In and Around Park Forest Week of February 14, 2016

‘Bleacher Bums’ opens February 26 at the Drama Group in Chicago Heights.

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 14, 2016. Nothing says spring like the start of baseball season. Park Forest Baseball is a youth baseball league offering boys and girls, ages 4 to 14, the opportunity to learn the skills and fun of baseball. Registration for the 2016 season begins on Saturday, February 20. Coaches and managers are also needed. For the complete list of registration dates and locations, visit the ‘This & That’ section.

Speaking of baseball, the Drama Group in Chicago Heights is excited to present the rollicking sports comedy, ‘Bleacher Bums’ directed by Michael J Renzi. Performances will be held at the Drama Group Studio Theatre beginning February 26. Additional information about ‘Bleacher Bums,’ can be found in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, February 15

The Village Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, February 15 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers).

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 February 14:

  • Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. – Housing Authority

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

Arts & Entertainment

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

‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ – Saturday, February 20

The Southland Area Theatre Ensemble (SLATE) will present ‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ on Saturday, February 20 at 8 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts. Hailed by the Associated Press as a “revelatory revue full of wonderful moments” and by USA Today as a “funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theater’s greatest living composer and lyricist,” ‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words… and music. An all-star cast of Slate veterans and new artists take on new arrangements of over two-dozen Sondheim tunes, ranging from the beloved to the obscure, interspersed with beautiful video commentary by the composer himself, who reveals fascinating details about his life and his art. Stephen Sondheim’s final word on his unparalleled body of work has been preserved in this classic new revue nominated for both the Tony and Grammy award. Songs include: “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story, “Comedy Tonight” from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” and “Being Alive” from Company, “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music, “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods, and many more! Tickets are $28. BUY TICKETS  For additional information, visit: http://www.govst.edu/About/Center_for_Performing_Arts/All_Events_by_Date/ or call 708-235-2222.

Seeking Applications for High School Theatre Collaborative – Submissions Due by Tuesday, March 1

GSU seeks applications for its Theatre & Performance Studies (T.A.P.S.) High School Theatre Collaborative (HSTC). The Collaborative, under the direction of the GSU’s Division of Communication, Visual and Performing Arts and its Theatre and Performance Studies program aims to produce inspiring theatre that helps young actors enhance their craft through active learning experiences and collaborations with Governors State University, area high schools, and the community. Each spring, high school theatre groups may submit a proposal to GSU with the production concept that they wish to present in the summer. The T.A.P.S. program staff will review proposals and select a different partner each year to perform a full scale production on the stage of the Center for Performing Arts.  Last summer, GSU kicked off the program with Crete Monee’s Enrichment program producing SHREK The Musical; a production which attracted over 1400 community members. To Apply — Visit www.govst.edu/cas/taps/hstc. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2016. Along with its annual summer production, HSTC will be offering in-school theatre workshops, information sessions and outreach programs for high school aged youth who are interested in pursuing theatre or performance as a career path. In 2014, The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved Theatre and Performance Studies as a Bachelor’s Degree at GSU; the only such degree combining the two disciplines at a public state university in Illinois. The T.A.P.S. High School Theatre Collaborative invites high school and college students to explore theatre with the support and mentorship of GSU’s professional educators and unique program perspective. To stay connected and receive program updates, visit www.govst.edu/cas/taps and “like” us at facebook.com/TAPSGSU.

DePaul University Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 East Balbo Avenue, Chicago

‘Prospero’s Storm’ – Through February 20

DePaul University’s Merle Reskin Theatre will present ‘Prospero’s Storm’ through February 20th. ‘Prospero’s Storm’ has been adapted from William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ and recommended for those ages 8 and up. Wizard Prospero wields crashing sea-storms, airy spirits, savage ghost hounds, and terrifying creatures to exact revenge on his enemies—trapping them on his magical island. Will he learn mercy from his teenage daughter, or sink everyone into the sea? This vaudeville adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ uses puppets, singing, slapstick, and magic to weave an enchanting tale of fatherhood and forgiveness. Performances will take place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10 a.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Please check the DePaul calendar (www.theatre.depaul.edu) for specific performance dates. Tickets are $10. College students with ID can purchase tickets for $5. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 312-922-1999.

DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton, Chicago

‘Split Complementary’ Exhibition – Through April 24

With refined appreciation for materials, but very different approaches, the art of Dianna Frid and Richard Rezac meets on complementary grounds at DePaul Art Museum’s “Split Complementary” exhibition. The exhibition features installations, sculptures, books and wall art by the artists, as well as rare books from the Special Collections Department of DePaul’s John T. Richard Library, and a variety of objects from the DePaul Art Museum’s permanent collection. The items from the museum’s collection include a red hat from South Africa, a Turkish Ottoman miniature painting covered with written notations, South American photographs from the 1930s and other objects and images. ‘Split Contemporary’ will be on display at the DePaul Art Museum through April 24. The DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. For more on the DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://bit.ly/DPAM15.

‘Nexo/Nexus: Latin American Connections in the Midwest’ – Through April 24

‘Nexo / Nexus: Latin American Connections in the Midwest’ will be on display at the DePaul Art Museum through April 24. Drawn from museum’s permanent collection, alongside loans from private collections, the exhibition features Latin American artists in the region and explores their influences, connections and unique reflections of the people, culture and place. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 2016 Latino Art Now! Conference taking place this April. The DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. For more on the DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://bit.ly/DPAM15.

DePaul University Sondra & Denis Healy Theatre, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago

‘God’s Ear’ – Through February 21

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present ‘God’s Ear,’ written by Jenny Schwartz and directed by Andrew Peters, on the Fullerton Stage on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus. The production runs through February 21. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. ‘God’s Ear’ centers on a child who dies and a family that shatters. Two parents grapple with the language of loss as they fight to pull their family back together. The couple navigates their new reality using dark humor, disjointed poetry, rampant clichés and an occasional visit from the Tooth Fairy and G.I. Joe. Additional special events for the play include an opening night reception following the performance on February 12, and post-show discussions on February 14 and 18. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5 with a valid ID. Subscriptions and group rates for six or more people are available. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling 773-325-7900 or visiting http://theatre.depaul.edu. The performance will be audio described with a pre-performance touch tour for blind and low vision patrons, February 21 at 2 p.m. for additional information call 773-325-7900. The Feb. 21 performance will be interpreted in American Sign Language. TTY: 773-325-7975. February 17 at 7:30 p.m. is United Service Organizations of Illinois Night. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families with a valid military ID may attend the performance for free. For additional information or to reserve tickets, visit www.tixfortroops.org or call 773-325-7900. The Theatre School is accessible via the Fullerton CTA Station and the Fullerton 74 bus. Visitors and audience members can park in DePaul University’s Clifton Parking Deck at 2330 N. Clifton Ave.

Drama Group Studio Theatre, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Bleacher Bums’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Drama Group is excited to present the rollicking sports comedy, ‘Bleacher Bums’ directed by Michael J Renzi. Performances will be held at the Drama Group Studio Theatre on February 26, 27, March 3, 4 & 5 at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on February 28 & March 6 at 2:00 p.m. ‘Bleacher Bums’ takes place in the bleachers of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The characters are a bunch of die-hard Chicago Cubs fans, watching a game in progress on a summer afternoon. The rowdy group consisting of a rabid cheerleader, a blind man, a bathing beauty, a nerd and various other local denizens, have been gathering religiously for some time and know each other; even if they might not necessarily like or tolerate each other. Beer is being drunk, hot dogs are being eaten, and friendly wagers start to take on increasing importance. Conceived by Joe Mantegna and written by The Organic Theatre Company of Chicago in 1977. Tickets are $20 for adults; $19 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available.  Good seats are still available.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online at:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/242073. For additional information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Web site at: www.dramagroup.org.

‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Drama Group Daytime Children’s Theatre proudly presents ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ Wednesday, March 16 through Sunday, March 20, 2016. Come see this timeless musical inspired by Margery Williams classic story of a stuffed toy rabbit made real by a child’s enduring love. A family favorite comes to life! Introduce LIVE theatre to young children, schools, scout troops and daycare. Performances are Wed., Thurs., Fri., March 16, 17 and 18 at 9:30 am and 12 noon – Sat., March 19 at 10 am and 1 pm – Sunday, March 20 at 1 pm at The Drama Group Studio Theatre 330W. 202nd Street in Chicago Heights – 1 block North of Marian Catholic High School. Tickets are only $6.00 in advance, $5.00 for groups of 25+ and $7.00 at the door. Activity Guides are available as well as a Question and Answer Session and Photo Opportunity with the cast immediately following each performance. Call the Box Office at 708-755-3444 to purchase your tickets today! Visit our website at www.dramagroup.org and navigate through all of the entertainment options available. The Drama Group has been bringing Broadway to the South Suburbs since 1931 and was the sole recipient of the 2015 Award for Excellence in Community Theater. The children’s theatre began in 1994 as a way to introduce LIVE theatre to families and younger members of the surrounding communities. A summer Kids Camp and free Staged Readings have been added to our continuing schedule of musicals, plays, comedies and dramas. The Drama Group is an all-volunteer Community Theatre and can always use a helping hand. If you are interested in becoming part of the Drama Group, please contact us. You’ll be glad you did!

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

‘Operation Mom’s Couch’ – Opens Friday, February 26

The NVAM announces the opening of its solo exhibition ‘Operation Mom’s Couch’ —the newest exploration of the veteran experience through the lens of an Airman and his cultural consumption of war stemming back to early childhood memories, juxtaposed with his lived authentic enlisted experience. The way in which war is broadcast to the public and consumed on couches all across the world—becoming a daily part of the home environment—is a phenomenon explored by retired Air Force veteran, and award-winning artist: Eric J. Garcia. The exhibition will open on February 26, 2016 with a reception from 6 – 9 PM. Eric J. Garcia will deliver the keynote speech. The exhibit will run through August 27. Known for mixing history and culture with contemporary themes, Eric J. Garcia creates art that expands the genre beyond aesthetics.  Garcia has shown in numerous national and international exhibitions, has received many awards such as the prestigious Jacob Javits Fellowship and is currently an artist in residence at the Hyde Park Art Center.  Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Garcia came to Chicago in 2007, to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree.  A versatile artist working in an assortment of media, from hand-printed posters, to published political cartoons, to sculptural installations, they all have a common goal of educating and challenging. While the NVAM is one of the only museums in the world to collect and exhibit artwork exclusively created by veterans in a permanent exhibition, it also provides important programming for veterans, their families, and the community. For more information about the National Veterans Art Museum, visit www.nvam.org, or call 312-326-0270.

Park Forest Historical Society, 227 Monee Road, Park Forest

‘Step Back Into a 1950s Valentines Day’ – Through March 5

Through March 5, the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, at 227 Monee Road (inside St. Mary’s Catholic Church) in Park Forest, Illinois is decorated with vintage valentines and decorations, in the exhibit, ‘Step Back Into a 1950s Valentines Day.’ The classroom, representing Park Forest’s first school, is decorated for a 1950s Valentines Day class party with crepe paper candy baskets, and construction paper heart-shaped valentine “mailboxes” on each desk. Red honeycomb, puffy hearts and vintage valentines are on display throughout the house.  This year, the exhibit will include a display of antique Valentines, some dating to 1880. Hours are Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and by appointment on other days. There is a donation of $5 per adult; children 12 & under free with adult. For additional information, contact: Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252 or Mike Gans at 708-305-3308 or visit www.parkforesthistory.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled the week of February 14:

