In and Around Park Forest Week of February 17, 2014

The caboose at Rail Fan Park
Rail fans and non-rail fans: come to the Park Forest Historical Society’s presentation on February 23. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 17, 2014. Attention railroad fans. The Park Forest Historical Society will host a program on Sunday, February 23 that will please both rail fans and non-rail fans. Public historian and author Cynthia Ogorek will discuss ‘Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Rail Line’ beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. During her presentation on the South Shore railroad, Cynthia will provide the history of the company plus notes on how an electric interurban works and the historic sites you can see from the windows of the train. Additional information about the event can be found in the ‘Educational Lectures & Opportunities’ 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 17

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, February 17 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) as well as on the Village web site at www.villageofparkforest.com.
To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=BoardMtgArchive&category=Village%20Governmentand click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of February 17:

  • Tuesday, February 18 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, February 20 at 6 p.m. – Housing Authority

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

Black History Month Events

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

2nd Annual ‘Black Women Rock’ Awards – Friday, February 28

In celebration of African American History month, Governors State University’s Student Life Department will present the second annual awards show, “Black Women Rock.” The show honors and acknowledges the contributions of GSU students, faculty and community leaders at the university and in the region. This red carpet event will celebrate women in grand style. The “Black Women Rock” Awards will broadcast live from GSU’s Center for Performing Arts, February 28 at 7:30 p.m., on Comcast Channel 16. The award show will include performances from De’Borah (contestant in season three of NBC’s “The Voice”), the Electric Ladies, Four Women, Arletha Bolton and the Blue Angels, and LavaInk. Dorothy Tucker, reporter for Channel 2 News, will be the guest speaker. “Black Women Rock” is a way of honoring, praising and rejoicing the achievements of women in the community and thanking them for their contributions while honoring diversity. “Black Women Rock” is a free event that is open to the public. Nominations are currently being accepted for honorees. Visit www.govst.edu/diversity to nominate yourself, a current GSU student, GSU alumna, faculty member or staff member for an award in several categories.

DePaul University, 14 East Jackson, Chicago

‘Sewing Hope’ for Women After Kony: Chicago Film Premiere – Through February 20

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a Ugandan educator and CNN Hero, will attend the Chicago premiere of “Sewing Hope,” a film that documents her work restoring the lives of women and girls brutalized by Joseph Kony’s rebel army. She will visit DePaul University through February 20 and will attend the screening and discussion Feb. 19 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the lower level theater at 14 E. Jackson Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP at http://snl.depaul.edu/40. “Sewing Hope” follows Nyirumbe as she leads a vocational school in Gulu, Uganda, where she teaches practical skills to restore independence to women and girls who were kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. Filmmaker Derek Watson mixes first-person accounts and edgy animation as actor Forest Whitaker narrates Nyirumbe’s fight to bring hope back to her troubled nation. Sister Nyirumbe’s story is also chronicled in book by Reggie Whitten and Nancy Henderson, also titled “Sewing Hope.” DePaul’s School for New Learning recognized Nyirumbe with an honorary doctorate in December 2013 in partnership with Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 1898 in Chicago, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States. Tangaza College is also a Catholic institution and prepares graduates for ministerial and social work. St. Monica’s Girls Tailoring Center was developed in partnership with Pros For Africa, a volunteer-led nonprofit that encourages professionals of all fields to share what they know, have and create with the children of Africa. Nyirumbe travels the world to advocate on behalf of the school and brings attention to the ongoing violence caused by rebel groups in Uganda. In 2007, she was named a CNN Hero. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea, praised her mission and determination earlier this year during a visit to Uganda. Under Nyirumbe’s leadership, St. Monica’s has adapted to the practical and trauma-induced needs of a population suffering in a civil war. Women and girls at the school receive psychological support and literacy training, as well as vocational skills like sewing and planting crops. Nyirumbe developed a program to help students earn money by creating purses from soda pop tabs. Since 2002, annual enrollment at St. Monica’s has surged to more than 300 from 31, and most leave the school with permanent jobs. The School for New Learning at DePaul University provides a distinctive approach to learning for adults, with customized programs that build upon abilities and experiences, add knowledge and develop skills to help achieve personal and professional goals. This event is presented by the Office of the Dean and the Africa Diaspora Committee of DePaul’s School for New Learning during Black History Month. More information is online at www.snl.depaul.edu.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Black History Event – Saturday, February 22

