2018-2019 Creative Living Season


Coffee and conversation offered at 9:00 a.m. All programs begin at 10:00 a.m.

Subscriptions cannot be purchased online. Single tickets can be purchased through the Box Office or online for $25 after September 1.

Ticket Order Information

Bill Odenkirk
The Making of the Simpsons
October 18, 2018

How does The Simpsons, named the best television show of the 20th Century by Time, stay relevant when frame-by-frame animation is the tortoise to the hare of our culture? Writer and executive producer Bill Odenkirk gives us a snapshot of the production process on this critically acclaimed series. A Naperville native, Odenkirk will also share insights on the alchemy of a career that spans earning a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Chicago to working on The Simpsons, becoming a sketch comedy writer, producer, and actor on Mr. Show with Bob and David, and writer of Tenacious D and Futurama episodes.

Dn. Joseph R. Ferrari, Ph.D
Understanding Procrastination: It's Not About Time
November 15, 2018

He’s always running late. Her birthday greetings are often belated. You’re already behind for the holidays. Does this sound familiar? An estimated one in five of us put off tasks until the last minute, or avoid making decisions entirely until it’s too late. DePaul University professor Joe Ferrari, author of Still Procrastinating? The No-Regrets Guide to Getting It Done, says it’s not about time management, but self- sabotage. How do technology and time of day affect procrastination? Ferrari shares insights and tools to overcome “procrastinating” habits at work, at home, and at school so we can start achieving our goals TODAY.

Fern Schumer Chapman
Stumbling on History
January 17, 2019

German artist-activist Gunter Demnig began his Stumbling Stones project in 1992, creating small bronze plaques—each bearing the name of a Holocaust victim—and embedding them in sidewalks near the victims' former homes. He has installed these “places of memory” in more than 1,000 communities in 22 European countries—over 60,000 plaques to date. Award-winning author Fern Schumer Chapman
and her mother, a Holocaust survivor, witnessed the installation of memorial stones for their family in 2014. Through this experience, the author spotlights Demnig’s ambitious public arts project that requires pedestrians to stumble upon history and reflect upon their country’s national crimes.

Donna Seaman
Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists
February 21, 2019

Donna Seaman brings to dazzling life seven long-forgotten women artists, among the best of their generation but for decades relegated to history’s shadows. Seaman, Booklist adult book editor, celebrates the work and lives of Chicago’s Gertrude Abercrombie, Joan Brown, Ree Morton, Lois Mailous Jones, Lenore Tawney, Christina Ramberg, and Louise Nevelson, a superstar in her day but omitted from recent surveys of the era. Seaman reveals what drove these artists, how they worked, how they were perceived, and how they managed cultural expectations as midcentury wives and mothers.

Get Tickets

Anna Celenza
Music That Changed America
March 21, 2019

Music permeates our lives but it doesn’t simply reflect our culture, it changes it. Anna Celenza, professor of music at Georgetown University and author of several scholarly books and award-winning children’s books, highlights how such changes come about using six musical masterpieces. Crossing centuries, Celenza introduces us to an 18th-century drinking tune that de ned American patriotism, an early 20th- century concert work that redefined Americans’ concept of “music,” a 1930s orchestral suite and ballad that fueled both the need for nature conservation and the Civil Rights movement, a 1950s musical that inadvertently strengthened negative Hispanic stereotypes, and a 1980s pop album that changed American foreign policy.

Get Tickets

William Tyre
Frances Glessner Lee & The Nutshell Studies Of Unexplained Death
April 18, 2019

Frances Glessner Lee, a Chicago heiress whose life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, subverted social conventions of her day to become known as the mother of forensic science. She established the first Department of Legal Medicine in the country at Harvard University. Lee painstakingly crafted 20 detailed dollhouse-size miniature crime scenes. Today, 19 of these works of art are still used as training tools for crime-scene investigators. In 1943, in recognition of her pioneering work, she was appointed the first female state police captain in the United States. Executive Director and Curator of Chicago’s Glessner House Museum William Tyre brings Lee’s fascinating story to life.

Get Tickets

Past Speakers Include
Mary Badham, Rick Guidotti, Rebecca Eaton, Dr. Temple Grandin, Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, Carol Marin, Charlie Trotter, Phil Ponce, John Bredar, Dr. Michael Roizen, Beverly Sills, Martha Stewart, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Rick Kogan, Wally Phillips, Joan Benny, Rick Steves, Studs Terkel, Joseph Epstein, Amy Dickinson, Ann Patchett, Geoffrey Baer, Rick Bayless, John Callaway, Scott Simon, Robert Wittman, Bill Kurtis, Sarah Paretsky, Gene Siskel, Eddie Ross, Leslie Hindman, Jeffrey Lyons, Beekman 1802 - Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Ridge

See brochures from our past 55 seasons