In and Around Park Forest for the Week of January 7, 2018

Stevie Wonder
(Source: Center for Performing Arts at GSU)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—Attention all Stevie Wonder fans. The Center for Performing Arts will present ‘50 Years of Wonder: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder.’ In addition to the concert, you can also purchase a ticket for the Winter Wonderland Pre-Show Dinner Reception. You’ll find all the details about this event in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

On a personal note, if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, do yourself a favor and run to the Park Forest Health Department (See ‘Healthy Living’ section for details) or any neighborhood pharmacy and get your shot today. Keep in mind it takes 2 weeks for the flu shot to become effective. Santa left me a case of the flu and since I did receive a flu shot in November, this is only the “mild” form of the flu. But I’ve been down for the count for 2 weeks now and my doctor says I can expect “at least” another week to recover. And if you already have the flu, do everyone a favor and stay home until you are feeling better. Keep warm, wash your hands frequently and stay well.

Events and activities featured in ‘In and Around Park Forest’ take place in Park Forest, the surrounding suburbs and locations that are just a train ride away. If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in the community that you would like published, please send ane-mail to [email protected] with the details no later than 5 p.m. on Friday.  Thank you.

Village of Park Forest Administration

Village Hall Closure – Monday, January 15

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Monday, January 15 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Village Board Meeting – Tuesday, January 16

The Village of Park Forest Board will meet on Tuesday, January 16 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 Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of January 7:

  • Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
  • Tuesday, January 9 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, January 10 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, 1 University Parkway, University Park

50 Years of Wonder: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder – Saturday, January 13

50 Years of Wonder: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder will be performed by America’s Got Talent finalists Sons of Serendip on Saturday, January 13 at 8 p.m. Serendipity brought this vocal quartet together. Their beautiful music keeps audiences coming back for more. With the accompaniment of the harp, piano, and cello, these America’s Got Talent finalists will celebrate the legendary Stevie Wonder with popular hits like “Isn’t She Lovely”, “Signed Sealed Delivered” and “If It’s Magic”.

Tickets are $36/$28. Buy Tickets

Add Winter Wonderland Pre-Show Dinner Reception for $22

In honor of the Center’s 22 years of bringing quality live performing arts experiences to the Chicago Southland. Featuring comfort food and a cash bar. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Center’s arts and education programs

The dinner reception will be held on Saturday, January 13 beginning at 6 p.m. and features a menu of comfort foods including:

  • Maryland Crab Cake with Smoked Aioli on Buttercrust Roll
  • Peppercorn Grilled Chicken with Grain Mustard Cream on Pretzel Roll
  • Mashed Potato Bar, with all the fixin’s
  • Spiced Popcorn
  • Pocketknife Coleslaw
  • White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
  • Dessert

A cash bar will also be available.

There will also be a Raffle for a 2018-19 Center for Performing Arts Season Pass! Raffle tickets are priced at: 1 ticket for $10; 3 for $25; 7 for $50 – cash, check or credit card will be accepted.

For additional information, visit: http://www.govst.edu/About/Center_for_Performing_Arts/All_Events_by_Date/.

‘Lift Every Voice’ – Tickets Now on Sale

As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University is planning a musical celebration fit for the King. Join three local opera singers for ‘Lift Every Voice,’ a celebration of the black experience through opera, musical Broadway, spirituals, and art songs on Sunday, January 21 at 4 p.m. The afternoon will be hosted by Lyric Opera tenor and curator of the Opera Up Close series, John Concepcion. Patrons will enjoy a soul food buffet and a glass of wine at their seats on the stage, for an up-close experience with the performers. The program will feature songs from popular favorites including Porgy and Bess, Ragtime, Showboat, and more! It also features work by notable African American composers such as Uzee Brown and local Chicago composer and pianist Dolores White. Dolores was honored by the American Women’s Heritage Society and is an active speaker on such topics as women in music, Afro-Cuban music, and African American arts. Musical selections, such as Ragtime’s “Make Them Hear You” and “Wheels of a Dream,” pay tribute to the rich history and contributions of African American people and their stories. The libretto of Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black street-beggar living in the slums of Charleston. Featured songs will include “There’s a Boat,” and “Summertime.” Selections written by Dolores White include songs like “Go Down Moses,” and “Joy,” and Uzee Brown’s “I Dream a World.” Featured artists include Kimberly Jones (soprano), Cornelius Johnson (tenor), Adrian Dunn (baritone), and Paul Hamilton (piano).