  • Monday, February 15 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Story Time — Jump start your morning with a series of stories that are sure to get you moving. Ages 12 and under.
  • Monday February 15 at 3:30 p.m. — Movie Matinee: Rosa Parks Documentary — We’ll be showing a very informative documentary about the life and achievements of Rosa Parks this afternoon.
  • Tuesday, February 16 at 4 p.m. — Color-Rama Coloring Circle — Are you a teen looking to take a break after school with a fun, fresh activity? Come relieve stress and show your creativity with other teens in our coloring circle!
  • Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. – Pajama Storytime — Share special moments with your child through stories, crafts, and more. Wear your pj’s and wind down from a busy day. Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, February 17 at 11 a.m. – Baby Time — Story time for infants to 35 months of age with an adult. This story time is designed to engage children through movement, music, stories, and more.
  • Wednesday, February 17 at 3:30 p.m. — Crazy 8’s Math Club — Crazy 8’s is an over-the-top after school club that’s designed to get you fired up about math! This is an 8 week program. Every week you’ll build stuff, run and jump, make music, make a mess, and make friendships at the same time. It’s time for math to become the cool thing to do after school. Sign up today! Registration is required.
  • Wednesday, February 17 at 4 p.m. – Color Me Happy Circle — Our new circle is the perfect way to step back from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation! All supplies will be provided.
  • Thursday, February 18 at 11 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. Ages 3-5.
  • Thursday, February 18 at 3:30 a.m. – Art in the Afternoon — Unleash your inner artist! Drop in to create an amazing project of your own. Ages 12 and under.
  • Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. — Celebrate Black History Month with Teen Tech Zone featuring “A Raisin in the Sun.”
  • Saturday, February 20 at 1 p.m. – Practical Application Circle: Presence — Joins us as we discuss Amy Cuddy’s new book Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges. Are you ready to be changed?
  • Sunday, February 21 at 2 p.m. — Kids’ Living Healthy Workshop — Learn hands-on how to prepare yummy, healthy snacks perfect for after school, between meals, or as a snack.

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

Potpourri of Lectures Series – Thursday, February 18

The Potpourri of Lectures Series will be held on Thursday, February 18 at 10:30 p.m. in the Library’s Ringering Room. This week’s lecture is “Current Trends in Technology and Cinematic Language” with Charles Celander. For additional information call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Digital Services Coordinator Position – Applications Now Being Accepted

The Park Forest Public Library is looking for an energetic, tech-savvy information professional to fill the full-time position of Digital Services Coordinator. To view the job posting, which explains duties, requirements, and how to apply, click here.

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

‘Memory: An Exhibition of Portraiture Evoking Memory’ – Through March 9

PSC is hosting, ‘Memory: An Exhibition of Portraiture Evoking Memory,” in the Christopher Art Gallery on the main campus in Chicago Heights. The exhibit will run through Wednesday, March 9. The exhibit features works from artists Ellen Holtzblatt, Judith Roth, John P. Smolko, Joseph Taylor and Julian Williams. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. For additional information about the gallery, upcoming exhibits or to make an appointment for a visit, call (708) 709-7738 or visit prairiestate.edu/artgallery.

28th Annual Jazz Fest – Friday, February 19

Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will perform at PSC’s 28th Annual Jazz Fest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium in the Conference Center of the PSC main campus in Chicago Heights. Featured musicians include Chicago trumpeter Orbert Davis, drummer Ernie Adams, bassist Junius Paul and saxophonist Ed Petersen, as well PSC’s Professor of Music Valerie Nicholson on piano. Ticket prices are $15 for general admission. Students and senior citizens tickets are $10 each. Tickets are available in advance in the PSC Business Office Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets also can be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert. Those who attend the evening concert also are invited to join the Jazz Fest musicians for a VIP reception before the concert at 6 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the PSC Student Jazz Ensemble. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased in advance at the PSC Business Office or the night of the event. The reception is sponsored by the PSC Foundation. For more information, email [email protected]. The Friday performance is part of the annual two-day festival hosted by PSC, which also includes instrumental clinics led by the featured artists. The clinics are for local junior high and high school jazz musicians. It is an opportunity for students to receive instruction in technique and performance from the jazz masters. Select students from the instrumental clinics also will be invited to perform with the guest artists during the Friday evening performance. The seventh annual Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award also will be announced. The award goes to a community member who has provided extensive and consistent support of jazz through teaching, performing, or organizing in a spirit of humility and community. The award was established in memory of Howard Luckey, a PSC social science faculty member who volunteered to assist with the festival for years until he passed away in 2010. For more information on the Jazz Festival, or to purchase tickets to the concert, call 708-709-3500.

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

‘Legally Blonde the Musical’ – Opens Thursday, February 18

‘Legally Blonde the Musical’ will be performed at the Roosevelt University College of Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18 and Saturday, February 20 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, February 20 and 21. ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’ with book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. This action-packed musical explodes on the stage. Equal parts hilarious and heartwarming, this musical is so much fun it should be illegal! Tickets are $12. For additional information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/ccpa or call the Box Office Hotline at 312-341-3831.

