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Chicago Chapter Special Interest Groups

TTN Members can join Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that connect you with other members for fun, relevant social and learning opportunities.

SIGs are topic- or activity-focused and bring together members who share similar interests. They are member-driven and member-led. SIGs are as varied as the members who think them up. Examples include book clubs, travel groups, theatre and dining groups, mahjong, cooking or crafting.

Our Chapter allows non-members to attend two meetings/events before we request they become TTN members. If you are a TTN member and are interested in organizing and leading a new Special Interest Group or wish to join any of the Special Interest Groups below, please email Ann Marie Downing.

To join an Active SIG with Openings, contact the SIG Lead listed in the SIG description.  The Lead will give you details on the group – how, when, where – and you are ready to go.  If the group does not have a facilitator listed, please contact Ann-Marie Downing and she will assist you in joining the interest group.

Scroll down to see information on all our Chicago Special Interest Groups!

New and prospective members are always welcome!  IMPORTANT: If you have not yet renewed your membership, please renew online by clicking: Membership Renewal here.  Prospective members and guests of members are always welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining. 
 

Explore Chicago 

Explore Chicago Special Interest Group invites members who are interested in trying out new or interesting events within Chicago to join this group! Chicago is a diverse city with many exciting events and we want to experience as many as possible in the setting of a small group format.  We plan an event every other month.  The events can range from museum tours to exploring neighborhoods to a comedy show or any other special event. Our events have included  - A guided tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art, an evening at the Chicago Magic Lounge, A boat ride to China town for lunch  and a Summer afternoon at Pilsen Fest.

Sujatha Kailas runs this group with the help from many other members who help organize the events.
She can be contacted at sujathakailas@gmail.com for information about upcoming events.
 

Our Next Explore Chicago is the Fine Art of Fiber at the Chicago Botanic Gardens - Saturday, November 9

What: Fiber Art Show and Fashion Show, followed by lunch
Date: Saturday, November 9

Where:  Chicago Botanic Gardens  https://www.chicagobotanic.org/fiber

Meeting Point: Entrance to the Visitors’ Center or at Rachel's house across from Botanic gardens 
Meeting Time:  10:00 a.m. Details - We will leave from the meeting place at 10:15 AM in one or two cars that can park for free at the Botanic Gardens.
Note:  If you are a member and can park free at the garden, meet at the Visitor’s center at 10:30 AM.

Parking- Non-members of the Chicago Botanic Gardens are charged $30 a car when you drive in.  However there is no charge for walk-ins. (Members of the Chicago Art Institute may be able to show their card for free entrance.) You are welcome to park in Rachel’s driveway and walk to The Garden or ride with a Garden member.
 Fashion Show:  11 AM
Lunch: 1 PM at Prairie Garden, 601 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook

The Fine Art of Fiber is the oldest, largest, and most unique fiber event in our area.  The exhibition and sale at the Chicago Botanic Garden include demonstrations and a fashion show.  TTN has chosen to browse the show and have lunch at nearby Prairie Grass.  If you are a Botanic Garden member, we will meet you at the Visitor's center.  Some may want to see the fashion show where artists model their own work at 11 o’clock and we’ll meet up for lunch at Prairie Grass at 1:00 p.m. Members and guests are welcome! 

For further information and to register please Rachel at rachelpearl@comcast.net or Emma at ekalaidj@hotmail.com
 

Holiday High Tea – Sunday, December 8  Atwood Restaurant

Date: Sunday, December 8

Time:  2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Location – Atwood café - 1 W. Washington Avenue, Chicago
Cost - $ 45 to $55.
December is high time for high tea! Let us meet for a Sunday Holiday Tea to relax and enjoy an afternoon of holiday cheer with friends at a festive surrounding. Unwind and get ready for the Holiday season.  
 
Atwood is perfectly situated amidst the Loop’s shopping district, making it a cozy and a perfect respite. Atwood’s tea menu features eight loose-leaf tea options, cranberry scones, chocolate-covered strawberries, biscotti, chocolate mousse, house made sandwiches, and more.  www.atwoodrestaurant.com
 
For further information and to reserve a spot contact
Sujatha at sujathakailas@gmail.com or Emma at ekalaidj@hotmail.com

New and prospective members are always welcome!  Prospective members and guests of members are welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining. 

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Theater Goers Group - A great way to enjoy Chicago Theater!

