In and Around Park Forest for the Week of September 17, 2017

Mark The Hand Exhibit
Postcard artwork by Lynn Ruedger (Source: tallgrassarts.org)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—Tall Grass Arts Association has a unique exhibit opening on September 29 entitled ‘Mark of the Hand.’ From prehistory, humans have told their story by literally leaving marks with their hands. ‘Mark of the Hand’ will include two and three-dimensional art which celebrates the legacy of traditional, pre-1800 art tools and processes. The artwork will show evidence of being made directly by the human hand. You’ll find additional information about the exhibit in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in the community that you would like published, please send an e-mail to RJPiserLPH@aol.com with the details no later than 5 p.m. on Friday.  Thank you.

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, September 18

The Village of Park Forest Board will meet on Monday, September 18 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.  Residents are encouraged to attend. Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers).

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site here and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of September 17:

  • Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. – Recreation & Parks Advisory Board

The meetings will be held at Park Forest Village Hall and residents are encouraged to attend.

Arts & Entertainment

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Lyric Opera Singers Pay Tribute to All Things Animal – Sunday, September 24

The popular Opera Up Close series at Center for Performing Arts has done it again. Known for its unique, themed pairings of opera, food and wine, series producer John Concepcion stretches his creativity once again with an animal-themed feast of song. The Animal Instinct is the newest addition to the Center’s innovative opera line-up, to be performed only on Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m. The ticket price for The Animal Instinct is $55 and includes a sampling of “animal-friendly” vegetarian dishes including warm spinach and artichoke dip, caramelized onion and chevre tarts, exotic mushroom arancini, a glass of wine, and more. Visit the pound, the park, the cat pole, the farm and even the wild— all in one afternoon. Rear-screen projection of animals in action will set the scene, as local singers from the Lyric Opera salute them in song with favorites like Aaron Copland’s I Bought Me a Cat, Tom Lehrer’s Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, Georges Bizet’ Vôtre Toast (from Carmen), Maurice Ravel’s Le Paon, Flanders & Swann’s The Armadillo, and more! The Opera Up Close series offers a unique and up-close experience for audience members. Rather than hearing the music from the perspective of the auditorium, patrons are seated on the stage for an unparalleled vantage point. Producer John Concepcion will narrate the afternoon, providing plot points, historical tidbits and trivia about the operas and composers. Tickets may be purchased online at www.centertickets.net or by calling 708-235-2222. The box office is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Friday (open late until 6p.m. on Thursdays) and two hours prior to performances. Parking is free. For best GPS directions, always use the location search term “Governors State University” only.

Crete Public Library District, 1177 North Main Street

The following events are scheduled at the Crete Public Library District the week of September 17:

  • Monday, September 18 at 10 a.m. – Music & Movement – Drop in for dancing, singing, and rhythm.  For ages 0-5.
  • Monday, September 18 at 3 p.m. – Teen Microwave Cooking – Make granola, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Rice Krispie treats. For teens. Registration required.
  • Monday, September 18 at 6 p.m. – Teen Movie Night – Showing Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. For ages 13+.
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 2 p.m. – Facebook Basics – Learn how to find friends on Facebook, post, and respond to comments in this demonstration class. For adults. Registration required.
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. – Trivia Night at Evil Horse Brewing Co. – Theme: The Lord of the Rings. Come on your own or bring a team. Prizes awarded. For adults 21+. Register.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 3 p.m. – Photo Editing 101 – Gain skills in photo editing and graphic design. Proficiency in using a mouse and keyboard is required. This month’s project is a Piet Mondrian inspired design.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 4:45 p.m. – Art Academy – Tweens will recreate art using techniques of famous artists and illustrators. For ages 9-12. Register.
  • Thursday, September 21 at 3 p.m. – Afternoon Teen Craft – Make Tetris magnets. For ages 13+.
  • Thursday, September 21 at 6 p.m. – STEAM Junior – A Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math program with stories, action songs, and hands-on station activities. For ages 3-5. Register.
  • Thursday, September 21 at 6:15 p.m. – Film Club – Showing Blade Runner with a brief discussion afterwards. For adults.
  • Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m. – Adulting 101: College 101 – Have your college admission questions answered by a representative from Prairie State College. For ages 17-30. Register.
  • Friday, September 22 at 10 a.m. – Babies & Books – Storytime for ages 0-24 months. Register.
  • Friday, September 22 at 2 p.m. – Friday Afternoon Films – Showing Singin’ in the Rain. For adults.
  • Saturday, September 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Fall Shredding Event – Limit of 5 boxes, no 3-ring binders.
  • Saturday, September 23 at 1 p.m. – Family Matinee – Showing Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.
  • Saturday, September 23 from 2-4 p.m. – Video Game Tournament – Compete against fellow gamers to win a gift card Sign-up begins at noon at the library, and players must vote for the game played that day, from a choice of two. Gameplay will start at 2 p.m. For teens.

