A Visit to the Northcenter Chamber

Written by Outreach interns Ryan and Ellie

Ryan, Outreach Intern from GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago, visited the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce to learn more about how they support the surrounding business in the neighborhood. Ryan learned that the Chamber does various things to help the Northcenter neighborhood stay new and fun. From various efforts of community engagement, preserving and updating the aesthetic of the area, the chamber does it all.

Starting from left, Ryan – Playhouse Outreach Intern, Eileen Keleghan – Northcenter Chamber Executive Director, and Jackie Siegle – Northcenter Chamber Program Manager.

We first discussed some of the main duties of the Northcenter Chamber, which is to ensure the neighborhood stays clean and looks good. They work with contractors to clean the streets, as well as hire artists to paint murals. They also make all of the banners that are around advertising different organizations.

Another key job of the chamber is to help support the local businesses and members from around the neighborhood by advertising events, new businesses, or help with getting volunteers. GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago is a member of the chamber and has been supported by this organization for years.

The chamber offers many opportunities for the community to get involved in! For example, they host a farmers market weekly on Saturdays in the town square. This goes through October; they have various businesses and non-profits there for the community to learn more about and support. Ryan has been a huge supporter helping us run our Playhouse table at the market. We’re now looking forward to the Fall farmers market and all the Fall goodies that follow!

Another fun event is the Summer Concert Series that runs from July to mid-August. There is a weekly band every week in Northcenter Square from 7:00PM – 8:30PM that goes until August 16th. This is a free event for the neighborhood, and such a great way to support local bands. Ryan was able to help prep by laminating signs for the concerts coming up.

Of course, one of the highlights of the year is the legendary Ribfest, an event that has been a staple of the Northcenter area for 23 years. Ribfest is a three-day festival that offers more than 20+ BBQ vendors from around the Chicagoland area. It also is a way to give back, as they are giving a portion of money back to the organizations that can volunteer. GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago will be there this weekend handing out drinks and tabling, come say hi and enjoy some delicious ribs!

Thank you to Eileen and Jackie for giving Ryan a chance to learn more about the importance of volunteering, outreach, and supporting each other. We look forward to future collaboration and support of the Chamber of Commerce!

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