The theater scene in Chicago is awesome! Our theater going special interest group attends performances by exceptional small theater companies in Chicago and sometimes nearby suburbs at least once a month. We attend Sunday matinee and also Thursday evening performances, whichever is most convenient for the group in a given month.


 Date: Sunday, October 13
 Time:    3:00 p.m.
 Play: Blue Stockings 
Jessica Swale is an Olivier Award-winning playwright, theater director and screenwriter. “Blue Stockings” was her first full-length play and premiered at Shakespeare's Globe in 2013. 
A moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women's suffrage. Cambridge 1896, and Girton College, home to the country's first female students, is an object of annoyance and derision to the rest of the university. The year's intake of new women face economic difficulty, the distractions of men and radical politics, and the jaw-dropping prejudice that blights every aspect of academic life. Meanwhile, there looms the prospect of a controversial vote to decide if these 'blue stockings' should be allowed to graduate. 
 
 Where: Promethean Theatre Ensemble at The Den Theatre
 1331 N Milwaukee, Wicker Park neighborhood
Cost: $30 (plus convenience fee)
 
Each member will purchase her own ticket. To Purchase Ticket: call 773 697 3830
or go to:  https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=8aead9e24caab2bcd74fea739eedaaff&t=tix&vqitq=5402636f-6b5d-497d-b4db-5c17c07e4f8f&vqitp=f4998e49-9d97-4fa0-89b1-d29ffd918919&vqitts=1565379592&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=02f6cc8524865ceb3892bb32e724b751


RSVP: Mary Fontaine, marycfontaine@aol.com  Dining details TBA.
 
Stay Tuned:  Halloween treat at The Red Orchid Theater, where TTN member Becky Mills heads the Board of Directors, Details TBA.
 
Save The Date!
On Sunday, November 10, we’ll be going to see TRU, an award-winning new musical co-written and produced by David Gosz. David is the son of TTN member Mary Lee Gosz.
We urge everyone to come and support David. In fact, we encourage you to bring friends and family too. Let’s make it a party!
TRU is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story that paints a picture of what it could be like to live with mental illness. To capture the depth of this struggle, TRU brings it to life, depicting it as the manipulative half of a toxic relationship, called Her. As Truman's relationship with Her worsens and his struggles grow, he finds the strength to ask for help and seek treatment, embarking on a journey toward recovery with the help of his family and those around him.
 
Winner of "Best Music" at the 2018 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, TRU tells a story that is accessible, empathic, and illuminating, fighting against the stigma that surrounds mental illness every night and every day.
Show: TRU
Presented by Gosz & Fotos
Date and time: Sunday, November 10, 2pm
Location: Stage 773, 1225 Belmont Ave
Price: $35 (plus @ $6 in fees)
Each member will purchase their own ticket(s). Remember those friends and family! To purchase tickets, call the box office at 773-327-5252 or go to:  https://www.stage773.com/show/tru
When you purchase tickets, please RSVP to marycfontaine@aol.com so we can coordinate post-show fun. Include the number of people in your party. 

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Meet and Eat - Downtown Lunch Group 

Bring yourself, your appetite (and a friend if you’d like) to a monthly lunch with other amazing women 50 and forward who want to experience a variety of restaurants in downtown Chicago.
 
On the last Tuesday of every month, we’ll have lunch at a moderately priced restaurant that is accessible to public transportation. This is a terrific way for current TTN members to get to know one another in a casual setting; it’s a way for non-members to meet some of the dynamic women who are part of TTN Chicago.  All active members and guests are welcome, even if all you want is a cup of soup or a cup of coffee! We’ll ask for separate checks and most restaurants will be able to accommodate our request.
 
Prospective members and guests of members are always included and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining.  For further details or to RSVP, please email Laura Winters.


Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Time: 11:30
Place: Marisol at the MCA. 
 Meet new members, find out more about TNN and/or catch up with your friends while you enjoy innovative flavors from Chicago chef Jason Hammel.  Marisol serves seasonal American food and dishes and preparations change so it's always worth a visit to see what's new on the menu! Space is limited so reserve your spot today!
To reserve your spot or if you have questions, contact Laura Winters at winla@msn.com
 
Marisol is located at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 205 East Pearson, Chicago and is easily accessible by public transportation.
 

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City Book Group 

The City Book Group meets once a month, every month in the evening at a member's home at 7 pm.  The group selects from both fiction and non-fiction and we try to choose books for which there are not long wait lists at the area public libraries. 

