ArranmoreArts—Connecting the Community Through the Arts

June 2014 View more

Shannon Greene Robb, Founder of ArranmoreArts

Shannon Greene Robb, Founder of ArranmoreArts

Some people look at the Arranmore Farm & Polo Club in Oswego and see undeveloped land. Shannon Greene Robb sees a place where the visual and performing arts can flourish and unite the community.

Greene Robb is the founder of ArranmoreArts, a nonprofit organization that creates, collaborates, and curates arts programming. ArranmoreArts creates signature performing events, like the open-air Cabernet Cabaret concerts (affectionately called Cab Cab) held at the Farm, as well as visual arts installations, and experiential arts programs held throughout the community. Arranmore takes its name from Árrain Móhr, the Irish isle where Greene Robb’s great-grandmother lived. The property includes a 25-acre parcel that was purchased and donated in 2007 by her father, noted Naperville realtor John Greene, to promote the arts in Chicago’s western suburbs.

“We were on the edge of urban sprawl and had the opportunity to make something different than a subdivision,” she said. Today, people gather for an ArranmoreArts experience, with a canopied area as a stage and a rustic lawn for the amphitheater. The vintage setting gratifies Greene Robb’s desire to connect the community to the past with the arts. “In Naperville we are so separate. Everything is so new, we can lose the human connection with the old within our community,” she said.

Greene Robb’s experience in the arts is as deep as her Naperville roots. As a teen, she attended Naperville Central High School but commuted to Chicago in her last two years to attend the Chicago Academy of the Arts. She then entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston to study piano performance, but practicing six hours a day led to acute tendonitis her freshman year.

“I couldn’t play, but I had this love of the arts and knew I could be a visual artist or try something completely new,” she said.

Greene Robb transferred to DePaul University and finished her degree in music education. She went on to study interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and there enjoyed the freedom and exposure to different forms of visual and performing arts. She discovered how other types of artists approach creativity and she experimented with how the environment affects the arts experience.

Her lessons learned helped create the unique format of the Cab Cab concerts, which have more than tripled attendance since their launch in 2011. Patrons are encouraged to “B.Y.O.P” (bring your own party) whether that means a large group of friends, or a special someone, fried chicken on a blanket, or sushi eaten off white tablecloths under candlelight. The evening features multiple musical groups playing various genres of music that are woven together from a common theme such as “Forces of Nature” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dance Party.”

“I thought if I’m going to live in Naperville, I’m going to create the collaborative opportunities here that I found in Chicago,” Greene Robb said.

She also believes in the power of professional artists to inspire budding young artists. For example, ArranmoreArt’s Inspired program brings Grammy-nominated musicians and professional artists into schools for collaborative workshops, culminating in a public showcase. All programs are supported through Arranmore’s fundraisers such as the Naperville Wine Walk featuring an evening of wine and appetizers in downtown Naperville.

2014 Calendar of Events

Downtown Naperville Wine Walk
June 7, noon
Downtown Naperville

At Arranmore Farm & Polo Club

Cabernet Cabaret: Forces of Nature
June 21, 6:30 p.m.

Arranmore Ale Fest
June 28, 4 p.m.

Cabernet Cabaret: A Midnight-summer Night’s Dance Party
August 2, 6:30 p.m.

August 16, 7:30 p.m.

Cabernet Cabaret: Rich and Famous
September 5, 6 p.m.

For more info,