Ticket Information

Tickets: $55, which includes a glass of wine and soul food buffet
Online: CenterTickets.net
By phone: 708-235-2222
In person at the box office: 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL

Box office hours: Monday- Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open to 6p.m. on Thursdays) and two hours prior to all performances. Parking is free. For best GPS directions always use the location search term “Governors State University” only. This performance is part of the Center’s “Opera Up Close” programming, which brings local artists from the Lyric Opera to the Southland for intimate performances.  One of many on stage experiences the Center now offers, patrons are seated on the stage with the artists, right in the midst of the action. A portion of the funding is provided by The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Chicago Design Museum, 108 North State Street, Chicago

‘Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture’ — Through Feb. 17, 2018

An interactive exhibition that encourages play and offers guests a look at the world of games beyond what’s found on Xbox or Steam is now open at the Chicago Design Museum. Co-curators Brian Schrank and LeAnne Wagner, both School of Design faculty members, created “Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture,” with all ages and experience levels in mind. The exhibition features nine games that range across three big areas in gaming: high art, outsider art and indie games, said Schrank. High art games can help connect history and art and incorporate elements of graphic art, music or story. Outsider art involves individuals who aren’t necessarily trained in the arts and won’t be in the elite art galleries or museums, but involve art done out of obsessiveness. Small studios or independent artists who are blending art and commercialization make indie games. A few of the games on display and available to play at the exhibition include Robin Arnott’s “Sound-Self,” Feng Mengbo’s “Long March: Restart,” and Champlain College Emergent Media Center’s “Spacebox.”  The other games on display include “SuperBetter” by Jane McGonigal, “Slapsie” and “Parachute Game” by Bernie DeKoven, “Videoball” by Tim Rogers, “Untitled Game” by JODI, a collection of games by Anna Anthropy, and Terry Davis’s TempleOS operating system ready for play on a desktop computer. Founded in 2012, the Chicago Design Museum is located on the third floor of the Block Thirty-Seven mall at 108 N. State St. It’s open from noon to 7p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. “Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture” runs through Feb. 17, 2018. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are encouraged. For additional information on the Chicago Design Museum is at https://chidm.com/.

Crete Public Library District, 1177 North Main Street

The following events are scheduled at the Crete Public Library District the week of January 7:

  • Monday, January 8 at 7 p.m. – Book Club – Discussion of If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? By Alan Alda. For adults.
  • Monday, January 8 at 7 p.m. – Knot Just for Knitters – Share camaraderie while working on knitting, crocheting or any other type of needlework project. For adults.
  • Tuesday, January 9 at 11 a.m. – Storytime at Aurelio’s – Drop-in for stories, songs, and fingerplays for ages birth-5.
  • Tuesday, January 9 at 6 p.m. – STEAM Kids – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math program. For ages 6-8. Register.
  • Wednesday, January 10 at 4:45 p.m. – Art Academy – Recreate art using the techniques of famous artists and illustrators. For ages 9-12. Register.
  • Thursday, January 11 at 10 a.m. – Creating a Career Plan – Learn how to use strategic career planning to identify your dream job and determine your career goals. For adults. Content provided through a Lynda.com video. Must have a Crete Public Library District card to register.
  • Thursday, January 11 at 7 p.m. – Knot Another Ball of Yarn! Crochet Group – For teens and adults.
  • Friday, January 12 at 2 p.m. – Friday Afternoon Films – Showing For adults.
  • Friday, January 12 at 3 p.m. – Anime Club – Anime screenings, trivia contests, and manga-inspired games. For ages 12+.

