In the six years since its inception, North Central College’s The Union has become a popular underground music and arts venue in the Chicago suburbs at 129 W. Benton Ave. in downtown Naperville. This October, The Union will host a number of artists and events, including a return visit from the nonprofit, mental health movement To Write Love on Her Arms and rapper FM Supreme during Anti-Hate Week.
The Union is a student organization, and North Central College students assume responsibilities in every aspect of running shows at the venue, including marketing efforts, setup and teardown, photography and videography, running the Union Café and developing publicity and promotions. This fall, The Union premiered its new website theunionnetwork.com, designed entirely by Ryan Shreve ’14 who continues to manage the site’s content.
“The Union serves as an opportunity for students to have real-life experiences in running a successful music venue,” says Whitney Roberts, assistant director of ministry and service and staff advisor for The Union. “As a ‘venue for social change,’ students are engaged in projects that have a greater global impact, such as serving fair trade coffee (NCC’s Best from SIFE), selling products made by individuals in one of the world’s largest slums, running benefit shows, and more.”
Tickets for the weekly Friday events may be purchased at the door or online at northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. The start time for all events is 7 p.m.
• Oct. 7, Coffeehouse at The Union: As part of Family Weekend activities, The Union will be open for a casual evening of student music, coffee and treats. Visitors may stop by anytime between 7 and 9 p.m. Admission is free.
• Oct. 14, “Pain, Hope, Questions and Community,” An evening with To Write Love on Her Arms and Fort Frances: The Union welcome backs To Write Love on Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. The Chicago-based trio Fort Frances will kick off the evening with music from their new album, “Atlas.” This event is cosponsored with Dyson Wellness Center and Office of Residence Life. Admission is free with North Central College ID; tickets are $10/public and $8/advance.
• Oct. 21, Song Circle with host Kevin Andrew Prchal: The Union features five local artists who will take turns sharing their stories and songs. Union veteran Prchal will host the evening and piece together this musical storybook. Tickets are $5 with North Central College ID, $10/public and $8/advance.
• Oct. 28, Open Mic Night with FM Supreme: Five-time finalist and two-time consecutive champion of “Louder Than A Bomb,” Chicago’s citywide high school poetry slam festival, FM Supreme will make her first appearance at The Union as part of North Central College’s Anti-Hate Week activities. Attendees will also have opportunities to share original work during this Open Mic night. Admission is free with North Central College ID; tickets are $10/public and $8/advance.