2019-2020 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 3.

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Miguel Cervantes
The Hamilton Effect
October 17, 2019

Hamilton is “a story about America then, told by America now,” according to its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Starring in Hamilton (Chicago) as Alexander Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes reports from the footlights on the effect this game-changing musical has had on him, his family, young people and the world. He shares his poignant personal story, a journey that has taken him far from the stereotypical rock-star lifestyle. He relates the extraordinary impact Hamilton has had on society, delves into the layers of meaning in the musical and spotlights its importance at this moment in history. Funded in part by a grant from Community Foundation for McHenry County.

Robert Rodriguez
Lennon and McCartney: Truth and Beauty
November 21, 2019

Why is it that 50 years after The Beatles played their last collective note we are still analyzing them and obsessing over them? By common consensus, almost all of what John Lennon and Paul McCartney are remembered for is the work that bore both of their names. Pop culture historian and Beatles authority Robert Rodriguez, an award-winning author and podcaster, examines what it was the two chief songwriters brought to each other that elevated their collective art to a standard that neither could ever match after they stopped working together: the singular power of collaboration.

Matthew Cordell
A Look Inside the Studio of a Caldecott Medal Winners
January 16, 2020

For as long as he can remember, author and illustrator Matthew Cordell has been drawing pictures. One of the greatest and most persistent joys of his life has been making art and sharing it with an audience. Join Cordell for a peek inside his studio and for a walk along the path that led him through the worlds of fine art, graphic design, and children's books—a journey that culminated in receiving the greatest honor in American children's book illustration, the 2018 Caldecott Medal.

Mary Zimmerman
Staging the Impossible: Visual Metaphor in Adaptation for the Theatre
February 20, 2020

How does a director and adaptor of literature for the stage solve the problems of staging sea battles and monsters, flying and transfigurations? Mary Zimmerman demonstrates how imaginative imagery – a kind of visual poetry – is deployed to create all manner of the fantastical on stage. A recipient of numerous creative awards, including a Tony Award for Best Direction (2002) and the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship (1998), she is an ensemble member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company, the Manilow Resident Director at the Goodman Theatre, and a faculty member in the Performance Studies department at Northwestern University. Photo by Liz Lauren

Liesl Olson
Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis
March 29, 2020

From the 1893 World’s Fair through the mid-20th century, Chicago was a center of sweeping aesthetic transformations known as the modernist movement. Carl Sandburg, Harriet Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright were among the more famous of the writers and artists engaged in the euphoric struggle to make and represent a new age. Liesl Olson, director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry Library, brings us their stories and the stories of many others. Her book, Chicago Renaissance, was awarded the 2018 Pegasus Prize from the Poetry Foundation.

Katherine Gray
After, words
April 16, 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.

Past Speakers Include
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

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