Annually, Springer hosts an Artist in Residence and Musician in Residence, as well as a Visiting Author or Illustrator. Recently, Springer introduced an Actor in Residence. Most residencies conclude with a performance or physical contribution. These enriching programs are supported by two generous funds - the Maureen Wenker Artist in Residence Fund and the Norita Aplin Musician in Residence Fund.

2020-2021 Artist in Residence Emily Moorhead-Wallace

Chicago artist and Springer School and Center alumna Emily Moorhead-Wallace spent two weeks with students teaching them how to make wood cut prints and also using the original carved wood to create an outdoor bench for the on-campus student garden. All students learned with Emily during their art classes and a smaller group of eight-graders worked on the collaborative outdoor sculpture bench. Both the prints on paper and the bench are part of Springer's permanent art collection. 

Emily Moorhead-Wallace earned her BFA in sculpture from Miami University of Ohio and a MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work is exhibited nationally and she has been a feature instructor at various institutions including Capital University in Columbus Ohio and Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. 

Springer's Artist in Residence program is supported by the Maureen Wenker Artist in Residence Fund, established in 1993 in memory of an alumni parent and devoted supporter of Springer.

2020-2021 Musician in Residence Helen Bond

Helen Bond has been traveling annually for 21 years to Guinea, learning from Drum Masters among the Malinke and Susu people. During her one-week residence at Springer, she taught the students techniques on several types of drums. She also worked closely with small groups of Lower School students and led them in a performance at the end of the week. Helen is a dynamic percussionist, teacher and storyteller in Lake Forest, Illinois, and the founder of Motherland Rhythm Community, a nonprofit focused on creating community and connecting cultures through hand drumming. She is also the co-founder of Benkadi Project, which supports education, health and basic human needs in Guinea, and a member of Diamana Diya and Mboray Nani performance ensembles. 

Springer's Artist in Residence program is supported by the Maureen Wenker Artist in Residence Fund, established in 1993 in memory of an alumni parent and devoted supporter of Springer.

2020-21 Visiting Illustrator John Parra

Springer hosted an award-winning children's book illustrator by livestreaming in November. John Parra, best known for his Latino themed children's books, connected with Springer students in their classrooms where he shared about his becoming an artist and some of the books he has illustrated. He led classes in a drawing activity and answered questions from the students.

John Parra is the recipient of many awards and accolades including The American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honors, The Christopher’s Award, and The Golden Kite Award from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He has illustrated 12 children's picture books, most recently Little Libraries, Big Heroes, One is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers, and The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel Payne.

2019-20 Actor in Residence Rae Buchanan

Actor, artist and storyteller Rae Buchanan brought Springer's first theatre residency to Green Team students (first, second and third grades) in December. Rae worked with each classroom to prepare sketches in which students portrayed the action in recorded narrations. Under Rae's guidance, they depicted the lives of animals in the frozen Arctic, portrayed memorable moments in Winter Olympic history and dramatized all the fun of a snow day before the entire school and parents at a holiday assembly.

Rae acts locally, as well as offers workshops in acting, playwriting, imaginative play and movement.