Opportunities for Chicago Public School Teachers | Newberry

Opportunities for Chicago Public School Teachers

Bob Fosse and Mary Ann Niles, 1948. Call # Dance MS Barzel Research.

Class Exhibition Tours at the Newberry

With generous support from the Walter E. Heller Foundation, the Newberry provided exhibition tours of The Legacy of Chicago Dance (Spring 2019) and will continue hosting school groups for What is the Midwest? (Fall 2019). These tours, led by exhibition curators and docents, are open to Chicago Public School groups. Bus transportation is free for participating schools. (Please note, however, that the Newberry is unable to offer substitute teacher coverage.)

What is the Midwest?

The American region generally known as the Midwest has also been referred to as “the Heartland” and “flyover country.” Its identity is a puzzle, beginning with its geographical borders. From the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, historians and scholars often considered it to be representative of the nation as a whole. This concept no longer holds, nor has a commonly agreed-upon definition of the Midwest emerged.

The region’s enormous national and global impact has, however, attracted attention. It is the earth’s breadbasket. Its population growth from 1810 to 1860 was the greatest in history, and its soldiers and anti-slavery views likely determined the outcome of the American Civil War. It was the basis for the agricultural core of the United States, and has continued to provide a meeting ground for diverse peoples.

This exhibition encourages study of the Midwest, along with recognition of its rich complexity. There is no simple answer to the question What is the Midwest?, and this exhibition does not propose one. Instead, it explores two broad, closely related themes: the Midwest’s peoples and its environment. Visitors will find resources from the Newberry collection – maps and manuscripts, books and broadsides, postcards and photographs – that stimulate further questions and offer clues to answering them.

Registration for What is the Midwest? will open Friday, September 6, 2019. Register here.


CPScholars (previously named “Teachers as Scholars”, or TAS) is a professional development program that offers intellectually stimulating, content-based seminars led by scholars from area universities and colleges. These seminars offer participants an opportunity to reconnect with the world of scholarship in their content areas and inspire them to model the love of learning for their students. Seminar topics focus predominantly on the humanities, are related to the Newberry’s collections, and support skills emphasized by the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.

Unless otherwise indicated, seminars are scheduled from 9:30 am to 3 pm each day and include a catered lunch. CPScholars seminars typically include a show and tell component featuring relevant primary source materials from the Newberry’s collections. Participants earn up to five ISBE professional development credit hours per program day for attending a CPScholars seminar.

We are thrilled to announce this year’s upcoming seminar. For the second year in a row, this program will be funded generously by the Mellon Foundation, and connects thematically to our exciting year of institution-wide programming devoted to the theme, What is the Midwest?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

9:30 am to 3 pm

Memory and Memorialization of the Civil War in Chicago and Illinois

Dr. Ann Kuzdale, Chicago State University

Since the 1860s, the memory of the Civil War has continued to shape the landscape of Chicago and other towns in Illinois. Numerous monuments, memorials, cemeteries, streets, and parks have been dedicated to figures or events of that war. Historians have argued that it was the Civil War that transformed Chicago into a major American commercial and industrial center. But the war also exacerbated ethnic and racial tensions within the city and the state. Illinois was home to both pro-slavery and anti-slavery Southerners, free blacks, runaway slaves and many influential Chicagoans had family ties to the south. This seminar will focus on the shifting views, memories, and memorialization of the Civil War in the aftermath of Reconstruction when the promise to secure civil rights for African Americans failed. Memory and Memorialization will provide teachers with a map for connecting students to the broader events of the U.S. Civil War and post-Reconstruction era by using the city of Chicago as a textbook. By focusing on local history in Chicago and Illinois, students can become aware of how much of Civil War history is in their midst.

Registration will open on Monday, December 9, 2019 and continue until Friday, December 13, 2019. Submit your application here.

For more information about CPScholars, please contact Teacher Programs staff.

View past Chicago Teachers as Scholars seminars