The Newsletter of Lincoln Central Association
Winner of Five Consecutive APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
August 20, 2021

It has been a busy year and I want to share with you the projects we have been working on and some of the accomplishments we have made. 

One of the most exciting steps our Membership & Communications Committee has undertaken is the creation of a new website. As part of this project, we created a History of LCA, refined our Values, Mission and Goals statements, refined our membership categories, decreased our website hosting costs, revised our logo and much more. Don’t worry, we are still the Heart of the Neighborhood! Stay tuned for its launch in September or October! The committee is also producing this monthly newsletter that I hope you look forward to reading each month. Don’t hesitate to send us a feature article to incorporate in the newsletter!

Our Community Affairs Committee has been busy starting with a Ward Walk this spring to identify infrastructure repairs and improvements. Many volunteers covered our geographic area and we thank you for your commitment to keeping our neighborhood safe, clean and beautiful. The committee also launched a Public Safety survey in July to get input on your concerns and ideas. We have shared this survey with our police district and the Alderman and look forward to reviewing the results with them. The goal is to improve engagement with the police and implement recommendations for improved safety wherever possible. Finally, we put in a request to the Alderman and Chicago Department of Transportation to survey the value of a stop sign at Armitage and Cleveland. We await their response and hope the addition of a sign will assist families walking children to school and all of us who cross this intersection daily!

The Parks & Beautification Committee has, once again, brought Lincoln Central Park and Fire Station Park into full bloom. It is the hard work of our volunteers who bring these gardens to life and tend to them so lovingly. We expect lighting and new picnic tables to be installed this fall in Fire Station Park. The committee is also launching a study and survey in the coming months to reimagine Ogden Mall Park. The goal is to beautify the area and activate the park to be a 21st century urban public space. This will be a community wide endeavor and no small feat, yet it calls out for renewal. We hope you will all become engaged when the time comes! 

And finally, last but not least, the Events Committee is actively working on events! We are looking forward to seeing our friends at the Evening in the Garden on September 19 and all our spooky friends at Howler at Bauler on October 30! If all goes as planned, we will be back in full swing for our 2022 season of fun gatherings. We hope you will support us and our sponsors as we reestablish relationships that are critical to the success of these events!

On a last note, LCA listened to our membership through a survey, phone calls, letters and emails to make a position statement on the Dickens Greenway proposal. We stated that LCA is opposed to the Greenway. Although Alderman Smith announced that it is an approved project, LCA felt it was our responsibility to speak for the majority of our membership. Whether you are pro or con the Greenway, we sincerely hope we acted in the best interests of our community. 

It has been a pleasure to work with the Board and all of you on these efforts and we will continue to be your ears and Heart of the Neighborhood!

Sally Drucker
by Kathy Jordan
Join us for a celebration of the neighborhood and neighbors on Sunday, September 19, 5-7 pm, at Evening in the Garden. Held at Fire Station Park, the evening brings neighbors together for homemade refreshments, music, and magic. It’s an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.

A highlight of the evening will be the close-up magic of Benjamin Barnes, whose sleight-of-hand has been a hit at each Evening in the Garden.

Best of all, you will have the opportunity to join LCA Board members in providing dishes for refreshments. Share your culinary skills with your neighbors by bringing your favorite party dish.
Don’t miss this uniquely LCA event. Put Evening in the Garden on your calendar today.
The Lincoln Central Board of Directors wants to hear from you to help us help our community stay a safe place to live and work.

Please take a few minutes to click on the anonymous Public Safety survey link below by Friday, August 27. Your public safety opinions and information needs matter, and should be heard and responded to.

This Sunday, August 22 at 3:30 p.m., the Fifth Star Bank will be playing a free all ages concert at Bauler Park, 501 W Wisconsin. 

A modern take on American traditional rock, The Fifth Star Band grooves to a funky, old school beat that’s guaranteed to get you dancing. Drawing inspiration from Anderson East, The Revivalists, and Van Morrison, this Chicago-based, roots rock band continues to deliver upbeat, soulful tunes that are elevated by their energetic live performances. Since emerging on the Chicago music scene in the summer of ‘16, TFSB has played all around the city at venues such as The Cubby Bear, Martyrs’, Reggie’s, The Elbo Room and multiple yearly stops at The Store. Despite a minor hiatus after the December 2019 release of their first full-length album, Vice, the band is looking to make their mark on the city's music landscape, and that all continues Sunday, August 22nd at Bauler Park!
From State Representative Margaret Croke’s office: 
Exciting news for our local businesses and nonprofits. The state has created a new program, similar to the business interruption grants from last year, that will distribute grant funds for businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. 

