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The (Bi)Cycle of Life
Museum Exhibit
Community Banner Project
City Integrates Theme in Two New Public Exhibits - Artists Invited to Participate
A call for artists by the Cultural Arts Commission for its 2014 Community Banner Art project dovetails with a historical exhibit planned to debut at the City Museum in early spring. Both public exhibits are themed, The (Bi)Cycle of Life, and focus on the introduction and evolution of cycling. Additionally, the play on words lends itself to interpretations on the broader theme of life cycles. Just as the wheels of a bicycle continue to roll, so do the seasons and time continue to turn.


Since their introduction in Europe in the 1800s, bicycles have provided a way for people to travel that directly connects them to nature. Quicker than walking and less cumbersome than driving, bikes have added speed to transportation and allow an individual to get around with ease. Today, bicycles are still used for transportation, recreation, sport, and even for work by police officers and bike messengers; now they are being celebrated in West Chicago with these two upcoming public exhibits:


The (Bi)Cycle of Life at the City Museum


From a historical perspective, bicycling enjoyed a "golden age" in the 1890s, with many clubs and organizations popping up throughout the country. These "Wheelman" clubs sponsored road races, parades and other community events. One such race took place at a significant event in Turner Junction, Illinois, the informal nickname for the Town of Turner, on July 4, 1895. The small midwestern community was turning a page in its own history by welcoming its new name, West Chicago, Illinois. The name change was part of an effort to attract industry and help draw prospective factory owners to invest in the community. A photograph maintained at the City Museum (masthead photo) commemorates a 5 1/2 mile race that took place on this date.


Since those early days of bicycling history, bikes have remained an important part of recreational life in West Chicago, as the Illinois Prairie Path cuts through the City's downtown. This direct link to nature provides bicyclists a great path in and out of town through some of the most scenic areas of the City. Museum Director and Curator Sara Phalen explained the significance of both exhibits, " Most people can remember the first time they rode a bike, learned or taught a child how to ride without training wheels, and the feeling of freedom those pedals provided. Bicycles provide new sensations as riders speed down hills or travel over bumpy passes. Traveling along the Prairie Path also allows bikers a way into the changing seasons that can bring the beautiful scenery nature can provide to our busy lives."


The (Bi) Cycle of Life Community Art Banners on Main Street


Beginning in May, colorful banners depicting original works of art on the theme of The (Bi)Cycle of Life, will be on display along Main Street in downtown West Chicago. A current call for artists to contribute their designs is underway. Accomplished and emerging artists, with a connection to the City of West Chicago, (either through residence, work or school), or currently living in the Chicagoland area, are invited to submit digital files of original art for consideration for the Community Art Banner Project. All media are welcome, with no limitation to technique or subject matter, as long as the theme revolves around The (Bi)Cycle of Life. Entries must be received by February 1, 2014. An independent juror not affiliated with the Cultural Arts Commission will select the works of art.  


Each winning design will be reproduced and featured in the 2014 exhibition. Artists selected will receive credit on both banner and in printed materials related to the exhibition. Additionally, they will be asked to submit a brief statement about the inspiration for the select piece for press use. A reception honoring the selected artists will take place at Gallery 200 in downtown West Chicago during the annual Blooming Fest event on Saturday, May 17, 2014. During the run of the exhibit, the general public will be invited to vote for an artist/banner to receive a People's Choice Award. Submission details and an online application are available. Help spread the word about the call for art by telling a friend, neighbor or family member to become part of the (bi)cycle of life in our community! Artists may contact Sara Phalen for further information at (630) 231-3376.

Did you know that the City of West Chicago maintains a Community Calendar which lists many important dates including meetings, special events, City Hall closures and more? As an added feature, we have invited community partners like the West Chicago Park District, Fire Protection District, School Districts, Public Library and Not-for-Profit Organizations to post their listings too.Click on the icon at the right for a preview. You can find this link at whenever you need the most up-to- date information.

We hope you find this feature helpful, and use it often!

Jan 1 ......................City Hall Closed
Jan 17 ....................Local Music Night
Jan 25 ....................Coffee with the Mayor
Feb 1.......................Late Night at the Museum
Feb 1.......................Gallery 200 Reception
Feb 8.......................Chili Fest
Feb 21.....................Local Music Night
Feb 22.....................Coffee with the Mayor

Jan   7 - Winter Reading Kick-Off
Jan 11 - Wiggle Worms Music & Play Time
Jan 15 - Homeschool Connections
Jan 19 - LEGO Club
Jan 20 - WWE Smack Down
Jan 23 - The Write Stuff: Dear Diary
Feb   8 - Minecraft Co-Op
Feb 13 - Pinkalicious Valentine's Party
Feb 15 - Wiggle Worms Music & Play
Feb 16 - LEGO Club
Feb 17 - Winter Olympics Fun
Feb 19 - Homeschool Connections
Feb 23 - Read Across America: A Seussabration!
Feb 28 - The Lorax

or call (630) 231-1552
Jan 18, 24 & Feb 21 - Community High School Open Swim
Jan 24 - Parents' Night Out
Feb 7 - Daddy/Daughter Sweetheart Dance

For details visit West Chicago Park District
or call (630) 231-9474

The Mayor's Wellness Challenge
Mayor Ruben Pineda


Citywide wellness initiatives are taking place all over the country, and for good reason. Obesity has become a national epidemic across all demographic groups, and with it comes an increase in a wide assortment of chronic illnesses, and in some cases, sudden death. West Chicago is one such community at risk, with our childhood obesity rate higher than the national average.