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

‘One Percent: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality’ – Through May 28

At a time when studies suggest the gap between rich and poor is growing, Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery will present a provocative and artistically driven photo exhibit that examines wealth and privilege around the world today. Opening for the first time in the United States, ‘One Percent: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality’ features images by some of the world’s best photographers who have captured affluence in many different settings and situations. The exhibit will run through May 28. Featuring the work of more than 30 photographers who are known internationally, the exhibit is based on the book, One Percent: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality. The show has been touring the world since September 2015 when it opened at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in Pingyao, China, making stops in Dubai, Germany, Nigeria, Guatemala, France and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sponsored by Roosevelt’s Department of Economics and College of Arts and Sciences, One Percent: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality is possible thanks to generous financial support of Susan B. Rubnitz and Elyse Koren-Camarra. Exhibit viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 312-341-6458 or visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery.

Rich Township Senior Services, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Trip to New Buffalo – Tickets Now on Sale

On March 16, the Rich Township Senior Services will shuffle off to Buffalo, New Buffalo that is, to enjoy a day at the Four Winds Casino in Michigan.  The cost of the trip is $27.  You will receive $15 in free slot play as well as $10 off your lunch.  Please call 708-748-5454 to reserve your seat.

Tall Grass Art Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Getting There’ Exhibit – Through February 27

Tall Grass Arts Association exhibit ‘Getting There’ will run through February 27. The exhibit is free and open to the public. ‘Getting There’ is an exhibit of sixty-seven works which present a broad range of images to interpret the idea of moving, traveling seeking the curious and beautiful, and enjoying the adventure of moving down the highways, across the water, over the rails and through the skies. The works in ‘Getting There’ include evocative, highly detailed black and white and color photographs; digitally manipulated images; drawings; oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; woodcut and silkscreen prints; mixed media, collage and assemblage works; and sculpture pieces in metal, wood, and ceramic. Ranging from small 8″ squares to a large installation sculpture piece that measures 10′ by 10′ by 7′, the exhibit provides realistic looks at historic train engines, police cars, and three-mast tall ships. Also on view will be abstract, inventive, whimsical, and mysterious compositions based on the blur of Marathon racers, the geometry of bicycle tracks, the overlapping fractions of images we experience speeding down the Interstate, and many other aspects of travel, time passing, and dreams of flight, the unknown, and freedom. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. For additional information, visit www.tallgrassarts.org or call 708-748-3377.

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

‘A Curious Reality’— Opens Friday, February 26

USG will be hosting a National Juried Exhibit ‘A Curious Reality’ which has works that portray alternate universes and realities. In an era of pop culture that feeds us both mythological creatures and the apocalypse, Union Street Gallery will be exhibiting art that not only challenges the perceptions of reality but also engages in artistic expression within science fiction, mythology, gaming, and futuristic themes. For those of us who have grown up with the X-Files and video gaming, these conceptions of imagined futures, alternate realities, and alien life have influenced our awareness of these possibilities. Artists from all over the country have submitted works such as full scale models of androids to re-imagined versions of classic art with a science fiction twist. Come join us at the opening reception for ‘A Curious Reality’ which will be Friday February 26th from 6-9 p.m. at the Gallery. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit http://www.unionstreetgallery.org

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

Rainbow Café – Friday, February 19

The Rainbow Café will screen the movie ‘Southern Baptist Sissies’ on Friday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m. at UUCC. ‘Southern Baptist Sissies’ is the story of four boys who are gay growing up in the Southern Baptist church and how they deal differently with the conflict between the teachings of the church and their sexuality. Rainbow Café is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender adults and their allies, by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars. The Café is open on the 3rd Friday of each month. For additional information, call 708-481-5339.

Free Social Issues Movie Night – Saturday, February 27

On Saturday, February 27th at 7 p.m., UUCC will screen the documentary film ‘Divest: The Climate Movement On Tour.’ The documentary chronicles 350.org’s “Do the Math” bus tour across the United Stated in 2012 as it launched the fossil fuel divestment campaign onto the national and ultimately international stage. The film features Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Desmond Tutu and others. Join in the lively discussion following the film. Free tea, coffee and snacks will be provided. Bring a snack to share. Invite friends! For additional information, visit www.uuccpf.org or call 708-481-5339.

