The Hyde Park Alliance for Arts & Culture was officially launched this past Thursday (9/10/09) at the Hyde Park Art Center. The group calls itself "HyPa," which is...kind of not an acronym? (I think it's more like a rap album title, and they should have gone all out with the letter H on the end: "Hypah.") They've existed informally for about 10 years, but now they're an official 501c3, and rarin' to go.
The goal of the organization is awesome, even if the tagline contains about three too many business-speak words, and starts with a participle: "Leveraging collective resources to promote Hyde Park as a cultural destination."
It's a consortium of (so far) 30 arts and cultural organizations in the neighborhood -- from behemoths like the Museum of Science and Industry (possibly the single south-side tourist destination that north-siders can name off the top of their heads) to gems you haven't heard of yet, like the South Shore Opera Company.
HyPa's first achievement is the Hyde Park Jazz Festival (in its 3rd year, Saturday, Sept. 26), which features world-class acts for free in 12 of Hyde Park's existing cultural venues. HyPa is also developing a "Passport to Jazz" program, which they envision as an annual pass to a variety of jazz events (financial support provided by Boeing).
After Sheryl Papier spoke, the rest of the meeting involved Stuart Flack showcasing the new web site for the Chicago Humanities Festival. The interesting Hyde-Park information I gleaned from his presentation is that the October 17 kickoff of the CH Festival is an all-day extravaganza in Hyde Park. (But maybe you all knew that already.)