In and Around Park Forest Week of February 16, 2015

Sue Brazzale and granddaughter
Sue Brazzale shows her granddaughter some smartphone applications prior to Monday’s meeting of the Village Board. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 16, 2015. As you know, on Tuesday, April 7 voters in Park Forest will elect candidates to serve as Mayor, Village Trustee and Library Board Trustee. The Non-Partisan Local Government Committee has been conducting public forums to help you learn more about the candidates so that you are well-prepared to make important decisions on who to give your vote in this important election. Forums have been held on January 25 and February 8 with the final forum scheduled for March 22.

If you were unable to attend the Forums, you can view the January 25th event at https://m.youtube.com/watch and February 8th at https://m.youtube.com.

On a personal note, I will be having some serious surgery on March 2. As a result, next week’s ‘In and Around Park Forest’ column will contain information through March 16 when I plan to back on the job.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during this period, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details no later than Friday, February 27. Your positive thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery will be appreciated.

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, February 16

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, February 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) as well as on the Village web site here.

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 16:

  • Tuesday, February 17 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, February 19 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 Park, University Park

‘Bon Appetite!’ – Tickets Now on Sale

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

Drama Group, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ – Through February 21

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

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

‘Rooted in Soil’ – Through April 26

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

DePaul University Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

Annual Chinese New Year Gala – Thursday, February 19

As the Year of the Horse trots to an end, DePaul University will welcome the Year of the Goat at its annual Chinese New Year gala February 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 120 of the Student Center on the Lincoln Park Campus. Co-hosted by the Chinese Studies Program and the Center for Intercultural Programs, the gala brings together the DePaul community to honor the Chinese lunar holiday with dinner and authentic cultural performances. The Year of the Goat is a year marked by gains and rewards as a result of heroic efforts and kind deeds, according to Li Jin, associate professor and director of the Chinese Studies Program. She added that people born during the Year of the Goat are distinguished by their mild-manner and beauty. This year’s gala is designed to be an immersive experience with exciting performances and interactive opportunities to honor Chinese New Year traditions. Traditional and modern performances will be given by DePaul students, faculty, staff and guests from the Chicago community. In addition, the gala will include a traditional lion dance and a kung fu demonstration by monks from the famed Shaolin Temple. Guests will be able to try their hand at the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy under the guidance of skilled calligraphy artists. They also will have an opportunity to participate in games for commemorative souvenirs. The event is free and open to the public, but online reservations are required. RSVP at http://bit.ly/CNYGala15.

DePaul University Theatre School, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago

‘Elemeno Pea’ – Through February 22

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

‘Symphony of Clouds’ – Through February 21

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

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘The Rainbow Fish’ – Tickets Now on Sale

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

The Volunteers to Perform at Freedom Hall – Sunday, March 8

Since 1981, The Volunteers have been bringing the Army story to life through rock, pop, country, and patriotic music. Whether rocking out major arenas around the country, thrilling crowds at community events, or entertaining Veterans in more intimate shows, these Soldier-Musicians proudly represent their fellow Soldiers for hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. The Volunteers have appeared in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Kuwait, and Iraq, with recent performances at Summerfest, Country USA, and the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. The members of The Volunteers also take great pride in their annual support of the U.S. Army All American Marching Band, where they teach and mentor the next generation of musicians. The Volunteers tours more than 100 days each year, bringing a powerful message of patriotism and support to communities large and small. Its members are passionate about representing their fellow Soldiers through music. Get to know The Volunteers, and see what the proud men and women of America’s Army can do. The Volunteers perform LIVE at Freedom Hall on March 8 at 3 p.m. Tickets are free but required for entry. Visit the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Park Forest’s Village Hall for tickets, or call 708-283-5608. Residents are encouraged to secure their tickets as early as possible.

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘The Things They Carried’ – Permanent Exhibit

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

Park Forest Historical Society, 141 Forest Boulevard

Step Back Into the 1950s House Museum

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

Park Forest Commission on Human Relations

2015 Black History Month Program – Saturday, February 21

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

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

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

  • Monday, February 16 at 11 a.m. – Storypalooza — A fun story time for all kids through the age of 6 with an adult. Siblings are welcome.
  • Tuesday, February 17 at 7 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your PJs out on the town! Bring along a fuzzy friend and your blanket too! Stories, activities, and more. Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, February 18 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.
  • Thursday, February 19 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — Ages 3-5. Bring your little artist to create their very own masterpiece! We may get a little messy so wear play clothes.
  • Thursday, February 19 at 3:30 p.m. — Chinese New Year Crafts — Happy Chinese New Year! Bring in the year of the sheep with a craft in kids’ zone.

