In and Around Park Forest Week of February 24, 2014

Robert Reich
Robert Reich will participate in the discussion following the screening of his film at the UUCCPF Thursday. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 24, 2014. I know from my experience with living in the Midwest that it gets difficult to venture out of the house during the winter – particularly when they have been as difficult as this season’s has. But there are some interesting events taking place this week in the south suburbs that may be just the thing to get you out and about.

On Tuesday, February 25, pack up the family and join the fun when the South Suburban Special Recreation Association (SSSRA) hosts the “Special Olympics and Police Officer Basketball Game.” Warm-ups will begin at 6:30 p.m. following by the game at 7 p.m. The game will be held at the Matteson Community Center, 20642 Matteson Ave. Many police officers from the south suburban region will participate in the event which is free and open to the public.  Come on out and cheer on the teams. Additional information can be found in the ‘This & That’ section.

On Thursday, February 27, the Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC) of Park Forest, 70 Sycamore Drive, will be hosting a watch party of Robert Reich’s awarding winning film “Inequality for All.” In this documentary, Reich demonstrates how the widening income gap has had a devastating impact on the economy. Following the film screening, Robert Reich will participate in a discussion by conference call to discuss the film and what we can do to combat the rising inequality in America. The film screening begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.  You’ll find additional information about this event in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.
The documentary film ‘What if Cannabis Cured Cancer’ will be screened at UUCC on Friday, February 28. The event will begin with an optional vegetarian potluck dinner at 6 p.m. with the movie screening beginning at 7 p.m. There will be a discussion following the film. This is a powerful and eye-opening film summarizing remarkable research findings in recent years about the cancer-protective effects of novel compounds in marijuana. Additional information about this very interesting event can be found in the ‘Educational Lecture & Opportunities’ section.
If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, February 24 & Saturday, March 1

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, February 24 at 7 p.m. In addition, the Board will hold a Saturday Morning Rules Meeting on March 1 at 10 a.m. Both 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 at
To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Black History Month Events

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

2nd Annual ‘Black Women Rock’ Awards – Friday, February 28

In celebration of African American History month, Governors State University’s Student Life Department will present the second annual awards show, “Black Women Rock.” The show honors and acknowledges the contributions of GSU students, faculty and community leaders at the university and in the region. This red carpet event will celebrate women in grand style. The “Black Women Rock” Awards will broadcast live from GSU’s Center for Performing Arts, February 28 at 7:30 p.m., on Comcast Channel 16. The award show will include performances from De’Borah (contestant in season three of NBC’s “The Voice”), the Electric Ladies, Four Women, Arletha Bolton and the Blue Angels, and LavaInk. Dorothy Tucker, reporter for Channel 2 News, will be the guest speaker. “Black Women Rock” is a way of honoring, praising and rejoicing the achievements of women in the community and thanking them for their contributions while honoring diversity. “Black Women Rock” is a free event that is open to the public. Nominations are currently being accepted for honorees. Visit to nominate yourself, a current GSU student, GSU alumna, faculty member or staff member for an award in several categories.

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

‘I Have a Dream: A King’s Journey’ – Monday, February 24

PSC is hosting, “I Have a Dream: A King’s Journey,” featuring Marcus Gentry, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday, February 24, in the Conference Center Auditorium, on the PSC Main Campus. Gentry will present, through dramatization, the story of the people and events that surrounded the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gentry is the founder and president of Marcus Gentry & Associates. He is the writer, director, and producer of several theatrical productions that are educational in focus and historical in content. He also is a member of the PSC Professional Speakers Bureau. Attendance is free, but advance reservation is requested. To reserve a seat, contact Berkley at 708-709-2946 or email [email protected]. Teachers who attend can earn 1.0 CPDU. To register for CPDU, contact Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or email [email protected]. PSC is hosting numerous events throughout the month of February to celebrate Black History Month. A full listing of events is available at under the Events tab.

