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Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved at Ragdale.  Follow us on Facebook for timely updates, photos and offerings. Join our mailing list now to stay informed about Ragdale programs, events, and other happenings.  Become a volunteer or for more information about any program or event, please call 847.234.1063 or email:



Download printable pdf here


Finding Home: Writing and Publishing in the Global Community

Saturday, March 22, 1-6pm

Program Details

Purchase Tickets

Workshop descriptions and panelist biographies

This two-part program highlights multicultural voices and stories with a panel discussion on getting published and a writing critique workshop with RHINO  senior editor, the Aquarius Press/Willow Books publisher, editorial directors from 7Vientos and Words without Borders, Guild Literary Complex director as well as award-winning Ragdale authors, Angela Narciso Torres (poetry) and Angie Chuang (memoir). All levels welcome.



Beyond the Page: Building Your Platform of Influence Through Blogs, Tweets and Talks

Saturday, April 26, 9:30AM-3:30PM

Purchase Tickets

In this intensive one-day workshop, writers of works published or in progress explore social media techniques, print options and other best practices to influence, educate, and inspire an ever-growing audience. In partnership with StoryStudio Chicago. Led by author/coach Deborah Siegel, PhD. Download the flyer


Great New Theatre in Waukegan**

Sunday, April 27, 5PM

Find out what’s new in Waukegan’s bustling arts district at a reception hosted by a Ragdale trustee. Then, cheer on acclaimed playwright and Ragdale alum, Rich Orloff, selected to participate in Clockwise Theatre’s Great New Plays Reading Series, with his most recent work, Chatting with the Tea Party.


Ragdale Ring Preview Reception**

Wednesday, May 28, 6PM

Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a behind-the-scenes preview of the second annual Ragdale Ring, a contemporary performance venue on the Ragdale lawn. Meet the international competition’s winning design team and its jurors. By Invitation only


Ragdale Ring Gala – The Garden of Good & Evil**

Saturday, June 14, 7PM

Enjoy fine food and performances in this masked garden party featuring works by accomplished sculptor Sylvia Shaw, daughter or architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, in the open air performance space, the 2014 Ragdale Ring.


Ragdale Ring Spotlight Series**

Thursdays, July 17, August 14 and September 4 at 7PM

A monthly summer performance series of music, theatre, and dance performances in the open-air Ragdale Ring.  Co-presented by Ragdale and cultural partners. 


Alumni Picnic 

Thursday, July 17, 6PM

An informal, outdoor picnic for alumni, their friends and families in the Ragdale gardens followed by the Ragdale Ring Spotlight performance.


Annual Summer Weekend Writers Retreat with StoryStudio Chicago

Friday, July 18-Sunday, July 20

Join us for this energizing, productive, and community-driven weekend for writers of all stripes. The program will include workshop sessions, writing time, shared meals, and the always inspirational Ragdale spirit.

Download the flyer.

You can register through StoryStudio Chicago.




High School Intensive Writing Workshop

Monday, July 21 – Friday, July 25, 8:30AM – 4PM

A creative writing program led by acclaimed novelist and journalist Margaret Hawkins. The workshop is free for high school students from throughout the region who are nominated bu their teachers and selected through a competitive process. Underwritten by the Heizer Foundaton.


Experimental Jazz Opera

Sunday, July 27, 4PM

Following a weeklong residency, composer/guitarist Julia Miller and her colleagues will present an improvisational concert of jazzed up opera for experimental music lovers.


Benefactors’ Garden Party**

Thursday, August 14, 5:30PM

A cocktail reception and presentation in the Ragdale gardens followed by  the Ragdale Ring Spotlight performance. By invitation only.


Novel Affair**

Friday, September 26, 7PM

Saturday, September 27, 6:30PM

A two-evening benefit for Ragdale featuring a lively celebration with nationally acclaimed authors and artists on Friday and intimate dinners with guest artists in private homes and distinctive venues on Saturday.


Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale


A month-long, city-wide reading program presented by the Lake Forest Public Library during which the community reads a book by a selected author affiliated with Ragdale. Related programs take place at various locations.


Ragdale Fall Salon**

Sunday, October 19, 12 – 2PM

A lively progressive brunch showcasing exhibitions and discussions with Ragdale artists and writers. 


Ragdale Day

Sunday, October 19, 2-4PM

An arts afternoon featuring open studios and activities with artists-in-residence, self-guided tours of the Ragdale campus, apple cider and seasonal  treats for the whole family.


Holiday Party**

Sunday, December 7, 4-6 PM

A festive gathering of patrons and alumni including holiday music, seasonal treats, and the warmth of good friends.   By invitation only.



Group tours are offered monthly on Fridays at 2PM from May – October.  Tour dates: May 16, June 6, July 18, August 22, September 19, October 24.


Public tours of Ragdale are offered monthly from June – August on Saturdays at 10AM. Tour dates:

June 7, July 19, August 23, September 20.



Supper Club

Creative dining experiences featuring chef-prepared delicacies and discussions with artists affiliated with Ragdale.  Hosted by the Ragdale Board of Directors. Recommended dates: Thursdays, January 23, February 13, March 13, April 17, May 8, and November 13. By invitation.


Visiting Artists in the Schools

Ragdale’s artist fellows regularly offer public programs for area high school and college students. Contact us if you would like to invite a Ragdale fellow to your school.


Retreats and Creative Sabbaticals

Ragdale can accommodate creative organizations and groups who would like to host a retreat at Ragdale for up to 24 people during non-residency periods.  Creative Sabbaticals are non-juried, one- or two-week residencies offered to creative individuals for a fee.


**These events include special benefits for INSIDE1260 members

INSIDE1260 is an affinity group that offers you distinctive access to the Ragdale community of artists and writers and special benefits related to Ragdale programs and events. These include galas, private receptions, performances and readings, tours, evenings with national and international artists and more. INSIDE1260 embraces the legacy of the Howard Van Doren Shaw family by celebrating fresh ideas, new art forms, and world class creative experiences. Join us to make new friends, gain artistic insights and support Ragdale in advancing the groundbreaking artists of our time. For further information, email: or visit the website