Black History Month Events

Congresswoman Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Matteson

Black History Month Video Contest – Submissions Due Wednesday, February 24

Congresswoman Robin Kelly invites students from kindergarten through 8th grade to participate in her annual Black History Month Video Contest that honors the accomplishments of African-Americans. In the short video, students can describe why it’s important to celebrate Black History Month, the moment in African American history that resonates most with them, or how they believe schools should celebrate the month. The top videos will be posted on Rep. Kelly’s website, while others submitted will appear on her YouTube channel. The video must be 90 seconds or shorter, and answer one of the following questions:

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

Submissions should be sent to [email protected] no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, February 24. The top videos will be announced the following Monday, February 29. For more information about the contest or for help with technical aspects of creating their video, students should visit http://robinkelly.house.gov/Black-History-Contest.  To view last year’s entries, please visit Congresswoman Kelly’s YouTube page.

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

Fourth Annual Black Women Rock Awards Ceremony – Saturday, February 27

In celebration of African American History month, GSU’s Student Life Department will present the Fourth Annual Black Women Rock Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m., in the Center for Performing Arts. This red carpet event will celebrate women in grand style. This event acknowledges the contributions of GSU students, faculty, and community leaders at the university and in the region and thanks them for their contributions. The celebration also features music, dance, and tribute performances by local artists, including a performance by the 2015 US Finals Champions, Exclusive All Star Dance Team from Park Forest. Black Women Rock is a free event, and is open to the public.

Matteson Area Public Library District, 801 School Avenue, Matteson

Black History Month Events at the Matteson Public Library

This year, to celebrate Black History Month, The Matteson Area Public Library District, is hosting speakers that will entertain and inform our community on different topics covering Black History. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, February 27 – History of Bid Whist

Ronald Allen will talk about the History of Bid Whist at 1 p.m. Mr. Allen is the author of “The Evolution of Bid Whist” His book  combines both a thorough investigation of the origins of Bid Whist and an interesting and informative presentation of how the game has evolved and continued to grow from slavery into the 21st century. Register for the event at http://bit.ly/1Si72LW

For additional information visit: http://www.mattesonpubliclibrary.org or contact Lisa Korajczyk at 708-748-4431, or email lkorajczyk @mapld.org.

Park Forest Commission on Human Relations, 350 Victory Drive

Black History Month Film Screening/Discussion – Saturday, February 20

The Park Forest Commission on Human Relations hosts a Black History Month program on Saturday, February 20 at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Blvd. The program features a film on Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street, one of the most successful African-American communities in the country during the early 20th century. A panel discussion follows the film. Invited panelists include Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Michelle Alexander, Dr. Efaye Williams, and Walter Perkins. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-283-5621.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

Rosa Parks Documentary – Monday, February 15

On Monday February 15 at 3:30 p.m. the Library will feature a movie matinee featuring a Rosa Parks Documentary. For additional information call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

“A Raisin in the Sun” – Thursday, February 18

On Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. celebrate Black History Month with in the Teen Tech Zone with a screening of the movie “A Raisin in the Sun.” For additional information call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

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

Black History Month Events at PSC

PSC is celebrating Black History Month in February with a few events around campus. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held on the college’s main campus in Chicago Heights.

Wednesday, February 24

From 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. on February 24, the PSC Library is hosting an African American Read-In, offered in partnership with Professor Alanna Cotch’s African American Literature class. Students will perform public readings that feature African American writers. The event is part of the National African American Read-In, hosted by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and NCTE, and is designed to bring friends and community members together to share books and promote literacy.

The event is free and open to the public. Additional information is available at www.ncte.org/aari.