Date:Tuesday, October 22
Time: 7 P.M.
Place: At a member’s House in Lincoln Park (once you RSVP we will send you the address).
Book: Ask Again, Yes    By: Mary Beth Keane
Told in alternating chapters, the book is a domestic novel about two families who wind up living next door to one another in the 70s. Both of the fathers are cops working in the same precinct. They aren’t that close, but two of their children—Peter and Kate—develop a relationship. Peter and Kate provide the through line to the story, a line that is broken by a violent act. When they do reconnect they will spend the rest of their lives dealing with the fallout from their early years, as will their family members—as readers we will watch as their lives move from promise to actual experience to finally examining and understanding how it all happened. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review 
The  question always remains of how much it is possible for people to forgive?.
RSVP: to Kimberly Mulcahy 
 All Active members and guests are welcome! Prospective members and guests of members are welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining. 

Date:Tuesday, November 19
Time: 7 P.M.
Place: At a member’s House in Lincoln Park (once you RSVP we will send you the address).
Book: Killer of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI     By: David Grann
       Grann divides his tale into three parts. The first part of the book, set in the early 1920s, focuses on the world of the Osage Nation and focuses particularly on one family of Osage IndiaIn the second part of the book, Grann turns his attention to the federal investigators who arrive in Osage County to look into the string of murders, which stretch well beyond Mollie’s family 
  The third part of the novel focuses on  interviews with Burkhart descendants and many other Osage families affected by the Reign of Terror, comes to see that the bureau actually failed to solve the majority of the Osage murders—and covered up the fact that hundreds of Osage Indians, not just twenty or thirty, were murdered during a span of nearly two decades—not the taut five-year period “officially” deemed the Reign of Terror. Grann laments that the Osage tribe’s terrible past has mostly been lost to history—their story is not taught in schools, and because of the FBI’s failure to secure justice for the Osage people, it has largely been swept under the rug. This is an uncomfortable read for anyone with a conscience; nevertheless, it is a fascinating and important one
he  question always remains of how much it is possible for people to forgive?.
RSVP: to Kimberly Mulcahy 
 All Active members and guests are welcome! Prospective members and guests of members are welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining. 

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A Close Knit Group! Knitting & Textile Group


Do you have an interest in knitting? Whether you are a beginner, want to improve your skills or just love knitting, we're starting a knitting and textile Special Interest Group.  
We will meet once a month at a variety of locations, suggested by the members who have attended.  All handiwork projects are welcomed and no experience in knitting is required.

Date:  Thursday, October 17
Time: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Place:  Le Pain Quotidien
             1000 W. Armitage

Please RSVP to Ann-Marie Downing

If you know someone in the TTN group who is interested please let them know. Also, if you would like to bring a friend and introduce them to TTN that would be wonderful.

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The Write Project

Memoir? Novel? Scrapbook? Video? Poem? Do you keep saying you want to write it but never quite get around to it? Our group will take the eight months from October to May to bring the writing project of your choice to life. We will not only learn about the writing craft, but also hold each other accountable to THE END of your writing project. And guess what? We'll have fun! Please note that you will have to commit to attending at least seven of the eight sessions in order to keep your project on track—serious writers only—but no writing experience needed! Everybody has a story. Taught by TTN member Karen Doornebos, author of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy and Undressing Mr. Darcy, published by Penguin Random House. 

The group will meet the last Monday of the monthNo writing experience needed.

Dates:  Meets the last Monday of each Month, beginning October 28
Time: 
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Place: Next Door Chicago, 659 W. Diversey Parkway, Lincoln Park; Parking lot nearby

Convenient public transportation:

5-10 minute walk from Diversey stop on the Brown Line; At convergence of Diversey, Broadway, and Clark bus lines

RSVP:  Karen Doornebos

Only 8 participants so do not delay signing up!

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Career Transitions Group

This group is for members contemplating or experiencing a Career Transition. Megan Walls, TTN Chicago member and owner of Walls Career Coaching, has generously agreed to co-lead some of our first sessions and discussions. Megan is an expert in career coaching and has successfully coached scores of women over 50+ who are experiencing some type of career transition.  

Based on input from interested members, we created a program series in which the first few sessions were designed to build on the previous one.  There’s no charge to participate, though there are a few resources we’ll be using a few resources that we suggest you purchase, including the Gallup StrengthFinders assessment ($19.99) which we will use and reference in the first meetings. Members may also purchase Megan's Career Transitions Workbook.