February is Black History Month. Celebrate all month long with interesting reads from our broad selection of Black History books. On Saturday, February 22 at 1 p.m. in the Library’s Kid’s Zone, test your knowledge with Black History Trivia and Civil Rights Bingo during this event. We also invite parents and grandparents to participate. We will videotape their civil rights stories to show throughout the library during Black History Month. Call 708-748-3731 x20 for more information.

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

‘I Have a Dream: A King’s Journey’ – Monday, February 24

PSC is hosting, “I Have a Dream: A King’s Journey,” featuring Marcus Gentry, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday, February 24, in the Conference Center Auditorium, on the PSC Main Campus. Gentry will present, through dramatization, the story of the people and events that surrounded the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gentry is the founder and president of Marcus Gentry & Associates. He is the writer, director, and producer of several theatrical productions that are educational in focus and historical in content. He also is a member of the PSC Professional Speakers Bureau. Attendance is free, but advance reservation is requested. To reserve a seat, contact Berkley at 708-709-2946 or email [email protected]. Teachers who attend can earn 1.0 CPDU. To register for CPDU, contact Julie DeLong at 708-709-7919 or email [email protected]. PSC is hosting numerous events throughout the month of February to celebrate Black History Month. A full listing of events is available at www.prairiestate.edu under the Events tab.

Representative Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson

Student Video Contest in Celebration of Black History Month – Submission Deadline Thursday, February 27

Congresswoman Robin Kelly launched a student video contest to honor the accomplishments of African-Americans. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade may submit a short video describing why it’s important to celebrate Black History Month. The top videos will be posted on Rep. Kelly’s website, while all videos submitted will appear on her YouTube channel. Each participant will also receive a personal thank-you letter from the congresswoman. The video must be 90 seconds or shorter, prominently feature the student and answer 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?

The deadline for submission is Thursday, February 27 at 6 p.m. Files must be saved as .mov or .mp4 format and emailed to [email protected]. Submissions will be categorized by grade level:

  • Kindergarten – 2nd grade
  • 3rd grade – 5th grade
  • 6th grade – 8th grade

For specific guidelines and to view Rep. Kelly’s kick-off video, visit http://robinkelly.house.gov/Black-History-Contest. Also posted on the site is a video guide to help first-time filmmakers upload their entry.

Arts & Entertainment

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

Mardi Gras Carnival with Orbert Davis – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m., celebrate the rich musical culture of New Orleans with Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. A 15-member ensemble will bring the sounds of the world’s best street festival to life with jazz, blues, funeral processions, Mardi Gras Indian music, brass bands and more. Tickets are $35.
You can also add a pre-performance Mardi Gras buffet for $25 per person that will begin at 6:30 p.m. The New Orleans Style Buffet includes:

  • Chicken and andouille gumbo
  • White rice
  • Cheddar corn bread
  • Shrimp creole
  • Crab cakes with white remoulade
  • Savory sautéed garlic spinach
  • Bread pudding and light whiskey sauce
  • Beer and wine
  • Cash bar also available

Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

DePaul University, 1 East Jackson, Chicago

Theatre School at DePaul University to Present ‘Moth’ – Through February 23

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present ‘Moth’ as the second production in the Sondra & Denis Healy Theatre at Racine and Fullerton on the Lincoln Park Campus. The Healy Theatre is a 100-seat flexible venue, located on the fourth floor of The Theatre School. Its distinguishing feature is the completely transparent north wall overlooking Fullerton Avenue. Declan Greene’s “Moth,” is directed by Michael Osinksi, an MFA Directing candidate. The production runs through February 23. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are on February 12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m. About the production: Claryssa and Sebastian are best friends and the class outcasts. One loves witchcraft and emo music; the other has body odor and obsesses about anime. After a night of brutal bullying by their classmates, their friendship is left in shambles, and Sebastian is faced with a task of apocalyptic proportions. It is an exact look into the minds of troubled youth. Recommended for mature audiences. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10, and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates (6 or more people) are available at 312-922-1999. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 312-922-1999 or visiting the online Box Office at www.theatre.depaul.edu. The Theatre School at DePaul University is located at 2350 N. Racine Ave. (at Fullerton).

