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Shining bright: Community foundation celebrates 25 years with light show

Community foundation celebrates 25 years with light show

The 2016 Sycamore Depot Light Show One of many train animations displayed on the side of the DeKalb County Community Foundation Building, 475 DeKalb Ave., during the 2016 Sycamore Depot Light Show.
The 2016 Sycamore Depot Light Show One of many train animations displayed on the side of the DeKalb County Community Foundation Building, 475 DeKalb Ave., during the 2016 Sycamore Depot Light Show.

SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Community Foundation will use its building as a canvas Saturday.

Noah Nordbrock, DCCG marketing director, said Northern Illinois University art students and staff reached out to the foundation two years ago about creating a light show using the same video projection mapping technology used in Disney World and during several Olympics opening ceremonies.

Now, he said, the Sycamore Depot Light Show returns Saturday evening in celebration of the DeKalb County Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary of local philanthropy.

Nordbrock said the show will feature commercials for the foundation, along with some abstract work created by NIU students.

“It’ll be very artistic,” he said. “We should have some laughs, too.”

NIU art student Kate Keeling, an intern at the foundation, said it’s been exciting to work on the light show project and have the opportunity to share it with the public this weekend.

“We’re basically trying to thank the community and thank their donors and describe the things they do for the community,” Keeling said.

NIU art professor Bart Woodstrup said the previous show was more about getting his students’ work out in the public and not just confined to classroom walls. He said this year’s show is about telling the story of the foundation and what it has done in the last couple of decades.

“It’s not just a commercial for the DCCF, but it’s a fun art project for the students, too,” Woodstrup said.

He said the evening will begin with a film showing drone footage of DeKalb County year-round, including the Sandwich Fair, kids sledding at Russell Woods and the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Parade.

“There’s more than just corn,” Woodstrup said with a laugh.

Woodstrup said the drone footage also will take viewers through the path of the 2015 tornado that went through Fairdale, which has since been rebuilt, because the foundation gave the community money for those relief efforts.

“It’s really interesting footage and helps tell the history of that tornado and that situation,” Woodstrup said.

Nordbrock said other celebrations for the foundation’s 25 years of service will include the foundation going to signature events in the community and holding drawings for nominated local organizations to receive $2,500 grants. He said it’s a unique way to celebrate the foundation’s anniversary, along with one way to get community members involved with the foundation if they aren’t already.

“Philanthropy is fun and we want people to embrace that, too,” Nordbrock said.

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