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What’s a jazz trio doing in front of the Evanston Public Library this evening? Welcoming people to Evanston150’s “Night of Ideas” program.

Until 8:30 tonight the Evanston150 steering committee is inviting people to stop by and suggest their ideas ways to improve Evanston that could be used to help mark the city’s 150th anniversary in 2013.

Volunteers Barry Lundberg and Dino Robinson, standing, lead the discussion at one of four tables set up in the library’s community meeting room.

That’s the number — 2013 — of ideas the group hopes to gather by the end of July, before beginning a lengthy process of narrowing them down to 10 big ones to try to focus on for the anniversary project.

Among the ideas suggested at one table early in the evening — build a bowling alley, convert condos to affordable housing and create a more unified look for downtown with design guidelines.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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