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

Student Video Contest in Celebration of Black History Month – Submission Deadline Thursday, February 27

Congresswoman Robin Kelly launched a student video contest to honor the accomplishments of African-Americans. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade may submit a short video describing why it’s important to celebrate Black History Month. The top videos will be posted on Rep. Kelly’s website, while all videos submitted will appear on her YouTube channel. Each participant will also receive a personal thank-you letter from the congresswoman. The video must be 90 seconds or shorter, prominently feature the student and answer the following questions:

  • Why is it important to celebrate Black History Month?
  • What moment in black history is most relevant to you?
  • How do you think schools should celebrate Black History Month?

The deadline for submission is Thursday, February 27 at 6 p.m. Files must be saved as .mov or .mp4 format and emailed to [email protected]. Submissions will be categorized by grade level:

  • Kindergarten – 2nd grade
  • 3rd grade – 5th grade
  • 6th grade – 8th grade

For specific guidelines and to view Rep. Kelly’s kick-off video, visit Also posted on the site is a video guide to help first-time filmmakers upload their entry.

Arts & Entertainment

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

Mardi Gras Carnival with Orbert Davis – Saturday, March 1

On Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m., celebrate the rich musical culture of New Orleans with Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. A 15-member ensemble will bring the sounds of the world’s best street festival to life with jazz, blues, funeral processions, Mardi Gras Indian music, brass bands and more. Tickets are $35.
You can also add a pre-performance Mardi Gras buffet for $25 per person that will begin at 6:30 p.m. The New Orleans Style Buffet includes:

  • Chicken and andouille gumbo
  • White rice
  • Cheddar corn bread
  • Shrimp creole
  • Crab cakes with white remoulade
  • Savory sautéed garlic spinach
  • Bread pudding and light whiskey sauce
  • Beer and wine
  • Cash bar also available

Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

DePaul University, 1 East Jackson, Chicago

‘Hate Crimes in the Heartland’ – Tuesday, February 25

A new documentary by Rachel Lyon, ‘Hate Crimes in the Heartland,’ explores the 250,000 hate crimes committed in the United States each year through the lens of two hate crimes in Tulsa, Oklahoma The Illinois premiere of the film will be presented February 25 at DePaul University as part of the School of Cinema and Interactive Media’s visiting artist series. Hosted during Black History Month, the screening includes a reception and panel discussion with the filmmaker, an attorney who appears in the film, a Chicago public affairs talk show host and a former Chicago journalist. ‘Hate Crimes in the Heartland’ tells powerful stories of survivors, activists, leaders and community members. The film explores current and past hate crimes in the nation, asking important questions related to social justice, individual and collective responsibility, along with a true examination of the media’s influence on the justice system. The film is sponsored by the DePaul President’s Signature Series, School of Cinema and Interactive Media’s Visiting Artist Series, and Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. The event includes a dialogue on the impact of hate crimes in America over the past 100 years. Filmmaker Lyon will participate in a discussion along with Andrea Lyon, Cliff Kelley and Don Terry. More information about the film and screening in Chicago is at or, contact Elizabeth Ray at [email protected], 859-640-6416.

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘Cherish the Ladies’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for Freedom Hall’s Senior Theatre’s presentation of ‘Cherish the Ladies’ that will take place on Tuesday, March 25 at 11 a.m. When describing ‘Cherish the Ladies’, the critics say it best; "It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do", the Boston Globe, "An astonishing array of virtuosity", the Washington Post, "Expands the annals of Irish music in America, the music is passionate, tender and rambunctious", The New York Times. For the past twenty eight years, ‘Cherish the Ladies’ have proven themselves worthy to live up to these accolades and in doing so have become one of the most engaging ensembles in the history of Irish music.
Visit Cherish the Ladies website to read all the critics raving reviews! Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

