In and Around Park Forest Week of February 23, 2015

George and Connie Manno
George and Connie Manno enjoy the company of friends at St. Irenaeus’ Fish Fry Friday. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 23, 2015. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be taking a hiatus from ‘In & Around Park Forest’ until March 16. I have attempted to include as much information as possible in this week’s article. Your continued positive thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery from my upcoming surgery will be most appreciated. In the meantime, be sure to support our local businesses and events in and around Park Forest!

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during this period, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details no later than noon on Friday.

Village of Park Forest

Board Meeting Cancellation – Monday, February 23

The meeting scheduled for the Park Forest Board of Trustees previously scheduled for Monday, February 23 has been cancelled.

Village Board Meetings – March 1 through 16

The Board of Trustees will meet on:

  • Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m.
  • Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m.

The meetings 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) as well as on the Village web site here.

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 and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet March 1 through March 16:

  • Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, March 5 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, March 5 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission
  • Tuesday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
  • Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group

The meetings will be held at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, and residents are encouraged to attend.

Arts & Entertainment

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

‘Bon Appetite!’ – Sunday, March 1

Bon Appétite! is a comedy opera mimicking a classic Julia Child television broadcast. Witness an “episode” live on Sunday, March 1 at 4 p.m. at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts. Julia, played by the “deeply expressive” Sarah Ponder Brock (Chicago Sun Times), teaches the basics of making a classic French chocolate cake. The score, written by Lee Hoiby, takes listeners on a musical journey to match the cooking mayhem unfolding before their eyes, in classic Julia Child fashion. And it’s not just about cake. The Julia Child episode lasts about 20 minutes and additional songs about food and wine complete the experience including, “Be Our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast) and “Fin ch’an dal vino” (Don Giovanni) to “Votre Toast” (Bizet’s Carmen). Not an opera fan? You will be surprised and entertained by a laugh-out-loud production with familiar musical themes and a hilarious, fanatically whisking chef who whips up a decadent masterpiece. The audience gets to sample the food along with the songs and witness the hilarity up close and personal from tables that are on the stage! Tickets are $50 per person and include wine and food sampling throughout the show. Seating is limited so it is recommended to reserve your ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased: online at; by phone at 708-235-2222, or in-person at the Box Office Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The box office is open two hours prior to shows. Download the Center’s APP:

United States Army Field Band — Jazz Ambassadors America’s Big Band – Tuesday, March 17

On Tuesday, March 17 at 7 p.m., the Jazz Ambassadors America’s Big Band will play a free concert at the Center for Performing Arts. There is a limit of four (4) tickets per household. The Jazz Ambassadors—America’s Big Band is the official touring big band of the United States Army. This 19-member ensemble, formed in 1969, has received great acclaim both at home and abroad performing America’s original art form, jazz. Concerts by the Jazz Ambassadors are designed to entertain all types of audiences. Custom compositions and arrangements highlight the group’s creative talent and gifted soloists. Their diverse repertoire includes big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals, and patriotic selections. The band has appeared in all fifty states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and throughout Europe. Notable performances include concerts at international jazz festivals in Monteux, Switzerland; Newport, Rhode Island; Toronto, Canada; Brussels, Belgium; and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. In 1995, the Jazz Ambassadors performed in England, Wales, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. The band has also been featured in unique joint concerts with major orchestras, including the Detroit and Baltimore symphonies. Call the Box Office at 708.235.2222 for tickets or more information. Watch videos of past performances here.

‘The Cotton Mouth Club’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m., the Center for Performing Arts will present ‘The Cotton Mouth Club’ by Chicago Dance Crash. Featuring the music of OutKast and Michael Jackson, this production unleashes its fusion of styles on prohibition-era Chicago and the 1980s, converting the stage into a full-blown speakeasy. Using hip-hop, ballet, jazz, swing, acrobatics, breakdance, and contemporary dance styles, this time-traveling fable of romance, street violence and personal redemption offers a timeless story. This production is part of the Art Rising project, engaging the community in response to violence. Pre-show: Visual Arts Panel Exhibition, featuring artwork by area students responding to violence.
Post-show: Panel Discussion with community members, leaders, activists and students. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here: Buy Tickets. For additional information, call 708-235-2222.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