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

Spring Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, February 19

The spring Potpourri of Lectures series continues on Thursday, February 19. This week’s lecture is "Gogol’s Dreams’ Extremities of the Disappearing Nose" with Patrick Keyes. The lecture will be held in the Library’s Ringering Room. For additional information, call 708-7480-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org

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

‘Obsession: Works by Reginald Baylor, Mary Croteau, and Jordan Scott’ – Opens Monday, February 16

PSC is hosting the art exhibition, ‘Obsession: Works by Reginald Baylor, Mary Croteau, and Jordan Scott,’ from February 16 to March 18, 2015, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the PSC’s main campus in Chicago Heights. An artists’ reception is scheduled from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, February 19, in the Gallery. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

Black History Month Panel Discussion – Tuesday, February 17

As part of its recognition of Black History Month, PSC is hosting “Let’s Talk – A Conversation About Education, Poverty, Law Enforcement Practices, and Where Does Society Go From Here,” a panel discussion presented by the Male Success Initiative (MSI) and the Black Student Union at PSC. The program is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, February 17, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium in the Conference Center, located on the PSC main campus in Chicago Heights. Keynote speaker, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of Missouri’s District 14, which includes Ferguson, will open the discussion. The panel will be moderated by Marcus Gentry, founder of A Mastermind Creation. Panelists include Chappelle-Nadal, Chicago Heights Police Department Chief Charles Guiliani Jr.; Cynthia Cornejo, professor of psychology at PSC; Carlende K. West, retired commander of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department; Lindsay S. Miller, staff attorney for the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the American Civil Liberties Union; Kenneth O’Keefe, professor of criminal justice at PSC; and Joshua Rawls, a student at PSC. For more information on the panel discussion, contact William Berkley, coordinator of MSI at 708-709-2946 or [email protected].

PSC is celebrating Black History Month with various activities throughout February with the theme, “Rooted on the Past, Growing Toward the Future.” Among the activities, the “PSC’s Got Talent” competition is open to the public. Tickets are $5 for students or senior citizens and $7 for the general public. The annual talent competition is sponsored by the Black Student Union. For more information or tickets, contact Helen Manley, coordinator of student and campus life, at 708-709-3910 or [email protected].

27th Annual Jazz Fest – Friday, February 20

Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will perform at PSC’s 27th annual Jazz Fest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 20, 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 Larry Gray and saxophonist Ari Brown, 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. 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, 420 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Triple Bill of Operatic Fables – February 28 & March 1

A triple bill of operatic fables will be staged in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood on February 28 and March 1 by Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA). Some of CCPA’s most talented students, including the entire graduate class of voice majors, members of the CCPA/Chicago Opera Theater’s Professional Diploma in Opera Program and the CCPA opera orchestra will perform Three Fables during the University’s annual spring opera production at Benito Juarez Community Academy. Free and open to the public, the performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 28 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at Benito Juarez Community Academy’s Performing Arts Center, 1450 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/ccpa or call 312-341-2352.

 ‘Picnic’ – Tickets Now on Sale

‘Picnic,’ the play by William Inge will be performed on Friday, Marcy 20 through Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday March 22 at 2 p.m. When a handsome young drifter named Hal arrives to a small town in Kansas on Labor Day, his combination of irrepressible charm and uncouth manners excites all the women in town, particularly the town’s sweetheart, Madge. When Hal is forced out of town, Madge has to decide if their fleeting encounter is worth changing the course of her life. A Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, ‘Picnic’ is an American classic about the glow of youth and the fine line between desire and restraint. Please call 312-341-3831 for reservations or additional information. Government photo I.D. may be required for entrance to building.

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

‘Crime Then and Now’ – Through April 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

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

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

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

‘You Art What You Eat’ – Opens February 25

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

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

‘Morgan’ to be Screened at Rainbow Café – Friday, February 20

Rainbow Café will meet on February 20th at UUCC from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The movie ‘Morgan’ will be shown. Depressed and despairing after an accident renders him paraplegic, Morgan gets a new lease on life when he meets Dean on a basketball court. But when Morgan risks his life entering a bike race and Dean walks out, he is pushed to the brink once again. This is an inspiring movie regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Rainbow Café is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults and their allies, by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars. For additional information, visit www.uuccpf.org.

