Waukegan Park District

Waukegan Park District | Cultural Arts Programs and ClassesCultural Arts Program


Jack Benny Center for the Arts
39 Jack Benny Drive, Waukegan, IL 60087

(847) 360-4740
Fax: 847-662-0592
  Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm,
Friday 10am-5pm,
Saturday 9am-4pm

The Jack Benny Center for the Arts is the home to our cultural arts programs in dance, music, theatre, art, and home to the Dr. Lynn Schornick Theater. Jack Benny Center hosts a wide range of classes and programs for all age groups. For more information on a certain topic, please click:

• Music
• Dance

• Theatre
• Art
• Earth Education
• Scholarship Information




Click a category to register online!

• Dance/StudioPaintings on display
• General Music
• Miscellaneous
• Performing Arts
• Private Music
• Theatre
• Visual Art

Private music lessons are not available at this time for online registration.




Historic Guided Walking Tour Waukegan’s Civil War Sites  

The Waukegan History Museum of the Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Historical Society has a free guided walking tours. On the walking tour, led by Museum Supervisor, Ty Rohrer, participants will learn the history of Waukegan. The tours last approximately 1.5 hours. 

For all walking tours, please dress accordingly with comfortable walking shoes and also bring something to drink.  Tours will be cancelled if raining or other inclement weather. 

For tour schedule or to register for this free guided walking tours, please call the Waukegan Park District Jack Benny Center for the Arts at 847-360-4740.  Location of the Jack Benny Center is 39 Jack Benny Drive in Bowen Park.  Pre-registration is required.





Please click HERE to see the current biographies of our fine arts instructors.


Calendar of Private Music Session Dates
For session calendars, please click the session name.

Session: Dates Payment Due:
(week of)
Balance Due:
(week of)
Make up:
Early Fall 9/8-11/1      
Late Fall 11/10-1/17      
Winter 1/26-3/28      
Spring 4/13-5/30      

Music Instructor Biographies


Student ViolinistSession Fees

Fees are based on one-half hour private music instruction for an eight-week session. Fees will vary between $128 and $180 (resident fee) based on the faculty member. Please add $5.00 for non-residents per each session.

Click HERE to see the Private Music Fee Matrix.


Payment Due Date

Payment is due at least one week prior to the session start date. Any questions regarding balances must be made between the hours of 10am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.


Payment plan/Balance due

Those families on a payment plan may pay one-half the fee at registration- at least one week prior to the session start date and pay the balance on or before fourth week of the session. Please contact the Center Secretary at 847-360-4745 if you need to make other arrangements for payment.



Parents/Students should call the Jack Benny Center at 847-360-4740 if the student will be absent. You may e-mail the Center by clicking here. Please add us to your email address book. If a call is not made at least one hour before your lesson, it may be considered an unexcused absence by the instructor.



Registering Online?

Click HERE to read the online registration information for private music and dance.


Make up lessons

Instructors are required to make up lessons or classes that they have missed. Credits may be issued in private lessons if a lesson cannot be made up. If the student misses a lesson, the instructor determines whether or not a credit is owed (excused or unexcused), if the lesson cannot be made up. In certain circumstances, a pro-rated fee will be allowed. You must see the front desk staff for all inquiries. All faculty are independent contractors, please review their practices/policies with the instructor and inquire about all possible credits that are owed to your child, if necessary.


Music books and supplies

Faculty will instruct students on the purchase of music books and other supplies needed for lessons. Instrument rental is the obligation of the student. JBC does not rent instruments.


Lesson registration is rolled into the next session unless you contact us that you are canceling lessons. School year students receive priority over summer students in the fall. Summer students have priority over the waiting list students.


Cancellation of lessons should be made in a timely fashion. The center carries a waiting list and as a courtesy to our faculty we would like to keep their schedules full.


Practice rooms
Students interested in practicing before or after your lesson or during our open hours may do so at no additional fee. Please call in advance for studio availability.


