In and Around Park Forest Week of February 3, 2014

Park Forest Police Station
Winter on Ash Street. Much snow. Little melt. And more on the way. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 3, 2014. The 3rd Annual One Earth Film Festival will feature 30 inspiring films for adults and children on topics such as food, water, waste, conservation, energy, and activism. Sponsors and volunteers are still needed for the event that will be held March 7 thru 9. Additional information about the One Earth Film Festival can be found in the “Green Events” 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 3

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, February 3 at 7 p.m. 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: and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet the week of February 3:

  • Tuesday, February 4 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, February 6 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

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

Arts & Entertainment

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

Hair Crownicles and Sugar Funk: Two stories for Women, about Women – Friday, February 7

Chicago-based performers Medina Perine and Penelope Walker will be performing their one-woman shows Hair Crownicles and Sugar Funk at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts for one night only on Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. Explore what it means to be a woman on a quest for balance and acceptance in the hilarious and poignant, HAIR CROWNICLES and SUGAR FUNK. This no holds barred journey blends house music, dance and humor to deliver a message of empowerment that all women can relate to. Join Media Perine on her personal quest to come to terms with her hair amidst peer pressure and social expectations. Then watch Penelope Walker dance her way through life with diabetes and a whole lot of humor, finding a sense of balance through family, fitness and spirituality. Penelope Walker is a Chicago-based actress who has appeared in several shows at the Steppenwolf and the Goodman, including multiple returns in the annual "A Christmas Carol.” Medina Perine is a New Orleans native who is active in Chicago theatre, appearing in ETA, Gorilla Tango Theater, DuSable Museum and MPAACT Theater Company productions. Only 200 audience members will be seated onstage with the performers for this unique and intimate performance. Tickets are $25. Seniors (65+) pay $20. Students pay $10. Discounts are not available online. This event is part of the One More Night series, bringing Chicago artists to the southland and is generously supported by The Chicago Community Trust. Our 2013-2014 Season is sponsored in part by a grant from The Illinois Arts Council, and agency of the State of Illinois. 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. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts at GSU Center. Patrons who select three 2013-2014 shows are eligible for 15 percent discounts. Patrons who select four or more shows are eligible for 20 percent discounts. (Savings are not available online).

‘Love and Marriage’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Explore the passion, tumult and joy of marriage when ‘Love and Marriage’ is performed on Sunday, February 9 at 4 p.m. Two married couples explore the passions, tumult and ultimate joy of marriage. You’ll be up close and personal as four opera singers deliver arias and songs inspired by romance, jealousy, hate and timeless love. Sample a Café style opera. From your unique vantage point of your table on the stage, you’ll be looking out into the theater as the operatic stories unfold. Viennese pastries and coffee will be offered during this intimate performance on The Center’s stage. Tickets are $35. 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.

Lightwire Theater’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ – Tickets Now on Sale

See NBC’s "America’s Got Talent" finalist, Lightwire Theater, bring these beloved tales ‘ The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ into a new and brilliant light through the use of cutting edge technology, poignant choreography and music ranging from classical to jazz to pop. The performance will take place on Sunday, February 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children at and under. 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

DePaul University Chinese Studies to Hold New Year Gala – Friday, January 31

The annual Chinese New Year gala at DePaul University will be held Jan. 31 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., room 120, on the Lincoln Park Campus. This year’s event, to commemorate the Year of the Horse, is presented by DePaul’s Chinese Studies Program. The tradition brings together students, faculty and the community to honor the holiday with dinner and cultural performances. In the Chinese culture, the horse is a symbol of speed, perseverance, nobility and class, according to Li Jin, an assistant professor and director of the Chinese Studies Program. People born in the Year of the Horse are thought to be smart, perceptive, kind to others and great speakers. The Chinese Studies Program worked with student organizations including DePaul Chinese Students and Scholars Association, DePaul International Student Organization and NiHao DeBao to create a meaningful schedule of events to honor the tradition of Chinese New Year. This year, music and modern dance presentations will be given by some of DePaul’s international students, those learning the Chinese language and faculty. The gala also includes a traditional lion dance, a performance by Jingjing Shi, an award-winning player of the guzheng, a Chinese string instrument, and a kung fu presentation by Bei Dou Kung Fu Chicago. The event is free and open to the public, but online reservations are required. RSVP at