This new program (the B2B grant program) builds on the success of last year's Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program – but is a bit different, so please take time to review the guidelines. If you didn't get the grant before, we encourage you to apply for this grant.

There is a total of $250 million available for businesses and nonprofits that have less than $20 million in annual revenues ($35 million for hotels). There are a few different buckets of funding below, and please note that businesses/nonprofits can fall into multiple categories. 
  • $100 million – Businesses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs). (See DIA Map below)
  • $30 million – Arts and Entertainment businesses that didn’t receive Shuttered Venue Operators grants
  • $25 million – Restaurants and taverns that didn’t receive the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
  • $25 million – Hotels
  • $25 million – Businesses that didn’t receive a BIG grant due to exhaustion of funds

Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000 per business ($250,000 for hotels) and can be used to cover a wide range of operations/staff/overhead costs. 

Bring your chairs, blankets, and picnics, and join your neighbors for a fun evenings! at Oz Park. On September 11 from 8:00-10:08 p.m., bring your family to watch the Movie “42” at Oz Park.

This event is sponsored by Oz Park Baseball Association
by Deirdre and Tom Graziano
Lincoln Central Park faced its own set of challenges during this year’s pandemic. The drought took its toll on many of our plantings. And yet, the park survived and in its own way flourished. Butterflies and bees came to our butterfly garden area. The new plantings that survived proved sturdy and have blended in well with our older established plantings.

We have had many heroes this year. Paul Shea, Angie Goudschaal and Beau Fleming, all generous neighbors who went over and beyond using buckets to water our stressed plantings. Beau was relentless in transferring buckets and buckets of mulch from the parkway to our garden plants so they would be better protected during the stressful hot spell. 

No matter the difficulty with the weather, with the recent disheartening times, this small park continued to offer a soothing green space of comfort - often providing a special joy to the many who came. The fountain, after a new motor was installed, once again provided us with graceful dancing waters. The unending supply of chalk allowed our children, teens and even adults the opportunity to create delightful drawings and pastel messages of hope and joy, drawing smiles and sometimes outright laughter from passing neighbors. In the early hours of the morning, our “regulars” of all ages with their coffee and reading materials so they can peacefully sit and steal a few moments of magic as the fountain welcomes and sings to them.
We appreciated our Christy Webbers workers, our Fountain Guys, Carlos and his great partner. They never failed to impress us with their hard work and dedication to the park. Bob Thomas and Jeff Conrad, paint cans in hand, have renovated our benches and removed any graffiti that may appear - this is a rare event which in many ways shows the love the community has for this pocket park.

Patty Harris once said the park seems to have been dropped from a small piece of France. Viva Sweet France and Viva Our Park. Young lovers often sit cooing to one another, nannies and parents bring the children under their care, dogs prance around the fountain, a few even jump in. Our local childcare centers escort groups of their children to the park so the delighted young ones can take off their shoes and enjoy a splashing of feet as they cool off from their long walks. Teens congregate, join in the chalking and often offer to help when they see us working making the park even more magical since it brings out the very best in all of us.

We encourage children to use our stone paths. Many youngsters take stones only to return them to the park with colorful and whimsical paintings added to the smooth surfaces so we can all enjoy a smile when we see them. Our own fairy space.

We are sorry that the new yews planted along Lincoln Ave did not survive the drought, but please send ideas on what you would like to see replace the bushes we have lost. We also wish to thank the secret gift givers who have left us beautiful hibiscus plants. These secret green volunteers would just leave us their special gifts including a sculpted evergreen without seeking any recognition or praise. So to our secret Gardeners, to all who have stopped to talk with one another and with us, we say Merci, Merci Beaucoup.
Gold Coast Art Fair: Grant Park. Aug. 21-22. Learn more here.

Artistic Roundtable with the Victory Gardens Theater Playwrights Ensemble - August 23. Learn more here.

Adults Night Out: Summer Block Party at Lincoln Park Zoo, August 26 at 6 p.m. Learn more here.

Summer Sundaes - Clybourn, September 12 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Learn more here.

Chicago Blues Festival, September 18. Learn more here.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest, Sept. 4-5. Learn more here.

Summer Jazz Series at Belmont Village: Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Do you have a local event that you would like us to share? Email us at
From the Heart is an award-winning newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association. We welcome your feedback and story ideas.

LCA has received at least one APEX Award for Publication Excellence in each of the last five years and a total of eighteen since 2016. Additionally, From the Heart is the recipient of four consecutive Constant Contact All-Star.

Winner of Five Consecutive APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
Winner of Four Consecutive Constant Contact All-Star Awards