The series continues in Galesburg, a place that communities from all over the world have called home. The episode explores an ongoing debate about which window Abraham Lincoln used as an exit from Knox College’s Old Main; the role played by Galesburg’s founders in the Underground Railroad; the Boxcar People from Mexico who worked on the rails and created a community in the early twentieth century; the early career of the inventor of modern advertising Earnest Elmo Caulkins; current efforts to revitalize downtown through local businesses and culture; the creation of a recent community by Congolese immigrants; and, of course, the life and career of poet, historian, and journalist Carl Sandburg.
Refreshments will be served after the program.
More about the Participants
Karen Avelos was born in Galesburg and has lived there most of her life. At Knox College she majored in German and minored in French. In addition to the Illinois Professional Educator License and English as a Second Language Endorsement, she has a M.A. in Education: Reading from Western Illinois University. She was the Coordinator of the Carl Sandburg College Literacy Coalition for 20 years and currently trains volunteer tutors for the Regional Office of Education #33 Adult Literacy Program, which is funded through the Illinois Secretary of State Library Literacy Office and the Illinois Community College Board. From 1986 through 2015, she taught adult ESL classes at Carl Sandburg College and currently teaches ESL for Galesburg CUSD #205 where she often finds that she’s working with the children of adults she met in adult English classes.
Rex Cherrington was born in Galesburg in 1951. He grew up, almost literally, on the banks of Spoon River at Dahinda where he went six grades in a two-room school, the same one that Mary Sandburg, Carl’s sister, taught in for one year, many years earlier. After graduating from Williamsfield High School Rex went to Knox College where he received a degree in history and nearly a second major in Sociology-Anthropology. Rex spent one year on the Associated College’s of the Midwest’s Far East Asian Studies Program in Tokyo. Rex also worked for nearly 40 years handling a wide variety of property and casualty insurance claims, all the while remaining active in historical societies and genealogical societies. Rex remains active with Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association, Knox College and, recently, with Knox College’s Underground Freedom Station. The interest in Midwestern history comes naturally with Knox County, IL roots established in the early 1840s.
Joshua D. (Josh) Gibb
Joshua D. (Josh) Gibb was named President & CEO of Galesburg Community Foundation in 2008. As President & CEO, Josh is leading the Community Foundation board, staff, and the communities the Community Foundation serves to believe in and invest in the power of philanthropy to create healthy communities. As President & CEO, Josh has led the board and committees to invest more than $6.5 million in grants to nonprofits and programs that benefit Knox and Warren Counties to date. Additionally, he works every day with people who love their community and want to give back to their community in the best ways possible. In addition to his service with the Community Foundation, Josh is an active member of the Council on Foundations Public Policy Committee, Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, Forefront, OSF St. Mary Medical Center Community Advisory Board, the Rural School Collaborative Board, Lions Club of Galesburg, and the Galesburg Downtown Council Committee. Josh and his wife Stacy live in rural Galesburg with their four children—Esther, Miles, Maxwell, and Harrison—and their newest addition is expected in January.
Kang Hee Hong
Kang Hee Hong came to the United States from South Korea in 2005 and has a M.A. in Adult Bilingual Education from Western Illinois University. For the past five years she has taught ESL, ABE, and GED-courses at the Carl Sandburg Adult Learning center and is in her eighth year teaching EFL classes at the Regional Office of Education #33.
Mark Mathewson is an award-winning bluegrass songwriter from Springfield whose work reflects rural Illinois.
Performing Arts Academy of Galesburg
The Performing Arts Academy of Galesburg was created in 1992 by Rossann Baker-Priestley and Pam Fox. An after-school program focusing on creative dramatics, the Academy is for students in third grade through high school who are interested in the theatrical arts. Each year has two semesters of classes and culminates in a full musical production. Past shows have included The Wizard of Oz, Shrek: The Musical, Annie, The Little Mermaid, and Bye Bye Birdie, and, most recently, Peter Pan. Last year, students from the Academy participated in a tour of the play Spink, Skabootch, and Swipes in Rootabaga Country, which introduced over 4,000 elementary students to the Rootabaga Stories of Carl Sandburg. The Performing Arts Academy performers participating in Illinois Turns 200 are Paige Davis, Maya Gomez, and Joey Lucero under the direction of Tim Holmes.
Luz Nuncio Schick
Luz Nuncio Schick was born in Mexico City and raised in Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago and holds an M.A. and an M. Phil. in French from Yale University. She has worked as a writer, editor, and translator for educational publishers. Will Schick is a fifth-generation Chicagoan and a graduate of the University of Oregon. He was a technical writer for Bell Laboratories and has also worked as a freelance writer for educational publishers. From 2009 to 2015 Will wrote a regular opinion column for the Galesburg Register-Mail. When Luz and Will moved to Galesburg in 2008, they discovered the rich history of its Mexican community, which dates back to the early 1900s. They collaborated in writing and producing the documentary film Boxcar People for WTVP, the PBS affiliate in Peoria, Illinois. The film was nominated for a Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy Award in 2013.
Ken Springer has been the President of the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development since 2014. A native of rural West Michigan, he completed his graduate work in Applied Community and Economic Development through the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University. Prior to coming to Galesburg, he served as Vice President of the Bloomington-Normal Area Economic Development Council. His professional achievements include successfully-closed projects in industries such as food processing, heavy manufacturing, renewable energy, high-tech manufacturing, logistics, recycling and others.
Roger Taylor was raised on a farm in western Illinois, was graduated from Knox College, served in the United States Navy for three and one-half years, and attended Northwestern University Law School. He practiced law with the Chicago-based law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, retired as a partner in 1999, and remains of counsel. Roger was president of Knox College from 2001 until 2011. He is an immediate past member of the board of Illinois Humanities. Roger and his wife, Anne, whom he met his first day at Knox in 1959, live on the farm where he was raised and which has been in his family since 1857.
Douglas L. Wilson
Douglas L. Wilson was graduated from Doane College in 1957 and earned an M.A. (1960) and Ph.D (1964) at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught English and American Studies at Knox College from 1961 to 1994 and was for many years Director of the Library. From 1994 to1998, he served as the founding Director of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. Since 1998, he has been George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Co-director, with Rodney O. Davis, of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College. His writing on Jefferson and Lincoln has appeared in The Atlantic, Time, The American Scholar, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, and has resulted in eleven books. Two of these, Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (1998) and Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (2006), were awarded the Lincoln Prize.
Kevin Wood has been portraying Abraham Lincoln since 2000, giving more than 450 presentations in thirteen states and two other countries. He spent much of his early life in Metamora, IL, which Lincoln often visited as a circuit-riding attorney. His varied professional background includes investigation and cleanup of Superfund hazardous waste sites, ministry and missions, teaching and coaching.
For more information about this event, please contact Paul Durica at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 422-5583.