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

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

NVAM is celebrating its first anniversary in its Milwaukee Avenue location with its art exhibition, Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience. Esprit de Corps features art by nine veterans of Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. The NVAM will be free and open to the public through August 1, 2014. Esprit de Corps is sponsored by Omicron, Bank of America and Paratech Incorporated. Drawing on breakthroughs in using art to assist with reintegration of veterans and for therapeutic expression, Esprit de Corps traces the process and roles of therapeutic art from the act of initial perception through expression of experience to an ultimate communal sharing and understanding of the real impact of war. Featured artists include Joseph Fornelli, Jerry Frech, Jonathan Hancock, Peter Sullivan, Benjamin Suarez, Thomas Gilbertson, Theodore Gostas, Richard Williams and Erica Slone. High resolution images of work in the show are available through the NVAM’s Dropbox. For additional information and hours, visit the museum’s website at

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

The following events will be held this week at the Park Forest Public Library:

  • Monday, February 24 at 12 p.m. – Friends Book Discussion: "Wild" — Discuss "Wild: Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed. Books will be available at Patron Services one month in advance. The club will continue to meet the fourth Monday of the month.
  • Monday, February 24 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Café — This laid-back space was created for teens to share and create with each other.
  • Monday, February 24 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, February 25 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement & Me — Come in and enjoy time with your preschooler during this class combining movement with adventure and stories. Exercise is a key to living a healthy lifestyle. In this class parents and caregivers are able to move with their children while having a great time.
  • Tuesday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m. — Teen Civic Art & Engagement — Create and participate in civic art projects. Dining on the Green is located in downtown Park Forest at 349 Main St.
  • Tuesday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games.
  • Wednesday, February 26 at 10:30 a.m. – Masters of Art — Children will have the opportunity to listen to a story and complete an art project related to the story.
  • Thursday, February 27 at 3:30 p.m. – Tech Thursday — Learn to make websites, android apps, and iPhone apps.
  • Thursday, February 27 at 5 p.m. — Chicago Wolves Read to Succeed — Throughout February, read to reach your winter reading goals! Celebrate with us on and get the chance to meet and take a picture with Cody Beach, Right Wing for the Chicago Wolves.
  • Friday, February 28 at 1 p.m. — Senior Travelogue — Topic: Versailles.
  • Friday, February 28 at 3 p.m. – Forensic Fridays — This week we’ll be learning all about Fingerprints.
  • Saturday, March 1 at 12: 30 p.m. — Saturday Movie Matinee: ‘Sabrina’ – ‘Sabrina’ is charming, humorous and aglow with some of Hollywood’s greatest stars. Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and Audrey Hepburn star in a Cinderella story directed by renowned filmmaker Billy Wilder (‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘Some Like It Hot’).
  • Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m. — Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! — Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday here at the library!

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, February 27

The Potpourri of Lectures will feature "Journey from Artist to Author: Why I Published My First Book at Age 62" with Karen DeWitt. The event will be held on Thursday, February 27 at 10:30 a.m. in the Ringering Room.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into a 1950s Valentine’s Day at the Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is decorated in February with vintage valentines and decorations in the exhibit “Step Back Into a 1950s Valentine’s Day.” The classroom, representing Park Forest’s first school, is decorated for a 1950s Valentine’s Day party with crepe paper candy baskets and construction paper heart-shaped valentine “mailboxes” on each desk. Red honeycomb, puffy hearts and vintage valentines are on display throughout the house. The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, is open Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the museum can also be open for groups by appointment, at other times. Donation is $5 for adults; children 12 and under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. For details, to arrange a special group tour, or to volunteer, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website,, or call Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

Annabelle Gould’s print of the Park Forest Plaza is available for sale at the Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. The vibrant print is from an original watercolor, showing kids and their moms in the Park Forest Plaza, in front of the old Holiday Theatre and Golden Hanger Shop. The print can be purchased at the House Museum during normal hours of operation on Wednesdays and Saturdays or through the Society’s online store on their website at Prints are $15 each. Online purchases also required an additional $6 fee for postage and handling. For additional information on other items for sale by the Society, visit

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

‘Metaphorical’ Exhibit –Through March 6

PSC is hosting “Metaphorical,” through March 6, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the PSC main campus. The exhibit features paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture by artists Renee McGinnis, Ana Fernandez, Sophia Nahli Allison, Robert Magrisso, and Joanna Pinsky. 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 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.

