Oprah and Toni Morrison Raise Money for the Chicago Public Library Foundation

On October 20, two hugely famous women will come together in conversation, for the benefit of Chicago’s public libraries and the people who rely on them.

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison will appear in conversation with Oprah and receive the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award at an annual dinner, which will take place at UIC, to benefit the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

Philanthropists in the Northern Suburbs Support CPLF
“Toni Morrison has been on our list for several years,” says CPLF Board Member Lyn Andress of Lake Forest. And Oprah’s involvement takes the event to a whole new level of celebrity. “It’s so much more than we usually do,” Andress says.

Like many supports from the northern suburbs, Andress got involved because she loves what the CPLF stands for: “I so firmly believe in the library, and what they do. I remember getting my first library card, and now my grandchildren are proud to have theirs.”

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology.

In the past 24 years, the CPLF has provided more than $30 million in support to the Chicago’s Public Library. It provides on-going funding for collections and a variety of community-responsive programs, including the Summer Reading Program, Teachers in the Library, CyberNavigators and One Book, One Chicago.

A Literary Superstar
Toni Morrison is the author of 9 novels and 3 children’s books. Her novel “Beloved” was awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Oprah produced and starred in the film based on the book. Morrison became a professor at Princeton University in 1989 and in 1993 received the Nobel Prize in Literature—making her the first African American to be so honored.

Chicago Public Library recently announced that Toni Morrison’s most recent novel, “A Mercy,” will be the 19th selection for Chicago’s citywide book club One Book, One Chicago.

A Mercy is set in the late 17th century, and tells the story of a young girl, Florens, a slave on a Northeast American farm, along with white indentured servants and others. Morrison’s story provides an insightful look into a time when the burgeoning American economy was being built on the institution of slavery, but slavery was not yet defined by race.

About the Event
The Carl Sandburg Awards Dinner will take place Wednesday, October 20, at The Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Road) on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by an elegant dinner at 7 p.m.  The program kicks off at 8 p.m.

Sponsorships for tables of ten begin at $10,000, and individual tickets are $1,000 or $2,500. For more information or to purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships, contact Rebecca Spence, event coordinator at 312-201-9830 or email rspence@cplfoundation.org.

Event Co-Chairs are Mesirow Financial Chairman Jim Tyree and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack (pictured at top), President and CEO of Nia Enterprises. Ms. McKissack is also a member of the Chicago Public Library Foundation Board.

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