The Bulletin

Waldorf Community Events in a Season of Light & Joy

In the month of December, we celebrate the light and joy of the holiday season. Our students experience the Winter Spiral and the Festival of Lights to celebrate the changing of the season, while the traditional Oberufer plays are shared with the school community by faculty and staff. Please join our community in celebrating this season in the spirit of joy and giving in these traditional Waldorf festivals:

The Winter Spiral
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the CWS Auditorium

The Winter Spiral is an open time for the community to experience a reverent moment in this holiday season.  We will begin as a group on stage, hearing a poem from the season and then take turns walking the spiral.

5th Grade Singing at the Christkidlmarket
Thursday, December 6, 2012

11:15 am – 2:45 pm / Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago IL 60602

From 12:20 to 12:50 pm, the fifth grade students will be singing an array of holiday German songs at the Christkindlemart in Daley Plaza.  The students sing on this day, the sixth of December, because it is the Festival of St. Nicholas, a holiday celebrated in Germany where children have dutifully cleaned their shoes and are awaiting St. Nicholas’ arrival and his gifts of encouragement and sweets.  The students are now at an age where conversing individually is appropriate and visiting an authentic German market is a great way to practice!

The Festival of Light
Monday, December 10th and 17th

8:05 am – 8:20 am in the CWS Auditorium

High School Students will explore the four kingdoms and their relationship to light during these winter months in a tranquil and contemplative morning festival.

Holiday Concert
Wednesday, December 12th

7:00 pm – 8:45 pm in the CWS Auditorium

The CWS community is warmly invited to an evening of sing-alongs and performances by the fifth through twelfth grades to celebrate the holiday season.  The following ensembles will perform: fifth/sixth and seventh/eighth grade choruses and concert bands; high school jazz band, chamber ensemble, vocal ensemble and chorus. Come one and all for lots of good cheer!

Paradise Play
Wednesday, December 19th

2:00pm / CWS Auditorium

For hundreds of years, ordinary people in the small Austrian village of Oberufer on the Danube gathered in the local tavern at Christmastime to perform these plays for their neighbors. With their roots lost in medieval times, the plays gradually evolved to incorporate a unique blend of folk humor in their celebration of bible ssories. The Paradise Play presents the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise as the preface to the Shepard's Play.

Shepherd’s Play
Thursday, December 20th

1:30pm / CWS Auditorium

Following on the story presented in the Paradise Play, this companion play continues the tradition of the Oberufer plays. The Shepherd’s Play focuses on the theme of hope. Characters dressed in folk garb play out  timeless issues of worry, fatigue, fear, selfishness, generosity, hope and love. It portrays with profound reverence a mother giving birth far from home and in a cold world where only the help of strangers provides her with rude shelter. There in a stable is born her hope for the future.

Both plays are presented for the students & parents by “guest actors” from the Waldorf faculty and community.

Halloween Brings Many Treats for the CWS community

Every Halloween students and faculty arrive at Chicago Waldorf School decked in elaborate costumes. However, unlike traditional Trick-or-Treating, CWS invites students to dress in a handmade or self-created costume that reflects the stories they have heard so far that year.

This October 31st, the school community delighted in seeing the Fifth Grade’s “Holy Cow” tableau, the Fourth Grade’s Norse gods and warriors, and the many knights, animals, pirates, and other legendary creatures that crossed the stage. Enjoy the accompanying slideshow (to the right) to see many more of our students costumed creations.

(Click on main image to see enlargement and then click the arrows on right & left sides to scroll through the slides).

Meanwhile our youngest Early Childhood students enjoy the tradition of a tour through Mother Goose's Garden--a series of nursery rhyme tableaus put on by the 7th grade students.

Halloween lives in the festival life of Chicago Waldorf School as a chance for students to transform themselves into a character or myth that pertains to their lives. As each class assumed the stage to offer a song or dance, the CWS community experienced the entire curriculum of grades 1-8 in a dynamic, colorful, and exciting way.

