Join Us

“Why stay we on earth, unless to grow?” -- Robert Browning

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Be part of an organization that is celebrating its 125th year of learning and giving.  Members include men and women from a wide range of backgrounds and from a number of communities in Chicago and the near west suburbs. Our plans for the year include many events that will give you the opportunity to learn, meet new friends and provide charitable support in the community. Regular activities include a Book Club, English Country Dancing, Mahjong, and Needle Arts Friends. Other events include activities for children and programs that are open to the public. We also partner with other organizations for joint events.

Diversity Statement: The Nineteenth Century values diversity of our members with regards to gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, and ability. Anyone who wants to support the work of The Nineteenth Century is encouraged to join, regardless of income.  

While we enjoy learning and socializing, everything we do includes a charitable element. All activities and events benefit one or more of our major funds:

  • Community Outreach: provides aid to local organizations, based on their applications for projects of their choice.
  • Scholarship: provides scholarships to graduates of Oak Park River Forest High School which are renewable up to four years. The awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, community service and faculty recommendations.
  • Building: provides funds for maintaining and enhancing the Landmark Nineteenth Century Building.
  • Operations: addresses the day-to-day needs of the organization and the building; surplus funds are directed to our other major funds.

The annual membership fee of $175 includes: Member Directory, free weekly afternoon programs,member-only activities, discount for private space rentals, and great volunteer opportunities.  A lifetime membership is also available for $3000.

Through our organization, you have the ability to broaden the scope of your charitable giving and volunteer activities because our support goes to so many. You can join us by completing the interactive membership form at the top of this page. Or, if you prefer, you may visit the office and fill out a form in person, call 708-386-2729 to request a form, or send an email to [email protected]