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘Close to You – Music of the Carpenters’ – Tuesday. February 18

Freedom Hall’s Senior Theatre will present ‘Close to You – Music of the Carpenters’ on February 18 at 11 a.m. One of the best vocalists of all time, Karen Carpenter captured a generation with her catchy pop music. The Carpenters’ beautiful, memorable love songs topped the Billboard charts with more than a dozen number one hits. Close to You: The Music of The Carpenters brings these classics back to the stage with spot-on renditions performed by singer Lisa Rock and her six-piece band. Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at www.freedomhall.org or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

CALJE – Saturday, February 22

Tickets are now on sale for the February 22 performance of Chicago Afro-Latin jazz ensemble, CALJE. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. With a global sound and ensemble, CALJE represents Afro-Cuban Jazz as well as music from all of Latin America, delivering a captivating, high-energy groove. This dynamic group continues the legacy of Latin Jazz big band, creating new original and genre-bending works. Guitarist Neal Alger joins CALJE for this show. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at www.freedomhall.org or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

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

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

NVAM is celebrating its first anniversary in its Milwaukee Avenue location with its art exhibition, Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience. Esprit de Corps features art by nine veterans of Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. The NVAM will be free and open to the public through August 1, 2014. Esprit de Corps is sponsored by Omicron, Bank of America and Paratech Incorporated. Drawing on breakthroughs in using art to assist with reintegration of veterans and for therapeutic expression, Esprit de Corps traces the process and roles of therapeutic art from the act of initial perception through expression of experience to an ultimate communal sharing and understanding of the real impact of war. Featured artists include Joseph Fornelli, Jerry Frech, Jonathan Hancock, Peter Sullivan, Benjamin Suarez, Thomas Gilbertson, Theodore Gostas, Richard Williams and Erica Slone. High resolution images of work in the show are available through the NVAM’s Dropbox. For additional information and hours, visit the museum’s website at www.nvam.org

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

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

  • Monday, February 17 at 12:30 p.m. — Opera in the Afternoon: Corsaro — One of Giuseppe Veri’s less known operas, is performed by Regio di Parma and featuring Renato Bruson.
  • Monday, February 17 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Café — This laid-back space was created for teens to share and create with each other.
  • Monday, February 17 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, February 18 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement & Me — Come in and enjoy time with your preschooler during this class combining movement with adventure and stories. Exercise is a key to living a healthy lifestyle. In this class parents and caregivers are able to move with their children while having a great time.
  • Tuesday, February 18 at 1 p.m. — Socrates Café — Come in for conversation and coffee. Discuss ideas and values using short, interesting texts. There are no right or wrong answers and the goal is to have fun.
  • Tuesday, February 18 at 3:30 p.m. — Teen Civic Art & Engagement — Create and participate in civic art projects. Dining on the Green is located in downtown Park Forest at 349 Main St.
  • Tuesday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games.
  • Wednesday, February 19 at 10:30 a.m. – Masters of Art — Children will have the opportunity to listen to a story and complete an art project related to the story.
  • Thursday, February 20 at 3:30 p.m. – Tech Thursday — Learn to make websites, android apps, and iPhone apps.
  • Thursday, February 20 at 5 p.m. – Let’s Go LEGO — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display in kids’ zone.
  • Friday, February 21 at 3 p.m. – Forensic Fridays — This week we’ll be learning all about Fingerprints.