Final Martin Luther King Jr. Events

“A Free Man of Color” – Performances through February 9
A 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist, this absurd play with elements of Restoration comedy features the charismatic womanizer Jacques Cornet, the wealthiest man of color in town. Recommended for mature audiences
Performances will be through February 9.
The Theatre School, Fullerton Stage (Lincoln Park Campus)

Theatre School at DePaul University to Present ‘Moth’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present ‘Moth’ as the second production in the Sondra & Denis Healy Theatre at Racine and Fullerton on the Lincoln Park Campus. The Healy Theatre is a 100-seat flexible venue, located on the fourth floor of The Theatre School. Its distinguishing feature is the completely transparent north wall overlooking Fullerton Avenue. Declan Greene’s “Moth,” is directed by Michael Osinksi, an MFA Directing candidate. The production premieres February 14 and runs through Feb. 23. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are on February 12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m. About the production: Claryssa and Sebastian are best friends and the class outcasts. One loves witchcraft and emo music; the other has body odor and obsesses about anime. After a night of brutal bullying by their classmates, their friendship is left in shambles, and Sebastian is faced with a task of apocalyptic proportions. It is an exact look into the minds of troubled youth. Recommended for mature audiences. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10, and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates (6 or more people) are available at 312-922-1999. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 312-922-1999 or visiting the online Box Office at The Theatre School at DePaul University is located at 2350 N. Racine Ave. (at Fullerton).

Drama Group, 330 West 202 Street, Chicago Heights

‘Frost/Nixon’ – Opens Friday, February 7

The Drama Group is proud to be staging the historical dramatically acclaimed play ‘Frost/Nixon’ at the Drama Group Studio Theatre. ‘Frost/Nixon’ is a 2006 British play by screenwriter and dramatist Peter Morgan based on a series of televised interviews that former U.S. President Richard Nixon granted broadcaster David Frost in 1977 about his administration, including his role in the Watergate scandal. It was Tony nominated as Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actor – Frank Langella and Best Director. Performances will be held on: February 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th at 7:30 p.m., and the 9th and 16th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19 for adults and $18.00 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Good seats are still available, however, due to brisk advance sales, rather than waiting to purchase at the door, it is recommended to call the Drama Group box office at 708-755-3444 for advance sales. The Drama Group is offering a special student discount to all speech and debate teams on the second Thursday – February 13th; as well as participating in the League of Chicago Theatres’ "Theatre Thursday." Student prices for all the productions are $15.00. On Thursday, February 13, we are also offering a student group rate of $10.00 for 15 students or more.
For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Web site at There is limited handicap seating. Please call the Drama Group box office at 708-755-3444 for details.

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

CALJE – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the February 22 performance of Chicago Afro-Latin jazz ensemble, CALJE. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. With a global sound and ensemble, CALJE represents Afro-Cuban Jazz as well as music from all of Latin America, delivering a captivating, high-energy groove. This dynamic group continues the legacy of Latin Jazz big band, creating new original and genre-bending works. Guitarist Neal Alger joins CALJE for this show. Tickets are $24 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.

‘Close to You – Music of the Carpenters’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Hall’s Senior Theatre will present ‘Close to You – Music of the Carpenters’ on February 18 at 11 a.m. One of the best vocalists of all time, Karen Carpenter captured a generation with her catchy pop music. The Carpenters’ beautiful, memorable love songs topped the Billboard charts with more than a dozen number one hits. Close to You: The Music of The Carpenters brings these classics back to the stage with spot-on renditions performed by singer Lisa Rock and her six-piece band. 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.

