More than 50 antique dealers and 2,000 collectors will be on hand for the Winnetka Community House 50th Anniversary Antiques + Modernism (A+M) Show, which will be held the weekend of Friday, November 4, through Sunday, November 6. The event, a primary fundraiser for the Community House each year, is sponsored and run by its Women’s Board, the fundraising arm of the organization.
This year’s show is co-chaired by Winnetka residents Kim Ronan and Elyse Hahner. Both moved with their families to Winnetka and the Community House and the A+M show have served as vital opportunities for them to feel a part of the North Shore community.
“My family and I moved to Winnetka from Washington, D.C. eight years ago and I got to a point, as a stay-at-home mom, where I started volunteering for a lot of different community organizations and I joined the Woman’s Board,” Ronan says. “I have found the Community House to be such an integral part of our community. My kids have taken classes there and I’ve seen shows there. I enjoy the time with the Woman’s Board and the A+M Show in particular because it’s such a different and unique experience.”
Ronan says the entire space is transformed into a showroom that showcases all of the different dealers. The show is truly immersed within the Community House.
“The experience of walking through and seeing all of these antiques from all kinds of different eras in time, from the 1700s in England to the Madmen ’60s era in the United States,” Ronan says. “It’s just fascinating. There’s such an array of things to look at and think about if they were to be part of your own space.”
Ronan says the event is also centered on community. Donations are generated by ticket sales, fees from dealers for booth space at the show, and sponsorships from local businesses that are important to bringing the show to life.
“It’s a fun community event,” she says. “You walk through, and you may run into people you know or talk with the dealers who come from all over the country and have interesting stories to tell.”
The event kicks off on Thursday, November 3 with the A+M Preview Party from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Guest will enjoy seasonal food, inspired cocktails, and early access to start buying at the show. Tickets are $150 in advance and $175 at the door and include three-day admission to the show.
“I think for the curiosity seeker, it’s a must, you must come to the Preview Party to see everything on display and just feel the excitement of the different dealers who are there and what they have,” says Hahner. “It doesn’t matter if you are looking for an antique or if you’re looking for something a little bit more modern.”
This year’s show includes three events featuring high-profile speakers from the antiques, interior design, and floral design worlds.
Michael Flanagan, former host of Antiques Roadshow on PBS, will be walking a group through the show to point out different antiques and tell their stories; interior designer Meg Caswell of HGTV fame will give a talk about decorating the home and how antiques can complement interior design; and, Laura Dowling, who was the floral designer for the White House from 2009 to 2015, will talk about floral arrangements and how they can be incorporated into home décor. Hahner says she plugged into the Community House when she moved to Winnetka with her family from Chicago as a way of making new friends and familiarizing herself with the local community.
“My family and I moved to Winnetka in 2014, and through my children I met some moms who were already involved on the Woman’s Board for the Winnetka Community House,” Hahner says. “One of the moms said, ‘You know, I would love it if you got involved and you’ll meet a bunch of people.’ That was my mission coming from the city because we didn’t know anyone.”
Hahner went to her first A+M Show In 2015 and says she fell in love.
“This was before I was on the Women’s Board and I couldn’t believe the way that they had transformed the house to be this amazing showcase for these dealers,” she says. “It was fun and lively and very community oriented. So, when I had the opportunity to join the board, I jumped at it.”
What Hahner likes most about the show is watching board members come together and turn the house into what she calls, “a fairy tale.”
“It’s just amazing and there are so many diverse dealers from having very old antiques from the 1800s through mid-century modern pieces to the 1920s. It’s like it takes you back to a different time,” she says, adding that she was somewhat surprised by demographic diversity the show attracts.
“I love watching the different generations come through the show. At first, I thought it’s antiques and it was going be just a show for older people. That was wrong. It was a show for everyone because there’s a little bit of something for everyone that walks in the door. That’s really my favorite part and seeing the dealers come back year after year, what they add to their collections, and also seeing new dealers coming in.”
And that, she says, is what makes it so special
“It’s a magical experience, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to come.”
The Winnetka Community House Antiques + Modernism Show runs from November 4 to 6 at the Winnetka Community House, 630 Lincoln Avenue, in Winnetka. A Preview Party will take place on Thursday, November 3. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit thewinnetkashow.com.