In and Around Park Forest Week of February 9, 2015

Village Hall after the storm
Park Forest Village Hall after the 5th worst storm in Chicago history. (Photo: VOPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 9, 2015. If you have a case of the ‘winter blahs,’ the folks at Park Forest’s Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC) may be able to help. UUCC will host a Healthy Living Session on Thursday, February 12 with Carol Wentz, Occupational Therapist, summarizing and leading a discussion of the book ‘The Four Agreements’ by author don Miguel Ruiz. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, ‘The Four Agreements’ offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The event is free and open to the public. You do not need to have read the book ‘The Four Agreements’ to attend. Additional information can be found in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ 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 Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of February 9:

  • Tuesday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
  • Tuesday, February 10 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, February 11 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group

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

Arts & Entertainment

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

‘The Light in the Piazza’ – Opens Friday, February 13

‘The Light in the Piazza’ will be performed on February 13, 14 and 15 at the GSU’s Center for Performing Arts. Winner of 6 Tony awards, this musical comedy is the perfect Valentine’s weekend date. Join Margaret and her daughter Clara on a romantic Italian odyssey where love is in the air and a secret is reveals. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on February 13 & 14 and at 2 p.m. on February 15. Tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and two hours prior to each performance or online at purchase.tickets.com.

For additional information call 708-235-2222 or visit centertickets.net.

‘Bon Appetite!’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Bon Appétite! is a comedy opera mimicking a classic Julia Child television broadcast. Witness an “episode” live on Sunday, March 1 at 4 p.m. at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts. Julia, played by the “deeply expressive” Sarah Ponder Brock (Chicago Sun Times), teaches the basics of making a classic French chocolate cake. The score, written by Lee Hoiby, takes listeners on a musical journey to match the cooking mayhem unfolding before their eyes, in classic Julia Child fashion. And it’s not just about cake. The Julia Child episode lasts about 20 minutes and additional songs about food and wine complete the experience including, “Be Our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast) and “Fin ch’an dal vino” (Don Giovanni) to “Votre Toast” (Bizet’s Carmen). Not an opera fan? You will be surprised and entertained by a laugh-out-loud production with familiar musical themes and a hilarious, fanatically whisking chef who whips up a decadent masterpiece. The audience gets to sample the food along with the songs and witness the hilarity up close and personal from tables that are on the stage! Tickets are $50 per person and include wine and food sampling throughout the show. Seating is limited so it is recommended to reserve your ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased: online at CenterTickets.net; by phone at 708-235-2222, or in-person at the Box Office Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The box office is open two hours prior to shows. Download the Center’s APP: goo.gl/nqy4ul

Drama Group, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ – Opens Friday, February 13

The Drama Group will present the American classic play by Tennessee Williams, ‘Cat On a Hot Tin Roof’ on: February 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays February 15 and 22 at 2:00 p.m., including a Saturday matinee February at 2:00 p.m. ‘Cat On a Hot Tin Roof’ tells the classic story of sexual tension, deceit and death on a sultry Mississippi night. "Big Daddy" Pollitt runs a plantation and his family in this classic Tennessee Williams study of southern life. Brick and his wife, Maggie ‘the Cat’, battle their demons and each other as the rest of the family gathers to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday but ultimately to face the mortality of their patriarch. His family has lied to Big Daddy and Big Mama to spare the aging couple from pain on the patriarch’s birthday but, throughout the course of the play, it becomes clear that the Pollitt family has long constructed a web of deceit for itself. Tickets are $20 for adults and $19 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Good seats are still available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online brownpapertickets.com/profile/242073 or see details at dramagroup.org.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

‘Rooted in Soil’ – Through April 26

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

DePaul University Theatre School, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago

‘Metamorphosis’ – Through Sunday, February 15

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present Steven Berkoff’s “Metamorphosis” in the Fullerton Stage Theatre in the Theatre School building located at Racine and Fullerton. The production runs through February 15. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.  About the play: Gregor Samsa, an overworked salesperson, wakes up from disturbing dreams to find he has transformed into an insect-like creature. His new condition disorients the Samsa family household who depend on him for their bread and butter. Gregor can’t communicate, can’t get enough to eat, and he certainly can’t head into work. His desperation grows, as does his family’s, as the world they thought they knew is turned upside down. Adapted from Franz Kafka’s novella, this surreal and disturbing account of a dysfunctional family is directed by Kelvin Wong, MFA directing, class of 2015. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates (six or more people) are available. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling 773-325-7900 or visiting the online box office at theatre.depaul.edu. The performance will be audio described February 15 at the 2 p.m. performance with a pre-performance touch tour for patrons who are blind or have low-vision. Call 773-325-7900 for information. The February 15 performance also will be interpreted in American Sign Language; TTY: 773-325-7975. February 11 is USO of IL Night. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families can attend the 7:30 p.m. performance for free. Visit tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets, or call 773-325-7900 for more information. Additional special events include a post-show discussion on February 12.