For additional information or to register for an event, call 708-672-8017 or visit www.cretelibrary.org.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures’ – Through December 10

In the 1970s, artist Senga Nengudi would carry pantyhose and other supplies for her “R.S.V.P.” series of sculptures around in her bag. Born in Chicago and a pioneer of performative art, Nengudi would stage choreographic actions within the works of nylon and sand. DePaul Art Museum will host a touring exhibition of Nengudi’s work, including documentation of her earliest performances. “Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures” will be held on DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus through December 10 and is co-organized by Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Gallery of Contemporary Art at University  of  Colorado, Colorado Springs. The exhibition is co-curated by Windgate Research Curator Elissa Auther of the Museum of Design, and Nora Burnett Abrams of MCA Denver. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5 pm. Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission is free. Additional information at http://museums.depaul.edu​ or 773-325-7506.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Vera Klement/Dan Ramirez: Body and Spirit – Through September 30

This is the goal of both Chicago artist icons— exploring the unknown. Vera Klement/Dan Ramirez: Body and Spirit showcases a selection of works by both artists whose contributions and reputations are firmly established in the history of art in Chicago. Their connection goes back to the 1970’s when Dan Ramirez studied under Vera Klement at the University of Chicago as an MFA student (1975-77), and he recognizes her as having had the biggest role in his career. Their paintings are visually disparate and seemingly unrelated, but when considered in dialog with each other, and when their sources of inspiration are considered, we see a stronger connection among them. The exhibit will run through Saturday, September 30 and is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit: http://www.govst.edu/gallery.

National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘Portraits and Memories: Legacies of Service’ – Through Saturday, October 28

The NVAM is proud to present its upcoming exhibition,’ Portraits and Memories: Legacies of Service’ by Chicago-area artist Jeanine Hill-Soldner. ‘Portraits and Memories: Legacies of Service’ will be on display through Saturday, October 28th, 2017 with an opening reception Friday, October 25th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit will showcase two series of oil paintings: ‘Portraits of American Veterans,’ and ‘Memories of an Era: Reflections of Our Time.’ ‘Portraits and Memories: Legacies of Service’ presents a unique perspective on an experience of military service that is often overlooked–that of the spouse, parent, sibling, or child of an active duty service member or veteran. The juxtaposition of veteran portraits with scenes of family life highlights an integral aspect of military culture that is rarely explored. Jeanine Hill-Soldner grew up in a military family. Her father, Sgt. Maj. Dan L. Hill, was a 30-year U.S. Marine Corps Veteran who served in WWII, Korea, and completed two tours in Vietnam. After he passed away, the artist felt compelled to create work that honored his service and experiences along with those of other military veterans and members of their communities. Personal stories and memory are integral to her work as Hill-Soldner links the experiences of veterans and those of their loved ones through a poignant visual program. For more information about the National Veterans Art Museum, visit www.nvam.org, or call 312-326-0270.

Park Forest Historical Society

Park Forest House Museum Lets You ‘Step Back into the 1950s’

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, at 227 Monee Road (inside St. Mary’s Catholic Church), Park Forest, Illinois, invites you to “Step Back into a 1950s.” The Museum is open Wednesday and Saturday, 1 to 3:30 p.m.; other times by appointment. One room represents a classroom in Forest Boulevard School, which was set up in a row of townhomes. Admission is Adults $5; children 12 and under free.  Park in the small lot by the flagpole and knock on the classroom door next to the museum sign. A guide will tell village history, and social and fashion trends of the era. Special tours can be arranged by calling Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252, or Michael Gans, 708-305-3308.  Information on the society and museum, and email contact is at www.parkforesthistory.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled at the Park Forest Library the week of September 17:

