Birder, Activist Christian Cooper Visits Freeport

Christian Cooper, a writer and board member of New York City Audubon, will share his enthusiasm for birding and for social justice with young people involved in local Boys and Girls Clubs, and with the general community. His visit is made in cooperation with Freeport Art Museum (FAM), Northwest Illinois Audubon Society, Audubon Great Lakes and Boys and Girls Club of Stephenson County.

After a video of a racist confrontation while he was birding in Central Park went viral, Cooper drew on that experience to author the comic “It’s a Bird” for DC Comics.

On June 16 at 6:30 p.m., Cooper will speak from his experience in promoting social justice and anti-racism as part of a conversation concerning equity and inclusion throughout the U.S. at the Boys and Girls Club. In-person attendance is offered on a first come, first served basis, but people also can “attend” via a live Zoom if they register using the links provided on the events page of the FAM website,

On Thursday, June 17, at 10 a.m., Cooper will meet with youths and adults at Taylor Park for a birding walk and talk.

He’ll introduce youths to the joys and methods of being a birdwatcher. The Northwest Illinois Audubon Society (NIAS) is donating multiple binoculars to the Boys and Girls Club for use in a new, reoccurring birding program it’s establishing at the club.

This program is offered in conjunction with current exhibitions at FAM that are centered around birds, including For the Birds, an invitational featuring 25 Illinois artists; The Suffragette Conference of the Birds after Farid Attar, a site-specific installation by Alice Hargrave; and Endangered and Threatened, featuring works by Barry Treu. These are on view until Aug. 7.

Established in 1975, FAM promotes an understanding of visual and performing arts and culture through its collections, exhibitions and educational programming. Its collection contains nearly 4,000 artifacts from all continents and all time periods.

The museum is located at 121 N. Harlem Ave. and is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free and donations are appreciated. Learn more by calling (815) 235-9755.❚