The Transition Network

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.  Most SIGs are now meeting via ZOOM.

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.

New and prospective members are always welcome! 

Solo Together!

A SIG for TTN Members Who Are Currently Leading the Solo Life
Solo Together invites TTN members currently leading the solo life to create new ways of living a happy and healthy future. Originally led by vibrant aging experts and TTN members Catherine Marienau and Deborah Holton, this group had great discussions exploring topics including health, belonging, relationships with self and others, role or identity shifting, acting on one’s own behalf, and much more.
We're continuing into 2021 talking about exploring the possibility of dating and new relationships.  We're also taking turns facilitating each month.  For more information or to join contact Kimberly Mulcahy, Next session is January 11, 2021 at 6 p.m. 

Healthy Pathways SIG- Achieve your individual goals!

We all want to live a healthy active life. But sometimes it's hard, especially during the current environment, to stick to our goals.  This Special Interest Group provides a safe and encouraging space where we can take personal accountability for our individual goals. 

Whether you want to increase your steps, make healthier food choices, lose a few pounds, become more active, get more sleep or have a more body positive image, let's buddy-up and help each other achieve our desired healthy habits! We work on changing critical thoughts to positive ones.  We learn to set reachable goals. We identify the triggers that get in the way of reaching our goals.

Join Kimberly Mulcahy and Debra Chandler in this new Healthy Pathways Special Interest Group. Debra Chandler has worked in the field of mental health for forty years. During the past two years she has turned her attention to coaching men and women to discover their best selves by focusing on wellness, nutritional choices, motivation and positive self image. Together we explore the self imposed barriers to successful weight management. Kimberly is an iPEC Certified Professional Coach focused on helping women acheive their personal and professional goals. 

This group currently meets via Zoom every Sunday at 4 p.m. New members always welcome! If interested email Kimberly at


Explore Chicago--OPEN to new participants! 

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, a tour of Chicago's Pedway, and a Summer afternoon at Pilsen Fest. We've even done some online tours of Chicago on Zoom! 

Explore Chicago is running activities via ZOOM throughout the rest of 2020.
Sujatha Kailas runs this group with the help from many other members who help organize the events.

She can be contacted at here for information about upcoming events.
New and prospective members are always welcome! 

Tell me a Story - Introducing TTN Chicago’s Short Story Listening and Discussion Group

Author Neil Gaiman says of short stories, “They are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.” They typically revolve around one event or relationship, conveyed in just a few focused scenes. Because they are short by definition, they can only touch on character, plot, theme, conflict, etc. in abbreviated (but dramatic) fashion.

We invite TTN Chicago members  who love fiction or are just curious to join us. Each month, we will begin by listening to one story read aloud, and then we will participate in a guided discussion of the text. We’ll be reading a wide array of authors including Alice Munro, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison and so many more. Their stories that are sure to entertain and intrigue you!

TTN members Pat Blank and Mary Lee Gosz will facilitate our sessions, with consultation from Maurine Berens and Nancy Sindelar.  Sessions will be held on the third Tuesday of every month from 3 to 4:30 pm, beginning November 17 and running through April 20.  There’s no better way to spend a wintery Chicago afternoon during a pandemic than in front of your laptop listening to a great short story and discussing it with your TTN friends. We hope you’ll join us.  Space is limited, so register now!

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

The theater scene in Chicago is awesome! Our theater going special interest group attends virtual streaming performances by exceptional small theater companies in Chicago and beyond at least once a month. When the theaters re-open we expect to attend Sunday matinee and also Thursday evening performances, whichever is most convenient for the group in a given month.
Upon purchasing a ticket, you will receive streaming information via the email provided when you make your ticket purchase.  A Theater Group discussion on Zoom will follow a few days later. 
Please email Mary if you plan to join one of the discussions so we can keep an eye out for you:

We're going to start the year off with an offering from Chicago's own Albany Park Theater Project. 

APTP works with teens, primarily from immigrant and working-class communities, to tell the stories of people who are not ordinarily heard. This video of Home/Land was recorded in 2013 by the Goodman Theater. 

Albany Park Theater Project
On demand via Vimeo*
Runs through Jan 31, 2021
Price: Free
TTN Theater Group Discussion: Monday, January 25, 7 PM

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune wrote this about Home/Land:

The APTP ensemble brings to theatrical life a collection of real-life stories of desire, risk, resilience, heroism, love, and hope – as immigrant families strive to stay together and make a better life in the land they’ve come to call home. “A howl of collective anguish…born in the truth of oft-painful experience…argued with vigor and fullness but coupled with the optimism and hope of youth.