Perhaps most exciting this year was the 8th grade class, who dressed up as important 20th century icons. Barack Obama was joined on stage by the Allstate Insurance Mayhem Man and members of the Armed Forces. The 8th grade was led by our very own Ms. Triggiano, Mr. Robert Wilson, Mr. Jacob Wilson, and Ms. Elena Baba – who on second glance turned out to be very convincing student doppelgangers!

Virtuoso Powerhouse MUCCA PAZZA performs at the Holiday Fair

in the Chicago Waldorf School Auditorium
Saturday December 1st, 2012 - 3:00pm

We will be thoroughly entertained, thrilled, shocked & cajoled by Chicago’s local phenomenon, Mucca Pazza, a 25-person marching band, originally founded by a CWS alumni dad, Mark Messing. If you have not seen them, you will be both charmed and charged. If you have seen them, then you know what we’re talking about! They are Chicago's own brand of creative expression and willful mismatched performance insanity...confused? Check out  their videos below.

But most importantly, to see the show, get your tickets NOW from the Main Office.
Tickets are at the incredibly accessible price of $4/Adults and $2/Kids under 12 yrs old!


Call 773.465.2662 or email Phoebe Cape at for ticket orders.

Waldorf student musicians perform daily. The kids (and adults too) will love MP's colorful chaotic virtuoso music...


"Mucca Pazza is the marching band that thinks it's a rock 'n roll band. 20-30 grown-up dorks with too much energy and too little self-restraint, stupefying their audiences with music that should never be performed by a marching band. In fact, this band of misfits only has one march in their repertoire, their other music includes zombie-mambo, snake-charmer-metal, gypsy-reggaeton and classical. Their mismatched uniforms and plastic bag pom-poms razzle revelers while their chaotic movements and strange behaviors dazzle the public. With speakers strapped firmly to heads, Mucca Pazza’s rambunctious live show has brought them to such acclaimed venues as the Late Show with Conan O'Brien, Lollapalooza, and some canoes floating down the Chicago River."



Here are some samplers of Mucca Pazza in performance:

Performance at NYC's Knitting Factory   Performance at Martyr's Chicago


Tube Sock Tango, 1894
Astonishing and irrefutable evidence of the existence of Mucca Pazza in the 19th century!
  Boss Taurus, 2012 (official music video)
from their new full-length album 'Safety Fifth'


In case the above thumbnails aren't active when viewing from portable devices/smart media, here are links to paste in your browser:

Holiday Fair Warms Up With Friday Night Artisan Bazaar

A CWS First: Artisan Bazaar Shopping Night on Friday, November 30th, 2012
6:30-9:30 pm, Second Floor    FREE Admission

Open to the Public: Please invite your friends, relatives, alumni families, grandparents, and neighbors to attend
Adults only please*  (no kids at school after 6:30pm)

This year you get free access and first dibs at our amazing Holiday Fair vendors! Please come in via the main entrance for this special night and head to the second floor for a little wine (available for a suggested donation),
a little socializing and a lot of shopping!

Please invite friends as it will add to the celebratory atmosphere of the evening…supporting a “job well done” feeling after setting up the fair…and a welcome adult shopping experience for the public and the dedicated shoppers who want to get a lot of gift purchases crossed off their lists!

You’ll find our vendors displaying their wares in all of our second floor classrooms on both the grade school and High School side (and even on the bridge). Maps will be available showing specifically which classrooms are home to which vendors.



