The Independent Film Initiative Now Accepting Applications for 2017-18 Filmmaker-in-Residence

Applications for the Chicago Film Office Filmmaker-In-Residence (2017-18) are now being accepted. The residency is part of the Independent Film Initiative (IFI) – a platform to formally support local independent filmmakers, and to bring more visibility and support to Chicago’s independent filmmaking industry. Preferred applicants should be mid-career professionals with a project in development and/or prepping for production. Residents will be connected to an expert advisory group, new collaborators, and a wider network of funders and distributors. This year-long residency is designed to help further the completion of an original independent work (narrative feature, documentary, web series, etc.) and will provide a Chicago-based film/media maker with the following:

  • $10,000 in funding
  • Meeting/convening space at the Chicago Cultural Center, with access to multiple downtown amenities
  • An advisory board comprised of experts in the independent film and broadcast field
  • Additional promotion, resources, and mentorship
  • Industry+ Badge at the Chicago International Film Festival’s 2017 Industry Days and slot in the Pitch session

IFI Residents will be required to make a public presentation of their project at the completion of the residency, participate as a lead in the Producers Apprenticeship Program (details to come), and provide a final report and budget.

Apply through August 31 at The residency will be announced in October 2017.

For more information, visit


New Summer Issue of the Senior Life Enrichment Guide Now Available


The Summer issue of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Service’s Senior Life Enrichment Guide is now available at Alderman Reilly’s Constituent Service office, at the DFSS regional and satellite senior centers, libraries and many other locations.

The guide highlights programs and activities offered by the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services for Chicagoans ages “60 Years and Better” during the summer.  Inside, seniors will find information about health and wellness, educational, recreational and many other types of events, trips, classes and lectures, along with schedules and registration details.  Most of these are free or at a nominal cost.

This July is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and this month’s guide includes a special insert on “Understanding Elder Abuse.”  It is estimated that millions of older Americans, from all walks of life, face abuse and neglect every year.  Anyone can be victimized.  The guide also has information on the upcoming Senior Fest 2017 at Millennium Park on Thursday, September 14th.

The contents of the Summer 2017 guide are also posted online:

Summer 2017 Senior Life Enrichment Guide

Further information about DFSS services and programs is available by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN) at (312) 744-4016.

BACP, CPD Crack Down On Illegal Party Buses In Joint Enforcement

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and Chicago Police Department (CPD) today announced the results of recent enforcement action of party bus operators. In a joint-operation, CPD and BACP investigators issued 17 Cease and Desist orders and numerous violations to companies who were not in compliance with the Mayor’s strengthened party bus ordinance.

Through field investigations and compliance checks, BACP and CPD enforcement teams identified companies lacking proper licensing to conduct business in Chicago or were not in compliance with requirements for vehicle signage, security cameras and security guards. From July 26 through July 28, Business and Compliance Enforcement (BCE) investigators focused enforcement action in the Central Business District including River North and the South Loop, which resulted in issuing several violations.

BCE investigators determined that there were 17 party bus companies not in compliance and Cease and Desist orders were issued for operating a Charter Sightseeing Bus without a proper license.

Party buses operating illegally will be subject to the maximum fines and impoundment of the vehicle. Minimum fines are $1,000 for a first-time violation and increase to $5,000 for subsequent violations. Ignoring a Cease and Desist order also carries a minimum $5,000 fine.

The new ordinance, passed by the City Council in April, cracks down on illegal party buses that operate in the city and increases safety requirements for licensed bus operators. The toughened ordinance requires that a licensed security guard be onboard all trips involving 15 or more passengers, serving alcohol or making stops where alcohol is consumed; that a cease and desist applies across the entire fleet, not just the cited vehicle; and that a bus owner take affirmative steps to ensure that no passenger is illegally carrying a firearm or drugs.
BACP and CPD will continue joint-enforcement efforts to ensure party bus companies operate safely.  Last week, BACP issued 14 Administration Notices of Violations (ANOVs) to party bus companies. Earlier this month, through collaboration with CPD, police conducted bus compliance checks and issued 20 ANOVs.

To read the full press release, which includes the bus companies who were cited, click here.

Thanks for the park, Exhibit on Superior!

Exhibit on Superior, a new apartment tower in River North, now has its own park – publicly accessible and secured by building management 24/7. Alderman Reilly recently helped dedicate the 8,000-square-foot park. He is seen here (third from left) with architect Tom Kerwin (far left) and artist Pal Svensson (right of Reilly), along with representatives of Magellan Development Group and the City of Chicago.

Taste of River North recap

July 21-23 at Kingsbury & Erie

RNRA celebrated its 20th Anniversary with an interactive booth that showcased the past, present, and future of our neighborhood. Included was a beautiful Visual History of River North mural and more than 40 fun trivia questions.