To watch the entire show, go to:

For the show's trailer and more information about APTP, go to:

*If you don’t already have a free Vimeo account, go the following address, click ‘Join’ and follow the prompts:
Well Worth a Look, but No Scheduled Discussion

Until the Flood
Presented by: Goodman Theater 
Dates: Now through 2021
Price: Free

Synopsis: On August 9, 2014 a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest and propelled the activist movement known as Black Lives Matter.
Traveling to the region a few months after the shooting, Dael Orlandersmith conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by the shooting and its turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, she has created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these complex events. 

To watch, go to:

North Shore Movie Lovers Group - via Zoom OPEN to new participants!

Our next meetings are tentatively scheduled for Wednesdays -
Dates: 2/3/21, 3/3/21, 3/17/21, 3/31.21
Time: 2 P.M
 Movie Discussion: 2/3/21

MovieWinter's Bone (available Youtube, Library system - DVD and Kanopy streaming, Prime Video Fandango and Vudu)
This film stars Jennifer Lawrence and was released in 2010.
Faced with an unresponsive mother and a criminal father, Ozark teenager Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) does what she can to manage the household and take care of her 2 younger siblings. Informed by the sheriff that their father put their home up for bond and then disappeared, Ree sets out on a dangerous quest to find him. Her entire family's fate now in her hands, Ree challenges her outlaw kin's code of silence and risks her life to learn her father's fate. 
Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an academy award in 2011 for her performance.

City Book Group-OPEN to new participants! 

The City Book Group meets once a month, or every month in the evening at 7 pm via ZOOM!  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

Our next book club is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9th.   The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett.  The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

Date:Tuesday, February 9th-- Watch for our ZOOM Invitation
Time: 7 P.M
Place: On Zoom 
RSVP: to Kathleen

North Shore Book Group

Place: Zoom Line Discussion

The book selection is u “The Transit of Venus” by Shirley Hazzard first published in 1980.

 The book is about two young sisters from Australia who go to post-war London to seek their fortunes. The decades pass and their lives wind in and out of each other’s revealing “two  slow-burning secrets waiting in ambush.”

The writing is described as beautiful, but also powerful, economical and arresting. 

(The Transit of Venus occurs when a planet passes across the face of the sun and appears in flaming silhouette.

Date:March 2, (Tuesday)
Time: 1 P.M
Place: On Zoom  



Lady Golfers! - Watch for 2021 info!

Weekly golfing with other TTN members in the Sydney Marovitz Women’s 9 Hole Golf League?  We will created foursomes.  All levels invited, however, some experience is preferred.

When:  Tuesday mornings through the beginning of September  (Tee times start between 8:30-10:30 A.M.)
*Cost: (2019 prices)  $450 per person/$355 for Seniors (62+)

Included in the cost: League green fees, Weekly prizes, End of Season Banquet, Players Advantage Card (discounts on driving range, etc.) For more information about Sydney Marovitz Golf Course:

Mahjong Anyone? OPEN to new participants!

We are presently playing on-line using "realMajjong" and having lots of fun! 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.

Place: via ZOOM
Time: Every Friday, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
RSVP:  Debra Chandler
New to the game, no worries, no experience necessary. Once you RSVP we will send you the name of our mahjong teacher so you can sign up for classes before you come and play. We can use more players so do not delay in reaching out to us. The more players the better!


Let's Travel! "Happy Hour" on Zoom- OPEN to new participants! We will meet in-person when it is safe to do so!

Love to travel? Our “Let’s Travel” Special Interest Group (SIG) will support your passion. Our goal is to bring together members who have been bitten by the travel bug to share their fun travel ideas, and experiences. Members will also have the opportunity to connect with others, share travel experiences and eventually share in the planning of a future trip together. 

For our next meeting on Zoom, Alice Ginsburgh will be presenting on her fascinating trip to the Antarctic! After the presentation, we will break into groups and have a discussion about what we have learned and other travel related topics. Please join us!


RSVP: Please email Sandy & Nani at out Let’s Travel gmail:


Let's Enjoy Dining Together on Zoom- OPEN to new participants!

   Select a Picture                       We meet in person, once a month, at primarily ethnic restaurants in the North and Northwest suburbs. Each member could choose the restaurant
                                 on a rotational basis.(Before the pandemic) 
                                 Date: January 15, 2021
                                 Time: 1 p.m.
                                 We ask members for suggestions of "over-lunch" discussion topics. Lunch at home during zoom is optional.
: Please email Emma at



Material from, 10:51:12 January 19, 2021.
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