For more information or to register for a program, please call the Crete Public Library at 708-672-8017 or visit www.cretelibrary.org.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago

3 Winter Exhibitions – Through Sunday, March 25

Printed works from various artists will be on display at DePaul Art Museum this winter. Three exhibitions will include works by lithographers Clinton Adams and June Wayne of the Tamarind Institute, as well as by Chicago artists Barbara Jones-Hogu and Jose Guerrero, from the city’s South Side and Pilsen neighborhood, respectively. The exhibitions run through March 25.

Rock, Paper, Image: Lithographs by Clinton Adams and June Wayne from the Belverd and Marian Needles Collection

Clinton Adams and June Wayne are widely credited with reviving interest in lithography in the mid-20th century. As co-founders of the Tamarind Institute, a center for lithography based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they instructed artists and shared innovative techniques while simultaneously pursuing their own independent practices. This exhibition presents a selection of both artists’ work from the 1950s through the 1990s, showcasing how their approaches to subjects, ranging from landscapes and color to literature and politics, evolved over time. Adams is best known for his work in modernist abstraction, with an emphasis on the Southwestern landscape. Wayne’s work shows an interest in science, natural phenomena, the cosmos, genes and social justice. She was feminist and a strong advocate for women artists.

Barbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite 1968-1975

The first solo museum exhibition by Barbara Jones-Hogu, who died Nov. 14, 2017, features works on paper including woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screen prints. Jones-Hogu, a founding member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA) and a central figure of the Black Arts Movement, was a Chicago-based artist, filmmaker and educator. She was a contributor to Chicago’s “Wall of Respect” mural, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. The exhibition boasts over 20 pieces and includes Jones-Hogu’s print work from 1968-75 as well as screen prints and sketches, ranging from black-and-white images to colorful works. One of Jones-Hogu’s most famous works of art is a screen print on paper titled “Unite.” The work was made in 1971 and features several African-American persons holding their clinched fists in the air with the word unite written out repeatedly.

Jose Guerrero, Presente: A Memorial Print Portfolio

Jose Guerrero, who died in 2015, was an artist and leader who influenced his community through printmaking, mural painting and activism. He is best known for his work in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, where his studio and workshop was a hub for art classes, mural tours and political organizing. The exhibition “Jose Guerrero, Presente” features a portfolio of prints made in his memory by 25 Chicago artists, as well as some of his own works on paper. Artists include: Monserrat Alsina, Rene Arceo, Cathy Cajandig, Viky Cervantes, Héctor Duarte, Nicolas De Jesus, Roberto Ferreyra, Eric Garcia, José L Gutierrez, Salvador Jimenes, Alexy Lanza, Edgar Lopez, Alfredo Martinez, Dolores Mercado, Luis Montenegro, José L Pina Morales, Oscar Moya, Art Olson, Antonio Pazaran, Kate Perryman, Eufemio Pulido, Erik Salgado, Diana Solis, Benjamin Varela, Gabriel Villa and John Pitman Weber. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Guerrero moved to Chicago in 1964. He was a popular artist who infused activism and political organizing into community art making by opening his own print studio and leading mural tours in the Pilsen neighborhood, teaching people about the symbols and meaning behind cultural imagery, explained Lopez. Included in the 26-piece portfolio by Guerrero’s students, colleagues and friends are screen prints, woodcuts and linocuts. Themes that were central to Guerrero’s artistic practice and life’s work, including labor rights, displacement and gentrification, immigrant’s rights and social equality, are expressed in the collection. An iconic image in the exhibition is a linocut titled “Migrant” by Weber, founder of the Chicago Public Art Group. “Migrant” illustrates a man raising his arms over his head in a moment of strife.