‘Rooted in Soil’ – Through April 26

Beneath the grass and pavement that cover Chicago lies a vital, under-valued ecosystem that gives rise to a new art exhibition — ‘Rooted in Soil’ — is now running at the DePaul Art Museum through April 26. The event is free and open to the public. Curators Laura Fatemi, interim director of the DePaul Art Museum, and her daughter Farrah Fatemi, an environmental scientist and assistant professor at Saint Michael’s College, combined their knowledge of art and science to explore the underappreciated role of soil in human life. ‘Rooted in Soil’ offers viewers a unique way to engage with environmental issues through the arts. Upon entering the museum, visitors will encounter a hanging terrarium built by artist Vaughn Bell, whose work challenges city dwellers to reconnect with nature. Bell invites viewers to enter the biosphere of the terrarium and peer out across the surface of the soil. For more information on events related to ‘Rooted in Soil,’ visit The DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit Photos from the exhibit can be viewed at:

DePaul University Opera Theatre, Chicago

‘The Magic Flute’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The DePaul University Opera Theatre will present Mozart’s final opera, ‘The Magic Flute,’ for two performances, March 13 and 15. The opera will be held in the historic Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E Balbo Drive. The March 13 performance will be presented at 7:30 p.m. and the March 15 at 2 p.m. “The Magic Flute” is a story of magic, wonder and love conquering all. The opera tells the story of Tamino, a young hero who is sent on a mission by the Queen of Night to rescue her daughter, Pamina from the clutches of the evil wizard, Sarastro. He must use the help of his sidekick Papageno, and the powers of the titular flute to survive the trials of Sarastro’s temple. However, not everything is how it seems. The opera combines Mozart’s music, a timeless story, colorful characters and Maxfield Parrish-inspired costumes and scenery. This opera is perfect for families and has both sung and spoken dialogue. It will be presented in English. Performances will be brought to life by guest conductor Hal France and stage director Harry Silverstein. France is an in-demand conductor who has worked for opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. He previously served as first conductor of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and as artistic director of the Omaha Opera. Silverstein has served as director of DePaul Opera Theatre for 25 years. He has worked on more than 90 productions of 40 different operas on four continents. Silverstein directed a production of “The Magic Flute” for the San Francisco Opera and will direct it again for the Washington National Opera in May. He also teaches advanced acting and musical stage technique classes at DePaul. Tickets are $25 for main floor seats, $20 for Mezzanine seats and $5 for seats in the balcony. Students may obtain two tickets for free at the door if they bring their student ID. Discounts also are available for seniors, students, DePaul alumni and DePaul employees. For more information, visit

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘The Rainbow Fish’ – Friday, February 27

Freedom Hall’s Children’s Series will present ‘The Rainbow Fish’ on February 27 at 7 p.m. With her lovely coloring and shimmering scales, the Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. How can she sacrifice the one thing that makes her so unique? ArtsPower has turned Marcus Pfister’s best-selling book into a delightful and touching musical about the value of sharing true friendship with others. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Box Office, by phone or online at: For additional information, call 708-747-0580 or visit Watch a video of The Rainbow Fish presented by ArtsPower.

The Volunteers to Perform at Freedom Hall – Sunday, March 8

Since 1981, The Volunteers have been bringing the Army story to life through rock, pop, country, and patriotic music. Whether rocking out major arenas around the country, thrilling crowds at community events, or entertaining Veterans in more intimate shows, these Soldier-Musicians proudly represent their fellow Soldiers for hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. The Volunteers have appeared in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Kuwait, and Iraq, with recent performances at Summerfest, Country USA, and the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. The members of The Volunteers also take great pride in their annual support of the U.S. Army All American Marching Band, where they teach and mentor the next generation of musicians. The Volunteers tours more than 100 days each year, bringing a powerful message of patriotism and support to communities large and small. Its members are passionate about representing their fellow Soldiers through music. Get to know The Volunteers, and see what the proud men and women of America’s Army can do. The Volunteers perform LIVE at Freedom Hall on March 8 at 3 p.m. Tickets are free but required for entry. Visit the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Park Forest’s Village Hall for tickets, or call 708-283-5608. Residents are encouraged to secure their tickets as early as possible.

C. J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band – Tickets Now on Sale

C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will perform at Freedom Hall on Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. C.J. Chenier, son of the ‘King of Zydeco’ Clifton Chenier, joined his father’s Red-Hot Louisiana Band playing saxophone at the age of 21. After Clifton’s death in 1987, C.J. picked up the accordion and took charge of his father’s ministry – to spread the word of Zydeco music to the world. The Boston Globe has called him “the crown prince of zydeco,” and Living Blues magazine hails him as “the best living zydeco singer and accordionist.” His musical style ranges from the traditional Zydeco of Clifton Chenier right on up to modern funk with healthy doses of blues, R&B, swamp pop and even country. Read more about C.J. Chenier. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased at the Box Office, by phone or online at For additional information, call 708-747-0580 or visit

