In and Around Park Forest for the Week of April 23, 2017

Photo Source: Tall Grass Arts Association

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF) — Tall Grass Arts Association’s next exhibit will be ‘Urban Spaces’ which opens on Friday, April 28 with an opening reception on Friday, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring the Midwest Motet Society who will perform “Vocal Jazz Standards” as part of the Chicago Southland’s Let Them Eat Jazz! Festival, presented by SAMBA. ‘Urban Spaces’ focuses on the works of artists who portray buildings, facades, bridges, landmarks, as well as rooms and abandoned spaces inside a variety of offices, apartments, theaters, concert halls, churches,  train stations, waiting rooms, and other places that might once have seen a lot of human traffic and activity, but now are quiet, empty or past their prime. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled through most of the United States, Europe and the Caribbean and believe that the architecture of Chicago is among the best. The exhibit will stir memories of important moments of our lives we spent near or within those spaces. You can find additional information about the ‘Urban Spaces’ exhibit in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus will celebrate its 65th year anniversary with an open house on Tuesday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will celebrate the history and accomplishments of the department over the years, and will highlight its services. Free blood pressure screenings will also be available for attendees. Additional information about the event can be found in the ‘Healthy Living’ section.

Attention all procrastinators: Park Forest Vehicle stickers for 2017/2018 must be displayed no later than Monday, May 1 at 12 midnight in order to avoid late fees.  If you still need to purchase your vehicle sticker, you’ll find additional information in the ‘This & That’ section.

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

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, April 24

The Village of Park Forest Board will meet on Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.  Residents are encouraged to attend. Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers).

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

Village Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commission is scheduled to meet the week of April 23:

  • Wednesday, April 26 – Cable Communications Commission

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

Arts & Entertainment

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

A Jazz Birthday Celebrated in Style with Chicago Jazz Philharmonic – Saturday, April 29

This year is the 100th birthday of Jazz icons Ella Fitzgerald and Thelonious Monk, and Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP) is celebrating in style! The CJP Chamber Ensemble debuts new arrangements in a one-night only centennial concert, featuring Chicago songstress Tammy McCann and pianist Leandro Lopez Varady at Governors State University’s Center for Performing Arts on April 29 at 8 p.m. This is the first time vocalist Tammy McCann has performed with Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Tammy brings her unique blend of classical vocal technique and gospel aesthetic to create a powerful, sultry, and emotionally charged jazz sound that is completely her own. She has been celebrated for delivering the “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for several years by the Chicago Tribune, whose Arts Critic Howard Reich applauds her as “a voice that soars in all registers, at all tempos, on all occasions…a voice that inspires wonder!” Southland residents will also meet Argentinean born Leandro Lopez Varady, who has been active in the Chicago music scene, regularly performing in the Green Mill, Harris Theater at Millennium Park, Auditorium Theater at Roosevelt University, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, South Shore Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and many more. This event is the closing night of the Chicago Southland’s “Let Them Eat Jazz” festival. The festival showcases 100 years (1917 – 2017) of flavor in music and food, and the jazz masters who had the recipe for success! The festival is presented by the Southland Arts, Municipalities, and Business Alliance (S.A.M.B.A.), a regional collaboration of arts and businesses, and has been designed to showcase the power of the arts to drive people to the Southland region. For a complete schedule of events visit http://CSJazzfestival.org. The festival is supported by BMO Harris Bank, Standard Bank & Trust, and Providence Bank.

Tickets and Other Information

Tickets: $38/$28/$23 for Seniors, and $10 for Students

Online: www.CenterTickets.net

By Phone: 708-235-2222

In Person at the Box Office: 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484-0975

Box Office Hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open to 6 p.m. on Thursdays) and 2 hours prior to all performances

Parking is free. For best GPS directions always use the location search term “Governors State University” only.

Crete Public Library District, 1177 North Main Street

The following events are scheduled at the Crete Public Library District the week of April 23:

  • Monday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m. — The Writers Group —  Beginning and experienced writers are all welcome to explore the craft of creative writing and discover their own voices as they respond to stimulating and challenging writing prompts under the direction of a writing facilitator. Bring whatever writing materials you want, or just bring yourself and we’ll supply paper. Anyone who wants to read their writings out loud, can, and will receive feedback and support. Registration required.
  • Monday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. — Make It, Play It — Join us for monthly themed activities and games based on your favorite video games, books, movies, and more. Themes will change each month. Registration required.
  • Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. — Knot Just for Knitters — Knot Just for Knitters is the library’s regular group of needle working patrons who get together to share camaraderie while working on knitting, crocheting, or any other type of needlework project. Everyone welcome. The group usually meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. Registration required.
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 10 a.m. — Outreach to CMHS — Teen librarian visits CMHS to do a craft twice monthly.
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 10:30 a.m. — Medicare Made Easy! — Diane Adduci, a community educator and licensed insurance representative, will present an educational program about Medicare Parts A and B and will also be discussing Medicare Supplement Plans. Come and learn about eligibility, enrollment, and the benefits of Medicare and Medicare Supplements. This program is designed for people turning 65, already 65 or over but leaving their employer plan, or people who would simply like to learn more about Medicare. Questions are welcome! For more information, call 708-672-8017 or register online at: http://www.cretelibrary.org.
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 11 a.m. AND 6 p.m. — 3 Simple Hacks to Increase Your Social Media Net Worth — From customer service to virtual shopping assistants, social media touches nearly everything people and businesses do today. In this workshop, business owners and job hunters will learn three easy-to-use techniques to help them improve their social media presence. Registration required.
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. — Book Sharks — Calling all Book Sharks! Calling all Book Sharks! Love a great story? Take a bite out of reading and join us for an exciting story and themed craft or art activity. Registration required.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. —Preschool Story Time— A day of fun and learning. Number recognition, alphabet, books, music and craft projects that are all geared in learning early literacy skills. Registration required. Groups and organizations must speak with the Head of Youth Services to schedule a separate story time.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. — Family Kwik Krafts — Calling all families. Join us after school and enjoy a quick craft with Miss Bethann. We will be using simple objects to create a unique craft project. This is geared for children in Kindergarten and up. Registration required.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. — Retirement and Estate Strategies — Learn how to accumulate and distribute money for retirement and to pass on money in a tax-wise manner. Registration required.
  • Thursday, April 27 at 10 a.m. — Making Your Money Last in Retirement — A seminar designed for people who are thinking about retiring or have retired recently. The workshop discusses ideas to help build a reasonable and sustainable strategy for managing income and expenses during retirement. Registration required.
  • Thursday, April 27 at 4:30 p.m. —Knitting 101— Learn the basics of knitting and crocheting or improve and learn more if you already know the skill. For ages 7 and up. Registration required.
  • Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. — Knot Another Ball of Yarn! Crochet Group — Learn to crochet, or bring your own crochet, in this twice a month group! Beginners, please bring an H-size (5mm) crochet hook and a Medium 4 weight yarn in white or any pastel color. Registration required.