Hours for the DePaul University Library are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission is free. Additional information at http://museums.depaul.edu​ or 773-325-7506.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled at the Park Forest Library the week of January 7:

  • Sunday, January 7 at 1 p.m. – Make & Take Project — Take a break from the winter chill and join us for a project that’s sure to warm the coldest toes. For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, January 8 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Storytime — Join us for a delightful morning of stories.
  • Monday, January 8 at 3:30 p.m. — kids Art in the Afternoon — Unleash your inner artist. Drop in to create a seasonal masterpiece that will be displayed on the wall in kids’ zone. For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, January 8 at 6:30 p.m. – Family Movie Night — Now Showing: ‘Despicable Me 3.’ Rated PG.
  • Tuesday, January 9 at 3:30 p.m. – kids Art in the Afternoon — Drop in and discover your inner artist with one of our guided projects. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, January 9 at 6 p.m. – Night Time Storytime — JAM OUT in your PJ’s with stories, crafts, music and more.
  • Wednesday, January 10 at 11 a.m. – Baby 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, January 10 at 3:30 p.m. — kids Color Me Happy — 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, January 10 at 4 p.m. – Adult Coloring — Join us as we spend some time unwinding and relaxing with adult coloring books.
  • Wednesday, January 10 at 4 p.m. – Explore a World of Wonder — Drop by the new PFPL Explore Space to discover and engage with interactive materials on display.
  • Wednesday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m. — Earth Wise Movie Night: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ — A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the follow-up that shows just how close people are to a real energy revolution.
  • Wednesday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Writers’ Workshop — 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, January 11 at 11 p.m. – Toddler Art — Bring your imagination and creativity to bring out your inner Picasso through art projects and more. Some projects may involve paint. Ages 3-5.
  • Thursday, January 11 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.
  • Thursday, January 11 at 4:30 p.m. – Season’s Readings Book Club – Chill out with a good book! Join our NEW kids book club for ages 9-12 years old. Free Book with every session.
  • Thursday, January 11 at 6 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Pajama Story Time is Back on a New Day and Time! Share special moments with your child through stories, crafts, and more. For ages 12 and under.
  • Friday, January 12 at 3 p.m. – Fun Friday: Wii U Game Day — T.G.I.F – join the fun with Wii U. Bring a friend or makes new ones! For ages 12 and under.
  • Saturday, January 6 at 1 p.m. — Drop-In Create Zone Craft — Drop in to kids’ zone and see what we are creating today!
  • Saturday, January 6 at 1 p.m. – Mindful Eating Circle — Join us as we read and discuss “The Joy of Half a Cookie: Using Mindfulness to Lose Weight and End the Struggle With Food.”

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

Potpourri of Lectures Series – Thursday, January 11

The Potpourri of Lectures series will take place on Thursday, January 11 at 10:30 a.m.  This week’s lecture is ‘Applying New Ideas for Parks and Playgrounds’ by Rob Gunther, Director of Recreation and Parks Village of Park Forest. The Lecture will be held in the Library’s Ringering Room. For additional information, call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Library Closures – Sunday & Monday, January 14 & 15

The Park Forest Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday, January 14 and 15 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

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

‘Medley’ – Through Thursday, February 1

PSC’s Christopher Art Gallery kicks off 2018 with an exhibit entitled ‘Medley.’ The exhibit runs through Thursday, February 1. A reception will be held on Tuesday, January 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. ‘Medley’ features works by David Gremp, George Kassal, Gail Otterson, Paul Rinaldi, Beth Shadur, Lou Shields, Rebecca Slagle, and Valerie Taglieri. The works are in varied media by the artists that are both full-time and adjunct faculty in the PSC’s liberal arts departments. 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, call 708-709-3636 or visit: http://prairiestate.edu/artgallery.

Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Lunch at the Senior Center – Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays

The Rich Township Senior Center will be serving lunch at 12 Noon, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Rich Township School District 227 is preparing delicious meals for a cost of $3.00. You MUST make your reservation two days in advance by stopping in, or calling 708-748-5454. Lunch Menu examples: Chicken, Hamburger, Turkey Sandwich, all served with Soup & Chips.  Also we have Pasta dishes, side salads, desserts. Optional: Chef Salad. All served with Lemonade.