‘Two On Tap’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Halls’ Matinee/Senior Theatre presents ‘Two on Tap’ on March 17 at 11 a.m. TWO ON TAP brings audiences back in time to an era when couples like Fred & Ginger and Mickey & Judy filled the silver screen with undeniable chemistry, tight vocal harmony, and precision tap choreography. With classic songs from the Great American Songbook, fantastic vocals, gorgeous costumes, and exciting tap-dancing, ‘Two on Tap’ creates a magical one-of-a-kind show filled with variety, comedy, and plenty of Broadway-quality song-and-dance featuring celebrated musical theatre performers Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano. Tickets are $15. Call Freedom Hall at 708-747-0580 to order tickets.

Grande Prairie Singers, 266 Somonauk Street, Park Forest

Grande Prairie Singers to Perform at Faith United Protestant Church – Tickets Now on Sale

The Grande Prairie Singers honor true lovers of all generations with a pairing of Henry Purcell’s version of the timeless tale of ‘Dido and Aeneas’ with the choral version of the Leonard Bernstein- Stephen Sondheim magnificent 20th century musical ‘West Side Story’ in their second concert of the season, 4 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock, Park Forest. Taken from the pages of classic literature, “Dido and Aeneas” recounts to love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan prince, Aeneas. Their story is coupled with that of Tony and Maria’s great love. Tickets for the concert are $15 and may be ordered at or by phone at 708- 481-8684. Concert day tickets are $20 or $10 for students with an ID. For nearly 40 years, the Singers have been sharing their passion for great singing with their audience in bringing song to the Southland.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Let the Music Move You’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Let the Music Move You’ with the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center which will be performed on Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln-way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 South Harlem Avenue, Frankfort. Herald the arrival of spring with this exuberant program of live choreographed dance with orchestra, featuring members of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center under the direction of Founder and Music Director Homer Hans Bryant. The celebration includes dance works inspired by American composers with original choreography by Director Bryant, followed by Shostakovich’s dynamic tribute to the life of Lenin. The performance repeats at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Illinois. Tickets are $35, $45 and $55 and can be purchased online at For additional information, call 708-481-7774.

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘The Things They Carried’ – Permanent Exhibit

The National Veterans Art Museum reopened its permanent exhibit ‘The Things They Carried’ in a brand new gallery space meant to be more immersive for viewers. Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s book ‘The Things They Carried,’ this exhibit serves as a visual companion that illustrates the narrative with fine art and photography from veterans that lived the stories in the novel. Much like the book, the exhibit explores the concept of storytelling and questions how one might share the story of the Vietnam experience. The exhibit takes as its central question “how to tell a true war story” and prompts viewers to consider their personal stories and contemplate how they might share their own narratives. By literally incorporating the essential elements of storytelling: Who, Where, When, and What, ‘The Things They Carried’ begins by chronicling the Vietnam conflict through first-hand visual accounts and descriptions. The exhibit culminates in the re-creation of an authentic Vietnam-era tented shelter to bring viewers into the intimate physical experience of sleeping, living and working in the field during that time. With artworks and objects created and collected by over twenty Vietnam veteran artists, ‘The Things They Carried’ also provides visual interpretations to viewers, illustrating the war by those who were there. This form of pictorial storytelling offers insights into the individual personalities of those who served, where they were in Vietnam both geographically and environmentally, and what the cultural climate of the time looked like. Representations and artifacts come together in ‘The Things They Carried’ to offer an individuated and holistic presentation of the social and historical context of the Vietnam War. With didactic guides and lesson plans that accompany the artwork and artifacts, visitors of all ages can gain a better understanding of “how to tell a true war story” as explored in Tim O’Brien’s book, as well as explore possibilities and benefits of personal storytelling. Featured artists include László Kondor, Dean Sharp, Charles Shobe, William Myles, James McJunkin, John Hosier, Michael Harac, and Arthur Jacobs. The Museum is open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers free admission year-round. For additional information, call 312-326-0270 or visit:

Park Forest Historical Society, 141 Forest Boulevard

Step Back Into the 1950s House Museum

Step back to see Park Forest when it first began in the 1950s during a visit to the Park Forest House Museum. The Museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or by appointment, if possible. Period decorations are on display in every room. Call Jane Nicoll, Museum Director, at 708-481-4252 to confirm opening in case of extreme bad weather. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century to revisit your past in this gem of a museum, just down the street. Several Park Forest-related gift ideas are available at the museum and in the online store at Convenient street parking is available in front of the museum!