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

Congressional Art Contest for High School Students – Submissions by Appointment Only Through April 19

Representative Robin Kelly has launched her annual Congressional Art Competition open to high school students residing or attending a school within the Second Congressional District. The winner’s artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year. Students can submit their artwork at either of Rep. Kelly’s district offices, located at 1000 E. 111th St., 11th Floor, Chicago, or at 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson. Submissions will be accepted by appointment only, April 14-19, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Matteson office at 708-679-0078 or the Chicago office at 773-568-2623. Artwork must be two dimensional, framed no larger than 28” x 28” x 4” and can include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, computer generated art, or mixed media (use of two or more mediums: pencils, ink, watercolor, etc.) All artwork must be original. Representative Kelly will host a reception where she will announce the winner and runners-up on April 26, beginning at 9 a.m., in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located at South Suburban College in South Holland. The high school art competition was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 to acknowledge and support the artistic talent of America’s young adults. For more information, call Danielle Echols at 708-679-0078. Contest entry rules can be found at

Roosevelt University College of Performing Arts, 430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Performance and Recording of Two Orchestral Compositions – Tuesday, March 4

Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Chamber Orchestra will perform and record two orchestral compositions by award-winning Roosevelt University composer Stacy Garrop. Led by guest conductor and music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Markand Thakar, the CCPA Chamber Orchestra will present Garrop’s Shadow, a 2001 piece chronicling the composer’s stay at the Yaddo artist colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and her 1999 three-movement piece, Thunderwalker, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 in Roosevelt University’s seventh-floor Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 and Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1 will complete the concert program, which is free and open to the public. For information, call 312-341-2238 or visit Following the live performance, the CCPA Orchestra, under Thakar’s direction, will record the Garrop pieces for a CD being produced by Chicago-based Cedille Records.

Italian Opera to be Presented for Four Nights – Begins February 28

A delightful Italian opera by Gioachino Rossini will be presented by Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1 at Benito Juarez Community Academy, 1450 W. Cermak Road, in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and at 7:30 p.m. April 2 and 4 in the University’s Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., in downtown Chicago. All four shows are free and open to the public. Originally commissioned for the 1825 coronation in Reims, France, of French King Charles X, Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims) is considered to be one of Rossini’s finest works. Set in the lobby of an elegant spa hotel in the French countryside, the Pilsen production features 14 soloists from the CCPA/Chicago Opera Theatre Professional Diploma program and graduate-level voice majors as well as the CCPA Orchestra. For more information on these and other CCPA productions, call 312-341-2238 or visit

Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Photo Exhibit on Southeast Ohio’s Post-industrial Landscape – Through May 10

An exhibition by award-winning photo essayist Matt Eich, who tells the story through his photographs of an Ohio community abandoned by major industry, runs through May 10 in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. Featuring images of southeastern Ohio from 2006-12, Carry Me Ohio is a catalog of working-class issues and people who were forced to adapt after industry, including mining for coal, salt and clay and the cutting of timber, left the region approximately 40 years ago. One of the nation’s most promising young documentary photographers, Eich began taking pictures in southeast Ohio while he was a photojournalism student at Ohio State University. He has worked as a freelancer for GQ, Esquire, Mother Jones, Time, Fader, Harper’s and National Geographic, among others. Free and open to the public, Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery has hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit or call 312-341-6458.