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

Friends of the Crete Library – Tuesday, April 25

The Friends of the Crete Library will meet on Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Library’s Small Meeting Room. Monthly meeting of the Friends of the Crete Library, to discuss fundraising etc. The meeting is open to the public.

DePaul University Theatre School, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago

‘Glimpses of the Great War’ Exhibit – Through August

When U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared war on the German Empire April 6, 1917, one Lincoln Park neighborhood family with DePaul University ties was changed forever. Now 100 years after the U.S. joined the Great War, known more commonly as World War I, the story of the Ward family — and their ties to the university, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and Chicago — is the subject of a new exhibit titled “Glimpses of the Great War.” The exhibit, which is open to the public through August, is on the first floor of the John T. Richardson Library, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave. on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus in Chicago. The exhibit centers on the Ward family and their nine children who grew up on Fullerton Avenue, four blocks from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Chicago, according to Andrea Bainbridge, university archivist.  All eight male children attended DePaul Academy, a high school run by the parish. Five served in the Great War and two died. Brothers William and Joe were enrolled at the Vincentian Seminary in Perryville, Missouri, preparing to be priests, during the war, added Lisa Geiger, special collections’ archives processing assistant.  In the years following ordination, William returned to Chicago as principal of DePaul Academy as part of eight decades of service to the order that took him around the world. Joe, meanwhile, became a DePaul University English professor and later served as the coordinator of college alumni before passing away in 1978. At the time of Joe’s passing, DePaul’s enrollment had risen to more than 12,000, a significant difference from the roughly 300 who attended with the Wards in the early days of the university, according to Geiger. Bainbridge — with the help of Geiger — unearthed photos, memorabilia and letters from the 1910s to the 1970s, which reveal the changes to DePaul’s campus and the family. Items in the exhibit include:

  • Memorial cards for both Ward brothers who died in the war. William led the funeral service for his brother Albert in 1919, before William and Joe led a funeral mass together for brother Oliver in 1921.
  • A 1918 issue of The Minerval, DePaul’s bi-monthly version of a student newspaper at the time, which featured updates on soldiers with DePaul ties and letters from the front lines.
  • A series of encouraging letters to the DePaul community by then-President Francis X. McCabe, C.M., who also served as the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish. One of these letters was to confirm that the university would remain open throughout the war.
  • An original copy of the Field Service Pocket Book, a U.S. military issued book small enough to fit in a pocket that covered basic procedures for expected conditions in Europe.
  • A Navy recruitment poster circa 1917.

All told, 584 people with DePaul ties including undergraduates, alumni and faculty members served in the military during World War I, according to Bainbridge. For additional information, visit www.depaul.edu

Firelei Báez, Hương Ngô Bring Their Work to DePaul Art Museum – Opens April 27

Caribbean and Asian influences will be on display at the DePaul Art Museum this spring with Miami artist Firelei Báez and Chicago artist Hương Ngô. The pair will provide their respective works for two exhibitions set to run from April 27 to August 6 at the museum on DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus. Báez’s exhibition, “Vessels of Genealogies,” tells stories of identity, history and politics through bright colors, patterns, hairstyles and textiles depicted in her large-scale paintings and tapestries, said Julie Rodrigues Widholm, the museum’s director and chief curator. “Vessels of Genealogies” will be the main exhibition on the first floor of the museum. The second exhibition will feature Ngô’s new work on Vietnamese anti-colonial organizer Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai. The works were inspired by Ngô’s trips to Vietnam and France, according to Widholm. “To Name It Is To See It” will touch on topics including colonialism, political activism, women’s rights, surveillance, class, language and Vietnamese history. Admission is free at DePaul Art Museum, located just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop. Museum hours are 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. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more on DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu/.

‘A Matter of Conscience’ and ‘Stranger Things’ – Opens April 27

A pair of smaller exhibitions drawn primarily from the DePaul Art Museum collection, including selections from Chuck Thurow’s 2016 gift, will be on display during the spring exhibitions. “A Matter of Conscience” will run from April 27 to June 18 and presents works that reflect varying artistic approaches to politically charged content and pressing social issues. Mia Lopez, DePaul Art Museum assistant curator, is curating the exhibition. Featured artists are Siah Armajani, Margaret Burroughs, Alan Cohen, Paul D’Amato, Ester Hernandez, Michael Hernandez de Luna, Max King Cap, Rudzani Nemasetoni, Betye Saar, Aram Han Sifuentes, Andy Warhol and Garry Winogrand. “Stranger Things” will follow from June 21 to August 6 and includes artists who work against representational traditions in sculpture, drawing and painting to create forms that are at once familiar yet difficult to name. Widholm is curating the exhibition. Featured artists are Robert Bladen, Miriam Bloom, Alex Chitty, Chris Garofalo, Magalie Guerin, David Jackson, Paul LaMantia, Sterling Lawrence, Jim Lutes, Sandra Perlow, Richard Rezac and David Richards.  Admission is free at DePaul Art Museum, located just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop. Museum hours are 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. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more on DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu/.