‘Elemeno Pea’ – Previews Begin Wednesday, February 11

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Elemeno Pea’ which begins previews on February 11 and 12 at DePaul’s Healy Theatre. Performances will be held February 13 through February 22 on Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Labor Day has come and gone on Martha’s Vineyard when Devon arrives to visit her sister Simone at her place of employment: a grand estate on the island. When Simone’s wealthy employer reappears in the midst of a marital crisis, the weekend is thrown into chaos. The conflict pits family against money in this struggle between the haves and the have-nots. Waves crash and sisters clash in this tumultuous comedy about the sacrifices we make to stay on top.Directed by Brian Balcom, MFA Class of 2016.How do wealth and privilege affect how we treat one another? Tickets are $10 and $15 and can be purchased online at: itkt.choicecrm.net/templates/DEPU/?prod=HD215 or by phone at the Box Office at 773-325-7900. If you require wheelchair accessible and/or companion seating, or have any other hearing or vision needs, please let us know when you reserve your tickets so that we can make sure you visit to our theatre is an excellent one. Discounted tickets are available for patrons with disabilities, and their guests. Assisted listening devices are available to patrons upon request. The performance of ‘Elemeno Pea’ on February 22 at 2 p.m. will include a live audio-description of the visual and physical events on-stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. We also invite you to join us that day for a pre-performance program with a touch tour, which begin at 12:30 PM in the school’s main lobby. The touch tour program will include information about the characters and design choices that add to the world of the play. Patrons who are participating in the audio-described event may also request the playbill in Braille, large print, and audio formats. Please indicate interest in the Touch Tour when you order your tickets. Call our Box Office at 773-325-7900.

‘Symphony of Clouds’ – Through February 21

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Symphony of Clouds’ by Margaret Larlham, directed by Ann Wakefield, as the winter production of the 2014-2015 Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences season.
Performances will run through February 21, 2015 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Special Friday performances at 10 a.m. will occur on February 6 and 13 and a Sunday performance will take place at 10 a.m. on February 8. There is no performance on February 7. ‘Symphony of Clouds’ follows the adventures and joyful milestones in the life of young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: boy genius, musical prodigy, and gifted composer. Discover how nature inspires and impacts Mozart, and how his family faces the acclaim, fame, trials, and tribulations of his early creative life in this story infused with music, dance, and a bit of magic. Recommended for all ages. Performances will take place at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 East Balbo Drive at Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at theatre.depaul.edu. More information about pre- and post-show educational activities and highlighted curriculum connections is online at theatre.depauyl.edu. Free Teacher Guides are also available online or by calling the Box Office at 312-922-1999. The February 6 and 8 performances will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY at 773-325-7975.

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Masters of Soul – Friday, February 13

An encore performance for Masters of Soul, formerly Masters of Motown will take place on Friday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m. In the early ‘60s some of the most iconic names in the history of popular music were discovered in the Motor City of Detroit, MI, better known simply as Motown. Masters of Soul is a celebration of these artists, their music and style. The show features stylishly costumed fully choreographed tributes to both male and female groups backed by a live band. MOM performs: Temptations – Gladys Knight & the Pips – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Four Tops – Diana Ross & Supremes, Jackson Five – Martha Reeves & Vandellas – Stevie Wonder – Commodores and many more. Read more about Masters of Soul. Tickets are $30. Learn more about Masters of Soul & get your tix! For additional information, call 708-747-0580 or visit freedomhall.org

‘The Rainbow Fish’ – Tickets Now on Sale

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

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘The Things They Carried’ – Permanent Exhibit

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

Park Forest Historical Society, 141 Forest Boulevard

Step Back Into the 1950s House Museum

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

Park Forest Commission on Human Relations

2015 Black History Month Program – Saturday, February 21

Park Forest’s Commission on Human Relations will host the 2015 Black history Month Program at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard. Join Sketch N’ Tyme as they narrate and illustrate history makers through art. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-282, 5621.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

