Highland Park is home to the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, the Ravinia Festival. Since 1904, the festival has brought the best in music to town. The first musical performance at the festival was a steam calliope. Nowadays, many more instruments grace the stage, covering all genres of music from jazz to classical to rock ‘n’ roll. While many festival goers focus just on picnicking and taking in the music, Ravinia also offers year-round music education programs to be sure the children of Highland Park have musical opportunities available to them.
The Art Center
One of the many ways Highland Park exposes its locals to the arts is through The Art Center, a nonprofit locus of the visual arts in the north-central part of town. The center's mission is to educate the people of Highland Park in the contemporary visual arts, a goal accomplished via gallery exhibitions, special events, and outreach programs. The center focuses primarily on teaching visual arts classes, with hundreds of classes offered every year in a variety of media. For those people who cannot afford classes the center gives out hundreds of need-based scholarships every year as well.