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland

Regional High School Student Art Exhibit & Festival – Through February 28

The Art & Design Department of SSC will be showcasing its 19th annual Regional High School Student Art Exhibit through the closing “Art Festival” on Friday, February 28, 2014. The exhibition includes 21 regional high schools districts from Illinois and Indiana. Approximately 300 pieces of student artwork are on display in the galleries and display cases of the Art & Design Department at SSC’s Main Campus. In addition to the student artwork, the high school art faculty will be displaying their works concurrently at the biannual High School Faculty Exhibit in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery. All of the participating high school students and teachers will attend the festival on Friday, February 28th to participate in a visiting artist lecture, a gallery crawl reception, and demonstrations in various art studios. The festival day begins in the Performing Arts Center at 10:00 a.m. with opening remarks, followed by a lecture from visiting guest artist Mr. Jason Brammer, a Chicago artist represented by Linda Warren Gallery, who will present a Power Point presentation of his artwork and life experiences in the art world. Special remarks will also be given by Jessica Segal, Director of Union Street Gallery. Ms. Segal is the juror of this year’s High School Art Exhibition. An awards presentation for the high school students’ artwork will follow. Several businesses, including Jimmy Johns of South Holland, Dick Blick Art Materials Inc., and Great Lakes Clay, Inc. will sponsor the awards. Additionally, two art merit scholarships from the offices of the President and Vice President of Academic Services of SSC will be presented. Afternoon activities include a gallery reception crawl for the high school students with Brammer, who will be touring the exhibit and offering his comments. The SSC Art Faculty will also conduct demonstrations in the Digital Graphic Arts Studio, Painting Studio, Ceramics Studio and bronze casting in the Sculpture Atelier. The Art Festival’s events will conclude at 2:00 p.m. The Dorothea Thiel and Photo-Four Galleries are both located within the Art & Design studio complex on the fourth floor. The Art Faculty Exhibit is also currently on display in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located on the first floor near the Atrium. The public is cordially invited to attend the exhibition and festival free of charge. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and college holidays. More information is available from Jack Kirkpatrick, Chairman of the Art & Design Department, at 708-596-2000, extension 2445.

SSC Faculty Art Exhibition – Through February 28

The Art & Design Department of SSC is pleased to present its Biannual Faculty Exhibition in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery on the first floor of the college’s Main Campus. The exhibition will feature works from full-time and adjunct instructors currently teaching at the college. The instructors’ works represent a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry. The exhibiting SSC faculty are: Paulette Davis, Sergio Gomez, John Gutierrez, William Hafer, Don Heide, Jack Kirkpatrick, Cecil McDonald, Eric Tucker and Carol Weber. The Faculty Exhibition runs through March 5, 2014. Concurrently, the 19th annual Regional High School Student Art Exhibit continues through its closing “Art Festival” on Friday, February 28, 2014. The public is cordially invited to attend the exhibitions free of charge. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and college holidays. Contact Eric Tucker for information regarding the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery at [email protected], call 708-596-2000, extension 2300 or visit

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

56th Annual Beaux Arts Ball – Saturday, March 8

The 56th Annual Beaux Arts Ball for the Tall Grass Arts Association is slated for Saturday evening, March 8th beginning at 6 PM at Glenwoodie Golf Club 19301 S State St, Glenwood. This is the annual fundraiser for Tall Grass and the theme is “A Blast From the Past”. For more details on program, tickets, etc. please contact Tall Grass at 708-748-3377 or via email at [email protected].

‘Ethnic Expressions’ Exhibit – Through March 1

Tall Grass Gallery is currently featuring an exhibit entitled "Ethnic Expressions." The invited artists were challenged to submit works of art that define their heritage and explain how their culture, heritage and ethnicity inform and influence their art. The exhibit is curated by Cousandra Armstrong and Janice Pratt. The participating artists are: Terry Boykin, Sandra Bridges, David Caballero, Keith David Conner, Esperanza Gama, Jean Lewis, Mathias Muleme, Fritz Millevoix, Donna Radcliffe, Angela Redmond, Max Sansing, Janet Sheard, Dr. Yemonja Smalls, and Grant White. The exhibit will run through March 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information please visit the Tall Grass website at, or call the Gallery at 708-748-3377.