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

Passion and the Stars – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, February 14 at 8 pm. at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 Harlem Ave., Frankfort, the IPO will perform a classic piece of musical Americana, a modern interpretation of Galileo’s first treatise on stars, and one of the great musical masterworks of all time, all in one concert! David Danzmayr, will conduct the IPO featuring Trevor O’Riordan, Principal Clarinet in the performance of Golijov – Sidereus, Copland – Clarinet Concerto, and Tchaikovsky – Symphony Nr. 6 "Pathetique." Tickets are $35, $45, and $55 and can be purchased online at For additional information, call 708-481-7774.

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

Library Board Vacancy

A position on the Park Forest Library Board of Trustees is now vacant until the next election, which will be held in April 2015. The vacancy can be filled until that time by appointment by the Park Forest Library Board. Click here for full details.

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 3 at 12:30 p.m. — Opera in the Afternoon: Verdi: La Battaglia di Legnano — As part of the ambitious Tutto Verdi project, this rarely performed opera is available for the first time on DVD. The patriotic war story of La Battaglia gives a taste of the real-life revolutionary ideals of the composer, as he delivers a thinly veiled exhortation to throw off the bonds of foreign rule for love of country.
  • Monday, February 3 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Café — This laid-back space was created for teens to share and create with each other.
  • Monday, February 3 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, February 4 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 4 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 4 at 6:30 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games.
  • Wednesday, February 5 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 6 at 10:30 a.m. — Be My Valentine — Hear all your favorite Valentine’s Day stories and participate in a service project. The children of kids’ zone will create Valentine’s Day gifts for the patients and volunteers of St. James Hospital and Horizon Hospice in Olympia Fields.
  • Thursday, February 6 at 3:30 p.m. – Tech Thursday — Learn to make websites, android apps, and iPhone apps.
  • Thursday, February 6 at 5 p.m. – Let’s Go LEGO — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display in kids’ zone.
  • Friday, February 7 at 3 p.m. – Forensic Fridays — This week we’ll be learning all about Fingerprints.
  • Saturday, February 8 at 10:30 a.m. — Black History Makers — Hidden Colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history.
  • Saturday, February 8 at 1 p.m. — Be My Valentine — Hear all your favorite Valentine’s Day stories and participate in a service project. The children of kids’ zone will create Valentine’s Day gifts for the patients and volunteers of St. James Hospital and Horizon Hospice in Olympia Fields.
  • Saturday, February 8 at 1 p.m. – Beatlemania! — Join us as we celebrate the Fab Four’s 50th Anniversary of their first American appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show: We will show their hit movie Hard Days Night and have a Beatles Trivia Quiz.

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

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 – Opens February 10

PSC is hosting “Metaphorical,” from February 10 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. An opening reception will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, February 13, in the gallery. Both the exhibit and reception are 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.

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

Photo Exhibit on Southeast Ohio’s Post-industrial Landscape – Opens February 6

An exhibition by award-winning photo essayist Matt Eich, who tells the story through his photographs of an Ohio community abandoned by major industry, will be open to the public February 6 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. A resident of Norfolk, Va., Eich will discuss his work on Carry Me Ohio at the exhibit’s opening reception being held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 6. 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.

Salon Artists Gallery, 249 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Celebrate Valentine’s’ – Friday, February 7

Celebrate Valentine’s from our Gallery artists in many forms — jewelry to paintings. A reception will kick-off this exhibit on Friday, February 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. where you can meet the artists. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-833-5108.

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.

Open Auditions for ‘Come Back Little Sheba’ – February 6 & 8

The SSC Playhouse will host open auditions for William Inge’s classic drama “Come Back, Little Sheba,” directed by Bobbie Saltzman, on Thursday, February 6th from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, February 8th from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., located in the Kindig Performing Arts Center. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2286 or email [email protected].

