Chicago's National Veterans Art Museum finds new home in Portage Park

November 10, 2012

By Rebecca Kruth

The National Veterans Art Museum will be celebrating this Veterans Day in a new home on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

The museum is leaving its South Loop location on Indiana Avenue for a larger space at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Portage Park.

NVAM Executive Director Levi Moore says the move is an opportunity for the museum to broaden existing exhibits.

“We want to be able to show the diversity of the US. military. Whether that is the growing role of women, the role of Latinos, the roles of Asians, the roles of African-Americans, we really want our museum to look more like Chicago,” he said.

The museum also plans to reach out more to the community through programs like art therapy for children. Moore says kids growing up in violent neighborhoods can have symptoms similar to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The chance to interact with other community groups also played a role in the museum’s decision. Portage Park is home to several arts organizations including Arts Alive 45 and the Portage Park Theater. 

“We won’t be alone. We’re going to have various entities working with us. They’re promoting the area as a destination for arts and cultural arts. It’s actually part of the Chicago cultural plan,” Moore said.

NVAM Communications Director Sarah Eilefson says the museum hopes highway proximity and ample parking will bring in more traffic from tourists and school groups. 

The new location will open its doors Nov. 11 with the unveiling of Welcome Home, an exhibit exploring the experiences of veterans across generations.