Union Street Gallery, 1526 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Who We Aren’t’ National Juried Exhibit – Reception Friday, February 28

‘Who We Aren’t’ is the first of Union Street Gallery’s highly regarded national juried exhibits for 2014. The exhibit runs through March 29. This exhibit features 44 talented artists from 19 different states exhibiting art that explores alter egos, secret identities, fictional personas. This figurative exhibit was juried by Chicago’s own Paul Klein, art critic and consultant, and Patrick Earl Hammie, professional artist best known for his monumental portraits. To learn more about the jurors, visit Join us for the opening reception of this extraordinary exhibit Friday February 28, 6-9pm. Many of the exhibiting artists and juror Patrick Earl Hammie will be present at the reception. We encourage our visiting public to engage the artists about their work. Admission is free, but a donation is appreciated. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit:

‘A Tribute to Women in Art’ – Opens March 5

‘A Tribute to Women in Art’ – an Exhibit for Women’s History Month will open on March 5 and run through March 31. The exhibit will be held at Chicago Height City Hall, 1601 Chicago Road. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit:

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

‘Inequality for All’ Watch Party & Discussion – Thursday, February 27

UUCC will host a watch party of Robert Reich’s award winning film ‘Inequality for All’ on Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m. Following the film screening, there will be a 20 minute conference call with Robert Reich to discuss the film and what we can do to combat rising inequality in America. ‘Inequality for All’ presents a passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, featuring Robert Reich-professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member-as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man who’s overcome a great deal of personal adversity and whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself. Reich uses humor and a wide array of facts to explain how the issue of economic inequality affects each and every one of us. For additional information about the film, visit: The event is free and open to the public. Coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Optional donations will be gratefully accepted. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

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 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills. One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson. Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help. Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail [email protected].

Roosevelt University, 425 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Preview Day – Registration Now in Progress

Students who are interested in undergraduate or graduate study can learn about the many advantages of Roosevelt University during Preview Day being held from 9:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 22 at the University’s Chicago Campus. At Preview Day, future students and their families can lean about Roosevelt’s admission, financial aid and scholarship opportunities and meet personally with faculty to discuss academic programs. Current Roosevelt students and faculty members will be at Preview Day to answer questions and discuss their Roosevelt experiences. In addition, information about Roosevelt’s many resources for students like career development, tutoring and academic support, living on campus, campus life and athletics will be presented. This also is an opportunity to tour Roosevelt’s outstanding facilities, including its 32-story Wabash Building, the second tallest academic building in the United States. A mixed-use facility, the Wabash Building houses 600 students, a cafeteria, the college of business, classrooms and science laboratories, a bookstore and a fitness center. Learn more and register to attend at Any interested student who is unable to attend the March 22 Preview Day should contact Roosevelt’s Office of Admission to arrange a campus visit or attend another upcoming event. For more information, call 877-277-5987 or email [email protected] .

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

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.

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

‘What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?’ Film Screening – Friday, February 28

UUCC will screen the movie ‘What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?’ on Friday, February 28. The event will begin with an optional vegetarian potluck dinner at 6 p.m. The movie screening will begin at 7 p.m. with a discussion following the film. This documentary is a powerful and eye-opening film summarizing remarkable research findings of recent years about the cancer-protective effects of novel compounds in marijuana. This film brings to light recent findings that have potentially game-changing implications for the future of cannabis as a medicine and perhaps even the future of medicine. The event is free and open to the public. Coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Bring a vegetarian dish to share at the potluck. Optional donations will be gratefully accepted. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit

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 Class – Training Begins Saturday, March 1

Mental Health First Aid Training is scheduled for Saturday March 1, 2014 from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm at Sertoma Centre (Mental Health Services) 4331 W. Lincoln Highway – Suite A in Matteson, IL. "Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders." – MHFA USA. Sertoma Centre’s Community Education Department provides free mental health education and prevention programming to community members and professionals. Trainings have been provided to high school students, college students, residence life staff of colleges/universities, university police officers, church congregations/staff, and the staff of social service agencies. Sertoma Centre is committed to educating the community about mental illness and reducing the stigma that often surrounds such topics. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. Registration is easy just go to or contact Derek Harris via email ([email protected]) or phone 708-748-1951 extension 419. CEUs are available. Inquire in advance for more information. To learn more about Sertoma Centre, please visit

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].