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘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, 527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

Earth and Sky Exhibit – Through February 8

USG’s landscape exhibit, Earth and Sky, is the first in a proposed series that will bring together a small, rotating group of the Gallery’s Studio Artists, Guild Artists, and artists from outside the Gallery’s family. The exhibit runs through February 8. The six artists of earth and sky have long been inspired by nature, and dedicated to creating substantial bodies of images of woods, prairies and fields, mountains, lakes and streams, individual plant forms and long sky vistas. Through drawings, paintings and photographs, they interpret and convey the cumulative power of land and sky existing together; the conversation between them; light filtering through petals; shadows falling across rocks; alternating patterns of branches and clouds; colors bouncing around from mountain to water; with all the other factors of weather or crops or winding roads mixed in. Exhibiting artists are: Eve Jensen, Oscar Linares, Chuck Michaels, Stuart Pearson, Richard Schmidt and Marikay Peter Witlock.  The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

FUSED – Through February 8

USG presents an exhibit of encaustic art from the members of FUSED Chicago, a Midwest encaustic artists group, including 32 works of art by 21 different artists. The exhibit runs through February 8. FUSED Chicago is an organization of Midwest artists who share an interest in encaustic, a method of making art using pigmented wax fused to a surface by heat. The encaustic works on exhibit in FUSED at Union Street Gallery are contemporary pieces that highlight various ways encaustic medium is used in art today. The exhibit is full of beautiful fluid abstractions, lush texture, rich layering, and clever compositions that really play up the medium. There are also sculptural pieces on exhibit that use encaustic to enhance their exterior surface. FUSED displays a dynamic, engaging and visually exciting body of work that serves to enhance the educational nature of the exhibit by stimulating the viewer. Exhibiting artists: Dan Addington, Susan Cahill, Cat Crotchett, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Shelley Gilchrist, Kari Hall, Carol Hamilton, Brad Hook, Nikkole Huss, Katsy Johnson, Mary Krebs Smyth, Laura LaRue, Jenny Learner, Ahavani Mullen, April Nomellini, VA. de Pintor, Julia Ris, Linda Sorkin Eisenberg, Michele Thrane, Kathleen Waterloo, Donna Zarbin-Byrne.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

Help Repair Union Street Gallery Silent Auction – Running Through February 8

Auction ends at 4 p.m. Saturday February 8th, 2014. Winning bids will be notified Wednesday February 12th. This silent auction includes original artwork by Karen DeWitt, Mary Bookwalter, and Marlene Galagher. Bids start as low as $20. All proceeds will benefit Union Street Gallery, a not-for-profit art center, and go toward much needed building repairs. USG currently has over $60,000 in building repairs.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Senior Trip to Jacob Henry Mansion Lunch and Show – February 5

The first Senior Trip of 2014 will be to the Jacob Henry Mansion on February 5. The Birdhaven Greenhouse and Conservatory at Pilcher Park is our first stop, followed by a tour, lunch and a show at the Jacob Henry mansion. Enjoy a meal in one of the 40 rooms that feature old world fixtures and Victorian charm. Each guest will be treated to a glass of champagne with their lunch and the chocolate fountain for dessert. The entertainment for the day is Nick Willet, who performs the most loved songs from the 50’s through 70’s. This is an all-inclusive trip with a fee of $94 per person. The bus will depart at 9:15 a.m. from Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive and return at approximately 3:45 p.m. You can register at the Recreation and Parks Department at Village Hall in-person or on the phone with a credit card by calling 708-748-2005. Please mention Program Number 148780-1 (Rectrac) when you register.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Education Job and Internship Fair – Registration in Progress

The Office of Career Services at GSU sponsoring a career fair for people interested in employment and internship opportunities in education and related fields on Thursday, February 20. The career fair will be open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Hall of Governors. Current students, alumni, and community members are invited to attend. Potential employers are also invited to register as participants. This is an opportunity to match job and internship positions with qualified personnel. This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call 708-235-3974.

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].

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

Basic Nurse Assistant Training Open House – Saturday, February 8

SSC’s Office of Continuing Education is hosting an Open House for the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program (CNA) on Saturday, February 8th from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon, in Room 5190 at the Oak Forest Center. Successful completion of this non-credit course is required in order to become eligible to take the State of Illinois Nursing Assistant Certification Examination, and is the first step towards entrance into the SSC Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program. The classes meet at the Oak Forest Center on Monday through Thursday with daytime and afternoon classes. The course instruction includes basic nursing skills through lecture, campus laboratory and supervised clinical experiences at a long-term health care facility. Each individual who successfully passes the certification exam will then be placed on the State Registry for Health Care Workers. Students must submit a health physical, proof of health insurance or signed release of liability waiver, and completion of a fingerprint criminal history record. The total cost of the program is $999 with books and supplies included (Financial Aid does not cover the cost of this program, nor the physical and background check). The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois. Please call 708-596-2000, extension 2497 or email [email protected] for more information.

