Event—Public Programming

Chicago Storytelling in Bughouse Square 2023: Chicago Forward

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Celebrate the power of storytelling, the future of our city, and 2023 Pattis Award recipient Toya Wolfe at this free event.

Please note: Due to an increasing chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for this afternoon, today's event will move indoors into the library. We look forward to seeing you there!

Chicago Storytelling in Bughouse Square 2023: Chicago Forward will focus on Chicago’s future and feature speakers whose work in the city strives to change our communities for the better. The festivities will include the presentation of the The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award at the Newberry Library, which recognizes books that transform public understanding of Chicago.

Enjoy Chicago-inspired music from our live DJ Nate Euhus, grab bites from local food trucks, and learn more about organizations across the city that are helping make Chicago more vibrant and inviting. Visitors can also make their way inside the Newberry to explore the exhibitions Pop-Up Books through the Ages and Wheels.

The legendary Rick Kogan will emcee the event.


1 pm Welcome

    1:30 pm Storytellers and Performances

    • Ada Cheng
    • Chad the Bird
    • Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry
    • Channyn Lynn Parker
    • Kim L. Hunt
    • Shermann Dilla Thomas


    • DJ Nate Euhus
    • Jumping Juniors Double Dutch

    4 pm The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award at the Newberry Library

    Chicago Storytelling in Bughouse Square 2023: Chicago Forward will feature the presentation of the 2023 Pattis Book Award to Toya Wolfe for her debut novel, Last Summer on State Street. Toya will discuss her novel with Gail Kern Paster, Interim President and Librarian at the Newberry. We will also recognize Heather Hendershot as the shortlist award recipient for authoring When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America. Copies of both books will be available to purchase.

    Chicago Storytelling in Bughouse Square is cosponsored by The Pattis Family Foundation, the Chicago Free For All Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, Seth and Dana Singerman, and the Washington Square Park Advisory Council.

    Cost and Registration

    This program is free and open to all. Tickets are not required, but you can register in advance here to receive event updates.

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