Ongoing Illinois Speaks Meetings

In Elgin, IL:

Every second Thursday of the month @ 10am at
Gail Borden Public Library – Rakow Branch (2751 W Bowes Rd, Elgin, IL 60123)

February 14th topic: TBD
Facilitated by Tish Calhamer (; presented in partnership with Gail Borden Public Library

In Golconda & Vienna, IL: 

Every second Thursday of the month @ 6pm
Alternating monthly between Golconda’s Riverview Mansion Hotel (222 S. Columbus Ave) and Vienna Diner (511 East Vine Street).

February 14th topic in Golconda: “The Shutdown; Observations: on what it produced, either socially or economically”

Facilitated by Sandra Pfeifer (

In Peoria, IL:

Every second Thursday of the month @6pm at
Peoria Public Library North Branch (3001 West Grand Parkway, Peoria, IL 61615)

February 26th topic: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care and Education

Facilitated by Roberta Koscielski (; presented in partnership with Peoria Public Library

In South Shore, Chicago, IL:

February 16th topic at Chef Sara’s (7201 S. Exchange) at 11am: “What’s in it for South Shore: A Visit from Anna Valencia, Chicago City Clerk”

Presented in partnership with The Black United Fund of Illinois and the Neighborhood Network Alliance. For more information, contact Val Free (

In Uptown, Chicago, IL:

Every third Thursday of the month @5pm

February 21st topic at Emerald City Uptown (1224 W. Wilson Ave.): Aldermanic Candidate Forum on Attracting and Retaining Small Businesses in Uptown

Facilitated by Elsie Hernandez (; presented in partnership with the Haitian American Museum of Chicago

For more information, email Elliot at 

Illinois Speaks Awards & Upcoming Events

Illinois Speaks micro-grants are given to host public discussions about contemporary issues. These grants allow more people to act as trained facilitators or moderators of public discussion across the state of Illinois.

See upcoming events

See events that have taken place already

Illinois Bicentennial Challenge

County Goal Map for Illinois Speaks 200 Years InitiativeLeading up to Illinois’ bicentennial in 2018, we’re excited to announce our “Illinois Bicentennial Challenge.” We’re hoping to help host or fund Illinois Speaks conversations in all 102 counties of the state and we need your help.

Individuals or organizations who are the first in their county to host a community-based conversation before our December 2018 deadline will receive an Illinois Humanities canvas tote!

While we are expanding our ongoing Illinois Speaks groups, we are also offering micro-grants ($250-$1000) to allow people of all ages throughout the state of Illinois to host a public discussion or series of public discussions around issues that matter to their communities.

We warmly encourage anyone interested to apply to host their own community discussions.

The application is simple and will also include a free training in conversation facilitation.

For more information, visit our Illinois Speaks Micro-Grants page or contact Mark Hallett (; 312.374.1555)