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2011 Annual Conference


The 2011 Annual Conference was held in Chicago, IL June 8-11. ATLA had 289 registered attendees, which included - 41 first time attendees, 33 new members, 6 international members and more than 100 formal and informal sessions. Over 94% of participants rated the overall conference as excellent or good.

The 2011 Local Host Committee, left to right: Christine Wenderoth, JKM Library, Lorraine Olley, Unversity of St. Mary of the Lake, Matt Ostercamp, North Park University, Yana Serdyuk, Concordia University, and Lisa Gonzalez, Catholic Theological Union. Not pictured: Beth Bidlack, University of Chicago, and Blake Walter, Northern Seminary.

Summer in Chicago -- when the long gray of winter gives way at last to the bright blues of the sky and the lake and the frigid winds are replaced by warm nights when the sky is bright with the lights of a thousand windows. Scenes of summer in Chicago are softball and soccer in the park, fireworks and sailboats on the lake, Cubs and Sox on the radio, and sidewalks alive with the sounds of café conversations and the bells of the elote vendors.

This just scratches the surface. What truly makes summer magical in Chicago is the renewal of the neighborhoods. From Rogers Park to Washington Park, Chicagoans emerge from bungalow and brownstone ready to celebrate. Some celebrations take the shape of annual events that commemorate the ethnicity and culture of the neighborhood. The ATLA conference weekend will see the Scandinavian Midsommarfest in Andersonville, the Wells Street Art Festival in Old Town, Burger Fest in Roscoe Village, and the Blues Fest in Grant Park, to name a few. There will be countless smaller celebrations on the streets and in the parks as neighbors join together to throw block parties. Continuing to embrace this summer tradition allows Chicagoans to identify with their neighborhoods, whether they live in Humbolt Park or Lincoln Park, Bronzeville or Canaryville.

With much excitement, we invite our fellow theological librarians to come to Chicago this summer and join us for a theological library block party. It promises to be a time of reconnecting with our professional neighbors as we learn, eat, and play together. The conference will begin high atop a skyscraper on the banks of the Chicago River in the heart of downtown and will finish with a day of events in beautiful Hyde Park hosted by the Catholic Theological Union. The Saturday session will conclude with an outdoor Chicago style block party on the shared green quad of the Lutheran School of Theology and the McCormick Theological Seminary.

The local hosts are busy making plans to ensure that your summer visit to Chicago is indeed magical. As you prepare for your trip, be sure to follow us on Twitter@ATLA_2011 and check out our Facebook Event for local recommendations and conference updates.

We look forward to welcoming you to the neighborhood soon!

-- 2011 Local Host Committee

Chicago Area Theological Association (CATLA) and Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS)