Donna Zarbin-Byrne is our February artist of the month, representing both Evanston and Chicago. Since childhood Donna has wanted to be an artist. Today, her work can be found not only in Illinois but Honolulu, Hawaii, too.

What does being able to live and work in Illinois mean to you?

Living and working in Evanston and Chicago has afforded access to a multitude of art venues throughout my life. Additionally, the many cultural experiences also inspire and encourage my practice in the arts.

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Alton_Illinois_sinking_in_1993.jpgJust 25 miles north of St. Louis, Alton is small city with more than its fair share of vibrant history. Founded in 1837, Alton was the site of the final debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858. It was the home town of Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man, and it is where legendary jazz musician Miles Davis was born, just to name a few facts. But what the city of Alton is famous (or perhaps infamous) for is that it’s considered to be one of the most haunted towns in the United States.


There are many locations around the city associated with reports of paranormal activity, such as a school, local cemeteries, and a prison. First opened in 1833, the Alton Prison was the first Illinois State Penitentiary. It was closed in 1860 and reopened two years later as a military prison during the Civil War. The majority of the prison’s population were Confederate prisoners and it is estimated that over 11,000 of them were brought to the jail in just three years.

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Golden Applechampion 4052955 1280 is a leading Illinois’ based nonprofit committed to recognizing outstanding educators across the state. Last year, Peoria local and principal of Charles A. Lindbergh Middle School, Susan Malahy was awarded the 2019 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership.

The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership recognizes a performance in school leadership that creates a consistent and positive impact in the school where the award winner is based. Malahy was given the award for promoting a culture of acceptance and inclusion of all students and educators in the school.

Susan Malahy has been the principal of Charles A. Lindbergh Middle School for nearly six years now. She worked to increase professional development for teachers, which helped further connect with their students.

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Gymnasium and Lincoln Heritage MuseumStrike a pose! Jan. 21 marks Museum Selfie Day, an opportunity to take part in history by visiting a museum and posting about it on social media with the hashtag #MuseumSelfie.

This year, we’re snapping photos at our January Museum of the Month: the Lincoln Heritage Museum in Lincoln, Illinois. The museum, which is located on the campus of Lincoln College, allows visitors to learn more about the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.

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Danielle Harth Danielle Harth from Chicago, is our Artist of The Month. Danielle began painting 12 years ago while attending college. Artists and public figures who are over-the-top and unapologetically maximize their opportuniotes inspire her. She believes everyone is an artist and everyone has the potential to manifest their unique gifts

 

What does being able to live and work in Illinois mean to you?

Being able to live and work and Illinois is a privilege that builds character and exposes you to the polar complexities within the United States and world. There is beauty in the differences between the affluent cities and the agricultural, rural regions. In Illinois you can be exposed to great wealth and extreme poverty. There is diversity and integration and blatant segregation.

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