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

  • Monday, February 9 at 11 a.m. – Storypalooza —  A fun story time for all kids through the age of 6 with an adult. Siblings are welcome.
  • Tuesday, February 10 at 7 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your PJs out on the town! Bring along a fuzzy friend and your blanket too! Stories, activities, and more. Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, February 11at 11 a.m. – Baby Time — Story time for infants to 35 months of age with an adult. This story time is designed to engage children through movement, music, stories, and more.
  • Thursday, February 12 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — Ages 3-5. Bring your little artist to create their very own masterpiece! We may get a little messy so wear play clothes.
  • Friday, February 13 at 2:30 p.m. — Reader’s Theater — Do you love dancing, acting, and singing? Would you like to put on a show for your friends and family to see? Join us for Reader’s Theater, where we will bring out the artist in you!

For additional information call 708-748-3731 or visit pfpl.org.

Spring Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, February 12

The spring Potpourri of Lectures series will begin on Thursday, February 12. This week Dr. Norwal Brown will discuss the book “Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.” The lecture will be held in the Library’s Ringering Room. For additional information, call 708-7480-3731 or visit pfpl.org

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

‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ – Opens Thursday, February 12

‘A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum,’ the musical farce with book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart and music/lyrics by Stephen Sondheim will be performed at Roosevelt University’s College of Performing Arts. Performances will be held on Thursday, February 12 through Saturday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, February 14 and 15 at 2 p.m. Broadway’s greatest farce takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested, 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright Plautus with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville. This non-stop laugh-fest tells the tale of a crafty slave named Pseudoius who struggles to win the hand of a beautiful but slow-witted courtesan for his young master, in exchange for freedom. Please call 312-341-3831 for reservations or additional information. Government photo I.D. may be required for entrance to building.

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Photography Workshop – Thursday, February 12

Award-winning photographer Richard Ross will hold a photography workshop titled Images of Juvenile Injustice on Thursday, February 12 from 2-4 p.m. in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. Ross has dedicated many years to interviewing and photographing inmates. His research and documentation on the youth justice system resulted in a book titled ‘Juvenile In Justice,’ which includes images taken inside more than 200 juvenile detention centers throughout the United States. Sponsored by Roosevelt’s Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, the workshop is meant to encourage others to use photography as a means of powerful storytelling. Ross will demonstrate how he uses his work to expose abuse and advocate for a policy reform for the juvenile justice system. The workshop is free and open to the public. To register, visit richardross.eventbrite.com or for more information about the event, visit roosevelt.edu.

‘Crime Then and Now’ – Through April 11

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

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

SSC PLAYHOUSE Hosts Open Auditions for ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ – Tuesday, February 17

The SSC PLAYHOUSE of South Suburban College announces Auditions for its production of John Guare’s Tony-Award and Pulitzer-Prize winning 1990 classic American play, ‘Six Degrees Of Separation’ on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, from 4:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. in Lecture Hall A on the Main Campus in South Holland. No experience is needed, and the auditions are open to everyone; all SSC students and community residents are encouraged to participate. There are roles for 16 actors and actresses between the ages of 18 and 65 of all sizes, races and colors. Rehearsals will begin immediately and will be held during spring break. They will be held on (Monday), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:15 p.m.–9:45 p.m., and on Saturdays from 12 noon–4 p.m. Monday rehearsals will begin on March 30, 2015. There are no Friday, Saturday evening or Sunday rehearsals except during tech and show weeks. Come to the audition prepared to list all class, work or other scheduling time conflicts, as rehearsals are mandatory, although arrangements may be made. Bobbie Saltzman of Beverly, SSC Playhouse Director and theatre program head, will direct the production. ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ is a contemporary American classic that rips the pretentious mask off of middle-class hypocrisy and prejudice and makes us question the value and the meaning of our lives. “Six Degrees” opened at Lincoln Center in New York City to rave reviews with well-known stars Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order) as Paul, who was played by actor Will Smith in the film version, and Stockard Channing (Grease) as Ouisa, a role she reprised for the film. According to John Guare, the play took a lifetime to write. The hugely successful playwright scored many hits, however, including ‘The House Of Blue Leaves,’ ‘The Sweet Smell Of Success’ and ‘A Free Man Of Color,’ songs in ‘Sophisticated Ladies’ and the screenplay for “Atlantic City,” to name a few. In ‘Six Degrees Of Separation,’ the lives of two affluent NYC art dealers are turned upside down when the buzzer to their Central Park West condo rings. Enter Paul, a well-dressed young college man who quickly identifies himself as a friend of their children. At first regarded with suspicion, the couple is won over by Paul’s charm, intelligence and intimate knowledge of their children with whom he says he attends college. When Paul identifies himself as the son of Sidney Poitier, and easily wins the delight and favor and money of their wealthy investor-friend, the four become privileged “great friends.” But when Paul exposes the sophisticated New Yorkers to his personal life the veneer begins to crumble for the social climbers. Although he is eventually uncovered as a con artist in search of a family, perhaps, Paul’s life is far less a lie than their own. The show will run Tuesday, April 21st through Saturday, April 25th at 8:00 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Saturday, April 25th and Sunday, April 26th. SSC is located between Sibley Boulevard and 159th Street. The campus is convenient to Routes 94, 80, and 57, and is also accessible by Metra. Free, ample, well-lit parking is available. For more information, please email [email protected].