Folks on Spokes Bicycle Club, Park Forest

Annual Easter Ride — Sunday, April 30

The Folks on Spokes Bicycle Club’s 36th Annual Easter Ride will be held on Sunday, April 30, departing from Park Forest Village Hall at 350 Victory Drive in DownTown Park Forest. Riders will start between 7:30 and 10:00 a.m. This year’s ride will feature two new routes, of 17 and 27 miles, that are almost all on bike trails. These routes will use the Old Plank Road Trail and Thorn Creek Trail with a rest stop in Glenwood. Longer routes of 36, 45, 58 and 79 miles will head south on lightly traveled, paved roads over gently rolling countryside. Rest stops along the route provide riders with fruit, drinks, sandwiches, and homemade cookies. After the ride, participants are invited to stop in at Village Hall for music, a massage (for a fee) and more refreshments, including traditional Easter egg salad sandwiches. The fee for the ride is $25. The fee entitles riders to a map of the routes, access to all rest stops, SAG support, and parking. Short and long sleeve t-shirts with this year’s Easter Ride logo may be ordered for an additional fee with pre-registration before April 15. A registration form is available at local bike shops or may be downloaded from folksonspokes.com. Click on Easter ride, then on Download the FOS Easter Ride Brochure. Folks on Spokes encourages riders to obey all traffic laws, practice courtesy, communicate with fellow riders, ride single file when vehicles are approaching from either direction – and complete the adult or child bike safety quiz at bikesafetyquiz.com. Proceeds from the ride help fund the club’s activities throughout the year and support bicycle advocacy and other organizations. Donations made possible by last year’s ride were given to the League of American Bicyclists, Ride Illinois, Active Transportation Alliance, Trails for Illinois, Bicycle Indiana, Friends of the Cal Sag Trail, Working Bikes Co-op, and Slow roll Chicago.

Historical Society of Forest Park

‘Picnic at the Pub’ – Sunday, April 30

The Historical Society of Forest Park will celebrate the 136th anniversary of Chicago’s Haymarket Affair with a special Anarchist / Labor “Picnic at the Pub” Sunday, April 30 — a short walk from the world-renowned Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Forest Home Cemetery. As a kick-off to celebrations of International May Day, the Historical Society of Forest Park will present a Sunday afternoon of food, history, music and fun at McGaffer’s Saloon, 7737 Roosevelt Road, Forest Park, from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. For 125 years, “labor pilgrims” from all over the world have visited the beautiful Haymarket Martyrs monument in Forest Home Cemetery, a short walk from the Forest Park Blue Line CTA stop. Near the monument is “Radical Row” the final resting place of Anarchist Emma Goldman and many other labor and anarchist rabble-rousers and hell-raisers. The “Picnic at the Pub” at McGaffer’s Saloon, will feature a meal of German sausages and sauerkraut, (as well as vegan options) and a cash bar, along with historical displays of the Haymarket Martyrs, information tables from Chicago-area worker and immigrant rights groups, “Anarchist BINGO,” a book table, and live sing-alongs of labor and German and American drinking songs. Tickets are $15 and available here. For updates follow Historical Society of Forest Park on Facebook. The Haymarket Martyrs monument in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, marks the burial site of the eight men tried and sentenced to death for the 1884 “Haymarket Incident” in which seven Chicago Police officers and at least four workers died. Six defendants were hanged in 1887, and two were sentenced to prison terms. In 1893, all eight were posthumously pardoned by Illinois Gov. John Altgeld who declared they had an unfair trial. The Haymarket Martyrs Monument is cared for by the Illinois Labor History Society. HSFP will also be at the Haymarket Monument April 30th and May 1st giving tours and sharing information about the iconic Haymarket Monument and Radical Row. Founded in 1975, the Historical Society of Forest Park is dedicated to collecting and preserving the rich heritage of Forest Park. For additional information, visit: http://forestparkhistory.weebly.com

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

Vonnegut’s Odyssey’ – Through May 6

The NVAM’s exhibit, ‘Vonnegut’s Odyssey,’ explores connections between the timeless and universal story of veterans’ return from combat through the artwork of World War II veteran and famed author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Vonnegut’s selected artwork will be on view at NVAM through May 6, 2017. Exhibit curator and Iraq veteran Ash Kyrie notes, “The experience of returning home and processing the effects of war is something that is shared by all veterans, from the time of Homer’s The Odyssey, through Vonnegut’s experiences in Dresden, and continuing on today. Exhibiting the artwork of Vonnegut as an illustration of the post-war experience and as a creative processing tool for the artist highlights the process of the return and the complexity of the veteran experience.” Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and was deployed to fight overseas in Europe during WWII. He was later captured at the Battle of the Bulge and served as a Prisoner of War until 1945 when he returned to the U.S. and was awarded the Purple Heart. These experiences largely shaped his creative endeavors including his well-known published literature and his body of artwork. From WWII through Vietnam and beyond, Vonnegut was an active voice in American culture and society—openly discussing war and its effects publicly. After establishing himself as an important American author during the late 1960’s with the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Vonnegut later became recognized for his drawings that often accompanied his writings. These drawings vary in subject matter from his Purple Heart to his illustrious Asterisk. Building on these drawings, Vonnegut worked with printer Joe Petro III to create a prolific catalog of artwork. Presented together, these artworks reflect the connections between Vonnegut’s return home from World War II and Homer’s epic of Odysseus’s return home after the Trojan War. For additional information about the National Veterans Art Museum or the exhibit, visit www.nvam.org, or call 312-326-0270.

