Rooted in Greatness

Rooted in Greatness

A Must-See Celebration of Illinois History

Rooted in Greatness is a free video art installation that honors 40 noteworthy Illinoisans in celebration of Illinois’ Bicentennial.  As the sun sets. each night, three trees will come alive with the images and stories of these luminaries in Illinois history.

You’ll learn the fascinating stories of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant,

Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama; cultural giants Walt Disney and Oprah Winfrey; leaders like Ida B. Wells and Jane Addams; artists and writers Carl Sandburg and Muddy Waters; and sports icons from Ernie Banks to Michael Jordan. From presidents and poets to artists and architects, explorers and entertainers, musicians, inventors, scientists, sports legends, community crusaders and business innovators, each of these men and women made great strides in the state and have had a lasting influence on the world.

As videos of their faces are projected into the trees at the corner of Cermak and Calumet, accompanying audio shares a brief bio of each individual. You can hear the narratives as you stroll along the sidewalk or listen on your phone or tablet using the audio link above.

Rooted in Greatness was inspired by the theme of the Illinois Bicentennial — BORN, BUILT & GROWN. The trees are a metaphor for the their long-lasting impact, while the projections serve as the reminders of their legacies. Thanks to the roots established by countless individuals like those being showcased, Illinois has continued to grow and flourish.

Check out coverage of Rooted in Greatness from Comcast Newsmakers

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A statewide multimedia campaign will celebrate Illinois' influence on the world through music, sports, agriculture, literature, commerce, history, technology and innovation, transportation, and art and architecture.

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