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled February 23 through March 15 at the Park Forest Library:

  • Monday, February 23 at 11 a.m. – Storypalooza — A fun story time for all kids through the age of 6 with an adult. Siblings are welcome.
  • Tuesday, February 24 at 7 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your PJs out on the town! Bring along a fuzzy friend and your blanket too! Stories, activities, and more. Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, February 25 at 11 a.m. – Baby Time — Story time for infants to 35 months of age with an adult. This story time is designed to engage children through movement, music, stories, and more.
  • Thursday, February 26 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — Ages 3-5. Bring your little artist to create their very own masterpiece! We may get a little messy so wear play clothes.
  • Friday, February 27 at 1 p.m. — Senior Travelogue — Great Museums: The Molly Brown House and The Colorado History Museum
  • Friday, February 27 at 2:30 p.m. – Reader’s Theater — Do you love dancing, acting, and singing? Would you like to put on a show for your friends and family to see? Join us for Reader’s Theater, where we will bring out the artist in you!
  • Monday, March 2 at 3 p.m. — Internet Basics — Learn to the basics of using the internet, including safe browsing and getting driving directions. Registration Required.
  • Monday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. — Family Movie Night: ‘Big Hero 6’ — Join us for an action-packed comedy adventure that introduces BayMax, a lovable, personal companion robot who forms a special bond with robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada.
  • Tuesday, March 3 at 6 p.m. — Teen Advisory Board Meeting — We want YOU to join our new Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and help plan and design this new space for PF/OF teens. Ask for an application in patron services.
  • Saturday, March 7 at 11 a.m. — Microsoft PowerPoint — An introduction to using the presentation program Microsoft PowerPoint. Registration Required.
  • Monday, March 9 at 3 p.m. — Gmail Basics — Learn to the basics of using Gmail Email. If you do not have a Gmail account, please sign up for one before attending the class. Registration Required.
  • Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. – Microsoft Word 2013 — An introduction to using the word processing program Microsoft Word. Registration Required.
  • Monday, March 16 at 3 p.m. — Intro to Computers Class — Provides an introduction to the computer and its basic uses. Registration Required.

For additional information or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit

Spring Potpourri of Lectures – February 23 – March 15

The spring Potpourri of Lectures series continues on:

  • Thursday, February 26 — “Albert Camus Straddles the Mediterranean” with Stan Moore
  • Thursday, March 5 — "At the Border of Empires: The Tohono O’odham and their Subordination through Assimilation" with Professor Andrae Marak
  • Thursday, March 12 — “Health Issues for Seniors” with James Habib, MD

The lectures will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Library’s Ringering Room. For additional information, call 708-7480-3731 or visit

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

‘Obsession: Works by Reginald Baylor, Mary Croteau, and Jordan Scott’ – Through March 18

PSC is hosting the art exhibition, ‘Obsession: Works by Reginald Baylor, Mary Croteau, and Jordan Scott,’ through March 18, 2015, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the PSC’s main campus in Chicago Heights. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

‘Macbeth’ – Wednesday, March 11

PSC is hosting a Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier production of “Macbeth” at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 11, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium in the Conference Center of the PSC main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. The event is being sponsored by the PSC Foundation, Division of Liberal Arts, and Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Tickets for the play are $5 for students, faculty, and staff of PSC, and $10 for general admission. The performance includes the 75-minute production, followed by a 15-minute talk back with the actors. Tickets are being sold before the event in the Business Office. Tickets also will be available at the door the morning of the performance. Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces award-winning plays on their home stage on Navy Pier, as well as throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods and on stages around the world. The company has been honored with numerous national and international awards, including the Regional Theater Tony Award, three Laurence Olivier Awards, and seventy-seven Joseph Jefferson Awards. CST was the 2012 recipient of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s national Shakespeare Steward Award for innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms. For more information, contact Justin Vidovic at 708-709-7981 or email [email protected].

Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts, 420 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Triple Bill of Operatic Fables – February 28 & March 1

A triple bill of operatic fables will be staged in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood on February 28 and March 1 by Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA). Some of CCPA’s most talented students, including the entire graduate class of voice majors, members of the CCPA/Chicago Opera Theater’s Professional Diploma in Opera Program and the CCPA opera orchestra will perform Three Fables during the University’s annual spring opera production at Benito Juarez Community Academy. Free and open to the public, the performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 28 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at Benito Juarez Community Academy’s Performing Arts Center, 1450 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit or call 312-341-2352.