Park Forest Historical Society

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

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

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled at the Park Forest Library the week of April 23:

  • Monday, April 24 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Story Time — Jump start your morning with a series of stories that are sure to get you moving. For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, April 24 at 4 p.m. – Teen DIYs — Create, learn, and engage in new activities with teens!
  • Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. — Mindfulness Mondays — Come join us as we begin each Mindfulness Monday with a relaxing breathing technique followed by a short guided meditation. Then center yourself through the practice of mindfulness (being present in the moment) by participating in one of our creative art-form projects.
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 p.m. – Art Studio — It’s time to BE CREATIVE! Each week we will explore different concepts of art. Materials will be provided. While supplies last. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 4 p.m. — Color-Rama! Coloring Circle — Relax a bit and take a load off before starting your homework. Learn different media of art and share your creativity with other teens!
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. – Fun With Chess —  It’s Game Time! Drop in for an evening of fun. Play a game of chess with friends, or learn how to play from someone more experienced.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 11 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Time — Its Lap Sit Story Time! Babies and their parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow in this weekly story time. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 36 months with an accompanying adult. This is the perfect time for families to bond with their child/children.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. – Color Me Happy Circle (for kids) — Travel to a world of relaxation for kids. Lose yourself in patterns, curved flowers or even runaway stems. Color yourself Happy in our kids’ coloring circle. For ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 4 p.m. – Color Me Happy Circle — Our coloring circle is the perfect way to step back from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation! All supplies will be provided.
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. — Want to improve your skills as a writer? Interested in sharing your ideas or written work with others? Come to the Park Forest Library and join other creators in our bi-monthly writers’ group, led by James Pressler, for all your writing wishes. Writers of all skill levels are welcomed.
  • Thursday, April 27 at 10 a.m. – Toddler Art — Bring your imagination, creativity, and throw on some old clothes to bring out your inner Picasso through art projects and more… Some projects may involve paint. For ages 3-5.
  • Thursday, April 27 at 3 p.m. – Poem in Your Pocket Day! — Create a poem that you can fit in your pocket and share with a friends and family. You carry it around and share it, or pass it on because it’s Poem in Your Pocket Day!
  • Thursday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m. – Drawing Theory — Do you enjoy Drawing and Sketching? Learn how to draw your favorite animations and more. For ages 12 and under.
  • Friday, April 28 at 1 p.m. – Classic Film Fridays —  ‘It Happens Every Spring’
  • Friday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Game Day — Show off your competitive side with your friends! From board games to video games, there will be plenty of fun! Are you up for the challenge?
  • Saturday, April 28 at 12:30 p.m. – “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” Beginning Reader Book Club — Join us for an engaging & interactive reading experience! Children will have the opportunity to read-a loud from the monthly book selection, take turns reading and/or share their favorite passage from the book. We’ll even offer a one on one reading session if children are interested.

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

Teen Advisory Board Meeting – Wednesday, April 26

On Wednesday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. the Teen Advisory Board Meeting will be held.  We want YOU to join our new Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and help plan and design this new space for PF/OF teens. Ask for an application in Teen Tech Zone.

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

Graduate Students Exhibition 2017 – Through May 24

PSC’s Christopher Art Gallery is now exhibiting its Graduate Students Exhibition 2017.  The exhibited works are presented from Professor Rinaldi’s portfolio class of PSC graduating students. Each student is asked to choose his or her best work for exhibition. Students design both the postcard and exhibition poster. The exhibit will run through Wednesday, May 24.  A reception will be held on Wednesday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery Regular hours are Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday: Evening 5 – 7 p.m. and by appointment.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection phone 708-709-3636 or visit http://prairiestate.edu/christopher-art-gallery/.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Performs ‘Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet’ – Thursday April 27

PSC is welcoming the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) to the college to perform “Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet,” at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 27, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium, located on the PSC main campus in Chicago Heights. The 75-minute abridged version of William Shakespeare’s original play is directed by Marti Lyons. The show will be followed by a question and answer session with the cast. The production is supported by the PSC Foundation and the Division of Academic Affairs. Tickets are $5 for PSC students and employees or $10 general admission, and will be sold before the event and at the door the morning of the performance. CST produces award-winning plays on their home stage on Navy Pier, as well as throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods and on stages around the world. The company has been honored with numerous national and international awards, including the Regional Theater Tony Award, three Laurence Olivier Awards, and seventy-seven Joseph Jefferson Awards. CST was the 2012 recipient of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s national Shakespeare Steward Award for innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms.

Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Thursday Game Days

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

Adult Coloring

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

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

‘Rooftop: Second Nature’ Photo Exhibit – Through May 6

The public will get a rare look at green roofs in Chicago and beyond when photographer Brad Temkin’s Rooftop: Second Nature runs through May 6 at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery in Chicago. Approximately 20 large-scale images of green rooftops in Chicago and other major cities around the world are the focus of the exhibit by Temkin, a Chicago-based artist whose photos taken between 2009 and 2016 tell a story of architecture and sustainability in the making. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Physical Resources, the exhibit provides a look at green roofs atop Chicago’s City Hall, Roosevelt’s Wabash Building, the new Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Chicago Cultural Center, to name just a few Chicago locations. Green rooftops at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich., Millennium Hall at Drexel University in Philadelphia and atop buildings in Switzerland, Germany, Ireland and Moscow are among other sites visited and photographed by Temkin, and are included in his new book Rooftop, which was published in 2015. Rooftop: Second Nature will run through May 6 at the Gage Gallery. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 312-341-6458 or visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery

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

The ‘Secret Garden’ – Opens April 28

The Drama Group is proud to present the enchanting, Tony Award-Winning musical, ‘The Secret Garden,’ based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and directed by Marylee Hoganson.  Performances will be held at Bloom Auditorium Theatre, 10th & Dixie Highway in Chicago Heights, on April 28 & 29 at 7:30 pm and matinee on April 30 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $21 for adults; $20 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available.  Good seats are still available.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2766445 For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, visit: www.dramagroup.org.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Urban Spaces’ Exhibit — Opens April 28

Tall Grass Arts Association’s exhibit ‘Urban Spaces’ opens on Friday, April 28 and will run through June 3. An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring the Midwest Motet Society who will perform “Vocal Jazz Standards” as part of the Chicago Southland’s Let Them Eat Jazz! festival, presented by SAMBA. An Artists’ Talks event will take place on Saturday, April 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The events are free and open to the public. ‘Urban Spaces’ is an invitational show of images by Jon W. Balke, Jennifer Cronin, Val Fischer, Pat Huss, Rose Lyons, BettyAnn Mocek, Dennis O’Malley, Carey Primeau, Carol Rose and John Spomar. The exhibit is curated by Maureen Cribbs and Janet Muchnik. ‘Urban Spaces’ focuses on the works of artists who portray buildings, facades, bridges, landmarks, as well as rooms and abandoned spaces inside a variety of offices, apartments, theaters, concert halls, churches,  train stations, waiting rooms, and other places that might once have seen a lot of human traffic and activity, but now are quiet, empty or past their prime. The works in Urban Spaces are reminders of the wonderful architectural design and attention to detail that can be found in historic and modern structures, as well as the abstract qualities images of them convey, and the personal, even spiritual meanings some suggest. Many will no doubt stir memories of important moments of our lives spent near or within those spaces. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.  Closed Sunday and Monday. Adult and student groups are welcome to tour our exhibits. More information about the shows and tours can be found on the Tall Grass website, www.tallgrass.org or by calling Tall Grass Gallery at 708-748-3377.

Trans Liberation Collective, Chicago

Unicorn Ball — Saturday, April 29

The Trans Liberation Collective hosts its Official Coming Out Party, Unicorn Ball, Saturday, April 29, at the Shapiro Ballroom, 1612 W. Chicago Ave., from 6 p.m. to Midnight. The event is free and open to the public but donations appreciated. The Unicorn Ball will feature a night of performance, storytelling, dancing, silent auctions and the best and brightest of the Chicago Trans community. The Trans Liberation Collective will be fundraising to help open this center with their sibling organizations, Brave Space Alliance and the Chicago BTGNC Collective, “and we hope that, with your help, we can create a space for our communities to be safe, loved, and thrive in their truths.  For details, see Bravespacealliance.org, or  https://m.facebook.com/TransLiberationCollective/. And the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/144762859382959/?ti=icl .

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

Free Garden Event at Union Street Gallery on Saturday, April 29

USG will host a coffee and conversation with landscape designer and garden consultant Marikay Peter Witlock.  The event will take place on Saturday, April 29 beginning at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Bring your garden questions, curiosities, or photos of triumphs and failures to an open forum drop-in “Q & A” in the relaxed setting of Union Street’s First Floor Gallery.  The morning’s moderator is Marikay Peter Witlock, Union Street Studio Artist, Landscape Professional. You can see Marikay’s home garden featured in the 2017 May/June issue of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine, available at these Union Street Garden Walk sponsoring garden centers: Big John’s Farm Market & Greenhouses, Green Glen Garden Center, and Saunoris Nursery, Garden Center & Greenhouse. Save the Date — The Union Street Gallery Garden Walk will be held July 8, 2017. For additional information, call USG at 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

Derby Day Fundraising Event – Saturday, May 6

Union Street Gallery will be bringing some Kentucky Charm to the south suburbs at its annual Derby Day event on Saturday, May 6. The event will be held at the Olympia Fields Country Club, 2800 Country Club Drive. Enjoy the pageantry and good company associated with the Derby. We have hats, food, drinks, good company, and of course the race. Olympia Fields Country Club is a beautiful place to spend the day with Union Street Gallery. This is one of our two main fundraisers for the year. Purchase your ticket today to support our continued efforts to bring a variety of high quality art exhibitions and art programming to the south suburbs. Tickets are $65 per person and include a bird’s eye view of the race and deli buffet.  There will also be a cash bar. A variety of artists associated with Union Street Gallery donate some fabulous hats for us to sell at the Derby Day fundraiser. Pick out your favorite one of a kind Derby hat to wear during the event. Hats start around $40.  Guests are invited to bet on the winning horse. Stay tuned for more information on the raffle prizes that will be available during the event. If you are interested in donating a raffle prize, contact us at [email protected]. Country club attire is required at the event. You can learn more, including information on sponsorship of the event, and purchase your tickets online, or by stopping in the Gallery.