As part of RNRA’s 20th Anniversary celebration, the first ever Best of the Taste Awards were held, sponsored by The Hudson.  The winners are…

Best Band
Sixteen CandlesBest Unique Menu Item
BIG & little’s Raw Ahi Poke Taco

Best Slider
Hutch American Café’s Black Bean Slider

Best of the Fest
Hutch American Café

Thank you again to our event sponsors, Kids Zone sponsors, Pet sponsors, and Echoes of Chicago, our artwalk partner.

Special thanks to our event production team from Ravenswood Special Events and Duff Entertainment, and to Motor Brand Design for their wonderful creative work.

Download Visual History banner


18th District National Night Out – August 1, 2017

National Night Out is a nationwide event designed to build strong community partnerships that promote safe neighborhoods.

Family Style Barbecue, Kids Activities & Games, Clown Face Painting, Chicago Police Canine, Mounted, SWAT, Chicago Fire Department Engine, Informational Tables:  Cook County Treasurer’s Office, Citizen’s Untility Board Walgreens

August 1, 2017, 18th District, 1160 N. Larrabee, south parking lot:  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

All are welcome!

Sponsors:  Target, Ala Carte, Pepsico, Jewel-Osco, McDonald’s, Mariano’s, Marriott

Alderman Reilly Collecting Items for Homeless Veterans through Operation Help-A-Hero

Operation Help-A-Hero, a citywide household item collection drive to assist formerly homeless Veterans moving to permanent housing, runs between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Residents can donate new, store bought products for a formerly homeless veteran at one of over 60 designated drop-off locations throughout the City.

Last year’s inaugural collection drive raised $500,000 worth of goods to help formerly homeless veteran. The items help assist thousands of veterans to successfully live independently.

Led by Alderman O’Shea and the 19th Ward, the Operation Help-A-Hero drive includes partnerships between Aldermanic Ward offices – including the 42nd Ward, the Chicago Park District and Military Outreach USA, a faith based non-profit organization supporting those who have served in the United States’ armed services

For a list of the most commonly requested items or more information on Operation Help-A-Hero, including a complete list of drop off locations, visit

2017 Movies in the Park

We’re pleased to bring you the 12th season of  Movies in the Park!

Thank you for taking the survey.  The results are in.  These are the movies you have chosen for 2017!  Save the dates, call a friend, grab a blanket and join us in A. Montgomery Ward Park  for a movie under the stars!  Fresh, hot popcorn is FREE for the first 150 to 200 people!

All movies begin at dusk, weather permitting. To confirm weather-related cancellations call the Movies in the Park Hotline (312-742-1134), go to My Chi Parks mobile app or RNRA social media. Follow us and Like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Please remember, the Chicago Park District prohibits dogs in this section of Ward Park.

The 2017 Movie Line-up

June 20, 2017:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off   PG 13

July 11, 2017:  Rogue One  PG 13

July 18, 2017:  La La Land  PG 13

August 8, 2017:  Sully  PG 13

August 22, 2017:  The Secret Life of Pets  PG

Thank you to our generous RNRA Sponsors who make these movies possible.  Please check out their websites and patronize their businesses.

Aligned Modern Health

Ambra Salon & European Spa


Erie LaSalle Body Shop & Car Care Center

First Community Management

Hutch American Cafe

GI Stone

Kinzie Chophouse

Lester Lampert Jewelters

Lewin Law Group, P.C.

Motor Brand Design

Office Depot/OfficeMax

Onni Group

Related Realty

Sonnet’s Academy

Saper Law

Sedgwick Development

Studio 41 Home Design Showroom


The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

The Habitat Company

Wesson Residential Group

Compete in the River North Business Association’s River North Challenge on June 27, 2017

Gather your friends and colleagues to compete in the River North Business Association’s Annual River North Challenge on June 27.  Win prizes and have fun!

Participants start the evening at The Holiday Inn Mart Plaza and venture out to other River North hotels and checkpoints to conquer fun challenges.Teams are faced with new challenges at each location providing competitors the chance to earn points towards a grand prize.

Clues to find Bonus Spots along the way offer teams the opportunity to gain a competitive edge over others. Food and beverages at each Challenge Location will keep you fueled for the fun! Dress as your favorite Chicago Character because the team with the most creative attire will win the Best Costume prize!

Register your team of four for $200, or purchase a single ticket for $50 and be placed on a team. If you have more than one team from your company, register for a Corporate Challenge Squad (3 teams from the same company) for $480.

The Platinum Sponsor for the Challenge is Comcast Business and Wintrust Bank Chicago is the Gold Sponsor.

More Details and Registration Here

Alderman Reilly Rejects Dana Hotel’s “Erie Street Hotel” Expansion

Based upon his review of the proposal, and the continuing neighborhood quality-of-life concerns surrounding the Dana Hotel’s operations, Alderman Reilly has informed the Developer that he will not support their proposal and it will not move forward.
For more information, click here.