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org/

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, February 20

The Potpourri of Lectures will feature "Habitat for Humanity" with David Tracy. The event will be held on Thursday, February 20 at 10:30 a.m. in the Ringering Room.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into a 1950s Valentine’s Day at the Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is decorated in February with vintage valentines and decorations in the exhibit “Step Back Into a 1950s Valentine’s Day.” The classroom, representing Park Forest’s first school, is decorated for a 1950s Valentine’s Day 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. The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, is open Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the museum can also be open for groups by appointment, at other times. Donation is $5 for adults; children 12 and under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. For details, to arrange a special group tour, or to volunteer, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website, www.parkforesthistory.org, or call Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

Annabelle Gould’s print of the Park Forest Plaza is available for sale at the Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. The vibrant print is from an original watercolor, showing kids and their moms in the Park Forest Plaza, in front of the old Holiday Theatre and Golden Hanger Shop. The print can be purchased at the House Museum during normal hours of operation on Wednesdays and Saturdays or through the Society’s online store on their website at www.parkforesthistory.org. Prints are $15 each. Online purchases also required an additional $6 fee for postage and handling. For additional information on other items for sale by the Society, visit www.parkforesthistory.org.

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

26th Annual Jazz Fest – Friday, February 21

Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will perform at Prairie State College’s (PSC) 26th annual Jazz Fest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 21, in the Conference Center Auditorium on the main campus. Featured musicians include Chicago trumpeter Orbert Davis, drummer Ernie Adams, and bassist Larry Gray; New Orleans saxophonist Ed Petersen; and PSC’s professor of music Valerie Nicholson on piano. The Southland Jazz Ensemble, a professional big band, will join forces with the featured musicians during the second half of the program. 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. 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. The fifth annual Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award also will be presented. 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 passed away in 2010. “Howard was a long-time supporter of the Jazz Festival and music education,” said Nicholson. “He understood the importance of the arts in people’s lives and the impact they have on intellectual, creative, and emotional growth.” This year’s recipient is PSC Adjunct Instructor Roland Rose, who was at the first PSC Jazz Fest and, for 15 years, brought the jazz band from Bloom High School, where he was band director. Rose is a member of the PSC Wind Ensemble, South Suburban College Jazz Ensemble, South Suburban Concert Band, and the South Holland Concert Band. He is a composer and arranger of jazz and concert band music. Rose also is an active music judge for Illinois High School Association Solo and Ensemble Contest. Those who attend the evening concert also can enjoy the Christopher Art Gallery exhibit, “Metaphorical,” featuring paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture by artists Renee McGinnis, Ana Fernandez, Sophia Nahli Allison, Robert Magrisso, and Joanna Pinsky. The gallery will be open before the concert and through intermission. For more information on the Jazz Festival, or to purchase tickets to the concert, call 708-709-3500.

‘Metaphorical’ Exhibit –Through March 6

PSC is hosting “Metaphorical,” through March 6, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the PSC main campus. The exhibit features paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture by artists Renee McGinnis, Ana Fernandez, Sophia Nahli Allison, Robert Magrisso, and Joanna Pinsky. 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 more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

Representative Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson

Congressional Art Contest for High School Students – Submissions by Appointment Only

Representative Robin Kelly has launched her annual Congressional Art Competition open to high school students residing or attending a school within the Second Congressional District. The winner’s artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year. Students can submit their artwork at either of Rep. Kelly’s district offices, located at 1000 E. 111th St., 11th Floor, Chicago, or at 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson. Submissions will be accepted by appointment only, April 14-19, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Matteson office at 708-679-0078 or the Chicago office at 773-568-2623. Artwork must be two dimensional, framed no larger than 28” x 28” x 4” and can include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, computer generated art, or mixed media (use of two or more mediums: pencils, ink, watercolor, etc.) All artwork must be original. Representative Kelly will host a reception where she will announce the winner and runners-up on April 26,beginning at 9 a.m., in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located at South Suburban College in South Holland. The high school art competition was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 to acknowledge and support the artistic talent of America’s young adults. For more information, call Danielle Echols at 708-679-0078. Contest entry rules can be found at www.robinkelly.house.gov.