‘Picnic’ – Tickets Now on Sale

‘Picnic,’ the play by William Inge will be performed on Friday, March 20 through Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday March 22 at 2 p.m. When a handsome young drifter named Hal arrives to a small town in Kansas on Labor Day, his combination of irrepressible charm and uncouth manners excites all the women in town, particularly the town’s sweetheart, Madge. When Hal is forced out of town, Madge has to decide if their fleeting encounter is worth changing the course of her life. A Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, ‘Picnic’ is an American classic about the glow of youth and the fine line between desire and restraint. Please call 312-341-3831 for reservations or additional information. Government photo I.D. may be required for entrance to building.

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

‘Crime Then and Now’ – Through April 11

Compelling photos related to crime in Chicago since the 1920s will be on display for the first time as Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, continues the Above the Fold: 10 Decades of Chicago Photojournalism series. Running through April 11, “Crime Then and Now: Through the Lens of the Chicago Tribune” tells the story of crime photography and how it has changed over the decades through 65 Tribune photos from the early 1920s through the present. Co-curated by Chicago Tribune Picture Editor Michael Zajakowski and Gage Gallery’s Tyra Robertson, the exhibit features vintage photographs as well as contemporary photos taken by photographers assigned to the Tribune’s crime beat. The exhibit features historic shots of such well-known figures as Al Capone, John Dillinger and Clarence Darrow arguing in 1924 against the death penalty for Nathan Leopold and Robert Loeb, who were sentenced to life in prison in one of Chicago’s most notorious murder cases. Contemporary crime photography of gang shootings and communities in distress over escalating violence also are featured prominently in the exhibit. Free and open to the public, the ongoing Gage series is sponsored by Roosevelt’s College of Arts and Sciences and is made possible by the generosity of donor Susan Rubnitz. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 312-341-6458 or visit

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

Regional High School Student Art Exhibit – Through Friday, February 27

The Art and Design Department of SSC is currently displaying its 20th annual SSC Regional High School Student Art Exhibit through the closing Art Festival Day on February 27th. The exhibition includes 22 regional high schools districts from Illinois and Indiana. Approximately 300 pieces of student artwork is on display in the galleries and display cases of the Art and Design Department on SSC’s Main Campus. In addition to the high school student artwork, the high school art faculty will be displaying their artwork for their bi-annual High School Faculty Exhibition in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located on the first floor. The exhibitions will culminate on Friday, February 27th with all of the participating high school students and teachers on campus for a visiting artist lecture, a gallery crawl reception, and demonstrations in various art studios. The Art and Design Department of SSC is located on the fourth floor, Northeast section of the South Holland campus. The Dorothea Thiel and Photo-Four Galleries are both located within the Art and Design studio complex. The public is cordially invited to attend the exhibition and festival free of charge. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and college holidays. For more information, contact Jack Kirkpatrick, Chairman of the SSC Art & Design Department at 708- 596-2000, extension 2445.

SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts Center, 371 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Soul Heaven: A Musical Tribute’ – Opens Friday, February 27

SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts Center will present ‘Soul Heaven: A Musical Tribute’ will be performed on Friday, February 27 at 7 p.m., Saturday, February 28 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 1 at 4 p.m. ‘Soul Heaven’ features the music of Tyrone Davis, Gene Chandler, Jackie Wilson, Joe Simon, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, James Brown, Whitney Houston, Michal Jackson and more. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-748-9470 or visit

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Journeys, Passages, Retreats’ Exhibit – Through February 28

The ‘Journeys, Passages, Retreats’ exhibit will run through February 28. The exhibit is free and open to the public. In this large and diverse exhibit, twenty artists from the Midwest Collage Society interpret memory, discovery and transformation through an elegant and uninhibited mix of media and techniques. Founded in 2003, the Midwest Collage Society includes members from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. All are professional artists; many teach classes and workshops; travel extensively; write constantly; find inspiration in family, friendship, nature, as well as other forms of art and art history; and believe wholeheartedly in experimentation, playfulness, humor, risk-taking, reinvention, and rediscovery. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-748-3377 or visit

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

‘You Art What You Eat’ – Through March 28

‘You Art What You Eat,’ a National juried exhibit will run through March 28. A reception will be held on Friday, February 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gallery. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit

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

Screening of ‘Carbon Nation’ – Friday, February 27

The documentary film ‘Carbon Nation’ will be screened at UUCC on Friday, February 27 at 7 p.m. A discussion will follow the film. ‘Carbon Nation’ is an optimistic, solutions-based film that show how tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national & energy security, and promotes health and a clean environment. The event is free and open to the public. Free coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Optional donations are appreciated. For additional information, visit