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

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

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

‘Soul Heaven: A Musical Tribute’ – Tickets Now on Sale

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

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

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

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

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

‘You Art What You Eat’ – Opens February 25

‘You Art What You Eat,’ a National juried exhibit will open on February 25 and run through March 28. A reception will be held on Friday, February 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gallery. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit unionstreetgallery.org.

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

‘The Four Agreements’ Book Discussion – Thursday, February 12

UUCC will host a Healthy Living Session on Thursday, February 12 beginning at 1 p.m. Carol Wentz, Occupational Therapist, will summarize and lead a discussion of the book ‘The Four Agreements’ by author don Miguel Ruiz. ‘The Four Agreements’ reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, ‘The Four Agreements’ offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. As outlined in the book, ‘The Four Agreements’ are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best. Noted American self-help author and motivational speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer indicates ‘The Four Agreements’ is an inspiring book with many great lessons…." The event is free and open to the public. You do not need to have read the book ‘The Four Agreements’ to attend. Optional donations will be appreciated. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit uuccpf.org. UUCC is located just east of Western Avenue and south of Steger Road.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Undergraduate Open House – Monday, February 16

GSU will present the transformation of the university at an undergraduate Open House on Monday, February 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. With the innovative freshmen academic program, recently renovated science, health science and technology classrooms and labs, and the opening of the first on-campus student residence hall, GSU has a lot to showcase. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Office of Admissions at 708-534-4490 or [email protected]. To register for Open House, go to govst.edu/openhouse.

Freshman Fridays – Begin February 20

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

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.

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

Competent Communication: Keys to Building and Sustaining Professional Relationships – Registration Now in Progress

SSC’s Business & Career Institute (BCI) presents a three-part Breakfast with BCI Workshop entitled, Competent Communication: Keys to Building and Sustaining Professional Relationships. All workshops will be held in the South Suburban College Heritage Room from 9:00 a.m. – noon a.m. (check-in and continental breakfast to begin at 8:30 a.m.). In any line of business, effective communication is paramount. Effective communication requires clear, concise and non-defensive verbal communication as well as active listening skills. This three-part workshop series will address the following topic areas:
Part 1—Wednesday, February 25th
This training will provide participants with a list of essential qualities of oral communication, numerous examples of what to say/what not to say in various workplace situations and specific steps to become a more proficient listener through discussion and hands-on activities.
Part 2—Wednesday, March 25th
Success in business depends on our ability to understand and effectively manage emotions, in others and ourselves. Emotional Intelligence (EI), loosely defined, is one’s ability to use emotions intelligently and appropriately in different situations. Attendees will learn the Four Functions of EI, the Five Competencies of EI and several proven strategies to promote and strengthen EI.
Part 3—Wednesday, April 29th
Currently, there are five generations employed in the American workforce each with a set of differing experiences and styles. This workshop will focus on the following areas: modes of communication, management, work ethic, technology, buying styles and advertising. It will encourage employees to explore ways to improve their communication by taking into account the generational diversity that exists in business today.
The cost of all three workshops with continental breakfast is $129 (prior RSVP and payment required), $49 for each individual workshop, or $59 at the door. Discounts are available for groups of three or more from the same company.  To register, please call (708) 596-2000, ext. 2346 or email [email protected]. The Heritage Room is on the 1st floor of South Suburban College’s Main Campus in South Holland.