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

Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo – March 14

SSC proudly announces Saran Dunmore as the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo on Friday, March 14th located at the college’s Main Campus in South Holland. Saran Dunmore is an energetic fitness and lifestyle expert who enhances the lives of her clients and viewers through her passionate and motivating approach. Her knowledge and zeal for fitness is evidenced on NBC 5, where she has been a regular Fit Club Coach during the Saturday morning news hour, since 2007. Saran was also a trainer on the hit MTV weight loss show "I Used to Be Fat" from 2009-2012 and which is currently airing internationally. Saran is not just a fitness trainer; she’s an emcee, an athlete and a soon-to-be-author. The Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo is dedicated exclusively to women of all backgrounds ages 18 and up. This dynamic event features breakout sessions focusing on Health & Wellness, Business & Finance and Personal Empowerment topics. The cost of admission is just $15 per person with advance registration by March 14th or $25 at the door. The conference fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to all of the break-out sessions. There will also be over 50 vendors providing shopping opportunities with a wide range of products and services. For more information, or to register for the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2455 or visit

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, DC

Information on Health Insurance & the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Visit for information about Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act. The following paper applications are available to print out: Individual Short Form, Individual without Financial Assistance, and the Family Form.

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:

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 Community Nutrition Network (CNN) site 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 11 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

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.

Green Events

Community Green Connections, Oak Park/River Forest

3rd Annual One Earth Film Festival: 30 Inspiring Films, One Dynamic Weekend! – March 7 thru 9

March 7-9 at more than 2 dozen locations in Chicago and near-West suburbs. The Midwest’s premier environmental film festival is produced by Green Community Connections and features 30 films on topics such as food, water, waste, conservation, energy, and activism. Come explore, whether you are already committed to environmental action or just learning about sustainability. Enjoy post-film discussions and activities with topic experts to glean additional insights and get practical advice for taking next steps. Transformative films include “GMO OMG,” “Blackfish,” “More Than Honey,” “Harmony,” and more. Plus, engaging children’s films. One Earth Film Festival films are almost all FREE, and promise something meaningful for everyone — adults, teens, families and children. Sponsors and volunteers also sought! Visit Follow on Twitter: @OneEarthFF. Like on Facebook:

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Series of Energy Demand Reduction & Behavior Training Programs – Registration Now in Progress – Limited Seating

PSC will be offering a series of energy demand reduction and behavior change trainings this semester FREE of charge for employees and members of our community. The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)’s Illinois Community College Targeted Energy Management Training (ICCTEMT) Program provides a coordinated approach to offering behavior change and energy efficiency/reduction opportunities to Illinois community colleges. The program is targeted toward community college employees, as well as community members from all sectors, especially commercial and non-profit organizations. Funding is provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Building Industry Training Education (BITE) program.

Learn from experts:

  • Produce measurable electricity and gas savings (and save money at the same time)
  • Create a culture of energy awareness by making energy efficiency a top-level priority
  • Raise the level of energy efficiency literacy

Who should attend:

Local professionals, including: business owners, energy managers, facility operators, industry and manufacturing building owners, contractors, building officials, and municipal representatives
Community college faculty, staff, and students

What PSC is offering:

Preventive and Predictive Maintenance Equipment Best Practices, March 26, 2014 — 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This training will discuss and demonstrate how keeping equipment operating within design limits will minimize environmental risks, reduce maintenance and operational cost, and energy usage. The training will identify how to maintain equipment resulting in electrical, gas, and fuel savings, as well as increasing capacity through the elimination of downtime.
The Path To Sustainable Change, April 17, 2014 — 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
This is a skills-based workshop that trains participants in a process for creating sustainable change. This workshop will provide participants with:

    • An in-depth understanding of the Path to Sustainable Change
    • Skills to achieve sustainable behavior change in energy efficiency within organizations
    • Knowledge of how to start a movement

