Lovers of all things Chicago have an exciting opportunity to learn about the city through a series of historical seminars at the Newberry Library. Offered June through August, the courses cover a variety of Chicago-focused topics ranging from art and landscape design to baseball and beer.
Residents curious to learn more about Chicago’s public art can sign up a series of ten walking tours exploring the city’s murals, sculptures, and parks. Meanwhile, an eight-session seminar titled “Peering Behind the Curtain of Chicago Theater” will offer discussions with some of the city’s notable stage actors, directors, playwrights, and critics. A Lincoln Park course will cover the landscape designers, architects, and artists that created the lakefront green space through a combination of lectures and site visits.
Other seminars will cover subjects such as the history of the temperance movement in Chicago, the stories of populations migrating across the Midwest, and the infamous Black Sox scandal on the 100th anniversary of the White Sox intentionally throwing results of the 1919 World Series. There’s even a single-session seminar titled “From Bier to Beer” examining the legacy of Chicago’s lager-drinking German immigrants and their lasting impact on the craft beer movement.
Early enrollment starts in May and lasts between six and four weeks before each seminar’s first meeting. After that, registration costs increase 10 percent with spots available on a first-come, first-served basis. Classes that fail to register a minimum of seven students will be canceled and refunded.
In addition to the intensive adult education courses described above, Newberry Library at 60 W. Walton Street offers a wide variety of free and ticketed public events and programs throughout spring and summer.
These include one-off lectures, debates, performances, and book signings as well as demonstrations of how to use the Newberry’s archives for academic and genealogical research. The library’s current free exhibition titled The Legacy of Chicago Dance runs April 27 through July 6.