Past Event

2009 Odyssey Project Graduation - Spanish Language Course

The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will celebrate the graduation of The Odyssey Project‘s class of 2009. Rita Arias Jirasek will give the keynote address.

The Odyssey Project is a free, eight-month program of college-level humanities courses for people living in poverty. Students in the class of 2009 took classes from September through May at the Gads Hill Center in Chicago.

Rita Arias Jirasek is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a lifelong member of Chicago’s Mexican community. She began her career as a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools in 1971. Recently retired, she consults and teaches for the National Museum of Mexican Art. She co-authored the photographic history Mexican Chicago and curated the companion permanent exhibit "Huellas Fotográphicas." Rita has written for Illinois History Magazine and other professional journals. She has presented numerous professional development workshops for the Chicago Public Schools and is a frequent conference presenter. As the Director of the Golden Apple Summer Story Telling Workshop she works with teacher participants to incorporate storytelling techniques into multiple disciplines. Ms. Arias Jirasek has worked on many interdisciplinary projects dealing with all aspects of Mexican art, culture and history. She visits classrooms as a Cuentacuentos/Storyteller, as well as working with teachers and students during Cultural Residencies. Arias Jirasek is a Sor Juana Award recipient from the National Museum of Mexican Art. She holds a degree in the Teaching of Spanish from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MS.Ed. n Urban Education from Chicago State University. In addition, she has studied in Mexico at the Unversidad de Artes Plásticas in Guadalajara and done graduate work at Northwestern University and Purdue University Calumet.

A reception will follow the ceremony.

This event is by invitation only. For more information or an invitation, please call Amy Thomas Elder at 312.422.5580.