Adult-Child Baseball Camps at SSC – Registration Now in Progress

The SSC Baseball Program and Head Coach Steve Ruzich will be conducting Adult-Child Baseball Camps February 14th through 23rd for boys and girls 6-14 years of age. The camps will feature sessions for pitching, catching, hitting and fielding while providing adults and kids the opportunity to improve their knowledge of baseball skills and techniques. Kids will be given expert instruction and time to practice and improve their skills through a variety of station drills. Adults will be taught how to use effective teaching methods, provide instruction using proper skill techniques, and utilize effective drills. Coach Ruzich heads into his 28th year as the head coach at SSC where he has compiled a record of 978 wins and 565 losses. He was recently named to the NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame. Ruzich has coached 12 All Americans, 22 players have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams, 5 players have reached the big leagues, 251 players have continued on to four year college programs, and more than 80% of coach Ruzich’s players have graduated. Not only has he enjoyed success as a college coach and player, he has also established himself as a reputable youth baseball camp director around the state. In addition to Ruzich’s instruction, SSC baseball players will be on hand to help the campers develop and improve their skills. The cost is $45 for one adult and one child per camp, and $40 per camp if enrolled in more than one. The cost is $30 for each additional child. The camp schedule is as follows:
Friday, February 14, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 22, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, February 15, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 16, 12 noon – 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 23, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Advanced Hitting:
Sunday, February 23, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Catching (position):
Saturday, February 23, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 16, 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, February 21, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Checks should be made payable to:
South Suburban College Baseball
15800 State Street
South Holland, IL 60473
The camps are located at Bulldog Field and the Gymnasium on SSC’s Main Campus. To register, please contact Coach Ruzich at 708-596-2000, extension 2413, 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.

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 – Registration in Progress

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

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

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].

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 7-9 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:

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

‘Animals In Winter’ – Registration Required

Have you ever wondered how animals spend the winter? Join our naturalist on Sunday, February 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to explore how different animals survive the winter in Illinois. If there is no snow, no worries! We’ll still walk the trails to search for animal signs. Participants should be prepared for the cold weather and be able to walk a mile outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possible snow-covered ground. The program is free and open to all ages, but registration is required. For additional information or to register, please call 708-747-5320 or e-mail [email protected].

Great Backyard Bird Count – Saturday, February 15

Anyone can be part of the Great Backyard Bird Count! It’s easy. Just watch and count birds in your backyard or on trail for at least 15 minutes, then report what you saw at Come to Thorn Creek Nature Center’s GBBC open house, Saturday, February 15 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for everything you need to know about bird watching. We can help with basic bird identifications – and tricky ones, too. Do you need tips on how to tell our local woodpeckers apart? Our birding volunteers will give you practical help including local bird checklists. Learn how to choose and use binoculars. Find out which birds prefer which types of bird feed. Inspect various types of bird feeders to decide which type is best for your yard. Make a pine cone suet feeder to take home for your backyard birds. Young birders can enjoy games bird games and crafts and coloring. At noon 10 am our naturalist will guide a Bird Watching Hike through the late winter woods. Tally the birds seen at the nature center bird feeders and on trail to report for the GBBC. Thorn Creek’s Great Backyard Bird Count open house will also feature Thorn Creek Audubon Society’s displays on birds and the local organization. Birders of all levels and ages are welcome. Each year the Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology host the Great Backyard Bird Count in mid-February. All across America and Canada people will watch and count birds at their backyard bird feeders February 14 through 17, with the results providing a snapshot of the whereabouts of more than 600 bird species. “When thousands of people all tell us what they’re seeing, we can detect patterns in how birds are faring from year to year,” said Janis Dickinson, director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For more information, please call 708-747-6320 or email [email protected]. Visit our new website at

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 7 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

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.