  • Sunday, September 17 at 1:30 p.m. — Local Author Showcase — Join us as we celebrate our local authors. We will have author readings, Q&A sessions, and signings after each author’s presentation. Please come out and support your local community’s creativity!
  • Monday, September 18 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Story Time — Join us for a delightful morning of stories! Weather Permitted, Join us out doors for Story Time in our Beautiful Butterfly Garden.
  • Monday, September 18 at 3:30 p.m. – Art in the Afternoon — Unleash your inner artist. Drop in to create a seasonal masterpiece that will be displayed on the wall in kids’ zone. For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, September 18 at 6 p.m. — Earth Wise Summer Book Club — Join us for tea and discussion in the Library gardens. We will be reading “Evening Thoughts,” by Thomas Berry.
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 12:30 p.m. — kids DIY Project — It’s Do it yourself Time! Stop in kids’ zone and see what we’re designing with a wide variety of up cycled materials. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 3:30 p.m. – Art Studio — Drop in and discover your inner artist with one of our guided projects.
  • Tuesday, September 19 at 6:30 p.m. – Night Time Storytime — Back by popular demand with a Brand New name! Jam out in your PJ’s with stories, crafts, music and more! For ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 11 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Time — Join us for a weekly story-time designed exactly for your baby. Parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 36 months with an accompanying an adult.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 2 p.m. – Insect Petting Zoo — Join University of Illinois Extension Educators for an experience you’ll never forget: an Insect Petting Zoo! You’ll have an opportunity to observe (and pet!) some amazing bugs like the infamous Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 3:30 p.m. – Comic Creations — Be inspired to become a graphic novelist/comic creator! Each week explore ways to create comic strips, books, graphic and more.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 4 p.m. – Color Me Happy Adult Coloring — Our grown-up coloring circle is the perfect way to step back from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation! All supplies will be provided.
  • Wednesday, September 20 at 4 p.m. – Drop In Days — Join us for a spur-of-the-moment activity in Teen Tech Zone!
  • Thursday, September 21 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — It’s All about Pete the Cat. Let’s get crafty with our favorite Cat!
  • Thursday, September 21 at 3 p.m. — kids’ zone Book Tasting — Share your love of reading with the kids’ zone “Book Tasting.” Each week “sample” a variety of literary genres to find your preferred “tastes” in reading.
  • Thursday, September 21 at 3:30 p.m. – Drawing Theory — Do you enjoy Drawing and Sketching? Learn how to draw your favorite animations and more. For ages 12 and under.
  • Friday, September 22 at 10:30 a.m. — Seed Collecting for Monarch Wings Across the Eastern Broadleaf Forest — Join in our effort to save the Monarch butterfly! We’ll be collecting seed from milkweed and nectar plants that support the life cycle of the Monarch. Seed we’ve collected will be sent to the Pollinator Partnership – a multi-state effort to increase Monarch populations in the United States.
  • Friday, September 22 at 3 p.m. – Teen Game Day — Show off your competitive side with your friends! From board games to video games, there will be plenty of fun!
  • Friday, September 22 at 3:30 p.m. – Color Me Happy (for kids) — Travel to a world of relaxation and endless creativity. Color yourself happy in our kids’ coloring circle.
  • Saturday, September 23 at 1 p.m. – Harvest Festival — Join us for an afternoon of harvest festivities.
  • Saturday, September 23 at 1 p.m. Practical Application Circle — Join us as we read Sherly Sandberg’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

For additional information, or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Library Board Meeting – Thursday, September 21

The Park Forest Public Library Board will meet on Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m. The Park Forest Public Library Board of Trustees is elected to set policies and oversee the operation of the Library. The Trustees meet in the library at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The meetings are open to the public.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 South Halsted Street8, Chicago Heights

Touch-a-Truck Event — Saturday, September 23

PSC and KLLM Driving Academy, Inc. are hosting a Touch-a-Truck community event on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the college’s Transportation, Warehousing, and Logistics Building, located at 191 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights.  Children of all ages can explore and touch trucks, emergency response vehicles, heavy machinery and more. Hot dogs, chips and water will be provided on a first come, first served basis. There also will be plenty of great photo opportunities and a chance to learn about programs and services offered at PSC. Because of the generous support of several community organizations, admission to the event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Respond Now. Advance registration is requested at www.prairiestate.edu/cdl. For more information about the Touch-a-Truck event, contact the event coordinator at 708-709-7711 or mmoody@prairiestate.edu.

Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Thursday Game Days

Come join us at the Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, in DownTown Park Forest every Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to play games with old friends and new friends.  We have a few games on hand, Trivial Pursuit, Racko, Pente, Chess, Pictionary, High Hand and Rummikub.  If none of these suit your taste, feel free to bring in your favorites.  Come join in the fun.  This is a new program, so please help to spread the word.

Adult Coloring

On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday morning of each month at 10 a.m., come to the Senior Center to participate in the new Adult Coloring Group.  The Center has supplies and several types of mediums to color with.  For additional information, call 708-748-5454.

Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Photo Exhibit on Plight of World’s Stateless Children – Through December 2

Few can imagine what it is like to be stateless. Now a new photo exhibit “Nowhere People,” at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery Chicago, tells the story. With its first showing ever in Chicago, “Nowhere People” by photographer Greg Constantine features 39 black-and-white photographs of children who have no citizenship, and therefore, no place to call their true home. A native of Carmel, Ind., Constantine spent 10 years photographing thousands of stateless people in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Serbia, Italy, the Netherlands, Iraq Kuwait and Lebanon. While the United Nations has estimated 10 million people around the world today are stateless, Constantine believes that number is much higher.  In addition, he believes that children of those without citizenship are impacted the most, which makes the Roosevelt exhibit not only unique, but also extremely powerful. The exhibit runs until December 2 and is free and open to the public. Gage Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.  For more information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery or call 312-341-6458.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland

Tom Dreesen to Perform Special “From Here to Hollywood” Show – Saturday, September 23

SSC alumnus Tom Dreesen is putting together an unforgettable show titled “From Here to Hollywood” to be held in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the college’s main campus in South Holland. This special one-night show will take place on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the college’s 400-seat Kindig Performing Arts Center. General Admission Tickets are just $30 and there are limited $500 Premier Row Sponsorships available including 10 tickets with an after-show Meet & Greet. In this unforgettable performance, comedian Tom Dreesen will take you from his childhood of shining shoes in bars in his hometown of Harvey, Illinois, hearing Frank Sinatra on the jukebox, to one day touring the nation as Sinatra’s opening act, flying in his private jet and staying up with Frank till dawn, night after night. He takes you to Frank’s last performance and the last song he ever sang and then to his last days on earth. Dreesen’s keen insight to arguably the greatest career show business has ever known, and the lessons he learned from the legendary star, promises to move the audience! Dreesen is a proud Thornton Junior College (TJC) alumnus with appearances on the Tonight Show plus guest hosting for David Letterman. The show is sponsored by – and proceeds to benefit – South Suburban College Foundation. (Tickets are tax-deductible.) Purchase tickets online from www.ssc.edu/foundation or call 708-596-2000 x2463. The Kindig Performing Arts Center is located at 15800 S. State Street in South Holland.

PAC Rats Spoof Hitchcock with “Wrong Window” – Through September 24

The PAC Rats Theatre Company of South Suburban College will present the comedy whodunit, “Wrong Window.” Performances will take place in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the main campus on September 22, at 7:30 p.m. and September 23 and 24, at 2:00 p.m. “Wrong Window” is the work of former television writers Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore (“The Wayans Brothers, “Suddenly Susan,” “Martin”). The pair has created several popular off-Broadway farces like “You’ve Got Hate Mail” and perhaps their best-known opus, “Love, Sex and the I.R.S.” Loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic movie, “Rear Window,” the play centers around estranged couple Jeff (Charlie Furtek of Lansing) and Marnie Elbies (Jennifer Crick of Homewood), who are getting back together after a brief separation. Tickets are just $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 55 or better, $6 for students. South Suburban College staff and students will enjoy a buy one, get one offer with an I.D. Call the 24/7 box office voicemail line at 708-210-5741. You may also reserve tickets by e-mail at boxoffice@ssc.edu.  Group rates are also available.

Casting Call for ‘Rapunzel and the Frog Prince’ — September 28 & 29

The Children’s Theatre Company of SSC announces open auditions for Michele L. Vacca’s “Rapunzel and the Frog Prince.” It’s a uniquely comical mashup that cleverly blends the two Grimm’s tales into one story. This isn’t your standard fairy tale! The auditions will take place on September 28 and 29, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Readings will be held in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the main campus at in South Holland. Director Ellie Shunko of Lansing will cast 12 actors between the ages of 18 and 70 of all ages, colors and sizes. Being fairly physically fit, a willingness to try anything, a sense of fun and loads of energy are big bonuses. Performances are scheduled for January 13 and 16-20, 2018 and will be held during the day for local grammar school aged children. Cast members are required to attend all dress rehearsals and performances. Auditions are open to all community members as well as SSC students. Appointments and prepared audition materials are not necessary. Auditioners will read from scenes which will be available at the time of auditions. Copies of the script are on reserve in the SSC library. Everyone is welcome to attend both auditions. Be prepared to list all conflicts with the rehearsal schedule. For character descriptions, rehearsal schedule and more information, visit the Kindig Performing Arts Center’s website at http://learn.ssc.edu/theatre/ or email ssctheatre@ssc.edu. For more information about all of SSC’s programs, admissions and registration, please visit www.ssc.edu or contact the Admissions Office at 708-210-5718.