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

Italian Opera to be Presented for Four Nights – Begins February 28

A delightful Italian opera by Gioachino Rossini will be presented by Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1 at Benito Juarez Community Academy, 1450 W. Cermak Road, in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and at 7:30 p.m. April 2 and 4 in the University’s Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., in downtown Chicago. All four shows are free and open to the public. Originally commissioned for the 1825 coronation in Reims, France, of French King Charles X, Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims) is considered to be one of Rossini’s finest works. Set in the lobby of an elegant spa hotel in the French countryside, the Pilsen production features 14 soloists from the CCPA/Chicago Opera Theatre Professional Diploma program and graduate-level voice majors as well as the CCPA Orchestra. For more information on these and other CCPA productions, call 312-341-2238 or visit www.roosevelt.edu/ccpa

Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Fiction Writer, Poet and Translator Linh Dinh to Read at Gage Gallery – Monday, February 17

Linh Dinh, author of the award-winning novel Love Like Hate, will read from his work as part of this spring’s Roosevelt University Reading Series at 5 p.m. Monday, February 17 in Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1963, came to the U.S. in 1975, and has also lived in Italy (as a guest of the International Parliament of Writers) and England (as a David T.K. Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia). He also is the author of two collections of stories, Fake House and Blood and Soap; and five books of poems, including All Around What Empties Out and Borderless Bodies. His work has been anthologized in several editions of Best American Poetry and Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, among other places. He edited the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam and Three Vietnamese Poets, and translated Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao. He has also published widely in Vietnamese. He lives in Philadelphia. Free and open to the public, the reading is presented by the MFA in Creative Writing Program, the University’s literary magazine, Oyez Review, and the Department of Literature and Languages at Roosevelt University. For more information, contact [email protected] or 312-341-2417.

Photo Exhibit on Southeast Ohio’s Post-industrial Landscape – Through May 10

An exhibition by award-winning photo essayist Matt Eich, who tells the story through his photographs of an Ohio community abandoned by major industry, runs through May 10 in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. Featuring images of southeastern Ohio from 2006-12, Carry Me Ohio is a catalog of working-class issues and people who were forced to adapt after industry, including mining for coal, salt and clay and the cutting of timber, left the region approximately 40 years ago. One of the nation’s most promising young documentary photographers, Eich began taking pictures in southeast Ohio while he was a photojournalism student at Ohio State University. He has worked as a freelancer for GQ, Esquire, Mother Jones, Time, Fader, Harper’s and National Geographic, among others. Free and open to the public, Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery has hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery or call 312-341-6458.

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland

Regional High School Student Art Exhibit & Festival – Through February 28

The Art & Design Department of SSC will be showcasing its 19th annual Regional High School Student Art Exhibit through the closing “Art Festival” on Friday, February 28, 2014. The exhibition includes 21 regional high schools districts from Illinois and Indiana. Approximately 300 pieces of student artwork are on display in the galleries and display cases of the Art & Design Department at SSC’s Main Campus. In addition to the student artwork, the high school art faculty will be displaying their works concurrently at the biannual High School Faculty Exhibit in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery. All of the participating high school students and teachers will attend the festival on Friday, February 28th to participate in a visiting artist lecture, a gallery crawl reception, and demonstrations in various art studios. The festival day begins in the Performing Arts Center at 10:00 a.m. with opening remarks, followed by a lecture from visiting guest artist Mr. Jason Brammer, a Chicago artist represented by Linda Warren Gallery, who will present a Power Point presentation of his artwork and life experiences in the art world. Special remarks will also be given by Jessica Segal, Director of Union Street Gallery. Ms. Segal is the juror of this year’s High School Art Exhibition. An awards presentation for the high school students’ artwork will follow. Several businesses, including Jimmy Johns of South Holland, Dick Blick Art Materials Inc., and Great Lakes Clay, Inc. will sponsor the awards. Additionally, two art merit scholarships from the offices of the President and Vice President of Academic Services of SSC will be presented. Afternoon activities include a gallery reception crawl for the high school students with Brammer, who will be touring the exhibit and offering his comments. The SSC Art Faculty will also conduct demonstrations in the Digital Graphic Arts Studio, Painting Studio, Ceramics Studio and bronze casting in the Sculpture Atelier. The Art Festival’s events will conclude at 2:00 p.m. The Dorothea Thiel and Photo-Four Galleries are both located within the Art & Design studio complex on the fourth floor. The Art Faculty Exhibit is also currently on display in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located on the first floor near the Atrium. The public is cordially invited to attend the exhibition and festival free of charge. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and college holidays. More information is available from Jack Kirkpatrick, Chairman of the Art & Design Department, at 708-596-2000, extension 2445.