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Freshman Fridays – March 6

Freshman Fridays will be held at GSU on March 6, April 3 and May 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission to a four-year university for highly qualified students has been streamlined at Governors State University with a new program called Freshman Fridays. Attending the session, providing the appropriate documentation and meeting the qualifications enables graduating seniors to apply to GSU and receive an instant admissions decision on-the-spot. The future GSU students can meet with academic and financial aid advisors, take a tour of the university and see what residence hall life is like. To qualify for direct admissions on Freshman Fridays, graduating seniors must meet the following criteria: have an unweighted GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale, have a minimum composite ACT score of 20 with at least a 20 in the English and math components and provide their official high school transcripts and official ACT scores (scores may be posted on the official transcript). Additionally, GSU will waive the application fee for qualified applicants attending Freshman Fridays. For more information, visit or call 708-534-4490

Healthcare Symposium on the Affordable Care Act – Thursday, March 12

GSU’s Student Healthcare Management Association (SHCMA), in partnership with the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce, will host a healthcare symposium on the ramifications of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Thursday, March 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. in GSU’s Hall of Governors. This event is free to all GSU students, and $25 for members of the general public. Light refreshments will be provided. Registration is required. To register for this event, visit Symposium topics to be covered include: Understanding the economic impact to businesses; Identifying the benefits of care coordination; Tackling complexities to achieve a level of administrative simplification; Recognizing the imperative of integration and collaboration; What’s next on the horizon? Presenters at the symposium will include: Michael Wojcik, Senior VP of the Horton Group; Michael Englehart, President of Advocate Physician Partners; Richard Allergetti, Vice President of Market Strategy & Business Development, Blue Cross Blue Shield; Raul Garza, President/CEO of Aunt Martha’s Health Center; and Denise Scarpelli, Pharm D., Director, Walgreens.

Doing Business in Latin America Workshop – Registration Now in Progress

A free workshop on Doing Business in Latin America will be held Friday, March 27, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Governors State University. Business and trade leaders from Brazil, Colombia and Panama will help you understand the opportunities and challenges in these markets and discuss best practices leading to success. Registration is required at: The workshop is sponsored by: Governors State University, Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research, Illinois SBDC and International Trade Center, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information, contact: Dr. Jun Zhao at: [email protected], 708-534-4953, or Mary Ma [email protected], 708-534-6976.

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday at GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

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

Free Financial Aid Workshops – Every Tuesday & Wednesday Through March 25

Submitting a completed and accurate Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most important step in obtaining financial aid. In order to help students and their parents file the FAFSA online, PSC is hosting several workshops throughout February and March. Staff members of the Financial Aid office will be on hand during the workshops to answer questions. The workshops are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., every Tuesday and Wednesday through March 25. There will be no workshops on March 17 or 18 due to Spring Break. Spanish translations are available during the Feb. 3 morning and evening workshops and the Feb. 4 and 18 morning workshops. All workshops will be held in the Learning Achievement Center on the college’s main campus at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. The workshops are free and open to the public, and advanced registration is requested at (708) 709-3735 or [email protected]. In order to complete the FAFSA, students will need to provide completed or estimated 2014 tax information (parent’s and student’s 1040, 1040A, and/or 1040EZ federal tax applications and W-2 forms); the student’s driver’s license and social security number; the parent’s social security number and date of birth; records of untaxed income (welfare, social security, AFDC/ADC, or veterans benefits); current bank statements; current mortgage information for properties other than the family’s principal residence; and records of businesses, farm (if not the family’s principal residence), and assets (stocks, bonds, and other investments). For more information on the FAFSA workshops at PSC, contact the college’s Office of Financial Aid at (708) 709-3735 or email [email protected].

‘Best Management Practices for Community Trees’ – Registration Now in Progress

PSC is offering a new course this semester through our corporate and continuing education department titled ‘Best Management Practices for Community Trees.’ This interactive, eight-hour course will be held on March 3 and 4 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. OR March 17 and 18 from 6 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. and held in Room 108 of the Matteson Area Center, 4821 Southwick Drive, Matteson. Participants will gain an understanding in selecting, placing, conserving, protecting, maintaining, establishing, renovating and replacing trees. Technically correct and widely accepted best management practices and standards used by professionals in the field will be provided to enable participants to gain new information and enhance current skills. The course is recommended for professional arborists, urban and community foresters, landscape architects and other tree care and landscape professionals. The fee for the course is $129. To register:

  • Visit
  • Click Instant Enrollment
  • Click register and pay for continuing education classes.
  • Reference Code PIHMG-054-MC for the March 3 & 4 course
  • Reference Code PIHMG-054-M1 for the March 17 & 18 course.