‘Silent Witnesses’ Art Exhibition – Through October 11

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Art & Design Department of South Suburban College is pleased to present a solo exhibition entitled ‘Silent Witnesses’ by Carmen Chami. The exhibition will be on display in the Dorothea Thiel Gallery through October 11. On September 21, Ms. Chami will deliver an art historical lecture on traditional pictorial techniques popularized in the XVII century and their relationship to her artistic techniques at 12:15 p.m. in room 4340 with an artist reception to follow at 1 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Carmen Chami (Mexico City, 1974) graduated with a degree in Art Restoration. Her education specialized in the great Masters of the seventeenth century of New Spanish Baroque (Mexican Baroque) style and she was able to discover that it is a very particular way in which that they applied the color on the canvas with a precise order. The great masters she studied only used 8 pigments in most cases and the result was an art wonderfully rich in color and light. She translated all of this knowledge into her own pictorial language, with color being an invaluable resource and a powerful and dramatic expression. Chami’s paintings belong to important institutions such as the Mexican Presidency; Marines Secretary; National University of Mexico; Milenio Group and the National Death Museum. Chami is currently part of the National Creators System supported by the Mexican government, which obtained a grant for three years to develop the theme “Adlateres Migrantes” (Migrant Minions). Additional images and information are available at the artist’s website www.carmenchami.com. The public is welcome to visit art exhibitions and receptions at no charge. The Dorothea Thiel Gallery is located on the fourth floor and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. The galleries are supported in part by the SSC Foundation. SSC is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. For more information contact 708-596-2000 ext. 2316. Para Información En Español Llame: 708- 210-5740.

Susan L. Moore a Solo Exhibition “Light Rendering Space” – Through October 5

The Art & Design Department of SSC is pleased to announce a special guest artist exhibition titled “Light Rendering Space,” by artist Susan L. Moore in the Photo Four Gallery through October 5. The Photo Four Gallery is located in Room 4338 on the 4th Floor of SSC’s Main Campus. Susan L. Moore received a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College in Chicago, a Masters in Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and most recently, in 2003, she earned a Masters in Fine Art from Washington University, School of Art in St. Louis, Missouri. Currently, Moore is a Professor at Indiana University South Bend where she teaches photography and serves as Chair of the Fine Arts Department. Moore’s photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally in individual shows as well as juried exhibitions. Her recent landscape images were selected for exhibition at the South Bend Museum of Art and she has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission to support her landscape photography projects. SSC Galleries are open at minimum Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. The public is welcome to visit art exhibitions and receptions at no charge. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2445 or visit www.ssc.edu/art.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Mark of the Hand’ – Opens Friday, September 29

Tall Grass Arts Association exhibit ‘Mark of the Hand’ opens on Friday, September 29 and will run through Saturday, November 4.  A reception will be held on Friday, October 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. ‘Mark of the Hand’ is a juried exhibition of original artwork at Tall Grass Gallery. From prehistory, humans have told their story by literally leaving marks with their hands. Direct mark making and hand forming are the theme of the art show. ‘Mark of the Hand’ will include two and three-dimensional art which celebrates the legacy of traditional, pre-1800 art tools and processes. The artwork will show evidence of being made directly by the human hand. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information or questions about Tall Grass, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

The Drama Group, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Wait Until Dark’ – Opens Friday, September 22

The Drama Group is pleased to present the Broadway thriller ‘Wait Until Dark’ by American playwright Frederick Knott and directed by M.J. Renzi.  Performances will be held at The Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theatre on September 22, 23, 28, 29 & 30 at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on September 24 & October 1 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults; $19 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available.  Good seats are still available.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3063992   The Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theatre is located at 330 W. 202nd Street in Chicago Heights. For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit www.dramagroup.org.

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

National Collage Society’s 33rd Annual Juried Exhibition – Opens Wednesday, September 27

USG is hosting the National Collage Society’s 33rd Annual Juried Exhibition. The exhibit runs from Wednesday, September 27 through Saturday, October 28. There will be a reception on Friday, September 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
You can learn more about the about the organization at their website, National Collage Society. Gallery hours are: Thursday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

‘Making a Killing: Guns, Greed & the NRA’ Film Screening – Friday, September 22

UUCC will screen the documentary film ‘Making a Killing: Guns, Greed & the NRA’ on Friday, September 22 at 7 p.m.  A discussion will follow the movie. This documentary tells the stories about how guns and the billions of dollars make off them affect the lives of everyday Americans. The film suggests actions that can be taken to lessen the 30,000 Americans who are killed by firearms each year. Coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Bring a snack to share if you wish. Optional donations appreciated. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit http://www.onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Prairie State College, (PSC), 202 South Halsted, Chicago Heights