SSC Faculty Art Exhibition – Through February 28

The Art & Design Department of SSC is pleased to present its Biannual Faculty Exhibition in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery on the first floor of the college’s Main Campus. The exhibition will feature works from full-time and adjunct instructors currently teaching at the college. The instructors’ works represent a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry. The exhibiting SSC faculty are: Paulette Davis, Sergio Gomez, John Gutierrez, William Hafer, Don Heide, Jack Kirkpatrick, Cecil McDonald, Eric Tucker and Carol Weber. The Faculty Exhibition runs through March 5, 2014. Concurrently, the 19th annual Regional High School Student Art Exhibit continues through its closing “Art Festival” on Friday, February 28, 2014. The public is cordially invited to attend the exhibitions free of charge. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and college holidays. Contact Eric Tucker for information regarding the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery at [email protected], call 708-596-2000, extension 2300 or visit www.ssc.edu/art.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Ethnic Expressions’ Exhibit – Through March 1

Tall Grass Gallery is currently featuring an exhibit entitled "Ethnic Expressions." The invited artists were challenged to submit works of art that define their heritage and explain how their culture, heritage and ethnicity inform and influence their art. The exhibit is curated by Cousandra Armstrong and Janice Pratt. The participating artists are: Terry Boykin, Sandra Bridges, David Caballero, Keith David Conner, Esperanza Gama, Jean Lewis, Mathias Muleme, Fritz Millevoix, Donna Radcliffe, Angela Redmond, Max Sansing, Janet Sheard, Dr. Yemonja Smalls, and Grant White. The exhibit will run through March 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information please visit the Tall Grass website at www.tallgrassarts.org, or call the Gallery at 708-748-3377.

Union Street Gallery, 1526 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Who We Aren’t’ National Juried Exhibit – Opens February 26

‘Who We Aren’t’ is the first of Union Street Gallery’s highly regarded national juried exhibits for 2014. This exhibit features 44 talented artists from 19 different states exhibiting art that explores alter egos, secret identities, fictional personas. This figurative exhibit was juried by Chicago’s own Paul Klein, art critic and consultant, and Patrick Earl Hammie, professional artist best known for his monumental portraits. To learn more about the jurors, visitwww.unionstreetgallery.org/whowearent. Join us for the opening reception of this extraordinary exhibit Friday February 28, 6-9pm. Many of the exhibiting artists and juror Patrick Earl Hammie will be present at the reception. We encourage our visiting public to engage the artists about their work. Admission is free, but a donation is appreciated. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit: www.unionstreetgallery.org.

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

Drumming Circle – Friday, February 21

On Friday, February 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., join UUCC for their open drum circle. If you don’t have an instrument to bring, there is a small selection of community drums for you to choose from. No experience required. A $10 love offering is requested. This event is held on the third Friday of each month. For additional information, call 708-481-5339.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Open House for Incoming Freshmen – Monday, February 17

High school seniors and their parents will have the opportunity to learn about the opportunities for first year students at GSU on Monday, February 17 at 9 a.m. Information will be available about the university’s programs, facilities and campus life, as well as financial aid and university housing. The open house will provide prospective students and their families with information on admissions requirements, freshman academic programs, on-campus housing and campus resources and safety. There will also be tours of the campus and a resource fair. GSU will be admitting its first class of first year students in 2014. Only 270 students will be admitted into a unique academic program that will allow them to investigate their education options while completing all of their general education degree requirements. This innovative approach has proven to lead to greater student success. Additionally students entering in 2014 will also have the opportunity to be the first residents of the first on campus student housing at GSU. Construction on Prairie Place Residences will be completed by summer 2014. For more information, call 708-534-4490 or visit www.govst.edu/FC14openhouse.

