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Meet the Echo Theatre Collective

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Small Meeting Room

Come engage with your new community theater company. Find out about how we use fine arts to affect social change in the community. Learn about...

* Our upcoming production of James Baldwin’s electrifying Social Commentary “Blues for Mister Charlie”

* Our Tie-in panels designed to educate, enrich, and empower our affected communities. (EchoLove)

* Our upcoming youth programming and character outreach (EchoEmpowers)

Kamau “Maui” Jones is the founder and artistic director of Echo Theater Collective. His directorial credits include Legends of Broadway (an original piece which he co-wrote) and Fiddler on the Roof. He has worked on stage and in film, hosted karaoke, run a trivia league, and hosted/created his own game show. In his 30’s he decided to pursue his dream of starting a community theater company. With Echo Theater Collective, Jones has partnered with Suburban Unity Alliance and Oak Park Women of Color and other organizations to curate events focused on giving voices to those less heard such as the Sing! Series (community singalongs to celebrate underrepresented groups) and The Minority Monologues (an exploration of cultural identity in America). This May, Maui will be directing Blues for Mister Charlie, a social commentary by James Baldwin about systemic racism and violence against black men.


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Writers' Word Feast

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
A writers' group for writers of all types and genres. If you wish to bring something yummy to share, that's great but not required. We do HIGHLY recommend you bring your words, and words yet to be written. Each writer will get a chance to read their story, poem, or novel chapter and receive feedback from the group. Then we will WRITE! (We also eat since it's a feast!) 
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Brian Michalski: "Vagabonding Around the World"

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Join adventure traveler Brian Michalski to hear about his 22-month trip to 20 countries. Along the way this former elementary school teacher in Forest Park, and Skokie, Illinois, worked with orphans and volunteered with elephants.
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Friends' Folk Music Concert: Tret Fure

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Tret Fure began her career at age 16, singing in coffeehouses and campuses in the Midwest. At 19, she moved to Los Angeles in hopes of obtaining a record deal. Within a year she was performing as guitarist and vocalist for Spencer Davis, touring with him and penning the single for his album Mousetrap.

A prolific artist in the contemporary singer-songwriter arena, Fure has released 15 albums and CDs over her 46-year career. In the early 80s, she moved to the independent side of the industry, discovering the blossoming genre known as women’s music. In 2009, Tret was voted "Pride in the Arts Favorite Female/Lesbian Musician."

In 2015, Rembrandt Afternoons was chosen by the acclaimed folk music show The Midnight Special as their album of the week. Her song “Freedom” has been arranged for chorale groups and is being performed widely around the country.

Fure also markets her own line of clothing named after her popular song “Tomboy Girl.” While not on the road, she teaches guitar and songwriting and also paints pet portraits on commission. And, an accomplished cook, she has published a cookbook, Tret's Kitchen, featuring her own recipes. Along with bridging the music and art worlds, she also serves as president of The Traveling Musicians Association, Local 1000, a union geared toward helping traveling musicians find security and longevity.

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Beth Botts: Behind Springtime—What's Going On as the Garden Comes Alive

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Chicago Tribune gardening columnist and Master Gardener Beth Botts is the author of Illinois, Indiana & Ohio Month-by-Month Gardening. She has also lived in Oak Park for 25 years, coping with the same clay soil, shade, and tight spaces as most other Oak Park gardeners. Botts herself is an organic gardener who uses no pesticides and relies on compost and mulch to build up the life in her soil and supply nutrients to her plants.

Hosted by the Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest.

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Oak Park Photography Club

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Scoville Room
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More Than a Mic

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Speak your mind at this spoken-word freestyle open mic hosted by More Than a Month. Your voice is your power!
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Fridays in February: Special Collections Open House

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Third Floor - Special Collections
See highlights from our Special Collections, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio, Ernest Hemingway's high school papers, Grand Army of the Republic volumes, and early images of Oak Park from the Philander Barclay Photograph Collection. 

This event is part of a series of Special Collections open houses every Friday in February. No registration is necessary, and visitors may arrive anytime between 2 and 4 pm.

All dates: February 2, 9, 16, and 23
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Spanish Conversation Hour - Conversación en Español

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Dole Branch
Meeting Room - Dole Branch
¡Hola Oak Park! 

Join us on the first Saturday of the month for a casual hour of open conversation with other Spanish speakers to practice through open conversation with other Spanish speakers. Whether you know enough to hold a basic conversation or can rattle off a long story, all levels are welcome! 

This is not a class -- just practice for current Spanish speakers. 
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Art Reception: Roberta L. Raymond

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Gallery
Meet Oak Park artist Roberta L. Raymond and see her exhibit titled "Orchids" in the Art Gallery through Feb. 27.

This watercolor exhibit features two kinds of orchids: the domesticated ones that are seen in supermarkets and the native wild orchids, which are a little more difficult to find.

 

People are always surprised to learn that Illinois and Wisconsin have many native orchids.  They think of orchids as tropical plants, but orchids are found throughout the world.  In fact, there are 10,000 to 15,000 species comprising the family of orchids – the most highly evolved family of monocyotyledons.

 

As a watercolor artist,  Roberta Raymond became interested in the native orchids of Door County, Wisconsin about 20  years ago.  "The first orchid I saw was on my property in the woods.  It was one of the most often seen in that area – the yellow Lady's Slipper orchid.   A bright yellow orchid in a seductive shape, it is easy for a neophyte orchid hunger to find.  They were growing close to my house in clumps of as many as a dozen flowers.  Unfortunately, the deer also love them and will eat them.  That prevents seed production and can lead to a decline in population."


The reception is free and open to the public.