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

‘Rapunzel and the Frog Prince’ – Tickets Now on Sale

SSC’s Children’s Theatre Company presents ‘Rapunzel and the Frog Prince,’ a uniquely comical mashup that cleverly blends the two Grimm tales into one story. Playwright Michele L. Vacca and director Ellie Shunko team up once again to turn fairy tales upside down for a spirited adventure for young and old alike. Performances will take place in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on SSC’s Main Campus in South Holland, on Saturdays, January 13 and 20, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Additional weekday performances will take place Tuesday through Friday, January 16 through 19, 2018, at 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. each day. The local witch, Gruesomella Jones (Cheryle Barham of South Holland) conjures a spell that will make handsome Prince Beauregard (Zachary Scalzitti of St. John, IN) fall in love with the first woman he sees – Miss Jones herself. In walks Princess Rapunzel (Lauren Bryant of South Holland) and the Prince immediately falls head over heels for her. Annoyed by this turn of events, Gruesomella turns Beauregard into a frog so he can’t marry Princess Rapunzel. Not knowing his true identity, Rapunzel befriends the frog. Her bird-watching mother, Queen Alexandra (Betty Neil of Markham), attempts to find her daughter a proper princely husband. She calls in a series of candidates – each one more peculiar than the next – to present to Rapunzel in hopes that one will be able to replace her lost Prince Beauregard. The hopeful suitors are the ancient Prince Feeble and histrionic actor Steve Prince (both played by Pat Nevins of Homewood), the shy, clumsy Melvin Prince and the beat-boxing poet Leonardo (both played by James Hudson of Chicago), greaser wannabe Da Prince and the lunatic pirate Captain Dedalus Darkwater (both played by Paul Braun of Highland, IN). Meanwhile, back in the forest, Gruesomella and her wacky, multilingual sidekick Laguna Loxley (Juniper Boerman DeYoung of Thornton) plot to capture Rapunzel and keep her from her friend and true love. The production staff includes director and Kindig Performing Arts Center manager Ellie Shunko, a Lansing resident. The lighting designers are the husband and wife team of Lydia and Dominic Bellamy-Palma of Crestwood. Costumes are created by Joanna Tassin of Park Forest. Prop mistresses are Rochelle Walters of South Chicago Heights and Heather Young of Chicago. The sets are built by Pat Nevins of Homewood and Anne and Michael Begora of Hegewisch. Spinning tunes at the sound board will be Jordan Swierczyna of Robbins. The production stage manager is Angela Martin of Midlothian. Tickets for Rapunzel and the Frog Prince are only $5 per person. Reservations for weekday shows are suggested as some performances are sold out. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the 24/7 box office voicemail line at 708-210-5741. Leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call. You may also reserve tickets by e-mail at [email protected].

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Water, Fire, Ice, Earth and Air’ – Opens Friday, January 19

Tall Grass Arts Association’s exhibit ‘Water, Fire, Ice, Earth and Air’ will open on Thursday, January 19 and run through Saturday, February 24. This exhibit is free and open to the public. This invitational show features artists Elizabeth Busey, Lorna Filippini, Cheryl Holz, Beth Shadur and Valerie Taglieri and includes drawings, paintings and prints inspired by natural forms and forces, concern for the environment, and unexpected methods and materials to represent nature’s elements. Curated by Claudia Craemer.  Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. The Gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

The Drama Group, 339 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

Chicago Premiere of ‘Whiskey Neat’ – Opens Friday, January 12

The Drama Group is thrilled to announce the Chicago Premiere of a new play by Paul E. Milord, ‘Whiskey Neat,’ produced and directed by Paul Milord and Deb Brunette.  Performances will be held at The Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theatre on January 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on January 14 & 21 at 2 p.m.  An original work by Paul Milord, ‘Whiskey Neat’ is set in Chicago, 1949.  The action takes place in the back room/accounting office of an illegal high end gambling club run by an Irish Mob.  We have an unassuming accountant, Harry, who has the ear of his boss, Beverly (who secretly pines for Harry).  We have two gunmen, Roy and Ed, one a funny, bored drinker and ersatz bank guard, the other an enforcer/bouncer.  We have a blunt, malignant floor manager, Izzi.  And we have a cocktail waitress, Trudy, who despises her job. Into this mix steps Beverlys nephew, Mike, who stirs up a hornets nest of emotion, confrontation and violence, as he pursues his romantic interest, Trudy, and forces his Aunt Beverly to confront her past.  Whiskey Neat is a study in loneliness, loss, love and redemption. What does it take to get an original play produced in the Chicagoland theatre world?  The joy of creating a new work, exploring conflicts between people in the shadowy gambling world of the 1940s, and discovering what makes people tick. Talk to the playwright Paul Milord directly after the performances of Whiskey Neat.’ Tickets are $20 for adults; $19 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Good seats are available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online here. For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Website www.dramagroup.org.

