2020-2021 Creative Living Season


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

The Creative Living Series will have a different look this year due to Illinois COVID-19 restrictions on seating capacity in the Woodstock Opera House. Season ticket sales have been suspended.

If you are a season ticket holder your seat(s) will be held for you for next season. You will have the opportunity to purchase tickets and retain your seats for the 2021-22 Creative Living season when tickets go on sale next summer.

Meanwhile, plans are being made for an online Fall 2020 program. Information on the speaker will be coming soon.

Katherine Gray
After, words
October 15, 2020

As a glass artist transforming molten liquid into something still and solid, Katherine Gray makes the invisible, visible. Her award-winning work has appeared in solo exhibitions at the Toledo Museum of Art and the Heller Gallery in New York City. Gray traces her artistic journey and discusses the continued relevance of glass as a material in her artistic practice, especially the value in making things in a society increasingly ruled by machines and simulated experiences. She will also relate her adventures as 'resident evaluator' on Blown Away, the competitive reality glassblowing series produced by Netflix.

John Tierney
The Power of Bad
November 19, 2019

Why are we devastated by a word of criticism even when it’s mixed with lavish praise? Because our brains are wired to focus on the bad. The power of bad explains why couples divorce, why people flub job interviews, even how schools fail students. Acclaimed science writer and contributing New York Times columnist John Tierney, co-author of The Power of Bad, shares key insights on how to harness and overcome the negativity effect to become happier, healthier, more productive and more creative. Bad breaks and bad feelings really do create the most powerful incentives to become smarter and stronger.

Dawn Jackson Blatner
The New Healthy: The Best Things We Can Do for our Health
January 21, 2021

Fat free? Gluten free? Cut carbs? Give up meat? Healthy eating used to be all about foods to avoid, but the latest research points to all sorts of nutrients we can use to restore energy, boost immunity, improve mood, digestion and sleep, enhance beauty and make us more physically fit and mentally alert. A nutritionist and author of The Flexitarian Diet and The Superfood Swap, Blatner has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN. She lays out the things we can to do to fuel our best lives. And the good news? It’s simpler than you think.

Jonathan Eig
Ali: A Life
February 18, 2021

A brilliant fighter and a rebel who embodied the conflicts that shook our country, Muhammad Ali was among the most famous men of the 20th Century. But he had never been the subject of a full-length biography until Jonathan Eig put his story between covers. Eig conducted over 500 interviews during his four years of research and counted every punch the boxer threw. Winner of the 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports writing, Ali: A Life is a sympathetic yet unsparing portrait that gives us the full measure of the man, tracing the arc of his career in the ring and bringing us to the heart of his colorful, incredible life.

Anna Celenza
Celebrating Jazz: America's Greatest Original Art Form
March 18, 2021

Jazz is a genre broad in scope, from Louis Armstrong’s rousing Dixieland and Billie Holiday’s smoky swing to the bebop rhythms of Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet and the cool jazz of Dave Brubeck's piano. In her return to Creative Living, Anna Celenza explores the power of jazz to cross geographical, political, economic, racial, and religious boundaries. A dynamic presenter, Celenza enlivens her talk with film clips, archival photos and recordings to trace the development of jazz as it is shaped by modern technology and becomes the first worldwide music phenomenon. Jazz fans and newcomers alike will dig this thrilling tour of America’s most distinctive music.

Joseph Luzzi
A Grand Tour Of Italy: Art, Music, Film & Literature
April 15, 2021

"You may have the universe, if I may have Italy“ is Giuseppe Verdi’s oft-quoted praise of il Bel Paese. In an immersive tour of Italy’s cultural masterpieces—extraordinary, magnificent, haunting, transformative—Dr. Luzzi delves into what is behind Italy’s remarkable appeal and what makes it such an inexhaustible place of discovery. With passionate insight, he shares how art, literature and the humanities can change our world. A Renaissance man himself, Dr. Luzzi is a teacher, scholar and award-winning author of My Two Italies, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love, a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection.

Past Speakers Include
Miguel Cervantes, Robert Rodriguez, Bill Odenkirk, Anna Celenza, Judy Collins, Mary Badham, 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