Note: CEUs have been applied for and are pending approval by the Illinois Arborist Association. For additional information, call Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or email [email protected].

‘Landscape Concepts’ – Registration Now in Progress

PSC is offering a new course this semester through our corporate and continuing education department titled ‘Landscape Concepts.’ This interactive, eight-hour course will be held on March 10 and 11 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. OR March 24 and 25 from 6 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. and held in Room 108 of the Matteson Area Center, 4821 Southwick Drive, Matteson. Participants will gain an understanding in selecting, placing, conserving, protecting, maintaining and establishing functional landscapes. Widely accepted practices and standards used by professionals in the field will be provided. The course is recommended for turf managers, landscape architects and landscape professionals. The fee for the course is $129. To register:

  • Visit
  • Click Instant Enrollment
  • Click register and pay for continuing education classes
  • Reference Code PIHMG-055-MC for the March 10 & 11 course
  • Reference Code PIHMG-055-M1 for the March 24 & 25 course.

Note: CEUs have been applied for and are pending approval by PLANET and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. For additional information, call Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or email [email protected].

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

Allied Careers & Health Programs Open House – Thursday, March 5

SSC will be hosting an Allied Health & Career Programs Open House on Thursday, March 5th from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Atrium of the Main Campus in South Holland. Instructors and students will be on hand to answer questions about the curriculum, program requirements, field of work and job outlook. The Allied Health & Career Programs Open House will showcase SSC’s wide range of health-related programs that can lead to rewarding careers in two years or less. These programs include Child Development, Community Health Worker, Coding Specialist, Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound), Echocardiography, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Medical Technician, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Medical Assistant, Nanoscience Technology, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Radiologic Technology, and Speech Language Pathology Assistant. For more information about the Allied Health & Career Programs Open House, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2258 or email [email protected]. Visit SSC online at or contact the Admissions Office at 708-210-5718 to schedule a campus tour.

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 where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

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, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Scholarship Applications for Park Forest Students – Due March 31

Scholarship applications for Park Forest students are available now. Four students will receive scholarship awards from the Village of Park Forest — three students will receive the Park Forest Scholarship in the amount of $500 and one student will receive the Dr. Kenneth W. Kramer Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. The Park Forest Youth Commission also has two scholarship awards available. To learn more about the Village of Park Forest Scholarship Awards visit To learn more about the Park Forest Youth Commission Scholarship Awards visit Applications for both scholarship programs are due March 31.

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.

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 [email protected].

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:

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 to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

Senior citizens of all income levels are invited to lunch weekdays at the Rich Township Senior Café located inside the Rich Township’s Shirley J. Green Senior Center. The CNN site is open to all south suburban residents, including those living outside of Rich Township. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.50. Lunch is served Monday through Friday at noon. Bingo begins at 10 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

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

Qigong with Jim Kobus – Most Thursdays

UUCC will host Qigong with Jim Kobus on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the church. This class will usually meet on Thursdays but there may be exceptions, so if you are interested in attending, please send an email to Jim Kobus at [email protected] so he can notify you when class will NOT be held. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class. Please bring your own water. It is recommended that you eat dinner after class, not before. For additional information, please call 708-799-1925 or visit

Green Events

Green Community Connections, 166 North Humphrey Ave, Unit 1N, Oak Park

Fourth Annual One Earth Film Festival – Begins Mach 6

The planning team for the Fourth Annual One Earth Film Festival, "The Midwest’s Premier Environmental Film Festival" proudly announces the official selections for this year’s screenings taking place in 30 venues around the Chicago metropolitan area (full schedule linked here). The event will take place March 6 through 8. We are pleased to add several world-class institutions and two suburban satellite locations in Far North suburban Grayslake and Elmhurst in DuPage County. Produced by the Oak Park and River Forest-based volunteer organization, Green Community Connections, the 2015 Fest will offer over 40 feature-length and short documentaries. Films were thoughtfully screened and selected to bring awareness and attention to the many environmental impacts facing residents in the region. By expanding throughout the metropolitan area, Festival organizers hope to reach wider and more diverse audiences. Among this year’s locations are several city landmarks: Chicago Cultural Center, Garfield Park Conservatory and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Other prominent institutions that have signed on to host films are the University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, Dominican University, and Triton College. Sustainability-committed congregations and community organizations will also be screening films. Because compelling, independent films should be available for all, most screenings are offered free or for a nominal cost. To ensure the festival can continue its important work, the suggested donation is $5 per film or $15 for the entire weekend. Reservations are strongly advised; screening venues have a maximum capacity. For the full One Earth Film Festival 2015 schedule, visit Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@OneEarthFF). Fin the full event schedule and purchase tickets at