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

‘Recollection’ Exhibit — Opens Thursday, January 11

USG begins 2018 with an exhibition entitled ‘Recollection.’ The exhibit will open on Thursday, January 11 and run through Saturday, February 10. There will be a reception on Saturday, January 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gallery.  Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Memories, dreams, déjà vu, nightmares…. What’s your recollection? This USG exhibit features works that depict the scene, person, item, emotion, or essence of the artists’ recollection. Gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note that the Gallery is open by appointment only through Thursday, January 4. For addition information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

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

Edgar’s Place Coffeehouse Presents Joe Jencks – Saturday, on January 13

Edgar’s Place Coffeehouse will present Joe Jencks on Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m. Edgar’s Place is located at the UUCC in Park Forest. Joe Jencks is an international touring performer, songwriter, entertainer, and educator. From venues like Lincoln Center in New York, to coffee houses, festivals, spiritual communities, and schools, Joe Jencks via radio, CDs, web casts, and other musicians. He is noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Jencks weaves a diverse web of stories with brilliant musical skill, ensnaring even the most rigid of hearts, inviting them to open. His songs invite us to live inside of our passions and our beliefs. The Midnight Special’s host Rich Warren has proclaimed Joe’s latest cd “Poets, Philosophers, Workers and Wanderers” to be one of his favorites for 2017. Learn more about Joe at his website www.joejencks.com. There is a $15 cover charge at the door. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

University of Chicago Oriental Institute, 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago

Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt – Through March 31, 2018

In ancient Egypt, you did not go to the afterlife empty-handed. The Book of the Dead, a collection of spells and charms, was there to guide you. Now through March 31, 2018, visitors to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago will have a unique opportunity to peruse copies of the Book of the Dead: Two 2,200-year-old papyri, each more than 30 feet long and beautifully illustrated with texts and images. They are on display in their entirety for the first time at a museum, accompanied by the mummy of a woman who lived over 2,000 years ago, as well as statues, stelae, scarabs, magic bricks, ushabtis (small funerary figurines) and other artifacts. The exhibit presents 76 artifacts that demonstrate how religious beliefs shaped the lives and material culture in Egypt over a period of more than 2,000 years (from 2500 B.C. to 100 A.D). Most are from the permanent collection of the Oriental Institute, whose museum holds the Chicago area’s largest collection of Egyptian art and artifacts, as well as galleries devoted to the other cultures of the ancient Middle East. A central feature of the exhibit is an enclosure featuring the mummy of an ancient Egyptian woman from the city of Akhmim. In the display, she is surrounded by mortuary objects inscribed with Book of the Dead spells—typical for an Egyptian burial chamber, where multiple copies of the same spells could be found. Long strips of linen inscribed with Book of the Dead spells reveal how ancient Egyptian priests wrapped the Book of the Dead around the body to protect it within an amuletic cocoon of powerful religious texts. The two Book of the Dead papyri on display, from two different regions of Egypt, were painstakingly hand-produced by a team of skilled scribes and illustrators. Seeing the papyri laid out end-to-end makes their compilation starkly apparent, the curators said; each Book of the Dead papyrus is not a single book at all, but a collection of shorter spells compiled together in a single manuscript. The Field Museum of Natural History has loaned several rarely displayed objects, including several limestone blocks inscribed with large Book of the Dead spells from the tomb of a man named Bakenrenef, as well as a papyrus inscribed with a composition known as the First Book of Breathing. Over the course of the second and first centuries B.C., the Book of the Dead was largely abandoned in favor of the Books of Breathing; they represent the last documents in a tradition of funerary literature stretching back more than 2,500 years. A companion catalog contains essays by 13 prominent scholars with expertise in religion and the use of funerary literature in ancient Egypt. It includes complete photographic documentation of the two Book of the Dead papyri from the Oriental Institute in color for the first time. “Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt” runs  through March 31, 2018 at the museum. Admission to the Oriental Institute is free, however, there is a suggested donation: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children under 12. For groups of 8 or more people visiting the museum, please register by completing and submitting the following form: Tour Reservation Form. Learn more about the Oriental Institute here. https://oi.uchicago.edu/