Fourth Annual Mental Health Conference – Thursday, September 28

PSC is hosting the Fourth Annual Mental Health Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday September 28, in the Conference Center of the PSC main campus in Chicago Heights. For the fourth year in a row, Illinois Senator Michael E. Hastings of the 19th Legislative District will greet participants. As a strong supporter of mental health services, Hastings is passionate about this topic. In 2015, he was recognized as a “local champion of mental health” by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and Mental Health America of Illinois. Hastings will discuss how mental health issues are shaping up in the state of Illinois. This year’s keynote presenters are Yaroslaba Garcia, president of the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition and clinical director at Abuse Counseling and Treatment; and Marian Hatcher, senior project manager for the Office of Public Policy and human trafficking coordinator with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Garcia’s topic is “Mental Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims.” Hatcher will address “Overcoming the Systemic Violence Imbedded in Sexual Exploitation.” Attendees will have the opportunity to select from a number of breakout sessions. Topics include “Assessing Black Male Trauma,” presented by Dr. Angela Jackson, president of Culturally Competent Consulting; “Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorder in Elderly Populations,” presented by Dr. Hope Sanchez, a licensed clinical psychologist with Home Psych Services; “Risk Strategies to Deter Workplace Violence,” presented by Carter Larry and Pauline Jakubiec, risk management consultants with Horton Group; “Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) Questionnaire and its Practical Application,” presented by Brianne Hetman, director of community programs with the South Suburban Family Shelter; “Trauma Care and Informed Treatment,” presented by Rachel Hayslette, housing administrator for Sertoma Centre, Inc.; and “Death by Papercuts: Racism, Mental Health and Healing,” presented by Krista Woods, president of Integrity Clinical Consulting and Training; “More than Sad,” presented by Cara Levinson, a member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; and “Let’s Talk Dismantling Uncomfortable Conversations Surrounding Depression,” presented by Mary Garrison, professor of social work at Millikin University.  The Mental Health Conference at PSC was established in 2014, and is intended to increase awareness of the complexities of mental illness and ways to reduce the stigmas associated with it. Attendees can hear from experts in the mental health field as well as those who have been personally impacted by mental disorders, as well as attend the exhibitor fair throughout the day. A panel discussion, “Population Specific Counseling,” will feature mental health professionals sharing their best practices for counseling specific target populations. Panelists include Itedal Shalobi of Arab American Family Services; Rocina Torres, bilingual counselor with Bloom Township; Dr. Tom Allen of Blue Cross Blue Shield; and Dr. Angela Jackson, president of Culturally Competent Consulting. The fee to attend is $49, which includes a continental breakfast, exhibitor fair, and a networking lunch. For an additional $20, CEU credits are available for social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical professional counselors, nursing home administrators, nurses and speech pathologists, EMTs and Illinois certified domestic violence professionals. Teachers also can earn professional development credits. Conference partners include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Catholic Charities, Grand Prairie Services, Hartgrove Behavioral Health System, NAMI South Suburbs of Chicago, and Sertoma Centre, Inc. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or jdelong@prairiestate.edu. For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.prairiestate.edu/mentalhealthconference.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 State Street, South Holland

Free Citizenship Classes – Registration Begins September 25

Free Citizenship Classes will be offered at SSC’s main campus in Room 1243 on Thursday evenings October 5 to December 14 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Registration will be held September 25, 26 and 27th at 6:00pm in Room 1243.

You will learn how to:

  • Interview for the Citizenship Exam
  • Study for the Civics Test
  • Practice for the English Exam

You qualify if:

  • You are 18 years or older
  • You have not committed a crime
  • You read, write, and speak basic English
  • You have had a green card
  • Your spouse is a US citizen and you have had a green card

The information provided will be kept confidential in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-380). For the purpose of compliance with Section 511 of Public Law 101-166 (the Stevens Amendment) Federal Funds of $395,020 provides approximately 38% of the support of these programs. For more information please contact the Department of Adult Education at 708-596-2000, ext. 2385. Para Información En Español Llame: 708-210-5740.

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At http://www.topschools.com/, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Audubon Society, Park Forest