As our country embarks on healthcare reform, our best defense will be self-imposed preventative healthcare measures. We need to focus on nutrition and physical fitness solutions that make the healthy choice the easy choice. Healthy lifestyles are difficult to maintain without supportive environments. A collective effort that engages our residents, elected officials, schools, faith communities, hospitals, park district, library, restaurants and other local businesses is critical in creating this overall culture of wellness.


To this end, I have been meeting with other community leaders to develop a strategic, long-range plan specifically tailored for our community. Our goal is to introduce this ongoing program to the entire community sometime in early spring. (Details will be announced as soon as they become available). The structure for the kickoff event will be similar to a health fair and will provide educational resources, free screenings for a variety of health indicators (e.g. blood pressure, etc.) and plenty of encouragement, motivation, support and fun. I will be announcing an exciting series of Mayor's Challenges, which will aim to engage every member of our community, from our youth to our seniors. We all have the power to be agents for positive change around nutrition and physical activity issues in our schools, homes, workplaces and community at large.


This is an opportunity for all of us to take control of the future of our community at its very basic core level: the health of its people. Let's all rally for a fit West Chicago!


Services Update 
Free Christmas tree collection
takes place during the weeks of January 6 and January 13, 2014 on regularly scheduled collection days; trees must be free of all tinsel, garland and ornaments.

Exterior holiday lights must be removed by March 26, 2014 to avoid ticketing.Please remember to recycle strands of incandescent and LED holiday lights and household extension cords in any condition through January 24, 2014 at the following locations:

Murphy Ace Hardware, 319 South Neltnor Blvd. (Route 59)
First United Methodist Church of West Chicago,
643 East Washington Street
West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street
West Chicago City Hall, 475 Main Street
Water Treatment Plant, 1400 West Hawthorne Lane 
Public Safety Matters  

Many people spend a good portion of their time at work. This means it's just as important to use crime prevention skills in the workplace as it is at home and in the neighborhood. Whether the place of business is corporate headquarters, a restaurant, a store, an auto repair shop or a person's home, common sense prevention skills can make the work day safer

for everyone.


Employers need to make sure their employees are safe not only from unauthorized "visitors" or angry customers but, at times, from each other. This means employers must be careful in hiring, verifying references and credentials and doing background checks when appropriate. Every company, no matter how small, should have an emergency plan in place.


  • Keep purses, wallets, keys or other valuables with you at all times or lock them in a desk drawer or closet.
  • Check the identity of any stranger who is in the office. Inform security or management of any suspicious people. 
  • Don't stay late when alone in the office. Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation after hours, or ask a security guard for an escort.
  • Report any broken or flickering lights, dimly lit corridors, broken windows and doors that don't lock properly.
  • Report signs of potential violence or sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Know the company's emergency plan. If there isn't one, notify your human resources personnel.
  • If the company does not supply an emergency kit, keep your own emergency supplies (flashlight, walking shoes, water bottle, nonperishable food, etc.) in a desk drawer. 

  • Mark office equipment with identification numbers, and keep an updated inventory list (with photos, if possible) in a home safe or a bank safe deposit box. It's a good idea to keep backups of files in a secure, separate location as well.
  • Follow the same caution with deliveries and pick-ups that businesses follow. Delivery people should be properly identified before opening the door, and NEVER let anyone inside the house! 


Save the Date: A second meeting, organized by Shining Light, NFP, to educate the community about the growing heroin epidemic in DuPage County, will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church, located at 140 N. Oakwood Avenue on Sunday, January 19, 2014 from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Speakers from Alexian Brothers, Cadence Health, DG Counseling, the West Chicago Police Department, the DuPage Coroner's Office and others will be on-hand to provide information and answer questions (which may be asked anonymously). The program will be conducted in Spanish. Organizers encourage youth from sixth grade and up, and parents to attend. For more information, email  

Museum News
132 Main Street - (630) 231-3376 

Stop by the City Museum to see the newly opened exhibit "Where History and Progress Meet: a 'junction' of local history and art." The exhibit, which was opened on December 6, 2013, features contemporary art work inspired by West Chicago history. It will be on exhibit through Saturday, April 12, 2014. Gallery hours for January and February are Wednesdays - Fridays from noon - 4:00 p.m. The exhibit can also be seen during the Late Night at the City Museum event on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. 