Come shop the wonderful handmade, homemade, creative goods of these Arts & Crafts shops and vendors who are supportive of—and members of—the Waldorf Community:

•  Carol Akiyama Jewelry 
•  City Hippie Chicago – recycled natural fiber clothing 
•  Sky Blue Bead Co. – beads, jewelry & gifts 
•  WomenCraft – woven baskets handmade by women in Africa 
•  OMG Design – pashminas, scarves, hats & accessories
•  STUFF/ed – fleece dolls 
•  Maureen Flannery – Mexican & Peruvian imports, wooden crafts 
•  Studio M for Good – felted wool art objects & accessories 
•  Hardwear – jewelry 
•  Abbey Brown Soap – organic, natural soaps & gifts for the skin 
•  Pat Kroth Fiber Art – hand-dyed, sun printed silks and art quilts
•  CeramicsCLW – ceramic art, functional & sculptural 
•  Barefoot Books – children’s books, puzzles, games & puppets 
•  Unan Imports – hand-crafted items from West Africa, Kenya &
•  Sharon Naylor Pottery – functional & decorative pottery 
•  Q3Art – hand-dyed, recycled, anodized aluminum jewelry &
•  SW1’s Exotic Reflections – jewelry 
•  Esther’s Place – locally produced fibers, yarn, etc. 
•  Wayfarer’s Whimsy – hand-crafted needle-felted dolls &
•  Erin Gallagher Jewelry – design your own jewelry 
•  Arcturus R.S. Education Program – handmade products & info 
•  CWS Calendar & Notecards 
•  Peace, Love & Joye – hand-made goat milk soap 
•  Full Moon Wearable Art – handmade gloves & scarves 
•  Chicago Mosaics – mosaic jewelry & accessories 
•  Virginia Kondziolka – hand-painted jewelry & ornaments
•  The Bazaar Imports – imports 
•  Scrumptious Pantry – food gifts, biodynamic olive oils, pasta, etc. 
•  Katherine-Anne Confections – artisan truffles, caramels &
•  Regeneration Craft & Tales – Waldorf play stands, silks, dolls 
•  Caitlin Flannery – vintage kitchen items 
•  Complete Fool – juggling toys & accessories 
•  Creative Dream Designs – jewelry


*We wish we could offer child-care for the evening, but we don’t have the staffing (maybe we can make it happen next year!)
There are no exceptions to the Adult-Only part of Friday night. (Sometimes parents need to shop away from kids’ “all seeing” eyes). Kids, of course, can shop the fair all day Saturday. But here are some “creative solutions” for Friday night:
Collective Parenting- Have several kids for a pre-fair late night playdate at one parent’s house while the rest of the parents socialize & shop
…or invite a relative to shop the fair for you (or with you)!


All photographed scenes are from the Chicago Waldorf School 2011 Holiday Fair Vendors/Artisan Bazaar

Now is the time for End of Year Gifts to the Annual Fund!

Every Chicago Waldorf School student benefits from the Annual Fund.

When you give thanks & gifts this season, remember

The CWS Annual Fund supports all areas of a Chicago Waldorf School education.

Gifts to the Annual Fund provide for:
• Faculty and staff salaries
• Faculty and staff professional development
• Tuition assistance and scholarships
• Athletics and extracurricular activities
• Strategic goals and initiatives
• Facility operations

A gift to the CWS Annual Fund represents your commitment to the Chicago Waldorf School and your child’s education. This is a collective effort and it takes 100% parent, faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees participation to reach our $150,000 goal. All gifts made to the Annual Fund are important—they enhance the classroom experience for ALL our students—so please give to your greatest capacity.

An often asked question: Why do we ask for Annual Fund donations from our community when parents are already paying tuition? The answer, most simply put, is that tuition alone does not cover the full cost to educate CWS students. The Annual Fund helps bridge the gap between tuition income and operating costs. The Annual Fund is financially significant because 100% of Annual Fund donations help underwrite the school’s operating budget and ensure the long term health of the school. It’s what makes our school vibrant, our curriculum and programming richly diverse and our teachers well-resourced to deliver and create the daily experience in the classrooms.