Screening of ‘Carbon Nation’ – Friday, February 27

The documentary film ‘Carbon Nation’ will be screened at UUCC on Friday, February 27 at 7 p.m. A discussion will follow the film. ‘Carbon Nation’ is an optimistic, solutions-based film that show how tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national & energy security, and promotes health and a clean environment. The event is free and open to the public. Free coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Optional donations are appreciated. For additional information, visit www.uuccpf.org.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Undergraduate Open House – Monday, February 16

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

Freshman Fridays – Begin February 20

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

Graduate Program Fair – Registration Required by Friday, February 27

GRE test-taking strategies, choosing the right graduate program and financing your education are all topics that will be discussed at the Graduate Program Open House at GSU on March 7, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees will learn from expert breakout sessions designed to answer questions about these important issues. GSU offers 28 master’s degree programs, one specialist degree program and five professional doctoral degree programs as well as 17 graduate-level certificates in a variety of areas from healthcare to business and education to arts and sciences. The GSU Graduate Open House is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested by February 27. To register, go to www.govst.edu/grad-openhouse. For more information, call 708-534-4086 or [email protected].

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday at GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

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

‘Best Management Practices for Community Trees’ – Registration Now in Progress

PSC is offering a new course this semester through our corporate and continuing education department titled ‘Best Management Practices for Community Trees.’ This interactive, eight-hour course will be held on March 3 and 4 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. OR March 17 and 18 from 6 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. and held in Room 108 of the Matteson Area Center, 4821 Southwick Drive, Matteson. Participants will gain an understanding in selecting, placing, conserving, protecting, maintaining, establishing, renovating and replacing trees. Technically correct and widely accepted best management practices and standards used by professionals in the field will be provided to enable participants to gain new information and enhance current skills. The course is recommended for professional arborists, urban and community foresters, landscape architects and other tree care and landscape professionals. The fee for the course is $129. To register:

  • Visit prairiestate.edu/webadvisor
  • Click Instant Enrollment
  • Click register and pay for continuing education classes.
  • Reference Code PIHMG-054-MC for the March 3 & 4 course
  • Reference Code PIHMG-054-M1 for the March 17 & 18 course.

Note: CEUs have been applied for and are pending approval by the Illinois Arborist Association. For additional information, call Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or email [email protected].

‘Landscape Concepts’ – Registration Now in Progress

PSC is offering a new course this semester through our corporate and continuing education department titled ‘Landscape Concepts.’ This interactive, eight-hour course will be held on March 10 and 11 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. OR March 24 and 25 from 6 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. and held in Room 108 of the Matteson Area Center, 4821 Southwick Drive, Matteson. Participants will gain an understanding in selecting, placing, conserving, protecting, maintaining and establishing functional landscapes. Widely accepted practices and standards used by professionals in the field will be provided. The course is recommended for turf managers, landscape architects and landscape professionals. The fee for the course is $129. To register:

  • Visit prairiestate.edu/webadvisor
  • Click Instant Enrollment
  • Click register and pay for continuing education classes
  • Reference Code PIHMG-055-MC for the March 10 & 11 course
  • Reference Code PIHMG-055-M1 for the March 24 & 25 course.

Note: CEUs have been applied for and are pending approval by PLANET and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. For additional information, call Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or email [email protected].

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

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

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

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit 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.

Healthy Living

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

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

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

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

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

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

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit 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.

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

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

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

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

Qigong with Jim Kobus – Most Thursdays

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

Green Events

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

Fourth Annual One Earth Film Festival – Tickets Now on Sale

The planning team for the Fourth Annual One Earth Film Festival, "The Midwest’s Premier Environmental Film Festival" proudly announces the official selections for this year’s screenings taking place in 30 venues around the Chicago metropolitan area (full schedule linked here). The event will take place March 6 through 8. We are pleased to add several world-class institutions and two suburban satellite locations in Far North suburban Grayslake and Elmhurst in DuPage County. Produced by the Oak Park and River Forest-based volunteer organization, Green Community Connections, the 2015 Fest will offer over 40 feature-length and short documentaries. Films were thoughtfully screened and selected to bring awareness and attention to the many environmental impacts facing residents in the region. By expanding throughout the metropolitan area, Festival organizers hope to reach wider and more diverse audiences. Among this year’s locations are several city landmarks: Chicago Cultural Center, Garfield Park Conservatory and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Other prominent institutions that have signed on to host films are the University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, Dominican University, and Triton College. Sustainability-committed congregations and community organizations will also be screening films. Because compelling, independent films should be available for all, most screenings are offered free or for a nominal cost. To ensure the festival can continue its important work, the suggested donation is $5 per film or $15 for the entire weekend. Reservations are strongly advised; screening venues have a maximum capacity. For the full One Earth Film Festival 2015 schedule, visit www.oneearthfilmfest.org. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@OneEarthFF). Fin the full event schedule and purchase tickets at Oneearthfilmfest.org

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – February 18

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

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

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

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

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

This & That

Park Forest Baseball

Park Forest Baseball Registration for 2015 Season

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

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

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

Park Forest Nonpartisan Committee

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

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

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

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

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