News & Events

Upcoming Events

April, 19 2018 – Evanston Reads: Citizen

On Thursday, April 19th at 1:00 p.m. we’ll be hosting one of the Evanston Public Library’s book discussions on Claudia Rankine’s bold new book, “Citizen.” This extremely relevant and timely book explores the individual and collective effects of racism in America, and its impact on our understanding of citizenship. Learn more and register to attend here.


Past Events

This March we partnered with the Evanston History Center to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th with a breakfast and talk highlighting the work of Evanston women leaders in the morning, and then joined the YWCA Evanston/NorthShore for a film showing and discussion in the evening. The following Sunday we offered special house tours focusing on the WCTU’s historic work against sex trafficking worldwide.

We kicked off 2018 with Cabin-Fever kids tours in January.  Families came and enjoyed 30 minute, interactive tours followed by craft time. It was a fun way to end the holiday break!

In December we commemorated the Christmas season with two holiday tours.  Both tours were fun, intimate gatherings where we turned back the clock with visitors and learned about Christmas at the Willard House in 1887 and remembered it as a time for taking a break from the regular hustle and bustle.

We reached max. capacity with 30+ attendees for our first lecture in the new Views programming series on Sunday, November 5th.  Author Joan Marie Johnson discussed her new book, Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement, 1870-1967 to a sold out crowd at the Willard House.  She talked about why wealthy women gave to the woman suffrage and temperance movements, and the impact their donations had securing political equality for women.  She unpacked the deep historical roots of the tensions over wealth, power, and unity that persist today.  After the lecture there were great questions and lively discussion during the Q&A.


A great crowd for the event

On September 24th we had 150 people turn out for our “Do Everything – Share Your Story” event.  Attendees heard an inspiring talk from speaker Jan Schakowsky on becoming a leader for the causes, and then enjoyed an introduction to the StoryCorps app, an open house walk-through, cake and refreshments, and photo ops with a life-size Frances Willard cut-out.  With beautiful weather, it was a wonderful day!

Current Exhibits

“Cultivating Character:  The Early Life of Frances E. Willard”IMG_0836

Frances E. Willard (1839-1898) is known today for her work as the charismatic president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union from 1879 to 1898. But what made her the best-known woman in America at the time of her death in 1898? What forces shaped her?

This exhibit explores how Frances E. Willard’s family, education—both what she received as a student and imparted as a teacher—and religion helped to form the woman who became America’s leading female social reformer of the 1880s and 1890s.


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