The City Museum is happy to announce Alex Pirela has joined the team as an Education Coordinator. A West Chicago native, Alex graduated from Community High School before completing his undergraduate degree at North Central College in Naperville. He has worked at the First Division Museum at Cantigny and the Field Museum. Alex will be working with Museum Director Sara Phalen to expand outreach with local schools and organizations. If your organization or group would like to arrange a tour or special program, please contact Alex at (630) 231-3376. 


Save the Date:
The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum will be hosting its annual fundraiser "Dance Away the Winter Blues" at Tango Argentina on Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and include lunch along with a dance lesson and open dancing. Tickets can be purchased at the City Museum.


Gallery 200
200 Main Street - (630) 231-9550  
Gallery 200/STUDIO
203 Turner Court - (630) 231-9550

Gallery 200, the community's downtown art destination, is beginning an exciting new chapter in its history by becoming a division of the West Chicago not-for-profit organization People Made Visible. The Gallery will continue to serve the public as a gathering place and venue for featured artist opening receptions, art talks, classes, workshops, Local Music Night performances and Gallery Theater productions. Regular Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 12:00 - 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 -  4:00 p.m. You may continue to access up-to-date information at 
Local Music Night is set for the third Friday of each month in 2014 at Gallery 200/STUDIO. Upcoming dates include January 17 and February 21, 2014. It's free! Local singers, songwriters and musicians come out to share their musical talents in a coffee-house setting. Also, an element of visual art is often a part of the evening. Local Music Night starts at 7:00 p.m. and wraps up at approximately 9:00 p.m. after a half-hour of the ever popular Open Mic segment. Visit for details on scheduled performers as they become available. 


Phoebe Smith's pastel work titled Nordic Evening


Winfield artist Phoebe Smith will present a remarkable exhibit of whimsical photographic images of DuPage County streets and of colorful pastel paintings depicting scenes from Mexico, Sweden and the United States.  A free Opening Reception on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.  will provide an opportunity to meet the artist and view both comical and beautiful images of people, animals, trees, landscapes and roads.  The exhibit will be on display through February 27, 2014. 



The Magic of Frosty Fest

Despite the below-normal temperatures, parents bundled-up their children to enjoy a magical evening under the twinkling lights and watchful eye of Santa Claus during Frosty Fest, West Chicago's annual celebration ushering in winter and the holiday season.  Those who attended enjoyed a spectacular tree lighting, holiday crafts, an ice sculptor, live reindeer and the sound of jingle bells while riding on a horse-drawn trolley through the luminaria-lit historic district.


The City of West Chicago wishes to thank the entire Frosty Fest Committee, all of the groups that performed, volunteered or donated to the event. They include:


West Chicago Park District * West Chicago Public Library * West Chicago Chamber of Commerce * West Chicago Fire Protection District * Fox Community Center * American Legion Post 300 * VFW Post 6791 * West Chicago Sister Cities * West Chicago Rotary Club * West Chicago Lions Club * Community High School Chamber Choir * Wheaton Academy Kantorei * Friends of the City Museum * St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store * Kramer Tree Specialists * State Bank of Illinois * Parra's Bakery * Bond, Dickson & Associates * Marquardt & Belmonte * Boy Scout Troop 33 * Community Volunteers


Thanks to all those who helped, children and their families delighted in live music, free refreshments and so much more.  In addition, the cookie decorating activity not only provided a culinary treat for children, but generated $191 in donations for the area food pantry.  The donation will be matched by State Bank of Illinois, doubling the amount earmarked for families in need.


The slideshow below may be viewed for the enjoyment of those that were unable to attend the event as well as for those that may wish to re-live the magic! 

Frosty Fest 2013
Frosty Fest 2013

Important     Numbers
City Council: 
Fire Administration
(630) 231-2123
Fire Emergency
Police Administration
(630) 293-2222
Police Response

City Administration
City Hall
(630) 293-2200

Ruben Pineda
Nancy Smith
City Clerk
Michael Guttman
City Administrator 
Ward 1 
Lori Chassee     (630) 231-8709 
James Beifuss   (630) 231-0584

Ward 2 
James Smith   (630) 231-1524 
Don Earley      (630) 231-3060

Ward 3 
Laura Grodoski   (312) 925-9241 
Alton Hallett      (630) 254-7112

Ward 4 
Al Murphy        (630) 231-4624  
Sandy Dimas   (630) 293-5170

Ward 5 
Kurt Meissner       (630) 231-9302 
John C. Smith, Jr.  (630) 293-3802

Ward 6 
Rebecca Stout   (630) 293-7335 
Mark Edwalds    (630) 632-6670

Ward 7 
Matt Fuesting   (630) 762-1996 
John Banas      (630) 762-9762
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