Add Your Support for Waldorf Education:
Click Here to Donate to the Annual Fund Today

ALERT: This is the final month of giving before closing our "Done By 31" stage of the Annual Fund

Your contributions at all levels to Annual Fund are essential to the school. We sincerely Thank all who have already generously donated and want to remind those who have not yet made a contribution to please do so (or make your pledge) before the end of the year: Dec 31st, 2012. Together we can get it “Done By 31.”
(Note: Donations to Annual Fund are accepted until end of fiscal year on June 30, 2013)

The CWS Food Drive: A Seasonal Spirit of Gratitude for Others

As we enter into the holiday season, we deepen our appreciation for our community. We look towards each other for love and support, and come together to celebrate a culture of creativity and generosity. We celebrate the Holiday Fair, Santa Lucia Day, the Festivals of Light and many winter holidays. This is also a time of year when we look to our larger community with reverence and love.

Each year we celebrate a spirit of gratitude at our Thanksgiving assembly, and engage our students in service to our community by partnering with St. Ignatius to hold a food drive. This year we continue our tradition of a school-wide food drive, but will also include a cash collection which ensures that St. Ignatius can provide its community members with a balanced variety of nutritious foods.

We will begin collecting your monetary donations in our Thanksgiving Assembly and each classroom will also have a jar for students to collect pocket change for the duration of the drive. In addition, Andrea Shaffer will collect money at drop-off weekly.  Every donation allows St. Ignatius to provide high quality food to its community.  Monetary donations of any size allow St. Ignatius to purchase food at wholesale costs for the many Rogers Park residents who rely on the food pantry to put dinner on the table each night.

We will also collect food and goods in the Main Entrance Hallway through December 14th.

We are asking students and parents in each classroom to donate a specific type of food or household item to ensure that the pantry has a wide range of items for their distribution needs. (Note: Please do not donate glass,
or bulk items.)

    Grade 1:    Grains
    Grade 2:    Canned Vegetables
    Grade 3:    Canned Fruit
    Grade 4:    Canned meat and pasta sauce
    Grade 5:    Baby formula OR peanut butter, jelly
    Grade 6:    Toiletries, such as shampoo, toothpaste, feminine products, toilet paper, etc
    Grade 7:    Toiletries
    Grade 8:    Canned Vegetables (2)
    High School Grades:  Breakfast cereal and granola bars

We thank you for your generosity and for supporting a culture of philanthropy, community, and service to our neighborhood.

If you have any questions about the CWS Annual Food Drive, please call the Main Office at 773.465.2662.
(Thanks to 7th grader, Maci Greenberg, for her seasonal illustration accompanying this article.)

The Strength of Our Community Is The Strength of Waldorf Education

The Chicago Waldorf School is fortunate to have a community that is engaged in volunteering and participation that consistently supports the school's health, its operations and programming, and that embraces the core values of Waldorf education. Through generous financial support from our community, we continue to be a strong, vibrant educational institution. Our 2011-2012 Annual Report is now published and can be viewed here. It details the many generous financial donations, gifts, and volunteer hours that our community provides that made 2011-2012 an exciting and memorable year.

Thank you to all our donors who helped us raise $122,481 for the 2011-2012 Annual Fund!

The Annual Fund supports the operational costs of the Chicago Waldorf School. Its effect can be felt in every room of our school and by every person in our community. Annual Fund gives us the opportunity to support exceptional educators, to fill our building to bursting with beautiful artwork and music, and to create a rich and invigorating school experience both in and outside of the classroom.

Our goal for 2012-13 is to raise $150,000 to support our initiatives and operations, and to continue making the Chicago Waldorf School an educational institution that supports the development of free-thinking, self-directed young adults eager to contribute to our world. With 100% participation from faculty, staff, Board members, and parents, we will assure that the 2012-2013 Annual Fund carries forward the vision and strategic goals of our school. Together we can help ensure that the school has the resources required to continue its mission-based work of weaving academic and artistic excellence with social engagement and awareness into an integrated whole.

This year's Annual Fund motto is "Done by 31!"

This year we are asking you, our parents, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, family relatives and friends of the school and our other community supporters to make a renewed committment to Annual Fund to ensure all the good work it supports in our school. We hope to receive Annual Fund gifts and pledges by December 31st, 2012 (hence the motto). This will allow donors to receive a tax-deduction for the full amount of their gift for this calendar year, and allow CWS to grow a strong and healthy annual fund.

