The Park

Ravinia's Man Behind The Curtain

Carlos Santana once told Welz Kauffman that he’d never play Ravinia. Nothing personal, he said, just that “my audience won’t come.”

The year was 2000, and Kauffman had just taken the reins at the legendary Highland Park music festival with a vision to build on the historic venue’s proud legacy of presenting a wide variety of great concerts.

“From the beginning Ravinia presented a mix of classical concerts and the cutting-edge acts of the time, whether it was Benny Goodman introducing a mixed-race band in the 1940s to Janis Joplin and Frank Zappa in the 1970s,” Kauffman said. “But as the classical programming continued to feature the brightest talents in the world, for about 30 years, we lost our way a bit on the nonclassical side, allowing it to get pretty dusty.”

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Ravinia Makes It Rain Social Contests All April

April showers bring May flowers, so Ravinia’s going to “make it rain” all month long! Share this video link on Facebook, retweet this tweet on Twitter, or like this post on Instagram ‪between today and April 26 to be entered to win a 2016 Season Lawn Pass for two! The grand-prize winner will be announced ‪on April 28 in the Ravinia newsletter and also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Our First International Winner of Season Poster

The Ravinia Women’s Board today announced the first-ever international winner of its annual Ravinia season poster competition. The winning design came from 18-year-old Teodora Šćepanović, a senior at the Bogdan Šuput School of Design in Novi Sad, Serbia. She will receive a $1,000 cash prize and her design will be featured in the promotion of the upcoming 2016 Ravinia season, distributed among hundreds of Chicagoland stores and public spaces, and sold exclusively at Ravinia Gifts.
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Here’s Mindy Moore, Who Makes Ravinia Events Something, Well, More

Interview with Mindy Moore, Director of Group Events at Ravinia Festival and Here’s Chicago’s January 2016 Chicago Hospitality Professional of the Month!

What do you love about planning events in Chicago?
Planning events is Chicago is the greatest.  We have the most creative resources that are on the cutting edge and trendy with enough conservatism to get the messages across.  We  are centrally located, have the best hotels, best food and beverage and musical opportunities.  Our close-knit community will always welcome the newcomers and take the time to teach and share our experience.  Plus, they are all my friends!

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Vintage Stereo Ads Claim To Recreate That Ravinia Sound

I was surprised when I encountered a 1957 ad for the “Ravinia” Webcor turntable with very little information about its connection to Ravinia. At first I thought maybe it was just a coincidence that it shared the name of America’s oldest music festival, but further digging uncovered another ad from 1954 that gets as close as possible to referencing the festival itself without explicitly doing so. It states, “… you have the unmistakable impression that a ‘live’ orchestra is performing in your presence. That’s why the experts call the Ravinia’s performance—‘living presence.’” Coincidence? I think not.

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Creating The "From The Lawn" Hashtag

Over the past four months, I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing so many unique, diverse, and loyal Ravinia customers and performers. Whether it was a young couple in love, a group of friends who have been coming here for years, or Ramsey Lewis surrounded by the love and support of his family, their thoughts, stories, and joy echoed the very sentiment that brought me here looking for an internship.  

As the 2015 Ravinia season came to an end, I found time to reflect on the #FromTheLawn campaign and compiled a list of some of my favorites from the season.

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Couple Cleverly Celebrates Their Love and Memories at Ravinia

The September 6 O.A.R. concert was especially memorable for Sarah and Nick of Waukegan; it doubled as their wedding day, complete with ceremony and reception on Ravinia’s gorgeous lawn. Ravinia is a popular formal wedding venue, but this couple earned points for creativity by fashioning a wedding experience completely unique to themselves. We got in touch with the happy couple to learn more.

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Seven Highlights from the 2015 Summer Season

As an intern at Ravinia this summer, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ravinia is much more than just concerts. In reality, Ravinia is about the experience, the tight community culture, and all the small things we do here that may (or may not!) go unnoticed by the concert-goers, but help make it an exciting place to be a part of.

As the 2015 season comes to a close and nostalgia starts to set in, I wanted to relive some of those moments from this summer. Join me on a trip down memory lane with my 7 favorite moments from the 2015 season.

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CEO Welz Kauffman Goes Where No Man Has Gone Before

Every Monday morning, Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman boldly goes to the WGN TV studios for the on-air “Ravinia Minute” with announcer Mike Toomey. He previews the events Ravinia offers in the coming week. This week, his delivery was "Spock on” as he got into character to discus the Aug. 16 presentation of J.J. Abrams’s 2009 Star Trek, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing the score live. See what it takes for an Earthbound CEO to beam up to the Enterprise.

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Ravinia CEO Is Lookin’ Sharp as Edward Scissorhands on WGN

Every Monday, Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman appears with announcer Mike Toomey on WGN’s “Ravinia Minute” segment which airs in the 9 a.m. hour every Monday on WGN-TV. Each week Welz highlights upcoming events at the festival and presents them in very creative fashion. Today, he took a stab at something new, costuming up as

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