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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 (PSC), 202 South Halsted, Chicago Heights

‘Color Outside the Lines: A Workshop on Cultural Understanding & the Dynamics of Race Relations’ – Registration Now in Progress

PSC Corporate and Continuing Education Department is hosting a special workshop intended to increase cultural awareness from 8 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, January 23, in the PSC Conference Center, located on the college’s main campus in Chicago Heights.  “Color Outside the Lines: A Workshop on Cultural Understanding & the Dynamics of Race Relations,” was designed to assist participants in expanding their knowledge and skills in engaging with diverse audiences. With emphasis on examination and exploration of cultural diversity, participants will be positioned to gain knowledge of differences, as well as increase levels of communication and cultural competency. The morning opens with 7 a.m. registration, followed by a 7:30 a.m. breakfast. The workshop begins at 8 a.m. The cost to attend is $49, and includes breakfast. The college is offering a $10 ticket discount to PSC employees and students. For more information about the event or the discount, call 708-709-2957. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/color-outside-the-lines-tickets-41025576604.

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

Free Highway Construction Careers Training Program – Orientation & Assessment Testing Begins January 30

SSC will be offering a Free Highway Construction Careers Training Program this spring at their Oak Forest Campus. Orientation and Assessment Testing will be January 30 through February 1 at the Oak Forest Center, with the program set to begin on February 26. SSC’s Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue in Oak Forest. The Highway Construction Careers Training Program has been implemented to increase the number of minorities, women, and disadvantaged individuals working on IDOT highway construction projects. The training consists of an intensive 12-week program to learn the skills necessary for acceptance into the highway construction trades and gives the opportunity for a career with high wage potential.

Career Opportunities Include:

  • Cement Mason
  • Electrician
  • Pipefitter
  • Carpenter
  • Laborer
  • Equipment Operator


  • Valid driver’s license
  • 18 years or older
  • High School diploma/GED
  • Interest working in the Construction Trades

Construction will always be needed for new buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures. Some of the more skilled construction careers such as engineer require higher education while others such as cement masonry can be learned as an on-the-job apprentice. For more information, please visit our website at www.ssc.edu/hcctp, or call 708-225-6042, or email [email protected]. Para Información En Español Llame: 708-210-5740.

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

Sauk-Calumet Group of Sierra Club, Matteson

Members’ Slide Night – Monday, January 8

The Sauk-Calumet Group of the Sierra Club will meet on Monday, January 8 at 7 p.m. at the Frankfort Public Library, 21119 Pfeiffer Road. Calling all members to bring a PowerPoint file or picture files of your outdoor experience, whether from a grand adventure on the other side of the world or the butterflies from your own back yard. Join us for pizza afterwards at Durbin’s in Frankfort. The meeting is open to the public. For additional information, call Lois Lauer at 708-923-3550.

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 Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

‘Beginning Birding for Kids’ Program –Registration Required by Thursday, January 18

Impress your friends this spring with your birding smarts and binocular savvy. Come get an early start with this popular hobby – bird watching. Learn key shapes, markings, habits and songs for our most common local birds with activities, sounds and a hike. Join us for ‘Beginning Birding for Kids’ on Saturday, January 20 from 1-3 p.m. The program is free and for kids 7 to 12 years old. Registration is required by Thursday, January 18. Then our beginning birders can join the 9 a.m. ‘Beginning Bird Hike’ and host activities at our ‘Beginning Birding for All’ event on Saturday, February 17. Programming for children is sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. For more information or to register for programs, please call 708-747-6320 or email [email protected].  Visit our website at www.tcwoods.org.

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.

