The LSCF is proud to sponsor the Levy Lecture Series, an educational program for residents 55+ years who are passionate about learning. Additional support is provided by Avidor Evanston. The series is free, but registration is required.

Lectures through July will be presented on Zoom. Register and you will be receive an email with easy-to-follow steps. Need more help? Watch this video.

Virtual lectures continue weekly through July. Stay tuned for full spring schedule.


Tuesday, April 13 at 1pm

Sheila Arnold as Daisy Bates, Civil Rights Activist and Arkansas NAACP President

Sheila Arnold: teaching artist

Presented via Zoom. 

Daisy Bates was the backbone of the Little Rock Nine. In this moving historical representation, Sheila Arnold tells the story of the woman determined to help integrate the Little Rock, Arkansas schools as well as overcome the severe opposition she and the students were subjected to daily. Daisy talks about her life before becoming NAACP president, atrocities she has seen committed, her relationship with Thurgood Marshall, and the infamous academic year, 1957-1958, when Central High School in Little Rock was to be integrated and the Federal Troops were called in by President Eisenhower. You will not forget meeting this strong, determined woman once you've heard her stories.

Tuesday, April 20 at 1pm

The Watergate Girl

Jill Wine-Banks: author, attorney, legal analyst

Presented via Zoom. 

In "The Watergate Girl," Jill Wine-Banks takes us inside this troubled time in American history, and it is impossible to read about the crimes of Richard Nixon and the people around him without drawing parallels to today’s headlines. The book is also the story of a young woman who sought to make her professional mark while trapped in a failing marriage, buffeted by sexist preconceptions, and harboring secrets of her own. Her house was burgled, her phones were tapped, and even her office garbage was rifled through.

At once a cautionary tale and an inspiration for those who believe in the power of justice and the rule of law, "The Watergate Girl" is a revelation about our country, our politics, and who we are as a society.

Tuesday, April 27 at 1pm

The Sanford Underground Research Facility: Exploring the Unseen

Deb Wolf: education, PR, and IDEA director, Sanford Lab

Presented via Zoom. 

As the Education and Public Relations director at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD, Deb Wolf knows for a fact that she has the most amazing job. In guiding the Education and Communications teams, they work to translate the world-leading physics research into learning opportunities for K-12 students, teachers, and the public. One of her passions is to support teachers as they develop leadership skills to advocate for high quality science learning opportunities for all students in South Dakota. She also knows that to answer some of the world’s most challenging questions, we need a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming culture. As the project manager for their IDEA work (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access), that is what SURF foregrounds each day.

Tuesday, May 4 at 1pm

The Loop: The "L" Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago

Patrick T. Reardon: author, journalist

Presented via Zoom. 

Every day Chicagoans rely on the loop of elevated train tracks to get to their jobs, classrooms, or homes in the city’s downtown. But how much do they know about the single most important structure in the history of the Windy City? In engagingly brisk prose, Patrick T. Reardon unfolds the fascinating story about how Chicago’s elevated Loop was built, gave its name to the downtown, helped unify the city, saved the city’s economy, and was itself saved from destruction in the 1970s.

Tuesday, May 11 at 1pm

Leonard Bernstein - A Voice for All Time

David Chack: teacher, artistic director

Presented via Zoom. 

Leonard Bernstein, one of the 20th century's greatest composers and maestros, spanned musical genres as much as he spanned time periods. Well versed in the classical tradition from Europe, he was equally at home in popular music and was one of the first to herald Black culture's contribution of Jazz as a unique American art form and that Broadway musicals were more than entertainment. But that didn't stop his interests or his deep investigation of self, including his Jewishness through his musical journey. We will explore that deep investigation through music and discover that Leonard Bernstein's voice was not only his own, but a voice for all time.

Tuesday, May 18 at 1pm

The Art and Life of Frida Kahlo

Jeff Mishur: art historian, business owner

Presented via Zoom. 

During a post-revolutionary period in Mexico marked by large scale murals on epic themes, Frida Kahlo produced highly personal works typically on an intimate scale. Schooled within the educational reform movement of indigenismo, Frida drew inspiration from pre-columbian history and Mexico’s folk costumes and traditions. At the same time, her paintings tell the story of her complicated life in an expressive, unique style. In this presentation, art historian Jeff Mishur discusses Frida’s work within the context of art history. We'll see a number of self-portraits in this program as well as several works Frida painted during an extended period of travel in the United States in the company of her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera.

Tuesday, May 25 at 1pm

History of Block Clubs: How Neighbors Shape the City

Amanda Seligman: professor of history, UWM, author

Presented via Zoom. 

In Chicago’s Block Clubs Amanda I. Seligman uncovers the history of the block club in Chicago—from its origins in the Urban League in the early 1900s through to the Chicago Police Department’s twenty-first-century community policing program. City residents have for more than a century created clubs to establish and maintain their neighborhood’s particular social dynamics, quality of life, and appearance. Omnipresent yet evanescent, block clubs are sometimes the major outlets for community organizing in the city—especially in neighborhoods otherwise lacking in political strength and clout. Drawing on the stories of hundreds of these groups from across the city, Seligman vividly illustrates what neighbors can—and cannot—accomplish when they work together.

