October 13th, 2017
The Helen Doria Foundation Awards Grant to the Deerfield Park District
Winner of the 2017 Arts Alliance Illinois & Illinois Association of Park Districts "Helen Doria Arts in the Park" award.
The Arts in the Park Award is named in memory of Helen Doria, who dedicated her career to creating a space for the arts in Chicago's parks. From her early work as a cultural programmer developing cultural festivals for the Chicago Park District, to her appointment by Mayor Richard M. Daley as Millennium Park's first executive director, Helen envisioned parks as democratic spaces that can provide access to arts and culture for everyone. She was a judge for this award since its inception in 2009 until her passing in 2012, and her leadership was instrumental in its development.
This award recognizes agencies (park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation, and special recreation agencies) that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.
Congratulations to the Naperville Park District (2nd Place) and the North Berwyn Park District for their efforts in providing and supporting the arts in their local communities.
July 1, 2017
City Parks Alliance Receives Scholarship Funding for the Greater & Greener International Conference from The Helen Doria Foundation
The Helen Doria Foundation is proud to award scholarship funding to the City Parks Alliance, in partnership with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, for their Greater & Greener conference July 29-August 2, 2017 in Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota.
The largest international gathering to date of urban park leaders, city planning and design professionals, neighborhood advocates and other community stakeholders will explore how urban parks are at the center of creating healthy, resilient, and sustainable cities. 2017 conference tracks include: Youth Development, Planning Healthy Systems, The Creative Culture of Parks, and City Park Essentials.
Helen Doria was a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the City Parks Alliance.
From the City Parks Alliance Website on the passing of Helen Doria December 23, 2012
City Parks Alliance Mourns the Loss of Chicago Park Advocate Helen Doria
The Board and staff of City Parks Alliance deeply mourn the death of Helen Doria on December 23, 2012. Park advocate, believer in culture for all, urban legend, youth defender, force of nature, “Helen of Chicago” was amazing. Her energy, enthusiasm and ability to get things done were unsurpassed. In the 1980s and 90s, Helen was one of those believers in cities as great places, particularly Chicago. She understood politics and how to make good things happen. And she did make good things happen! In the Chicago Park District Helen developed innovative programs for youth and teens that brought people into the Chicago parks. Also in the 1990s, she became active in the city parks movement nationally. She was a founding member of City Parks Alliance, which incorporated in 2000. Her calm leadership in those early years was essential to our success today. She brought people together and encouraged all of us to do our most.
Helen had a sabbatical in the early 2000s and toured all the large cities to learn about what was going on in those cities for youth, culture and parks. She gave all of us as many new ideas as she took in, always with new thoughts about ways to make our cities greater through parks and cultural programs. She then went on to Millennium Park as the executive director to create and manage all the programs there. As we all have seen, those programs became very important to the tremendous success of that park.
We will miss Helen, but are so glad that she helped to create a national movement to advocate for parks in cities. She mentored and befriended people involved with parks all across the country. We are all so very grateful for the time we had with Helen.
February 1, 2017
Helen Doria Foundation Awards Grant to the Free Street Theater for 2017 Youth Programming
The Helen Doria Foundation has awarded a grant to the Free Street Theatre for their 2017 Youth Programming. The Free Street Theater is located in the historic Pulaski Park Field House on the Chicago's Northside.
The grant funds will cover expenses that make the Free Street Theater youth programs successful: community outreach and public workshops; the cost of food and transportation for ensemble members; the cost of on-site childcare for young people whose participation in after-school programming might otherwise be hindered by having to care for siblings or their own children; or the cost of providing stipends to young people.
"Free Street Theater’s commitment to providing high quality cultural education for youth of all backgrounds and accessible entertainment in public places directly aligns with all that Helen stood for and worked so hard to create.", said Jean de St. Aubin President Free Street Theater Board
The Helen Doria Foundation is proud to support the young people participating in the Free Street Theater's youth programming.
Free Street Theater. 1419 West Blackhawk Street, 3rd Floor. Chicago, Illinois 60642, P: (773) 772-7248
October 22nd, 2016
Helen Doria Foundation Awards Grant to 2016 Arts Alliance Illinois & Illinois Association of Park Districts "Arts in the Park Winner"
The Helen Doria Foundation awarded a $2500.00 grant to the Hoffman Estates Park District, the winner of the 2016 Helen Doria Arts in the Park award given by the Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Association of Park Districts .
The Hoffman Estates Park District has a long history of supporting the arts and local culture.The park district has several robust performing arts programs and collaborates with the Village of Hoffman Estates Arts Commission each year to offer two entertainment series. Congratulations to the Hoffman Estates Park District!
Palatine and Champaign Park Districts were also winners of the 2016 Helen Doria Arts on the Park award.
September 18th, 2016
Chicago Park District Officially Dedicates Helen Doria Beach Park
Family, friends, residents, former co-workers and local elected officials attended the official dedication of the Helen Doria Beach Park (formerly Columbia Beach) in Rogers Park on a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, September 17th. Longtime friends and residents spoke of Helen's dedication to the Rogers Park community during the time Helen first arrived as a student at Mundelein College in 1969 until the time of her passing in December of 2012.
Alderman Joe Moore, Cook County Clerk David Orr and former Chicago Park Districts Superintendent Forrest Claypool all shared memories of their personal and professional relationships with Helen. Everyone attending enjoyed the day rembering Helen and her contributions to the Rogers Park community and to the City of Chicago. Thank you to the Chicago Park District and everyone involved for a tremendous honor in Helen's memory.
April 13th, 2016
Chicago Park District Renames Columbia Beach In Rogers Park Neighborhood After Helen Doria
On April 13th, 2016 the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners unanimously renamed Columbia Beach in Rogers Park after Helen Doria for her life's work as an advocate parks and arts in Chicago.
Helen lived in the community for over forty years staring in 1969 when she began attending Mundelein College. A group of neighborhood residents along with 49th ward Alderman Joe Moore submitted the request to the Chicago Park District in late 2015.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) spoke at Wednesday's meeting and described Doria, who was also a resident of Rogers Park, as "a true leader and a real stalwart in the Rogers Park community."
"She was the ultimate people person, drawing energy from her relationships with friends, colleagues and family," Forrest Claypool, then president of the CTA, told theTribune after her death in 2012. Claypool worked with Doria in the early 1990s through the park district.
Avis Lavelle, a member of the park board, said the beach's renaming would be fitting for Doria, who "brought so much energy, and we’re all better for it."
Thank you to the Chicago Park District, Alderman Joe Moore, Dona Vitale and all the residents of the Rogers Park community for honoring Helen's memory.
The Helen Doria Arts in the Park - 2015 Winners
Named in memory of Helen by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) for dedicating her career to creating space for the arts in Chicago's parks.
This award recognizes park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation agencies that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.
Helen was a judge for this award since its inception in 2009 and her thought and leadership was instrumental in its development. Awarded annually by the IAPD at the "Best of the Best" Awards Gala.
Community Park District of LaGrange Park
Washington Park District
The Trust of the Public Land with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago for The 606