Next session, Monday, October 14  - Open discussion around question or challenge of each participant.

Past session topics included: 

  •  Strength-Finders 5 Strengths, How to confidently talk about your experience and strengths
  • Developing Your Personal Brand Statement
  • Update and Modernize Your Resume, LinkedIn Profiles, Networking Round-Robin Practice
  • Job Search Strategy, Goal Setting
Please RSVP to Kimberly Mulcahy  

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Ageism Conversation Circle

This is a new monthly Conversation Circle on Ageism that will begin meeting in September 2019 on the first Thursday of each month from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in Streeterville Although there is absolutely no prerequisite reading, the facilitator suggests Ashton Applewhite's; 'This Chair Rocks A Manifesto Against Ageism' through Amazon or you can see her many videos online to get further inspired!  As a diverse group of wisdom warriors, we will bring a rich tapestry of life experiences to each conversation and will allow the conversation to flow naturally so we can share, learn and grow through each other. It is felt that by raising our own consciousness, we can start to challenge ageist stereotypes. Confronting ageism isn’t just a matter of personal well-being, it’s a social justice and human rights issue.
 
Viki Ryan, Wellness Coach, Positive Aging Specialist and Certified Fitness Professional, will facilitate each open discussion-circle using respectful inclusive and confidential conversation practices. Each Conversation Cohort will run for 8 weeks and continue moving forward with renewal commitment from existing members at the 5 week mark to allow new members to join in when space permits.  This group is currently FULL
Date:October 3(Thursday)
Time: 6-8
Place: Member's House
Discussion Focus: What does Aging Look Like for Me?
                                Read:Article from The New York Times: 
Ageism: A ‘Prevalent and Insidious’ Health Threat
The World Health Organization has begun four studies intended to define ageism and identify ways to combat it.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/health/ageism-elderly-health.html
 

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Meet Me at the Movies -  Downtown Chicago Group!

Our Next Meet Me at the Movies: 
Date: Friday, October 18
Movie: choice #1 is "Judy" (thanks to prior attendees for suggestions!)
Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of "the world's greatest entertainer."

Movie:  Judy  Judy: trailer
Theater: Landmark Century Centre Cinema located on 2828 N Clark Street
Time: 2 P.M. (Meet in the Lobby at 1:30)
RSVP:  Ellen Rissman 
New and prospective members are always welcome!  If you have not yet renewed your membership, please renew online by clicking: Membership Renewal here.  Prospective members and guests of members are always welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN Special Interest Groups as a way to get to know our organization before joining

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Lunch Bunch -- See Meet & Eat Group for Special Lunch on September 20! 


Our "lunch bunch" group meets on the third Friday of the month at 1 p.m. We explore different ethnic restaurants mostly in the Northern and Near North suburbs and occasionally in the city. 

Date: Friday, October 18
Time: 1 P.M.
Place:Mediterranean Kitchen, 9860 N. Milwaukee Ave. Des Plaines, IL 60016
  RSVP: Rachel Stempel

New and prospective members are always welcome!  IMPORTANT: If you have not yet renewed your membership, please renew online by clicking: Membership Renewal here.  Prospective members and guests of members are always welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN Special Interest Groups as a way to get to know our organization before joining.

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Looking to learn how to play mahjong? 
American mahjong is played with four players using tiles stamped with Chinese symbols. The goal of the game is to be the first, by picking and discarding, to match one's tiles to a specific hand from the annually distributed scorecard published by the National Mah Jongg League (NMJL) and American Mah-Jongg Association (AMJA). Scoring is done by matching the points assigned to each pre-determined hand on the annually distributed NMJL card & AMJA card.

Date: Thursday, September 19
Time
: 1P.M.- 3 P.M.
Placee: Hero Coffee Bar
             439 Dearborn St.
             Chicago  60605


RSVP:  Debra Chandler
New to the game, no worries, We will send you the name of our mahjong teacher so you can sign up for classes before you come and play
 
New and prospective members are always welcome!  Prospective members and guests of members are always welcome and can attend up to 2 TTN events as a way to get to know our organization before joining. 
 
If you have an idea for a new group, let us know!  We will help you find other members who share your interests.  Email us at ChicagoChapter@thetransitionnetwork.org.

Check out our events page for other TTN Chicago gatherings.