Tuesday, June 1 at 1pm

An Armchair Tour of the Universe

Michelle Nichols: director of public observing, astro educator

Presented via Zoom. 

Go on a trip around the Universe without leaving your seat! This presentation will take you on a whirlwind visit through our Universe's most amazing objects using images from the world's most advanced telescopes. Don't miss your chance to travel billions of light-years in an hour!

Tuesday, June 8 at 1pm

A Celebration of Juneteenth!

Donna Washington: storyteller, spoken word recording artist, author

Presented via Zoom. 

Where did Juneteenth come from? Why is it celebrated? What does it even mean? Join Storyteller Donna Washington as she answers these questions and more through the history and spirit of Juneteenth using African American Folklore and culture.

Tuesday, June 15 at 1pm

Ed Asner: A Composite Portrait - a book in progress

Mark Larson: author, teacher

Presented via Zoom. 

Ed Asner: A Composite Portrait is an intimate, behind-the-scenes oral history of Asner’s storied career as both a star of television, film, and stage and an outspoken activist as told by Asner himself and the writers, actors, producers, directors, friends, and family who know him well. Mark Larson, author of Ensemble, the definitive book about the history of Chicago theater, interviewed Asner during his research for Ensemble. After some hours of conversation, Larson suggested the idea of an oral biography to Asner, who readily agreed. At this lecture, Larson will share stories and audio clips from his interviews with Asner and others, like Gavin MacLeod, Elliott Gould, Mike Farrell, Marsha Mason, Marion Ross, Jason Alexander, Paul Rudd, and many more.

Tuesday, June 22 at 1pm

Motown: The Music that Moved the World

Gary Wenstrup: musical aficionado, teacher

Presented via Zoom. 

In Detroit during the 1960s, Motown Records produced hits as efficiently as the Ford Motor Company produced automobiles--110 Top Ten hits to be exact! It was the "Sound of Young America" sung by performers like The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. Using audio and visual content, we'll trace the amazing musical journey from the power soul of "Dancing in The Streets" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" to the psychedelic soul of "Cloud Nine" and "What's Going On" to the pop soul of The Jackson 5. Join us as we listen to timeless music that moved us then and continues to move us now.

Tuesday, June 29 at 1pm

The Nazi's Granddaughter

Silvia Foti: author, journalist, teacher

Presented via Zoom. 

What would you do if you found out that your war-hero grandfather was not a hero—instead, he was responsible for the deaths of eight thousand Jews? The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal is Silvia Foti’s account of her wrenching, twenty-year investigation that not only reshaped her family history but also exposed an official cover-up by the Lithuanian government that resulted in an internationally followed lawsuit. Her discovery has undone a national narrative in Lithuania which converted Holocaust villains like Silvia’s grandfather into war heroes.

Tuesday, July 13 at 1pm

Mandela in Chicago

Ava Thompson Greenwell: teacher, director "Mandela in Chicago"

Presented via Zoom. 

Before the Black Lives Matter Movement, there was the Free South Africa Movement. Chicago activists played a major role in putting pressure on the South African, Illinois and Chicago governments to end their support of apartheid. Ironically, in one of the most segregated cities in the nation, Chicagoans of all races joined forces during the 1980s to resist a racist system that oppressed South African Black people similar to the ways in which U.S. Black people had been treated. Activists would say, “Freeing South Africa is freeing ourselves.”

Tuesday, July 27 at 1pm

Harry S Truman: Common Man, Uncommon Leader

Robert Watson: professor of american history

Presented via Zoom. 

This program tells the remarkable story of the last president to lack a college degree, a former farmer who failed in the haberdashery business, yet emerged during one of the most critical hours in world history to become one of America's greatest and most influential presidents. We will explore Truman's upbringing and the events in his life that helped forge his character and resolve and examine his leadership style and decision-making. The lecture offers an intimate and insider look at Truman and is based on extensive interviews with former advisors to Truman and years of research in the Truman archives.

sponsor line for Wix_Avidor

Recent Lectures

We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled:

Voices from Syria

Wendy Pearlman | Author, Professor


The Cutting Room Floor: Adventures in

Filming my Rock and Roll Heroes

John Anderson | Filmmaker, Producer, Musician


The Emergence and Evolvement of

Blues Music in American Culture

Fruteland Jackson | Author, Musician


Find the Helpers

Fred Guttenberg | Author


Tales of Forgotten Chicago

Rich Lindberg | Author, Journalist


Golem Girl

Riva Lehrer | Author


Bette Davis: A Living History

Leslie Goddard | Historian, Actress

The Asian Lunar New Year

Yvonne Wolf | Cultural Educator 


Meet Emily Dickinson

Paddy Lynn | Actress, Storyteller


Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater

Mark Larson | Educator, Author

Boots in the Ashes

Cynthia Beebe | Former AFT agent


The Speckled Band

Megan Wells | Actress, storyteller

The Roving Red Planet

Michelle Nichols | Director of Public Observing, Adler Planetarium


The Firsts

Jennifer Steinhauer | New York Times reporter, author