Late Child Pick Up

Parents are to pick their child up by the time the child’s lesson is scheduled to end. If students are picked up late, parents will be assessed a late fee. Parents will be charged a late pick-up fee of $7 for every 15 minutes or a fraction thereof. If you are late picking up your child after your scheduled pick-up time, the fee assessed is per child. (Even if in the same family). Example: 6:01-6:15pm=$7; 6:16-6:30pm=$14 Parents who are late picking up their child from a program may be asked to leave the program. If a child is not picked up in a timely manner after the end of the lesson and the staff is unable to reach an individual at the home phone or emergency contact, our procedure is to call the Waukegan Police Department for police assistance.


DanceYouth Theatre

Dance Classes Online Registration

Dance Instructor Biographies



Our theatre programs and classes range from the Stage One program (8-13 yrs) and Roundtree Players program (14-18 yrs) to classes in stage make-up, improv, and audition techniques. For adults, classes are offered in acting, lighting, and there is always the opportunity to audition for the Bowen Park Theatre Company, assist backstage, stage manage, and usher for shows!

Theatre Classes Online Registration

Theatre Instructor Biographies


Stage One

Stage One, for ages 8-13, is a fun and challenging class where students learn skills through theatre games and improvisation activities, as well as through the rehearsal and performance of a play. Directed by Margaret Hughes.


Private Acting
If you need help on an audition piece, a scene or just want to take acting lessons, Jason Clark will work one-on-one with students for on hour per week at the Jack Benny Center. Times are arranges with the instructor.


Compass Creative Dramatics
Students stretch their creativity and bravery muscles through rehearsals and workshops in topics like improvisation and stage combat taught by Chicago theatre professionals. Students perf om alongside two professional actors/educators, who lead by example, helping children shine through the experience of live performance. Compass Creative Dramatics holds workshops and classes throughout the year at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts and at the Visual Arts Center. Feel free to contact the Jack Benny Center or watch the Park District's Recreation Connection for classes. We encourage students to take creative risks and trust without self-judgement, stretching their creativity and bravery "muscles" as they develop social skills like teamwork, respect and empathy through their exploration of theatre.





Our Visual Arts Center is located at 533 Grand Avenue overlooking Powell Park. This facility has a spacious art studio and gallery. Classes are offered for youth through adults throughout the year. Classes include watercolor, drawing for youth and adults, oil painting, figure drawing and much more.

Click HERE to go to the Visual Arts page on our website for more information.

Proud Art StudentArt Classes Online Registration

Art Instructor Biographies

Click here for Class Supply Lists page


Earth Education

Join volunteers from the Waukegan Harbor Citizen's Advisory Group, Chicago Wilderness, Waukegan's Green Town Sustainability Initiative and the Waukegan Park District's Cultural Arts division as they present earth awareness topics relating to our local environment.

Browse the Bowen Heritage Circle pages for For Earth's Sake programs



Comcast Literary Arts and Digital Photography Lab

Through the generous donation from Comcast, we will be offering programming in the Comcast Literary Arts and Digital Photography Lab. Adult classes have a fee and children's classes are free!

Writing to Rapping Youth
Write you words and speak them in a free class designed to help improve the overall form and quality of your work.


Speak Your Words Adult

As a form of creative expression, refine or learn how to write your thoughts and words in a poetic fashion. You will also have the opportunity to speak them to the class. This is a fee-based class.


Nature Photography Age 8-13
This free class will focus on how to compose a photograph, light and shadow, the use of basic Photoshop, as well as how to photograph flowers, plants, trees and animals in Bowen Park.


Photography Adult
Point and shoot photography is taken a step further. Sign up for one or all three classes that are offered in the fall, spring and summer in Bowen Park. This is a great way to improve your photography techniques. This class does have a fee.



Scholarship Information

Students receiving a scholarship for a fine arts program must make the assigned payment at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts at least one week before the session begins.
Please click here for more information.

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