Back in October, we talked about our first Money Smart Week 2016 meeting. Last week, I attended the first in-person planning meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It was terrific talking with colleagues and looking forward to the exciting activities for next year. In addition, it was one of those perfect days to visit Chicago because the weather was ideal. As such, I played tourist and checked out several museums in Chicago. Our museums are one of the reasons we have such a great city here. I’ll share some of those photos below.
To begin, let me mention a few checkpoints from our Money Smart Week meeting. The most important issue to let you know is that the work being done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and its partners continues to grow. Applications are being added to the Money Smart Week website in addition to the further ramp up on national programs like the national scavenger hunt, book reads for kids, the GeoCache for College Cash program, and investing in social media and e-based learning tools.
It was also gratifying to see new partners attend the Money Smart Week meeting. As with any financial literacy advocacy endeavor, every voice makes such an importance difference. For 2016, I added my name into the arena for working with the College & University Committee. The purpose of this committee will be to reach out to colleges and universities to institute on-site programming for college students.
Both international and domestic college students want to know everything they can about money basics. They know a foundation of money knowledge is critical to make the best financial decisions possible in a more sophisticated financial world. We financial literacy advocates also recognize that the best way to connect with this group of young people is to go where these consumers can be found – at the colleges and universities. I’m looking forward to the strategies and programs we will put in place for next year. I’ll keep you posted!
Money Museum in Chicago
In addition to the business of Money Smart Week, there is always the side benefit of visiting Chicago. Of course, the City of Chicago is well-known for its marvelous museums. The first museum, which I’ve visited before, is the Federal Reserve Bank’s Money Museum. It’s located right inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Money Museum is one of the museums in Chicago that is likely missed by some visitors, but should be added to the list of museum visits! It offers a blend of education, videos, displays, and even the chance to take a photo with a million dollars!
Both kids and adults can enjoy the Money Museum. Depending if you allocate the time to read the displays, watch the videos, and snap pictures of yourself with the displays, you can easily take 1 hour for your visit. Best of all, the Money Museum is free!
A walk down Jackson to Michigan Avenue provides a lot to see as you make your way to the Lake Front. You will walk by Willis Tower, the Chicago Board of Trade, City Colleges of Chicago, DePaul University, and you can even see a corner of the Harold Washington Library Center. (The architecture of the building is really nifty!) After a few city blocks, the city buildings open up to a wonderful view of the offices, Lake Front, and a sampling of both inside and outside museums along Michigan Avenue.
Art Institute of Chicago
If you enjoy the arts, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must-see. I didn’t have time to stop by the museum on this trip, but often enjoy a visit. They also have a fun gift shop, which is worth stopping by for gift shopping, particularly for the art lovers in your life circle.
The Bean (Cloud Gate at Millennium Park)
As you make your way along Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park offers a mix of walkways, sculptures, and nature. One of Chicago’s more famous sculptures, affectionately known as “The Bean” by Anish Kapoor, is such a fun experience. Due to its reflective nature, you can become a part of the sculpture. Several times I was asked to take photos of visitors, which was great fun.
As you continue your way along Michigan Avenue, you will ultimately cross over the Chicago River (photo below). Other well-known buildings you will see include Trump Tower, The Chicago Tribune building, and others. If your feet hold up (about a 35 minute walk), you can make it all the way to Water Tower Place for shopping and restaurants. If you have the opportunity to visit during the holiday season, make certain and see the Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room which is simply breathtaking.
My day downtown for our first in-person Money Smart Week meeting was really productive. But, I also scheduled the day to bring work-life balance to my busy work schedule.
We will keep you posted about the activities of Money Smart Week in the months to come. I also hope that whether you live in the Chicagoland area or plan a visit to the beautiful city of Chicago, you take advantage of the museums we have in Chicago.
Tips to Read:
Check out the following links to learn more about Money Smart Week: