2018 Tour Resources

The 2018 season is now over, you may find resources for each tour below. To find information on past tours, please view our History page.

Join us for a day of presentations on some of Chicago’s cultural and geographic highlights, as well as some of the most urgent social concerns of our time. The Know Your Chicago Symposium, the official beginning of the annual Tour series, brings together five prestigious speakers who address important issues related to the season’s tours. On our 2018 Tours, guests will gain a better understanding of urban autism, explore the wonders of the South Shore, learn about Chicago as a literacy scene, tackle the many challenges of sleep, and appreciate the renaissance of Englewood. The information at the Symposium complements, but is distinct from, that presented on the Tours. Whether you’re joining us for all of the Tours, or want to attend only the Symposium, we’re sure you’ll find the talks valuable and the speakers engaging.

2018 Symposium brochure

Every parent knows what to do if their child has a broken arm or chickenpox, but what do you do when your child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Where do you find answers? What does life look like down the road?

Be captivated and informed during a candid presentation by a young man who will share his experiences about living with autism, followed by a panel of doctors from the Rush AARTS Center (Autism, Assessment, Research, Treatment and Services) who are experts in ASD. Topics include understanding the autism spectrum, communication, and how the thinking behind ASD has changed.

Visit Urban Autism Solutions Growing Solutions Farm. Here, young adults with autism learn transferable job skills and work with professional students in speech and language pathology and occupational therapy on communication skills and resume development. Bring a bag, as you can purchase fresh produce from their farm stand!

Tour the remarkable Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School. The O School provides intensive therapeutic treatment for bright children and adolescents struggling with severe emotional challenges. Learn how, through the O School’s “milieu” approach, every part of a student’s day is structured by a treatment team to create a consistent, meaningful, and successful experience that helps rebuild identities and instill lasting change.

Increase your awareness of autism and learn what resources these Chicago-based organizations provide to help those on the spectrum—and their loved ones—manage and overcome life’s challenges.

What do candy-coated popcorn, the dawn of the atomic age, a president’s wedding reception, and an Olympic champion have in common? All play a role in the story of one of our city’s most fascinating but least known neighborhoods.

Join us as Know Your Chicago introduces—or reintroduces—you to South Shore: a rich repository of art and architecture, history, culture, science, sport, and faith.

Visit the 105-year-old St. Philip Neri Catholic Church. Its unique design and decoration are a stunning example of iconic architecture built to serve what was once the most affluent congregation in the city.

Explore the 183-acre green space of Oak Woods Cemetery. Graced with four lakes, lush landscaping, and architecturally significant headstones, it provides the resting place of many of Chicago’s most celebrated citizens from the realms of science, sports, commerce, and politics.

Discover South Shore Cultural Center, opened in 1916 as an exclusive private club that boasts facilities with richly adorned interiors, lush gardens, and manicured lawns. On the National Register of Historic Places, this Chicago Park District showcase houses art exhibitions, hosts weddings, and offers beautiful spaces inside and out to be enjoyed by all.

Learn about the Jackson Park Highlands, a neighborhood filled with historically significant homes and the famous LaRabida Hospital, which is the only facility in the country dedicated solely to caring for children with lifelong medical conditions.

Chicago is a city with layer upon layer of natural and man-made wonders. Come with us to experience one of its treasured neighborhoods.

Literacy is too often taken for granted...but not in Chicago. Join us as we explore places and spaces celebrating literacy in Chicago.

Tour the nation’s first American Writers Museum, our city’s newest cultural institution and a current entry on Fodor’s list of the world’s 10 Best New Museums! This cutting-edge institution brings to life the enduring influence of authors on our history, identity, culture, and daily lives. Hear from the museum’s president and enjoy private access to its amazing interactive exhibits.

Visit the spirited storefront headquarters of Young Chicago Authors, the most vibrant youth literacy community in Chicago. This group is transforming young lives every day by helping them discover and cultivate their voices through writing, publishing, and performance education.

Discover a west Chicago warehouse repurposed into Literacenter, North America’s first nonprofit shared workspace dedicated to literacy. It is home to more than 120 organizations helping to meet the literary needs of people of all ages and backgrounds, working together toward a goal of full literacy in Chicago. Hear from a panel of leaders in the field, who will share information about a new generation of innovative tools helping to develop children’s early literacy skills.

Here is your chance to experience the incredible ambience and offerings at nonprofit bookstore Open Books, which funds its myriad of educational offerings through the sale of donated books, proving that written words not only inspire but drive revenue for good causes.

Apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, somnambulism, nightmares, night sweats—a laundry list of sleep disorders plague us and literally keep us up at night. It is likely that you or someone you know suffers from chronic lack of sleep. Join us as we investigate the roadblocks to restful sleep and discover how to confront them...and get back “to sleep, perchance to dream.”

Learn about biological rhythms that control sleep, how sleep is measured, the latest thinking on sleep pharmaceuticals, and habits that are considered best practices in sleep hygiene.

Observe an actual sleep study and its interpretation, as well as video footage documenting the devastating effects that can occur with severe sleep deprivation.

Discover the fascinating world of sleep technology, ranging from pacemakersized implant devices that are brand new to the market and can replace CPAP devices, to watches that measure sleep/ wake patterns, to mattresses that respond to hot flashes and night sweats by cooling the body.

Participate in practical applications such as cognitive behavioral therapy, used to combat insomnia, and sleep imagery therapy, used to convert nightmares into dreams. Create your own personal sleep log.

We all know that restful sleep is crucial to our physical and mental well-being. Join us as we take positive steps to address many common sleep disorders and improve our sleep habits.

Often compared to Detroit, Englewood has been known for its violence-plagued streets, abandoned buildings, and high unemployment. Once a vibrant commercial center, this prosperous community was destroyed by white flight, racial tensions, and economic disinvestment.

Yet today, Englewood stands as a template and laboratory for community-led revival. Residents created a plan for renewal, and the results are seen in a 60% reduction in violent crime, a new retail hub featuring Whole Foods and Starbucks, and increased health, housing, and job programs.

Hear community leaders describe how their Quality of Life Plans define needs, marshal community resources, and leverage outside investment to achieve their goals. Ongoing task forces ensure that progress continues and all development addresses the community’s established guidelines. Lunch with neighborhood activists.

Organizations in Englewood that you can support to make a difference


Download the Know Your Chicago 2018 Season Brochure