Nature Education Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Calling all schools, home school groups, day cares, preschools, youth, adult and family groups! Nature Education Programs are offered at Thorn Creek Nature Center throughout the year where your group can discover the plants and animals of Thorn Creek Woods. These Nature Education Programs are sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. The Audubon Society and the Thorn Creek Nature Center announce their new Partnership for Programming to further the Society’s environmental education mission and give valuable assistance to Thorn Creek Nature Center in providing nature programming for groups of area children and adults. Some of the nature education programs offered this year include Birding by Sight and Sound, Creek Walk (the world of aquatic insects and metamorphosis), Trees Big and Small (identification by leaves and bark), Insects (what makes an insect unique), the Web of Life (interdependence of producers, consumers, predators and decomposers), Soils Hike (how soil fuels and supports life), and Night Hikes. On the Fall Color Hike learn why leaves change colors and what trees do to prepare for the long months of winter. Discover clues to wild animals’ identities and behavior by trails and trails in Wild Animal Tracks. Make your own track replica. On Vixen’s Trek you are the fox following your daily routines on Thorn Creek trails. Or visit the Historic Farm in the woods to explore an early 1900’s woodland farm. Groups can also arrange for a naturalist to come to your location for programs such as Wild Animal Tracks, Web of Life, Woodland Wildflowers, Soils, History of Thorn Creek Woods, and the like. The new partnership has already collaborated in sponsoring three programs: the Learn 70 Birds by Spring class, which runs from January through March; the Great Backyard Bird Count Open House that was held in February; and the Build a Gourd Birdhouse sessions to be held in March.  For information about Thorn Creek Audubon Society membership, events and projects: Thorn Creek Audubon Society, P. O. Box 895, Park Forest, Il 60466, or www.thorncreekaudubonsociety.org.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Thorn Creek Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve.  Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways: staff the nature center on weekends; trail work; displays; leading hikes; special events; cleaning; pruning; artwork; music; research; and so on.  Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day.  Members receive a quarterly newsletter.  Annual membership in Friends is $10.  For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in a historic building, originally Immanuel Lutheran Church of Matteson, Illinois built in 1862, and later Village Bible Church of Park Forest. A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section. The Nature Center is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Trails are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Hazardous Waste Drop-off Event — Saturday, September 30

On Saturday, September 30, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Will County Land Use Department Resource Recovery and Energy Division hosts a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Event in Park Forest, in the parking lot of Continental Midland located at 24000 S. Western Ave. Items Accepted include: Oil and Latex based paints/stains, Old/Unwanted medication, Paint thinners, Solvents, Drain cleaners, Cleaning products, Rechargeable batteries, Used Cooking Oil, Mercury & mercury items, Aerosol Paints & Pesticides, Lawn & Garden Chemicals and Fertilizers, Used Oil, Used Oil Filters, Old Gasoline, Antifreeze, Automotive/Boat batteries, Fluorescent Light Bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, Pool Chemicals, Driveway Sealer. Items NOT Accepted include: Electronics, Fireworks/ Explosives, Agricultural wastes, Fire extinguishers, Ammunition (check with your local police department), Radioactive material, Institutional wastes, Controlled substances, Alkaline batteries, Business wastes, Regular garbage, Tires, Smoke/CO detectors, Commercial Medical waste, Sharps/Needles, Gas cylinders. The event is open to Will County residents only. However, even though Park Forest is located in two counties, i.e. Will and Cook Counties, all Park Forest residents may participate.

Healthy Living

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive

Walk About for Healthy Hearts – Every Saturday

Are you trying to be more active?  The Park Forest Health Department is hosting a walk about for healthy hearts every Saturday, at 9 a.m. The walks will begin at the Park Forest Village Green in DownTown Park Forest. All you need are your walking shoes! The walks will last 30 minutes and are more enjoyable if you:

  • Wear comfortable clothes,
  • Bring a friend to pass the time,
  • Make sure to stretch those muscles, and
  • Move your arms and maintain good posture.

Don’t forget a water bottle to stay hydrated. For additional information or to register for the weekly walks, call 708-748-1118.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services facility is offering community mental health seminars, free of charge to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and other community groups at their location in Matteson or facility. Education Programs will include: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) which increases public awareness of suicide and improves one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education course that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance disorders. Also included is Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Anxiety/Depression Screenings. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. To arrange a free educational opportunity for your club, group, workplace, organization, or church, call Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at gwashington@sertomacentre.org.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

Yoga Classes by Karen Nielsen – Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays

Yoga classes by Karen Nielsen are available at UUCC on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  No reservations needed.  Drop-in fee is $10 per class and the 6th one is free.  For additional information, call 708-755-3577 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Buddhist Meditation – Saturdays

Learn to enjoy the simple and straight-forward practice of meditation.  Please join us for sitting and walking meditation in the Zen and Theravadan Buddhist traditions.  This is an on-going event led by Steve McCabe and Beverly Feldt will be held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at UUCC.  There is no cost but a free will offering is most appreciated (proceeds go to UUCC).  For additional information contact Steve McCabe at 708-465-3116 or Beverly Feldt at bevfeldt@gmail.com.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Park Forest Farmers’ Market – Through October 28

The Park Forest Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday thereafter through October 28 from 7 a.m. to noon.  The Market is located on the corner of Lakewood Boulevard & Cunningham Drive in DownTown Park Forest. Since 1974, the Park Forest Farmers’ Market has been connecting area residents with local farmers, food vendors and businesses.  The Market hosts 22 full spaces with a variety of fresh flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery goods, herbs and dairy products.  Local businesses are also on hand at the Market selling artwork, garden ornaments, jewelry and more. The Market accepts LINK/Snap card as well as Double Value Coupons & Senior Nutrition Coupons. Additional information about the Park Forest Farmers’ Market can be found here. If you are you a farmer, food vendor, or civic group who would be interested in a booth at the Park Forest Farmers’ Market, call the Park Forest Health Department for additional information at 708-748-1118.

