Krista August

Public Speaker, Historian, Author

Krista August bridges local history and contemporary life with her many presentations based upon meticulous research portrayed through captivating images and lively storytelling. Krista’s books and lectures are popular with private and corporate groups, libraries, historical societies and schools.

Krista was awarded 2011 Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association and received 2014 and 2017 Certificates of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Krista formerly worked in finance and as a teacher and holds mathematics and graduate education degrees from Northwestern and DePaul universities, respectively. She is a former guide for the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Krista is also is an artist. Her fine art study includes coursework at the Palette and Chisel, the Old Town Triangle Association, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Richeson School of Art, and the Peninsula School of Art.

Current programs include:

  • Big Ideas and the Rise of Chicago
    Over a period of just sixty years, frontier land of sand dunes and swamp was re-imagined into to a modern, cutting-edge metropolis -- which also became the center of the whole world for six months of 1893! Chicago’s total transformation is considered in terms of remarkable ideas that were realized, and in spite of obstacles and setbacks along the way.

  • Vanished, Monumental Art at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
    Time travel back to virtually stroll the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and view the monumental sculptures that decorated the buildings, bridges, lagoons, as well as private viewing rooms. Learn exciting history behind these mostly temporary sculptures that dazzled before they disappeared.

  • Giants in the Park (a 3-part series)
    Explore Lincoln Park – Chicago’s largest park -- and encounter GIANTS of history and literature. Learn important history memorialized by the park’s enduring bronze statues: stories about the heroes, the artists, the benefactors, and the unveiling ceremonies. Connections to a variety of topics will be made: the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the Haymarket affair, the great Chicago Fire, the Civil War, early Chicago ethnic groups, and more.

  • Signposts on the Prairie, P1: A Passport to Where Illinois Began
    Take a virtual road trip -- to Little Egypt -- and learn why Southern Illinois is considered to be Where Illinois Began. Along the way, we will encounter “signposts” (historical markers) that recall prehistoric Illinois; early French settlement in the American Bottom; a consequential Revolutionary War campaign; and more. All this learning will be accented with recreational stops as well, including a virtual hike at a National Natural Landmark.

  • Signposts on the Prairie, P2: Traces Out of the Wilderness
    Explore Northern Illinois, scouting out “signposts” (historical markers), that direct our attention back to significant turning points in Illinois history. Glean insight into how Northern Illinois attracted early settlers and how, consequently, the wilderness years were left behind.

  • Chicago Holiday Traditions -- Old and New
    Virtually tour popular holiday attractions in Millennium Park and the Chicago Loop. Enjoy local history and art while reveling in this most wonderful time of the year! Topics covered include the municipal Christmas tree, the Christmas Tree schooner, caroling at Cloud Gate, downtown ice skating -- past and present, the wreathing of the Art Institute lions, Chicago’s Holiday Train, State Street traditions, Marshall Field memories, and the Christkindlmarket.



"The residents really enjoyed your talk – great buzz around the community today."
--  senior living community program coordinator

Excellent book, and if you get the chance, I recommend catching the slideshow presentation! 

Sample of statue paintings (originally created as Giants in the Park book illustrations), available as single or boxed note cards.

Krista's artwork on TV show "Chicago Fire"

"Jessica" - watercolor, sold


"Mimi and Papa Farm"

North Center, Chicago

Repair Shop Bike


Practice from life

"Parade of Pansies" -- oil, sold

"LA Rental Bike"



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