Education Job and Internship Fair – Registration in Progress

The Office of Career Services at GSU sponsoring a career fair for people interested in employment and internship opportunities in education and related fields on Thursday, February 20. The career fair will be open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Hall of Governors. Current students, alumni, and community members are invited to attend. Potential employers are also invited to register as participants. This is an opportunity to match job and internship positions with qualified personnel. This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call 708-235-3974.

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.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

‘Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Rail Line’ – Sunday, February 23

The Park Forest Historical Society will present the program, "Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Rail Line" by author Cynthia Ogorek on Sunday February 23, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. in Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Ms. Ogorek will be selling and signing her books at the event. Cynthia Ogorek is a public historian and author based in Calumet City, Illinois. Specializing in Calumet Region history, she has produced a series of three books on the region’s transportation history. Her latest is called Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Rail Line. Shortly after its publication, the book won awards from the Illinois State Historical Society, the Illinois Women’s Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women. During her presentation on the South Shore railroad, Cynthia will give an overview of the history of the company plus notes on how an electric interurban works and the historic sites you can see from the windows of the “South Shore” as it travels the ninety miles between downtown Chicago and the South Bend airport. From a world-class city through the rolling agricultural acres, from steel mills through a national lakeshore, some 200 vintage photographs illustrate the unique view of the Calumet region that South Shore passengers have traditionally enjoyed. Find out more about Cynthia at www.centerofknownhistory.com. More about the Park Forest Historical Society is at www.parkforesthistory.org.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills. One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson. Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help. Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail [email protected].

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

Illinois Diagnostic Energy Tester (DET) Training – Registration Now in Progress

SSC welcomes BuildRight Illinois to offer Illinois Diagnostic Energy Tester (DET) Training at the Oak Forest Center on Monday and Tuesday, February 24 and 25, 2014. As part of the 2012 Illinois Energy Conservation Code (based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code with various amendments tied to it), blower door testing is required to demonstrate a building infiltration rate of no more than five ACH50. Duct tightness testing is required where the air handler or any portions of the ducts are located outside of the building thermal envelope or pressure boundary. This training will cover blower door and duct leakage tests, ACH50 Calcs and Duct Leakage, and Code Compliance Documentation, and is a great opportunity for individuals who are considering a new career path or expanding their business to include these testing services. Upon successful completion of this training, attendees will be able to test the leakage of a building envelop and duct system and evaluate the results as measured against Illinois code requirements. This instructor-led class will include lecture, hands-on practice, and a 90 minute written test and 60 minute proctored field practicum. The cost of the two-day workshop and exam is $395. A one-day option on February 25th is $250 (for BPI or RESNET currently certified participants). Interested parties will also want to learn about the SSC Equipment Loan Program, where qualified professionals can check out the equipment needed to conduct compliance testing FREE of charge, provided they meet the liability insurance requirements. Please email [email protected] to request the registration link and/or a link to the equipment loan program. If you have any questions, please call Nancy Burrows at 708-596-2000, extension 2556. SSC’s Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 S. Kilbourn Ave.

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

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 Class – Registration in Progress

Mental Health First Aid Training is scheduled for Saturday March 1, 2014 from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm at Sertoma Centre (Mental Health Services) 4331 W. Lincoln Highway – Suite A in Matteson, IL. "Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders." – MHFA USA. Sertoma Centre’s Community Education Department provides free mental health education and prevention programming to community members and professionals. Trainings have been provided to high school students, college students, residence life staff of colleges/universities, university police officers, church congregations/staff, and the staff of social service agencies. Sertoma Centre is committed to educating the community about mental illness and reducing the stigma that often surrounds such topics. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. Registration is easy just go to http://March1MHFA.eventbrite.com or contact Derek Harris via email ([email protected]) or phone 708-748-1951 extension 419. CEUs are available. Inquire in advance for more information. To learn more about Sertoma Centre, please visit www.sertomacentre.org.