This training focuses on how to use the Path to Sustainable Change and connect the few and the many. There are four steps in creating sustainable change. This training explains these steps, provides examples of each, and lets participants practice creating sustainable behavior change for energy efficiency that can be translated into their organizations.
Facilitating Employee Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives, April 17, 2014 — 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
In this training, participants will come together to focus on employee engagement strategies, and the resulting behavior change, as a means by which to increase awareness and participation in sustainability (specifically, energy efficiency) efforts. Drawing upon experiential and conversational techniques, the trainers will leverage proprietary tools created and applied within broad public and private social change initiatives to create an interactive and thought-provoking learning environment.
All events are FREE and open to the public. Seats are limited. Advance registration is required for each event. For additional information, contact Allessandra A. Cairo, Sustainability Coordinator at 708-709-3764, e-mail [email protected] or visit:

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Make a Gourd Birdhouse – Registration Required by Friday, February 28

If you build it, wrens will come! Join us for our Make a Gourd Birdhouse Workshop on Sunday, March 2, and discover how to create a welcoming nesting space for wrens and other cavity nesters in your own backyard. You will build a birdhouse from a dried gourd, and once spring arrives, you can watch the wrens and other birds find their way to your gourd birdhouse. Enjoy free entertainment in your backyard as you observe the birds gathering nesting materials, prepare their nest and finally raise their young. Internationally-known artist Pat Moore, an instructor at the Tall Grass Arts Association that serves all of the South Suburbs, will help you create a natural style birdhouse from a gourd. You’ll learn how to prepare and paint a gourd birdhouse. There will be discussion on where to hang the birdhouse and the different cavity nesters that may visit your gourd birdhouse. This workshop is for all ages. There are two sessions to choose from: 1-2 p.m. or 2:30-3:30 p.m. Children under age 6 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $10 per birdhouse, limit one per person. All materials are provided. Registration is required for the Workshop by Friday, February 28. For more information or to register, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest at 708-747-6320 or [email protected]. The nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. There are many volunteer opportunities at the preserve such as staffing the nature center open hours, trail work, office skills, baking, assisting at programs and more.

‘Chili Evening Hike’ – Registration Required by Wednesday, March 5

‘Chili Evening Hike’ will be held Friday, March 7, 5-7 p.m. at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Join us to explore the Woodland Trail for a chilly evening night hike. Then we’ll return to the nature center to warm up with a mug of chili. 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 Wednesday, March 5. Come dressed for the weather. Participants should be able to walk a mile outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possibly snow-covered terrain. For more information or to register for this program, please call 708-747-6320 or e-mail [email protected].

Wednesday Morning Walkers – Begins March 5

On Wednesday, March 5 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderator. The Wednesday morning walks will continue each week through March 26. For additional information, please call 708-747-6320 or e-mail [email protected].

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 American Legion Post 1198, 1631 Western Ave., Chicago Heights

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, February 28 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

South Suburban Special Recreation Association (SSSRA), 19910 80th Avenue, Tinley Park

‘Special Olympics and Police Officer Basketball Game’ – Tuesday, February 25

SSSRA will host the ‘Special Olympics and Police Officer Basketball Game’ on Tuesday, February 25 at the Matteson Community Center, 20642 Matteson Ave. Warm-ups begin at 6:30 p.m. and the game starts at 7 p.m. Many police officers from the south suburban region will participate in the event. The event is free and open to the public. The mission of SSSRA is to promote the power of choice and to enhance the quality of life of individuals of all abilities, by providing accessible recreation in an environment that promotes dignity, success, and fun. SSSRA is a therapeutic recreation program that is an extension of eight park districts and three recreation and parks departments. It is organized to provide individuals with disabilities or special needs, the opportunity to be involved in year-round recreation. To learn more about SSSRA and its programs, call 815-806-0384 or visit

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

"Operation Hero Miles" collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the "Recycling" icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: eNews Park Forest, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, National Veterans Art Museum, Center for Performing Arts, Freedom Hall, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.