Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich (Photo provided)

CRYSTAL LAKE – Fans of Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich will have a chance to meet her from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Raue Center for the Arts.

The program is hosted by the Raue Center’s Artful Women Committee.

Schmich, a 2012 Pulitzer Prizer winner for commentary, will conduct a question-and-answer session about her new book, “Even the Terrible Things Seem Beautiful to Me,” and her career.

“I’ve been a fan of hers for a long, long time,” said Regina Belt-Daniels, vice president of the Raue Center board and a member of the Artful Women Committee that led the effort to bring Schmich to Crystal Lake.

The new book is a collection of the 10 columns that garnered Schmich the Pulitzer, along with 154 others.

The collection includes Schmich’s 1997 “Wear Sunscreen” column that caused a stir when it was misattributed to Kurt Vonnegut. The column was a commencement speech she would have given had she been asked, with one of its bits of advice to “wear sunscreen.”

Schmich has been at the Chicago Tribune since 1985 and a columnist since 1992, except for a year she spent at Harvard on a Nieman Fellowship for journalists. Before that, she was a reporter at the Peninsula Times Tribune in Palo Alto, Calif., and at the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel.

In 2010, she ended a 25-year run as the writer of the “Brenda Starr” comic strip. She was the third and final writer for the strip.

Each year, Schmich and fellow Tribune columnist Eric Zorn collaborate to host the annual “Songs of Good Cheer” sing-along at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

“She’s excellent,” Belt-Daniels said. “I’m just excited I get to introduce her.”

Schmich’s presentation is the third in the Artful Women Series, which aims to bring women’s issues to the Raue Center to inspire, educate and entertain.

Of course, fans of Schmich – both men and women – are encouraged to attend, Belt-Daniels said.

The inaugural event last July featured the documentary “Band of Sisters” about Catholic nuns and their work for social justice after Vatican II.

That was followed in September by a luncheon presentation by author Erane Scully of Woodstock, who wrote “The Carrion Vine,” an account of her and her mother’s survival for two years in a Russian labor camp during World War II.

Belt-Daniels said the committee is in the planning stages for another presentation this year.

What: Mary Schmich presentation

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 26

Where: Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake

Info: Tickets cost $15 and can be bought online at, at the box office or by calling 815-356-9212.

By Joan Oliver -