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

Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo – March 14

SSC proudly announces Saran Dunmore as the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo on Friday, March 14th located at the college’s Main Campus in South Holland. Saran Dunmore is an energetic fitness and lifestyle expert who enhances the lives of her clients and viewers through her passionate and motivating approach. Her knowledge and zeal for fitness is evidenced on NBC 5, where she has been a regular Fit Club Coach during the Saturday morning news hour, since 2007. Saran was also a trainer on the hit MTV weight loss show "I Used to Be Fat" from 2009-2012 and which is currently airing internationally. Saran is not just a fitness trainer; she’s an emcee, an athlete and a soon-to-be-author. The Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo is dedicated exclusively to women of all backgrounds ages 18 and up. This dynamic event features breakout sessions focusing on Health & Wellness, Business & Finance and Personal Empowerment topics. The cost of admission is just $15 per person with advance registration by March 14th or $25 at the door. The conference fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to all of the break-out sessions. There will also be over 50 vendors providing shopping opportunities with a wide range of products and services. For more information, or to register for the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2455 or visit www.TheChicagoWomensConference.com.

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].

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, DC

Information on Health Insurance & the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Visit healthcare.gov for information about Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act. The following paper applications are available to print out: Individual Short Form, Individual without Financial Assistance, and the Family Form.

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

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 Community Nutrition Network (CNN) site 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 11 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

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.

Green Events

Community Green Connections, Oak Park/River Forest

3rd Annual One Earth Film Festival: 30 Inspiring Films, One Dynamic Weekend!

March 7-9 at more than 2 dozen locations in Chicago and near-West suburbs. The Midwest’s premier environmental film festival is produced by Green Community Connections and features 30 films on topics such as food, water, waste, conservation, energy, and activism. Come explore, whether you are already committed to environmental action or just learning about sustainability. Enjoy post-film discussions and activities with topic experts to glean additional insights and get practical advice for taking next steps. Transformative films include “GMO OMG,” “Blackfish,” “More Than Honey,” “Harmony,” and more. Plus, engaging children’s films. One Earth Film Festival films are almost all FREE, and promise something meaningful for everyone — adults, teens, families and children.Sponsors andvolunteers also sought! Visit oneearthfilmfest.org. Follow on Twitter: @OneEarthFF. Like on Facebook: facebook.com/oneearthfilmfest.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Make a Gourd Birdhouse – Registration Required by Friday, February 28

If you build it, wrens will come! Join us for our Make a Gourd Birdhouse Workshop on Sunday, March 2, and discover how to create a welcoming nesting space for wrens and other cavity nesters in your own backyard. You will build a birdhouse from a dried gourd, and once spring arrives, you can watch the wrens and other birds find their way to your gourd birdhouse. Enjoy free entertainment in your backyard as you observe the birds gathering nesting materials, prepare their nest and finally raise their young. Internationally-known artist Pat Moore, an instructor at the Tall Grass Arts Association that serves all of the South Suburbs, will help you create a natural style birdhouse from a gourd. You’ll learn how to prepare and paint a gourd birdhouse. There will be discussion on where to hang the birdhouse and the different cavity nesters that may visit your gourd birdhouse. This workshop is for all ages. There are two sessions to choose from: 1-2 p.m. or 2:30-3:30 p.m. Children under age 6 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $10 per birdhouse, limit one per person. All materials are provided. Registration is required for the Workshop by Friday, February 28. For more information or to register, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest at 708-747-6320 or [email protected]. The nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. There are many volunteer opportunities at the preserve such as staffing the nature center open hours, trail work, office skills, baking, assisting at programs and more.

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 American Legion Post 1198, 1631 Western Ave., Chicago Heights

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, February 21 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 2901 Western Avenue, Park Forest

Last Saturday Potluck – February 22

On Saturday, February 22 at 6 p.m., bring a dish to share and join us for a fun time of fellowship. Activities vary from month to month. This event is held on the last Saturday of each month. For additional information, call 708-747-8388 or visit www.trinityparkforest.org.

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

"Operation Hero Miles" collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit www.FisherHouse.org.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the "Recycling" icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: eNews Park Forest, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, National Veterans Art Museum, Center for Performing Arts, Freedom Hall, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery,, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.