists for our community and we strive to be community theatre at its best. We welcome your involvement, your patronage, and your support!

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO), an In-Residence Ensemble in the Arts Center at Elgin Community College, is home to five orchestras, a brass choir, a percussion ensemble and a thriving Chamber Music Institute (CMI) with 350 students from over 60 communities. Founded in 1976, the mission of the EYSO is to create a community of young musicians, enriching their lives and the lives of their families, schools, communities and beyond, through the study and performance of excellent music. Musicians work and study under Artistic Director Randal Swiggum who celebrated his 16th year with the organization this past season. The EYSO is partially supported by grants from the EFS Foundation, the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, the Grand Victoria Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), and the Palmer Foundation.