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers

Come walk the trails with Wednesday Morning Walkers every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Follow the forest’s seasonal changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on two miles of Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or icy or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. This weekly program is free and open to those 13 years of age and older. Registration is required two days before your first walk. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

‘Chili Evening Hike’ – Registration Required by Tuesday, March 4

‘Chili Evening Hike’ will be held Thursday, March 5, 5:30-8 p.m. at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Let’s listen, and adjust our eyes, ears and even our walking styles to catch a glimpse of the active life of the nocturnal woods! Learn which of our winter residents are night prowlers as we join a winter scavenger hunt. After our chilly stroll, warm up with a mug of homemade Thorn Creek chili; choose among hearth-cozy, midnight wake-up call and barn-burner intensities. A fun evening for the hot-blooded and intrepid. The ‘Chili Evening Hike’ program is for all ages. Fee is $5 and registration is required by Tuesday, March 3. Come dressed for the weather. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possibly snow-covered terrain. For more information or to register for this program, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center at 708-747-6320 or [email protected].

Spring Clean Up Day – Sunday, March 15

Shake the winter blahs and come held in the annual Spring Clean Up Day which will be held on Sunday, March 15 from noon to 4 p.m. There will be indoor work to be done I preparation for the spring season. Ring a lunch and gloves and dress for the weather. Refreshments provided. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult, and registration is required for a group of 6 people or more. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

Thorn Creek’s Woods Music Songfest – Tickets Now on Sale

As spring begins, come celebrate the wood with music at Thorn Creek’s Woods Music Songfest which will be held on Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m. With the generous donation of the musicians’ time and expertise all proceeds will benefit Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Woods Music tickets are $10. The program is for those older than 12 years of age. Seating is limited and it is recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-747-6320.

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.

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.

This & That

Park Forest Baseball

Park Forest Baseball Registration for 2015 Season

Registration for the 2015 Park Forest Baseball season is now underway. Upcoming Park Forest Baseball registration dates are:

  • February 28 — 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • March 12 — 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

All fees are due by March 12. For additional information, including registration fees and age restrictions, visit or call 708-975-1294.

Park Forest Nonpartisan Committee

Non-Partisan Committee’s Candidate Final Forum — Sunday, March 22

The Non-Partisan Local Government Committee, begun 60 years ago, is here to help you learn more about the candidates so that you are well-prepared to make important decisions on who to give your vote to on April 7. Three Village Trustee positions as well as the Village Mayor and candidates for three Library Board Trustees will be on the April 7, 2015 ballot. Hear from the candidates running for office at the final forum taking place at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, on Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m. Additional information on the Non-Partisan Committee can be found at: and

If you were unable to attend the previous Forums, you can view the January 25th event at and February 8th at

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

2015 Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo – Friday, March 13

SSC proudly announces Gia Claire as the Keynote Speaker for the 2015 Chicago Women’s Conference on Friday, March 13th located at the college’s Main Campus in South Holland, Illinois. This year’s theme “Getting it All Together” marks the 7th annual event that the college’s Business and Career Institute (BCI) is planning for women of all backgrounds ages 18 and up to come together for one day dedicated exclusively to women. The positive feedback and participation has grown tremendously since the event’s inception. Last year over 350 participants and 50 vendors participated in this truly unique opportunity. A born and raised Chicago girl with a desire to inspire, Gia Claire draws from 20 years of experience in large corporate leadership roles to being a single mom. In addition to an exciting Keynote from Ms. Claire, this year’s event will again include networking, shopping, and will feature over 15 speakers on topics including Personal Empowerment, Health & Wellness, and Business & Finance, along with a “Girl Talk” panel that will feature poignant discussions on the many areas of a woman’s life. The cost of admission is just $15 per person with advance registration, or $25 at the door. The conference fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to all of the break-out sessions. For more information, or to register for the 2015 Chicago Women’s Conference, please call 708 596-2000, extension 2455 or visit

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Park Forest Vehicle Stickers for 2015 – 2016 Year – Sales Begin March 1

Park Forest vehicle stickers for the 2015-2016 year go on sale March 1. Vehicle stickers must be displayed prior to May 1 on all vehicles registered with the State of Illinois with a Park Forest address, even if that vehicle is not located in Park Forest. View full details on vehicle sticker sales by clicking on this link: Click for complete vehicle sticker information!