Roosevelt University, 430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Black History Month Performance of ‘Mountain Top’ – Thursday, February 18

Students and alumni from Roosevelt University’s Music Conservatory Chorus and Chorale will mark Black History Month with a February 18 performance for the public of Jacob TV’s ‘Mountain Top.’ Rarely seen in the Chicago area, this emotionally moving multi-media event incorporates singing with film excerpts from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech. ‘Mountain Top’ was last performed in the Chicago area in 2014 by the Chicago Sinfonietta. A free performance that is open to the public will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 18 in Roosevelt’s seventh-floor Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. For more information on the public performance, call 312-341-2238 or visit www.rooseelt.edu/ccpa.

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

Black History Month Events at SSC

SSC’s Office of Student Life & Leadership presents four programs open to the public at no charge in honor of Black History Month.

Black History 101 for Everyone
Wednesday, February 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Kindig Performing Arts Center
Retired SSC History Professor Art Burton will share with you some unknown facts about Black History that you should know but probably never heard of. You will be entertained, educated, and fascinated as he gives you exciting true facts about the African American experience beginning with Mother Africa (the cradle of civilization) to our present.

“How to Feel Good About Yourself”
Tuesday, February 23, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Kindig Performing Arts Center
Yusuf Ali El has published five books in the last three years. “How to Feel Good About Yourself,” a self-empowerment manual, is his current pride and joy. Yusuf received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a Masters in Literature from Governors State University. Please join us for this exciting presentation. All students will receive a raffle ticket to win his manual. Ten winners will be selected and additional copies of his book will be available for purchase.

For more information on these events, please contact Corrie Gray of Student Programming, at 708-596-2000, ext. 2499.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Degree Information Session – Tuesday, February 16

GSU now offers the Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree program on the Triton College campus, 2000 Fifth Avenue, River Grove, IL. Information on this new program will be held at Triton College on Tuesday, February 16, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., in room B111F. To RSVP or for more information, please contact 708.235.3983 or email [email protected]. Visit www.govst.edu/cas for program information.

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

Breakfast with BCI Workshop on Time Management – Registration Now in Progress

The SSC Business & Career Institute (BCI) presents a Breakfast with BCI Workshop titled Stop the Insanity!! Bolstering Your Time Management Toolbox on Thursday, March 3rd from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., with check-in and continental breakfast to begin at 8:15 a.m. This workshop will be held in the South Suburban College Mi-Jack Conference Room (1st floor) and will be presented by Colleen Klimczak, Certified Professional Organizer. In this interactive and hands-on workshop, Colleen will provide practical and useful suggestions on the following topic areas:

  • Managing priorities
  • Overcoming perfectionism and procrastination
  • Tasks and to-dos
  • Smart scheduling
  • Routines that work

You will leave with sure-fire ways to keep your office and calendar more organized and efficient, leading to a less stressed you. Colleen Klimczak, CPO, is a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Professional Organizing, LLC. Since 2003, she has helped hundreds get a handle on their space, stuff, paper and time, finding Peace of Mind in their personal and professional lives. Proficient in both residential and small business organizing, Colleen speaks to professional groups, women’s guilds and Mom’s Groups, and at local libraries, recreation departments and park districts. The cost of the workshop with continental breakfast is $15 per person or $10 per person if three or more from the same company attend. Check, Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted. Reservations and payment are required by 5:00 p.m. on February 29th. For more information or to register, please call 708-596-2000, ext. 3254 or email [email protected].

Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program – Registration Now in Progress

The SSC non-credit Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program (BNATP) is running a daytime cohort session from March 21st through May 10th at the Oak Forest Center. Successful completion of this non-credit course is required in order to become eligible to take the State of Illinois Nursing Assistant Certification Examination. SSC offers more contact hours for training than traditional CNA programs along with an additional free refresher course prior to the state certification exam. Each individual who successfully passes the certification exam will then be placed on the State Registry for Health Care Workers. Instruction includes basic nursing skills through lecture, campus laboratory and supervised clinical experiences at a long-term health care facility. The classes meet at the Oak Forest Center on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. with lab and clinical instruction rotating on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., respectively. Students must submit a health physical, proof of health insurance and completion of a Livescan fingerprint criminal history record. The total cost of the program is $1,299.99 which includes tuition, textbook/workbook, stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, gait belt and the cost of the state competency exam upon successful completion of the course. (Financial Aid cannot cover the cost of this program, nor the physical and background check.) There will also be another round of classes running in the summer from June 6th through July 28th. Please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2497 or email [email protected] for more information. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue. Please visit our website at www.ssc.edu for more information.

