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Party lets ‘big idea’ fans get to work

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Backers of 10 ideas for shaping Evanston's future watched them unveiled at the Levy Center this evening and then had a chance to gather around tables and start working out plans to bring them to fruition.

Backers of 10 ideas for shaping Evanston's future watched them unveiled at the Levy Center this evening and then had a chance to gather around tables and start working out plans to bring them to fruition.

The ideas were developed in a year-long process that involved public suggestions and voting and some secret winnowing by a selection jury selected by Evanston150 organizers. And the winners had appeal to a variety of special interest groups — from library fans and environmentalists to those worried about education and job training.

Top: Piccolo Theatre performers ask the crowd which idea toolbox should be unwrapped next. Above: ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon invited a crowd of excited kids on stage for the unwrapping of the final idea.

Tiny Dog Cupcakes helped give participants a sugar buzz to stimulate their creativity.

The evening featured NU Theater Professor Rives Collins as emcee and performances by the Stuart Rosenberg Band and the Natural Trumpet Ensemble of the Music Institute of Chicago along with refreshments provided by local restaurants Andy's Frozen Custard, Dave's Italian Kitchen, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Tiny Dog Cupcake and Whole Foods.   

Fans of a plan to establish a community health center in Evanston gather at their table to look at what was inside their toolbox in the way of background information to help them get started.

Evanston150 steering committing and selection jury members share a round of applause once all the ideas are revealed.

The full list of big ideas designed to be implemented in time for the city's 150th birthday in 2013 can be found here.

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