Wheaton, Ill., March 8, 2016 — The Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park, in partnership with People’s Resource Center in Wheaton and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, will host a free screening of “The Line” on Sunday, April 3, at 4 pm. The film, from Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Midgett, documents the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line.

One of the film’s subjects is a DuPage County man who lost his job as a banker after the 2008 recession and fell on hard times. His surprising story lends credence to the film’s subtitle, “Poverty in America—It’s not what you think.”

The McCormick Museum and its partners view “The Line” as an excellent tool for raising awareness about local poverty and igniting community dialogue. The issue is easily overlooked, especially in places like DuPage County where the standard of living for most people is relatively high. As the film reveals, there is a “new face of poverty” that few of us know.

“It’s a powerful and eye-opening message,” said Diane Gutenkauf, director of the McCormick Museum. “Part of our mission is to engage with the community and explore contemporary issues that would have been of personal interest to our benefactor, Robert R. McCormick. Poverty in our own backyards is certainly one such issue and we hope “The Line” triggers some useful discussion about working toward solutions.”

After the 40-minute film, Kim Perez, executive director of the Wheaton-based People’s Resource Center, will offer some brief commentary about poverty in DuPage.

“Poverty in DuPage County is a daily struggle for nearly 90,000 of our neighbors,” said Perez. “Even in light of some economic improvement, poverty continues to present real challenges for our communities. This important discussion with the McCormick Museum and UIC will help to spark critical conversations that must continue around conference and dinner tables so that poverty can be addressed and a more robust quality of life can be secured by all our DuPage County neighbors.”

Staff from UIC’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement will facilitate a post-screening conversation about “The Line.” Attendees will be invited to share their thoughts about the documentary and ask questions.

“Bringing people together in dialogue sparked by films like “The Line” strengthens the social bonds necessary for addressing poverty,” said Joseph Hoereth, director of UIC’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement. “The most powerful conversations often come from empathy and a shared understanding of how we are all affected by such challenges.”

The screening on April 3 is open to the public and free to attend. Parking also is free.

Because seating is limited, those attending are asked to register online at Cantigny.org or call 630.260.8162. The event concludes at 6 pm.
For more information about “The Line,” visit thelinemovie.com. The film is a product of Sojourners, a faith-based organization dedicated to social justice.


About Cantigny Park

Cantigny Park, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundations, is home to the McCormick Museum, First Division Museum, formal gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails, and a Visitor Center with banquet and dining facilities. More information, including hours, directions, and upcoming events, can be found online at www.cantigny.org.

About People’s Resource Center

Since 1975, People’s Resource Center (PRC) has been bringing neighbors together to respond to hunger and poverty in DuPage County. Nearly 32,000 DuPage residents rely on PRC for help each year. With a team of over 2,000 volunteers, PRC offers nutritious food and other basic necessities like clothes and rent assistance for people facing tough times. It also connect people with resources—education and tutoring, jobs, technology, art, a caring community—to create a future of hope and opportunity for all. Learn more at www.peoplesrc.org.

About the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

The Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) focuses on transforming democracy by creating a more fully engaged citizenry with more effective leaders. As a catalyst for learning and action, the Institute creates opportunities for scholars, concerned citizens, students, and government officials to actively participate in social discourse, research, and educational programs on policy issues and social trends. For more information, go to www.ipce.uic.edu.

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