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.

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

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Chili Evening Hike – Registration Required by Friday, February 19

The Chili Evening Hike will be held on Sunday, February 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Let’s listen, and adjust our eyes, ears and even our walking styles to catch a glimpse of the active life of the nocturnal woods. Learn which of our winter residents are night prowlers. After our chilly stroll, warm up with a mug of homemade Thorn Creek chili; choose among hearth-cozy, midnight wake-up call and barn-burner intensities. A fun evening for the hot-blooded and intrepid. The Chili Evening Hike program is for all ages. Fee is $5 and registration is required by Friday, February 19. Come dressed for the weather. Participants should be able to walk 2 miles outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possibly snow-covered terrain. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320 or visit 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.

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 Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive

Free Glucose/Cholesterol Screening – Thursday, February 25

The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive will offer free glucose/cholesterol screening on Thursday, February 25. Those interested in taking part should fast 10 to 12 hours. For additional information or to make an appointment, call 708-748-5454.

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 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Qigong with Jim Kobus – Most Thursdays

UUCC will host Qigong with Jim Kobus on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the church. This class will usually meet on Thursdays but there may be exceptions, so if you are interested in attending, please send an email to Jim Kobus at [email protected] so he can notify you when class will NOT be held. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class. Please bring your own water. It is recommended that you eat dinner after class, not before. For additional information, please call 708-799-1925 or visit 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 9:30 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 Baseball

Registration for 2016 Season – Begins February 20

Registration for the upcoming Park Forest Baseball season will be held on the following dates:

  • February 20 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive;
  • March 5 from 12 to 4 p.m. at St. Ireneaus Church, 78 Cherry Street;
  • March 12 from 12 to 4 p.m. at St. Ireneaus Church, 78 Cherry Street; and
  • March 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Park Forest Baseball is a youth baseball league offering boys and girls, ages 4 to 14, the opportunity to learn the skills and fun of baseball.

Coaches and managers are needed. Call 708-975-1294 or visit www.parkforestbaseball.org for additional information including dates and fees.

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

2016 Women’s Conference – Tickets Now on Sale

SSC proudly announces Judy Ferraro as the Keynote Speaker for the 2016 Chicago Women’s Conference on Friday, March 18, 2016, located at the college’s Main Campus in South Holland, Illinois. This year’s theme “Reach for The Stars” marks the 8th annual event that the college’s Business and Career Institute (BCI) is planning for women of all backgrounds ages 18 and up to come together for one day dedicated exclusively to women. The positive feedback and participation has grown tremendously since the event’s inception. Last year over 350 participants and 50 vendors participated in this truly unique opportunity. Judy Ferraro owned and operated her own scrap metal business and after 18 years in the industry, she decided to shed the glitz and glamour of scrap metal to form a consulting firm for personal development, sales and leadership training. Studying in Chicago’s comedy circle, Judy uses her comedic background and excellent interactive skills when building seminars that are informative and fun and emphasize the importance of listening, the art of asking good questions and the ability to laugh at oneself. In addition to an exciting keynote from Ms. Ferraro, this year’s event will again include networking, shopping, and will feature over 15 speakers on topics including Personal Empowerment, Health & Wellness, and Business & Finance, along with a panel discussion “Stars – Straight Talk About Real Stuff” that will feature poignant discussions on the many areas of a woman’s life. The cost of admission is just $25 per person with advance registration, or $35 at the door. The conference fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to all of the break-out sessions. Sponsorships are also available – event sponsors to date include: Supervisor Frank M. Zuccarelli – Thornton Township, MB Financial Bank, Ed Miniat, L.L.C., Thornton Township School District 205, State Representatives Will Davis, Anthony DeLuca, Thaddeus Jones and Al Riley, Illiana Financial, State Senator Donne Trotter, State Representatives Marcus C. Evans and Elgie Sims and Cook County Commissioner Stan Moore, Judge Fredrick Bates and Pat Heneghan for Judge. For more information, or to register for the 2016 Chicago Women’s Conference, please call 708-225-6055 or visit www.TheChicagoWomensConference.org.