Will County Green, 58 East Clinton Street, Joliet

Recycling in the South Suburbs — Ongoing

Have old electronics, TVs or computer monitors sitting around your house gathering dust? Want to get rid of them for free? There are places in Will County where you can properly dispose of them. Each recycling location will accept only 2 televisions per vehicle. ID will be required to prove that you are a Will County resident. However, Park Forest residents residing in either Will OR Cook Counties may participate.

Recycling Locations

Richton Park Donation Drop Spot Peotone Police Department New Lenox Township
Richton Park Village Hall 208 E. Main Street 1100 S. Cedar Road
4455 Sauk Trail (Located along Latonia Lane) 1st & 3rd Wednesdays 2nd & 4th Wednesdays
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (lines will be cut off at 7 p.m.) 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (lines will be cut off at 7 p.m.
7 days a week Closed on Holidays Closed on Holidays

For additional information, visit www.countygreen.com.

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.

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, 350 Victory Drive

Flu Shots Now Available

Flu shots are available now at the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus. The cost is $30 for those ages 19 through 64, $20 for those 18 years and under, and free for Medicare Part B recipients (must bring copy of card).  No appointment is necessary. Shots are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, located in the lower level of Village Hall. For additional information, call 708-748-1118.

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.

Medical Cannabis Education Association Meeting – Sunday, January 7

The Medical Cannabis Education Association will meet at UUCC on Sunday, January 7 at noon. The Association meets on the first Sunday of every month. All are welcome. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

This & That

Chicago Polar Bear Club, Chicago

17th Annual Chicago Polar Bear Club Plunge – Saturday, January 20

The 17th Annual Chicago Polar Bear Club Polar Plunge will take place on Saturday, January 20, 2018 beginning at 12 noon at Oak Street Beach in Chicago.  Hundreds of men and women will run into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan, many in costumes. Each year, the Chicago Polar Bear Club (formerly the Lakeview Polar Bear Club) raises funds from hundreds of plungers and their family and friends to support local families challenged by difficult circumstances. Since its first fundraising event in 2003, the CPBC has raised more than $300,000. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the families in need. This year, CPBC aims to raise $35,000 from 700+ donors to support two local Midwestern families: the Drew Family and the Hambrecht Family. You can learn more about the Drew and Hambrecht Families here. You can support the CPBC’s goals by making a tax-deductible contribution by:

  • Mailing a check to the Chicago Polar Bear Club, PO Box A3616, Chicago IL 60690, or
  • Online at com.

For additional information, visit www.chicagopolarbearclub.com.

Park Forest Police Department, 200 Lakewood Boulevard

Park Forest Team Participating in Special Olympics Polar Plunge Seeking Support – Team Racing in Honor of Officer Tim Jones

The Law Enforcement Torch Run and GEICO’s 2018 Polar Plunge provides a unique opportunity to support Special Olympics athletes by taking a flying leap into the frigid waters of Manteno Lake located in Kankakee County. Each participant must raise $100 in donations from friends, family, neighbors and co-workers in exchange for jumping into the icy waters. The Park Forest Team will be taking the plunge in honor of Officer Tim Jones who suffered gunshot wounds in the line of duty in March of 2016 and is still recovering. The 2018 Polar Plunge is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 3 at the Manteno Sportsmen’s Club, 851 North Main Street in Manteno. Registration will take place at noon with the plunge at 2 p.m. Join the team by donating to a great cause and come out on March 3 and support Special Olympics Illinois!  Make a donation or register for the 2018 Polar Plunge here.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Business Attire Wanted – Collection Now in Progress

The Village of Park Forest is collecting gently used or new men and women business attire. Clean out your closet and contribute to a good cause.  This project will provide business attire for any constituent looking to dress professional for work or interviews. Donations may include:

  • Suits for men and women
  • Ties, belts and shoes
  • Blazers,
  • Dress pants,
  • Dress shirts
  • Blouses,
  • Dresses and skirts, and
  • Clothing Racks and Hangers

Drop off is by appointment only. For additional information or to schedule a drop-off appointment, call or email Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621 or [email protected].


Final 2023 Mayoral Forum with Joe Woods

Final Village Trustee Forum – March 19, 2023