A successful annual fund with 100% participation allows the Chicago Waldorf School to continue to focus on its goals to work in respect and reverence for the gifts and destinies of our children. Every gift – large or small – makes an impact, and each dollar you give is felt by our entire community.

Please Click Here to DONATE


Use the above link for an online secure credit card transaction via paypal or you can pick up Annual Fund Pledge Forms/Return Envelopes (as well as drop off Annual Fund payments) at the Main Office.

Thank You for making Chicago Waldorf School vibrant & healthy with your support & for "Getting It Done By 31!"

And see faculty member and Waldorf alumni Brendan Finucane's perspective on the value of Annual Fund as it embodies his committment to--and impacts his experience of--Waldorf education.

Michaelmas Celebration Brings Both Laughter and Reverence

Each September, the Early Childhood program celebrates the changing of the seasons with a Harvest Festival, while the larger school community comes together to celebrate Michaelmas. This year, CWS saw both Michaelmas and the Harvest festival celebrations occur on the same day. As the days grew shorter, the Early Childhood enjoyed a bounty of seasonal food and autumn festivities. EC parent Al Wyatt remarked that “the real joy was brought by the kids. They exploded into the festival with games of tag and duck-duck-goose. Everywhere you looked, our bright-eyed children were dancing and twirling and taking part in pumpkin crafts.” Later that afternoon, students and teachers joined in a celebration of the archangel St. Michael to celebrate his spirit- one of courage, initiative, and steadfastness – and to draw on his deeds of legend to strengthen our own inner spirit and fortitude. As is tradition, Michaelmas was celebrated first by students cleaning up our neighborhood through garbage pick-up--to show reverence for our community--then followed with a parade and ritual reenactment of Michael slaying the dragon.

“My lasting impression as a parent was to marvel at the unity that permeated that beautiful autumn day. The students were energized and cheered excitedly during the relay races, and moments later responded together solemnly and maturely during the burning of the deeds.”            -Joe Dupor, parent

Early Childhood parent cin salach reflected on the moving, free-spirited morning of the Harvest Festival. The energy and excitement of our youngest students as they participated in games and enjoyed seasonal apple cakes that they had helped bake created a memorable moment for parents. “The abundance of apple cakes that 'looked a bit different' was inviting and warm,” reflected Anna Gratzl. “They gave the festival a real harvest feel and I almost forgot our children’s hands made those yummy cakes!”

Following the Harvest Festival, the Grade School, High School, faculty, staff, and parents celebrated the traditional Waldorf Michaelmas Day, first with an assembly, then with a relay race and ritual slaying of the dragon. Students from grades 1 through 12 joined with faculty and staff to create teams and compete for prizes – includig handcrafted beeswax dragons lovingly made by Ms. Moskowitz’s second grade class. Parent Dawn Dingman reflected that the day truly felt like a community event, and that it was clear each student felt strongly connected both to their classmates and the school community.

Following the relay race, each student had an opportunity to burn a “deed”--as an intention of something to change in the coming year– in a community bonfire. Parent Joe Dupor reflects that: “My lasting impression as a parent was to marvel at the unity that permeated that beautiful autumn day. The students were energized and cheered excitedly during the relay races, and moments later responded together solemnly and maturely during the burning of the deeds.” “I burned my own intentions,” said Stephanie Arnett. “like our children, I made a list of my fears to 'burn' and visualized moving forward…who doesn’t have a dragon to slay?” Stephanie remarked that “I know our children will remember and meditate upon the meaning of Michaelmas throughout their lives, and I will admit I was one of the parents openly weeping at this event.”

SLIDESHOW INSTRUCTIONS. Note: Click on the main image at the top right to open a larger slideshow window.
Use the L & R arrows at photo's edges to scroll through the photos.

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