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

‘Fix-it: Health Care at the Tipping Point’ Screening – Friday, April 28

On Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. UUCC will screen the documentary film ‘Fix-it: Health Care at the Tipping Point.’ A discussion will take place following the film screening.  This documentary takes an in-depth look into how our dysfunctional health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians and negatively impacting the nation’s health, while remaining un-affordable for a third of our citizens.  Single payer is explored as a better alternative.  Free coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided.  Optional donations appreciated. For additional information, call 708- 481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Street, Chicago

5th Annual National LGBTQ Health Conference: Bridging Research and Practice – Begins Friday, April 28

The Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University and The Sexual Orientation and Gender Institute at Center on Halsted are pleased to host the 5th annual National LGBTQ Health Conference: Bridging Research and Practice. This is the nation’s only research conference that brings together scientists, public health professionals, and healthcare providers to improve the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer populations. With national sponsors including the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the Centers for Disease Control, the conference will focus on creating a dialogue between researchers and practitioners by integrating research findings and clinical application into each panel or symposium. The conference also fosters professional development and networking opportunities.  This year’s conference themes are HIV/AIDS; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Adolescent Health; Violence and Trauma; Suicide and Mental Health; and Intersections of Race/Ethnicity and LGBTQ Health. The conference features two keynote speakers: Dr. Laura Kann, Senior Scientist and Chief of the School-Based Surveillance Branch in the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Ilan Meyer, Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. Expert panels and breakout sessions will showcase emerging research and practice in LGBTQ health.  The conference will be held on April 28th – 29th at Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile and will conclude with a Professional Development Institute at Center on Halsted on April 30th. Conference registration information can be found at www.community.centeronhalsted.org/sogi.

The Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) was founded in 2015 and is the first university-wide institute in the country focused exclusively on research to improve the health of the sexual and gender minority (SGM) community. ISGMH grew from director Dr. Brian Mustanski’s IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program, which has been conducting state-of-the art translational research with LGBT youth populations since 2008. Learn more at http://isgmh.northwestern.edu.

Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to building and strengthening the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit Center on Halsted every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood. For more information, visit: www.centeronhalsted.org.

DePaul University, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago

International Catholic Scholars to Address the Reformation, Marriage, Democracy – Through April 30

A diverse group of Catholic scholars from around the world are slated to speak at DePaul University’s Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology in the coming months about issues ranging from democracy to peace and marriage. Events include a panel on Pope Francis’s Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), a discussion of the legacy of the Berrigan brothers, and an international conference reflecting on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and its lingering impact on Asia, Latin America and Africa. Events are free and open to the public.

World Catholicism Week 2017
Gathered in My Name: Ecumenism and the World Church
April 28-30, Lincoln Park Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., Room 314B
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, sparking the Reformation. Now, 500 years later, Stan Chu Ilo, an assistant professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul, will join speakers from India, Nigeria, Brazil, Chile and Sri Lanka to address the Reformation’s lingering repercussions in the global South and efforts there to bridge ecclesial divides. Keynote speakers will be Paul D. Murray, a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and editor of Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning; Sister Teresa Okure, SHJC, the sole representative of Catholic Africa on the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission; and the Rev. Felix Wilfred, president of Concilium: International Journal of Theology and chief editor of the International Journal of Asian Christianity.

The Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology seeks to be at the forefront of the discussion about the relationship between globalization and the Catholic Church’s future as a truly worldwide Church. For more information visit: http://las.depaul.edu/cwcit.

Online Educational Resources

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

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights

Spring Job Fair – Friday, April 28

PSC invites job seekers to attend the 2017 Spring Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, April 28, in the Franciscan Fitness Center, located at 100 197th Place in Chicago Heights on Prairie State College’s north campus. The fair is offered in partnership with the Franciscan Fitness Center, National Able Network and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The job fair is free and open to the public, and will feature employers from various industries looking for employees with a range of education and experience levels. Company representatives will recruit for both full- and part-time positions, as well as internship opportunities. Several companies already are scheduled to participate, including BrightStar Of TinleyPark/OakLawn, ChildCare Careers, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, CTF ILLINOIS, Dot Foods, Inc., Illinois State Police, Indian Oaks Academy, Integrity Trade Services, Keller Williams Preferred Realty – Orland Park, Manor Care Health Services, Nucor Steel Kankakee, Inc., Old Second National Bank, Pace Suburban Bus, Prairie State College Human Resources Department, Prairie State College- KLLM Transport Services, Inc., Swim Chicago Southland, Trinity Services, Inc., United States Secret Service and UPS. Employer registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and as space permits. New employers regularly are added. A complete, up-to-date listing of companies and the positions they are hiring for is available at prairiestate.edu/jobfair. Attendees are encouraged to dress in professional business attire and bring plenty of résumés. For more information about the job fair or to register, visit prairiestate.edu/jobfair or call 855-994-8300.

[email protected] Returns This Summer to PSC – Registration Now in Progress

Are you looking for fun summer activities to keep your kids busy this summer? Let learning and fun continue year round at Prairie State College (PSC). The [email protected] Summer Program at PSC is designed to enhance the problem solving skills of children grades K-6. Participants will use fun, hands-on, STEAM based activities that encourage creativity in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, math and team building. Additional weeks include inventions, performing arts, and athletics. The program will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from June 19 through August 3, at the college’s Matteson Area Center, located at 4821 Southwick Drive. [email protected] at PSC offers 7-weeks of fun-filled learning opportunities including an engaging curriculum taught by certified teachers. Each week is tailored to intrigue students and provide them with a chance to explore, build and learn. Half- and full- day options are available. Cost per child for full day is $138 a week, half day is $75 a week, and a 7-week full-day deal is offered for $825. Payment plan options and before and after care are available. New this summer is the Prairie State Star Studded Theatre (PSST), a two-week drama camp, where students will be introduced to playwriting, acting for the camera, improvisation, staging, set design and musical production. The theme is “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” and students will participate in an original performance on June 22. The cost is $199 and will be held at the main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. In addition to the full- and half-day options, PSC is offering à la carte, one-day courses with a variety of classes to choose from, including game design, digital filmmaking, Spanish and more. For more information about the [email protected] program, visit prairiestate.edu/kids or call 708-709-3750.

Spring 2017 Registration – Now in Progress

Registration for summer courses at Prairie State College is currently underway. Course offerings include credit and non-credit options and courses for students from four-year colleges or universities that are home for the summer. Credit courses include two eight-week summer sessions. The first session begins May 30 and ends July 20. The second session begins June 12 and ends Aug. 3. Classes are offered days, evenings and online. To register for credit courses, new students must complete an enrollment application in person at the main campus in Chicago Heights, or online at www.prairiestate.edu by selecting Apply, Register, Pay. Current students can register for credit courses in person or online on WebAdvisor. Credit courses provide students home from college for the summer the opportunity to fulfill general education requirements at a fraction of the cost, and transfer the credits back to their home college. Classes available include English, speech, biology, chemistry, history and math. For more information, visit prairiestate.edu/summeronly. PSC also offers non-credit courses that begin throughout the summer with a variety of course options for everyone, including kids, adults and seniors. Students can register for non-credit courses online or in person. To register online via Instant Enrollment, go to prairiestate.edu, select Apply, Register, Pay, and then choose How to Enroll. Another option is to complete the registration form available online or in the back of the printed course schedule. Students also can register for non-credit courses in person at the Matteson Area Center (MAC), located at 4821 Southwick Drive in Matteson, or in the Enrollment Services Office on the PSC main campus. The MAC is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The summer course schedule is available online at prairiestate.edu. For more information, call the college at 708-709-3500 or visit www.prairiestate.edu.

Nominations for Community Service Awards – Through Friday, May 12

Thousands of people in the PSC district give generously of their time and talent to make the community a better place.  To honor these individuals, PSC is accepting nominations for two community service awards, one to honor a community member and another to honor a PSC graduate. The first is the Dr. James H. Griffith Community Service Award, given to a 2017 PSC graduate. Nominees should be a person or group who has contributed in an extraordinary way to the community. The award is named after former Trustee Dr. James H. Griffith, who served for 25 years on the PSC Board of Trustees. The second award is the Michael R. Monteleone Community Service Award, given to a community member of the PSC district. Nominees must be a person or group who has contributed in an extraordinary way to education through community service, as either a volunteer or a community leader. A nominee’s service efforts should be within the PSC district, although additional activities in other areas would be recognized. Also, the nominee should not be employed in the community service or public service field. The award is named after former Trustee and Board Chair Michael R. Monteleone, who served on the Board of Trustees for 21 years, from 1981 to 2002. All nominations must arrive at the PSC President’s Office no later than Friday, May 12. To receive a nomination form or for more information, call Pat Trost, administrative director, president’s office and Board of Trustees, at 708-709-3627.

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

Online Summer Registration Begins – Now in Progress

Summer is a great time to take a few classes and our schedule is now available online at www.ssc.edu.   . Summer classes begin Monday, June 6th at the college’s Main Campus and Oak Forest Center. Don’t wait; classes fill quickly. The summer session allows students to begin or continue their college experience with SSC, or to come home from their four-year institution to take additional credits conveniently and at a more affordable rate. SSC is also offering a special 50% discount for summer classes at the Oak Forest Center. The discount is only applicable at the Oak Forest Center in order to promote expanded offerings at this location, and is good for all credit classes on a first come, first served basis. Current and prospective students are encouraged to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) now to increase opportunities for funding assistance, enroll early and create their preferred schedule at SSC. Visit www.fafsa.gov to apply for financial aid using institution code 001769. Additionally, the SSC Foundation 2017 Scholarship Books and Applications are available online at www.ssc.edu/foundation. The primary SSC scholarship application deadline is Friday, March 31st, however, graduating high school seniors can continue to apply for high school graduate scholarships throughout the spring and summer months. Students who wish to use financial aid as payment for summer classes must have an official high school or GED transcript on file. Official transcripts must have a school seal and graduation date on them. Transcripts can be hand-delivered to the Admissions Office or mailed to: Office of Admissions (15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473). If a transcript is hand-delivered it must be in the original sealed, unopened envelope. Prospective students should complete the Online Application Form at www.ssc.edu to begin the enrollment process. New students will receive an SSC email account and a “My SSC” Username & Password via email which will allow access to the online schedule and class registration. The My SSC portal also allows students 24-hour access during college closed periods. You will also want to register early for fall to get the courses you want when you want them. Our fall schedule will be available online beginning Monday, April 3, 2017 with registration opening on Monday, April 17, 2017. Contact the Office of Admissions at 708-210-5718 for enrollment and waiver information, or email the Foundation Office at [email protected] with questions about scholarship opportunities. SSC’s Main Campus is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois.

Top U.S. Universities

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

Green Events

League of Women Voters – Park Forest Area

Status Update on Park Forest Redevelopment of Parks – Saturday, April 29

With the arrival of spring, what better time is there for a walk in the park?  Please join the League of Women Voters – Park Forest Area for its general meeting on Saturday, April 29th at 10 a.m. in the Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, Board Room #142, where our featured speaker will be Robert Gunther, Director of Recreation and Parks for the Village of Park Forest.  Mr. Gunther will share plans for the redevelopment of three Park Forest parks:  Murphy Park, Village Green and Somonauk Park.  After his presentation, weather permitting, everyone is invited to go on a tour of these three parks with Mr. Gunther. Following the tour of the parks, for those who are interested, we will go to lunch at the Chicago Dough Company, located at 3767 Sauk Trail in Richton Park.  Hope you will join us for information, fresh air and food. For more information, contact Diane Hodges at 708-720-5954 or by email at: [email protected] or Barbara Moore at 708-481-5251. The program is open to the public and anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to attend to learn more about this important issue. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters encourages citizens to register to vote and provides public education for voters on election issues. The League does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Anyone interested in promoting responsible government is invited to be a member. For more information visit League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area at www.lwvpfa.org.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society, Park Forest

