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Carl Sandburg Literary Awards

A conversation with Oprah Winfrey and Toni Morrison

CHALLENGE When Kurtis Productions’ Donna LaPietra and Scott Jacobs were charged with producing an event to honor Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, they called on Show Department to turn the University of Illinois Forum into an intimate dinner atmosphere.

SOLUTION The Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner hosted 1,000 guests to pay tribute to Toni Morrison and to sit in on her conversation with special guest, Oprah Winfrey. Creating an environment that captured the richness of literature, as well as the warmth of the personal relationship between Ms. Winfrey and Ms. Morrison was essential to making the stark space work.

Show Department planned a multi-camera shoot for the exchange between the two renowned proponents of education and literacy. In addition, they washed the walls of the forum with 120-foot wide projections of famous literary quotations and a 3-screen montage of library activities, both designed by graphic artists at Show Department's production affiliate, Resolution Digital Studios.