This & That

Congresswoman Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson

5th Annual Hiring Event – Registration Now in Progress

Congresswoman Robin Kelly will host her 5th Annual Hiring Event for residents of the 2nd Congressional District on Friday, October 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the gymnasium of South Suburban College, 15800 State St., South Holland. Last year, more than 85 employers with active job openings met more than 400 job seekers.  Companies and agencies participating this year include UPS, ComEd, Metra Rail, Comcast, the CTA, the U.S. Post Office, Pace, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Job seekers can visit www.reprobinkelly.eventbrite.com to register. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information about the Hiring Event, call Alan Banks or Jazmin Alvarez at 708-679-0078 or access www.robinkelly.house.gov.

Park Forest Economic Development Advisory Group

Nominations for 2017 Park Forest Business Person of the Year — Nomination Deadline is October 31

The Park Forest Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) seeks nominees from residents, civic groups, and businesses to recognize a Park Forest business owner who is committed to community service. Do you know a Park Forest business owner who has made a difference for you or someone you know? Submit your completed nomination form to EDAG in care of the Village of Park Forest. Economic Development & Planning, no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 31, 2017. Nomination Form  Submit forms and/or questions to Sandra Zoellner at 708-283-5623 or szoellner@vopf.com

Park Forest Toastmasters Club

Meeting – Tuesday, September 26

The Park Forest Toastmasters Club will meet on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard in Park Forest.  The meeting is open to the public.  Toastmaster members develop speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.  For additional information, visit: http://parkforesttoastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org/

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Business Attire Wanted – Collection Now in Progress

The Village of Park Forest is collecting gently used or new men and women business attire. Clean out your closet and contribute to a good cause.  This project will provide business attire for any constituent looking to dress professional for work or interviews. Donations may include:

  • Suits for men and women
  • Ties, belts and shoes
  • Blazers,
  • Dress pants,
  • Dress shirts
  • Blouses,
  • Dresses and skirts, and
  • Clothing Racks and Hangers

Drop off is by appointment only. For additional information or to schedule a drop-off appointment, call or email Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621 or esterling@vopf.com.

Windy City Times, Chicago

Job Fair — Friday, September 29

More than 70 major corporations, small businesses, government agencies and nonprofits are expected for the third annual Windy City Times WERQ! LGBTQ job fair Friday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted in Chicago. In 2016, more than 500 people attended the Job Fair. The free event, which is open to all, includes two workshops. The first will be at 10 a.m. to discuss transgender hiring and workplace issues. The second will be at noon, on senior hiring issues. Both workshops will be on the second floor of the Center, while the Job Fair is in the third-floor gym. The Center on Halsted computer lab will be open during the job fair for those needing to work on and print out their resumes. The Job Fair coincides with the launch of the Windy City Times #HireTrans citywide campaign to push all employers to increase their hiring and workplace inclusion efforts for the transgender community. #HireTrans is a visibility campaign that will feature more than 60 trans and gender nonconforming people who were photographed by award-winning filmmaker Andre Perez. The Job Fair, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by Windy City Times with Center on Halsted, MB Financial Bank, US Bank, Howard Brown Health, Pride Action Tank, Chicago House, Association of Latino/as Motivating Action, Affinity Community Services, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Out & Equal Chicagoland and Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus.

Exhibitors in 2017 includes, among many others:
— Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
— AON
— AT&T
— Blue Plate
— Christy Webber Landscapes
— CNA Insurance
— Comcast/Xfinity
— Conagra Brands
— Exelon Corp.
— Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
— Fifth Third Bank
— Gap Inc. and Old Navy
— Groupon
— Heartland Alliance
— Hilton Worldwide
— Hyatt Hotel
— Mariano’s/Kroger Co.
— MB Financial Bank
— Northern Trust
— Planned Parenthood of Illinois
— Rush University Medical Center
— United Airlines
— Uptake
— US Bank

This is the third WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair. The first focused primarily on youth experiencing homelessness, and in 2016 there was a special emphasis on youth, trans and seniors. This year’s fair is open to all LGBTQ and allies. Booths at the job fair are $95 for businesses, $75 for nonprofits. Deadline is Sept. 15. Email Tracy Baim for details: editor@windycitymediagroup.com, or call 773-871-7610, EXT. 401. Also see www.facebook.com/LGBTQJobFair.