Nature Education Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center

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

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers

The Wednesday Morning Walkers takes place each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This free activity is for those ages 13 and older.  Follow the forest’s seasonal changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature first-hand on 2 miles of Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve’s winding trails.  Trails can be wet or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes.  Hiking is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain.  Registration is required two days before your first walk.  For additional information or to register, 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 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

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

Healthy Living

Cancer Support Center, 2018 Elm Street, Homewood

Power of a Plan-based Diet – Thursday, April 27

The Cancer Support Center and Vegging Out invite you to explore the power of a plant-based diet.  The event will take place on Thursday, April 27 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Cancer Support Center in Homewood. The presentation will be given by Nutrition Educator Chris Rosandich, MS. Recent research shows that a plant-based diet can prevent or reverse heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and eve build immune function to fight cancer.  Join us as we explore the benefits of a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains.  Enjoy a taste of a plant-based treat made for you in our demonstration kitchen. Donations are welcomed – free to cancer survivors.  Space is limited.  Reserve your by email at [email protected] or call 708-798-9171.

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

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

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

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

Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive

65th Year Anniversary Open House – Tuesday, April 25

The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus will celebrate its 65th year anniversary with an open house on Tuesday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will celebrate the history and accomplishments of the department over the years, and will highlight its services. Free blood pressure screenings will also be available for attendees. The Park Forest Health Department, a municipally-operated service, formed in 1952. The department provides healthcare services to residents of Park Forest and over 20 other south suburban communities including Beecher, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Crete, East Hazel Crest, Flossmoor, Ford Heights, Frankfort, Glenwood, Homewood, Lynwood, Matteson, Mokena, Monee, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Peotone, Richton Park, South Chicago Heights, Steger, Tinley Park, and University Park.

The Park Forest Health Department is organized into five clinical service areas:

  • Environmental Health – This service area is responsible for food safety inspections and consultations to the Park Forest businesses and groups that serve food in the community. The Health Department staff collaborates with other village departments on housing safety issues for residents.
  • Home Health (Nurses Plus Home Healthcare of Park Forest) – This service area provides skilled nursing care and other therapies in the patient’s home during recuperation. Bath and personal hygiene care, medication management, and well-being checkups are examples of available services.
  • Mother, Child and Family Health – This service area currently provides school physical clinics, immunization, screening, and health education for children.
  • Senior Health – This service area provides targeted monthly health screening services and consultation to Rich Township seniors. Consultation, maintenance, and prevention services are provided to all area older people. The department maintains nursing offices at Garden House, Victory Centre, and Cedar Ridge Apartments.
  • Adult Health – This service area immunizes people over the age of 18, delivers a variety of preventative health education seminars, and provides screening clinics that target undeserved south suburban residents.

Park Forest’s Board of Trustees serve as the Board of Health for the organization. The Park Forest Health Department believes in providing services at the lowest possible cost. Services are funded by insurance reimbursements, private contributions and grants, service fees, and tax support. The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus is located in the lower level of Park Forest’s Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information on the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus is available at villageofparkforest.com/health.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

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

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

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

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

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

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

Buddhist Meditation – Saturdays

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

This & That

Park Forest 7-Eleven, 425 Sauk Trail

Julius Mercer Book Signing – Saturday, April 29

Julius Mercer, former USA & World-Class ranked track and field hurdler, a 1979 graduate of Rich East High School, former Olympic hopeful, is bringing his “Success Is in You” tour to the Park Forest 7-Eleven on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is open to the public.  Julius has written A New Fire In You, which details his life events. He will be signing copies of the book at the April 29 event in Park Forest.

Park Forest Toastmasters Club

Meeting – Tuesday, April 25

The Park Forest Toastmasters Club will meet on Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard in Park Forest.  The meeting is open to the public.  Toastmaster members develop speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.  For additional information, visit:


Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Will County Floodplain Mapping Open House – Thursday, April 27

The Will County Floodplain Mapping Open House is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum Caterpillar Auditorium (lower level), 204 North Ottawa Street, in Joliet. The Officials Meeting will be held from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and the Public Open House will be held from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. FEMA and the Illinois State Water Survey are hosting the meetings to review the recently released revised Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report for Will County.  The officials meeting will focus on the FEMA products and administrative processes taking place in the near future.  The public open house will allow citizens to review their areas of interest with staff.  Comments will be accepted at the meetings and for an additional 30 days. Revised preliminary materials were mailed to communities on February 1, 2017. Materials are also available for viewing and download at fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata

Park Forest Vehicle Stickers – Must be Displayed by Sunday, April 30

Park Forest vehicle stickers for the 2017-18 year go are now on sale.  Stickers may be purchased at Village Hall or online by visiting www.villageofparkforest.com. Vehicle stickers must be purchased and properly displayed on all vehicles registered in the Village of Park Forest by the end of the business day on April 30, 2017 to avoid late fees and fines. A late fee of $25 will be assessed to all vehicle sticker purchases made on or after May 1.  A late fee of $50 will be assessed to all vehicle sticker purchases made on or after August 1. Fees will increase as follows: stickers purchased May 1 through July 31 are $75 and stickers purchased August 1 and later are $125. Vehicles will be considered delinquent after October 31.

2017 Park Forest Aqua Center Early Bird Specials – Through Friday, June 2

The Park Forest Aqua Center, 30 North Orchard Drive, is now offering Early Bird Specials April 1 through June 2. Save now on family memberships as well as individual membership rates. Prepare for the warmth of summer with these HOT Aqua Center Deals! Additional information can be found below or on the Aqua Center Website.


Summer and Fall at Prairie State College

Final 2023 Mayoral Forum with Joe Woods

Final Village Trustee Forum – March 19, 2023