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

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

Healthy Living

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

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

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

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

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

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

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

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

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

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

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

Qigong with Jim Kobus – Most Thursdays

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

Green Events

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

Fourth Annual One Earth Film Festival – Tickets Now on Sale

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

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – February 11

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

Thorn Creek’s Great Backyard Bird Count – Saturday, February 14

Come to Thorn Creek’s Great Backyard Bird Count on Saturday, February 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for help with all things birds. For basic bird identifications – and tricky ones, too, choosing binoculars, bird feeding and feeder tips, local bird checklists and more. Birders of all levels are welcome. We have information and crafts and hand-outs and activities for beginners and children too. You can make pine cone feeders to take home. Join expert birder Sue Zelek for a hike at 9 a.m. and at noon join our naturalist April Richards on a Bird Watching Hike. The Great Bird Count is an annual count hosted by Audubon and Cornell Lab or Ornithology. Across America and Canada people watch and count birds with the results providing a snapshot of the whereabouts of more than 600 bird species. Anyone can be part of the Great Bird Count. Just watch and count birds in your backyard or on the trail for at least 15 minutes, then report what you saw at birdcount.org on February 13 through 15. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

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

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

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

This & That

Park Forest Baseball

Park Forest Baseball Registration for 2015 Season

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

  • February 14 — 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • February 28 — 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • March 12 — 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

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

Park Forest Nonpartisan Committee

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

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

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

2015 Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo – Registration Now in Progress

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

Adult-Child Baseball Camps – Begins Friday, February 13

SSC’s Baseball Program and Head Coach Steve Ruzich will be conducting Adult-Child Baseball Camps February 13th through 22nd for boys and girls 6-14 years of age. The camps will feature sessions for pitching, hitting, advanced 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 29th year as the head coach at SSC where he has compiled a record of 1015 wins and 586 losses. He was recently named to the NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame. 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:

Pitching:

Friday, February 13, 6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 21, 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Hitting:

Saturday, February 14, 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 15, 12 noon–2:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 22, 11:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Advanced Hitting:

Sunday, February 23, 2:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Fielding:

Sunday, February 15, 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Friday, February 21, 6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Enrollment is limited, so early sign-up is encouraged. Checks should be made payable to: South Suburban College Baseball. 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].

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Village of Park Forest to Test for Firefighter/Paramedic Position – Application Packets Available through February 12

The Village of Park Forest Board of Fire and Police Commissioners will be testing and establishing a two year eligibility list for the position of Firefighter/Paramedic.  APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO COST through February 12, 2015. An optional study guide for the written test is available for a non-refundable cost of $10. Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 12, 2015. Please submit completed applications to: Denyse Carreras Director of Human Resources Village of Park Forest 350 Victory Drive Park Forest, IL 60466
Important dates:

  • Mandatory Orientation – February 18, 2015
  • Written Examination – March 21, 2015
  • Oral Interviews – April/May  2015 TBD

Minimum requirements at time of hire:

  • U.S. Citizen, 21 -34 years of age,
  • Valid driver’s license,
  • High School Diploma or equivalent,
  • Illinois Licensed Emergency Medical Technician certificate – Paramedic,
  • Valid CPAT card with ladder climb endorsement within 1 year preceding employment date,
  • Ability to pass a background check, and
  • Physical and psychological test.

At this time there is no residency requirement. The starting annual salary for a Firefighter/Paramedic is $56,405. For further details on this career opportunity, visit us on the web at villageofparkforest.com. The Village of Park Forest is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Village of Park Forest to Test for Police Officer Position — Application Packets Available through February 12

The Village of Park Forest, Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, will be testing and establishing a two year eligibility list for the position of Police Officer.  APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO through February 12, 2015. An optional study guide for the written test is available for a non-refundable cost of $10. Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 12, 2015. Please submit completed applications to: Denyse Carreras Director of Human Resources Village of Park Forest 350 Victory Drive Park Forest, IL 60466

Important dates:

  • Mandatory Orientation – February 19, 2015
  • Physical Ability Test – March 7, 2015
  • Written Examination – March 14, 2015
  • Oral Interviews – April/May 2015 TBD

Minimum requirements at time of hire:

U.S. Citizen,

  • 21 -34 years of age at time of hire,
  • Valid driver’s license,  
  • High School Diploma or equivalent,
  • Ability to pass a background check,
  • Physical and psychological test.

At this time there is no residency requirement. The starting salary for a non-certified Police Officer is $55,303. However, individuals who have served as a certified Police Officer for more than 36 months will have a starting pay of $68,715. Officers with certificates from other states will be required to pass a 2 week certification program in Illinois upon hire. For further details on this career opportunity, visit us on the web at villageofparkforest.com. The Village of Park Forest is an Equal Opportunity Employer.