The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Old Town School of Folk Music to Worm Its Way Into Hyde Park?

By JoshMogerman in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 31, 2010 7:00PM

Empty Out Your Wallet: Old Town School Of Folk Music Edition It is part of growing up. You get older and you take on more responsibility. It is true for people. It is true for organizations. And, it seems to be true for Wiggleworms…

Celebrating its 25th birthday this year, Wiggleworms will never grow up---it is the Old Town School of Folk Music's beloved program for little kids after all---but its administrators are looking to find more and more kids to engage with music. That starts on the South Side later this month as the program debuts at the Hyde Park Arts Center. The venue alone is a strong reminder that Hyde Park, with its museums and vibrant art scene, is not starving for culture---but it should serve as a great beachhead for the school to reach out to a broader audience outside the North Side.

Cat Edgerton, the OTSF Marketing Director, tells us that with the first Wiggleworms students likely out getting their first jobs now, it was time for the program to expand. A happy coincidence brought the Art Center and school together as both were looking for new programming opportunities. We think it is a match in heaven. Though Edgerton says that “in the way back machine we did some work with the South Shore Cultural Center, the Hyde Park foray stands as the first classes in offered in a city neighborhood outside their north side headquarters (though they do educational outreach in Lawndale). Wiggleworms classes are also offered in the suburbs of Western Springs, Evanston, Glencoe, and Naperville.

Asked if Hyde Parkers can expect an expanded list of offerings or (gasp) a full-service OTSF South Branch or concert facility, Edgerton tamps down expectations. With a new building coming in Lincoln Square and a limited staff, the road-tested Wiggleworms programming will have to suffice for now. And now that it is all grown up, the program is ready to train wee ones throughout the city.

Old Town School of Folk Music class registration is underway. The Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell.