E150 Celebrate! 2013

Evanston’s 150th anniversary year is here and the Evanston History Center is excited!

The EHC staff and board have been closely connected to planning for the anniversary from the beginning. Several EHC staff members have served for the last few years on the Steering Committee of Evanston150, a community-wide initiative whose mission is to engage “all of us in imagining our future, resulting in 10 visionary ideas to celebrate Evanston’s 150th anniversary in 2013.”

In the spring and summer of 2011, Evanston150 asked residents to nominate ideas with broad community acceptance, a visionary outlook, and that would make a long-term impact for Evanston’s future. The top 100 ideas were voted on and the Top 10 Big Ideas were chosen and announced in November of 2011. Each idea currently has a Working Group whose goal is to bring it to reality. Some of the ideas have made great strides — for example, Learn to Swim has piloted a new program where all second graders in Evanston will take swimming lessons. Others are still in the planning stages but are steadily making progress. If you’d like to find out more about the ideas and get involved with making them happen, visit the Evanston150 web site.

The advent of 2013 brings the debut of the 11th Big Idea — Celebrate!2013. EHC Archivist Lori Osborne is serving as Co-Chair, along with Patrick Keenan-Devlin, of the Celebrate!2013 Working Group. The celebration theme is Volunteer. Celebrate. Engage. and has three goals for the community — to log 150,000 volunteer hours; to attend events throughout the year honoring Evanston’s past and present; and to shape the future by supporting the 10 big ideas. To find out more about Celebrate!2013 plans and see a full calendar of events, visit the Evanston150 web site.

The Celebration!2013 kick-off comes this Martin Luther King Day weekend with events planned throughout, including a community gathering at Fleetwood Jourdain Center and a concert at the Music Institute of Chicago. For more on kick-off events go here.

The Evanston History Center is planning a year full of events and special programs for the anniversary as well —

  • Evanston101 – a brief tour of EHCs permanent exhibit of Evanston history will be held throughout the year – January’s tour will be on January 26th; February’s tour is scheduled for February 16th.
  • Where Are We: Mapping Our Way Through Evanston History, an exhibit of historic Evanston maps, will open with an Exhibit Open House on Sunday, March 10th from 1-4 pm.
  • publication of Evanston: A Tour Through the City’s History will come later this spring. This book is a new edition of a favorite Evanston history resource, Evanstoniana, by Margery Blair Perkins.
  • Our Mother’s Day House Walk in May will have an anniversary flavor.
  • The Annual Ice Cream Social will take place in July, this year complete with a birthday cake for Evanston
  • also coming later this year, School history walking tours designed to connect school children to the story of their school and surrounding neighborhood.
  • And more to come as the year unfolds.

Stay tuned throughout the year for anniversary news and plans from EHC. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to this blog to learn more and keep up-to-date.