Chicago True Stories

Last spring Martina Mathisen brought us the wildly creative Six Wives of Henry VIII. Now she turns our attention to Chicago during the 1920’s, a time saturated with surprise, sequins … murder! Sit in as 1920’s flapper Flora shows you how fashion, crime, and prohibition mixed with explosive creativity to shape the decade of the century. Learn how reality relates to the 2002 Oscar-winning film Chicago. Travel back to 1920 and decide for yourself what’s fact and what’s fiction in Chicago True Stories. Continue Reading Chicago True Stories

Secret Places/Unknown Spaces

Author and historian Jerome M. O’Connor shares insights from his upcoming book which observes the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2020. Indispensable to the re-telling is that he personally visited all sites. Explore the British airfields, including pilot and movie star Jimmy Stewart’s base, where the Eighth Air Force launched attacks against Germany. See Berlin then and now. Enter the Berlin house where, over breakfast, the “final solution” to murder Europe’s Jews was decided. View the London mansion where 63 captured German generals lived in near luxury – or so they thought. Continue Reading Secret Places/Unknown Spaces

Hitler Vs. Art

Being obsessive-compulsive about all of his ideas, Adolph Hitler was specific about which sculpture, paintings, dance and music would be tolerated and collected by the Reich and which “degenerative” art had to be destroyed. Harper College instructor Ann Leslie takes you down the Nazi path of destruction as she describes how they stole and destroyed some of the world’s most precious work. Continue Reading Hitler Vs. Art

Washington D.C. Update with Representative Peter J. Roskam

U.S. Representative Peter J. Roskam will provide an update on what is happening in Washington D.C. Representative Roskam encourages Garlands members and community members to ask questions and express their opinions. In accordance with The Garlands policy, topics are limited to legislative updates and may not include any political or election-related conversation. Continue Reading Washington D.C. Update with Representative Peter J. Roskam

Heal the Children

Barrington resident Jeff Degner has been involved with the volunteer charity organization Healing the Children (HTC) for over 25 years and is currently Director of the Illinois/Indiana chapter. Through HTC, he has escorted dozens of needy children from third-world countries to their successful surgeries here in the United States and back home again after. He has also organized and participated in many medical missions to Nicaragua. Jeff will share some of the moving and heart-warming stories he has witnessed through “Healing the Children”. They range from Nicaragua and El Salvador o our own front yard. You’ll see before-and-after photographs that will buoy your spirits for days to come. Continue Reading Heal the Children

Mother Jones: March of the Mill Children

Mother Jones was one of America’s most effective and dynamic labor organizers. In 1903, she marched striking mill children from Philadelphia to President Roosevelt’s home in Oyster Bay, New York, to draw the nation’s attention to the crime of child slavery. “These children are to be the future citizens of America! Yes, pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!” Betsey Means – who, in April, brought us the stunning, heroic story of Alicia Appleman-Jurman – returns to The Garlands as formidable, also heroic, Mother Jones. Continue Reading Mother Jones: March of the Mill Children

Levi Stauss Building

Levi Strauss, the Gold Rush and the World’s Most Famous Pair of Pants

We love them; we wear them. Jeans are an iconic garment, and they tell the legendary story of the American West. But did you know they were made world famous by an adventurous Bavarian Jew who combined his marvelous business sense with German ingenuity? Join German Historian Anette Isaacs, M.A., for a fascinating journey into the days of the Gold Rush 170 years ago and learn about Levi Strauss and his amazing life! Continue Reading Levi Strauss, the Gold Rush and the World’s Most Famous Pair of Pants

Members in exercise class

Inspired Living

Garlands Inspirational Wellness Advisor, Dr. Sandra Sieber, is a “change agent extraordinaire.” She is on a personal quest to bring Garlands members the best cutting-edge information as it relates to health and wellness. “It is my life’s passion to inspire and empower others by educating about healthfulness, happiness and feeling well,” she enthuses. “I’m here… Continue Reading Inspired Living

crossway signs

BACOA Presents: Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Coming in September: Powerful Tools for Caregivers helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate their feelings, balance their life, and enhance their ability to make tough decisions and to locate helpful resources. The program, which is offered several times a year, consists of six weekly sessions and is designed for the nonprofessional care-giver who is helping to care for a parent, spouse, or friend. This is a perfect example of “Put on your own oxygen mask first, then that of your loved one.” Continue Reading BACOA Presents: Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Man singing

Fabulous Frank!

Peter Oprisko returns to The Garlands, this time in a tux with a fresh, unique, and modern salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. “Oprisko is the Rolls Royce of singers today! He’s a great talent!” – Grammy-winning jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis. What more need we say about this true entertainer who performs over 300 singing engagements a year … for over 20 years … and doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all? Continue Reading Fabulous Frank!

Illinois Bicentennial

Illinois: Ten Defining Moments

In honor of the Illinois Bicentennial, Professor Gary Midkiff has compiled a list of the 10 most important events in the history of our state (plus a few more that deserve attention). He will cover events from all corners of the state and connect many of those Illinois events to national history. Chicago will contribute a few stories (e.g. the Great Chicago Fire of 1871) but so will East St. Louis (the race riots of 1917) and the towns of Alton, Charleston, Freeport, Galesburg, Jonesboro, Ottawa and Quincy (sites of the 1858 Lincoln – Douglas debates). Continue Reading Illinois: Ten Defining Moments

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth: The Extraordinary Life of a Modern Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned longer than any other monarch in British history. In this illustrated lecture, historian Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., explores the life of Britain’s famous monarch, from her childhood, the abdication of her uncle, her marriage to a navy officer named Philip, her World War II service, and her struggle to balance her roles as queen and mother. You’ll get a close-up view of her “red boxes” and her relationships with her children (and their often disastrous marriages) and her grandchildren. Get to know the woman behind the images and the spirited personality, sense of humor, and savvy intelligence with which she meets her demanding obligations. Continue Reading Queen Elizabeth: The Extraordinary Life of a Modern Monarch

Piano player

Roderick Demmings Jr.

A child prodigy, Rod began playing the songs he heard at church on his parents’ piano … while he was in preschool! By age 12 he performed at Carnegie Hall, and before his 20th birthday he performed for Pope Francis in the Vatican. Rod will perform a varied program—from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Nat King Cole and American Songbook classics—for Garlands guests. Continue Reading Roderick Demmings Jr.