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Film Series: "Mrs. Brown" with Dame Judi Dench

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Film historian Doug Deuchler will host a film series beginning with "Mrs. Brown" (1997) Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library. In this 1997 film, Queen Victoria find solice in her trusted servant, Mr. Brown, after the Queen's husband Albert died.

Judi Dench, one of Britain's most respected and popular actresses, can claim a 60-year career encompassing the stage, screen and television. Born in England in 1934, Dame Judi Dench made her stage debut in Hamlet in 1957. Dench won an Academy Award in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love. This series will showcase six of the renowned actress's outstanding movies from the past two decades.

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Writers' Word Feast

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
A writers' group for writers of all types and genres. If you wish to bring something yummy to share, that's great but not required. We do HIGHLY recommend you bring your words, and words yet to be written. Each writer will get a chance to read their story, poem, or novel chapter and receive feedback from the group. Then we will WRITE! (We also eat since it's a feast!) 
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Italian Conversation Hour

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Small Meeting Room
Parliamo Oak Park! Join us for a casual hour of open conversation with other Italian speakers. All levels are welcome!
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Understanding the World of Islam: Sufism

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Gain deeper understanding and appreciation, expand your knowledge base, and reconsider some ideas you might already have about Islam through this continuing academic lecture series, in partnership with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago.

 

In this third lecture of the series, the University of Chicago's Franklin Lewis will present an introduction to Sufism by way of the 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi, and Rumi’s most well-known work, the Masnavi. Sufism is a mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. Bring your questions to the discussion, or email them in advance to communications@oppl.org.

 

As Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature and the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Lewis teaches courses on classical and modern Persian literature and language, medieval Islamic thought and literature, Islamic mysticism, Iranian cinema, and translation history and theory. He is particularly interested in the intersections of literature and religion, especially mystical and esoteric traditions, including Sufi thought and theology. His ongoing interest in Rumi is reflected in his publications, including a book of literary translations of Rumi’s poems and a guest-edited special journal issue focusing on the current state of Rumi studies.

 

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is active locally, regionally, and nationally in its goal of enhancing public knowledge of the Middle East. The Middle East Education Initiative coordinates all Center outreach programs and routinely collaborates with K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions, museums and libraries, journalists and news media organizations, cultural and religious groups, diplomatic circles, and the public and private sectors. CMES draws on the critical expertise of scholars and specialists from the University of Chicago community and around the country to promote a descriptive and critical understanding of North Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, and the wider Islamic world in both historical and contemporary contexts.

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Fridays in February: Special Collections Open House

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Third Floor - Special Collections
See highlights from our Special Collections, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio, Ernest Hemingway's high school papers, Grand Army of the Republic volumes, and early images of Oak Park from the Philander Barclay Photograph Collection. 

This event is part of a series of Special Collections open houses every Friday in February. No registration is necessary, and visitors may arrive anytime between 2 and 4 pm.

All dates: February 2, 9, 16, and 23
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Community Associates of Oak Park & River Forest: Successes in Solving Art Thefts and Forgeries

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

FBI Special Agent Luigi Mondini, a member of the FBI Art Crime Team, will guide us through his intriguing world of FBI investigations. The FBI established a rapid deployment Art Crime Team in 2004. The team is composed of 16 special agents, each responsible for addressing art and cultural property crime cases in an assigned geographic region. Art Crime Team agents receive specialized training in art and cultural property investigations and assist in art-related investigations worldwide in cooperation with foreign law enforcement officials and FBI legal attaché offices.

The program is a collaboration between the Community Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago of Oak Park and River Forest and the Oak Park Public Library.

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Film Series: "Ladies in Lavendar" with Dame Judi Dench

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Film historian Doug Deuchler continues his film series ,"Presenting Dame Judi Dench"  with Ladies in Lavender, a 2004 film featuring two sisters in their 70s who befriend a mysterious young foreigner who washes up on the beach of their Cornish seaside village in 1938.

Judi Dench, one of Britain's most respected and popular actresses, can claim a 60-year career encompassing the stage, screen and television. Born in England in 1934, Dame Judi Dench made her stage debut in Hamlet in 1957. Dench won an Academy Award in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love. This series will showcase six of the renowned actress's outstanding movies from the past two decades.

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Oak Park Photography Club

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

The Oak Park Photography Clubs meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Main Library. All skill levels are welcome. Photographers share digital images most of the meetings; some meetings are reserved for print night.

For more information, contact Debby Preiser, 708-697-6915

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Free Folk Music Concert: Ernest & Troubled

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Chicago songwriters James Curley and Ilsabe O'Connell both flew solo and under the radar for many years. Then they discovered they sounded great together, discovered some of their songs work better for duos than solos, and decided to hang out their shingle as 'Earnest & Troubled,' launching in 2016.

Featuring harmony vocals, guitars, banjo and ukulele, Earnest & Troubled write and perform acoustic folk and original songs. Together, they have been known to be extremely entertaining !  
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Fridays in February: Special Collections Open House

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Third Floor - Special Collections
See highlights from our Special Collections, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio, Ernest Hemingway's high school papers, Grand Army of the Republic volumes, and early images of Oak Park from the Philander Barclay Photograph Collection. 

This event is part of a series of Special Collections open houses every Friday in February. No registration is necessary, and visitors may arrive anytime between 2 and 4 pm.

All dates: February 2, 9, 16, and 23
View More

Writers' Word Feast

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
A writers' group for writers of all types and genres. If you wish to bring something yummy to share, that's great but not required. We do HIGHLY recommend you bring your words, and words yet to be written. Each writer will get a chance to read their story, poem, or novel chapter and receive feedback from the group. Then we will WRITE! (We also eat since it's a feast!) 
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More Than a Month Film Screening: 70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

This powerful documentary explores the demolition of the Chicago Cabrini Green high-rise public housing complex and the ongoing impact of displacement on the community's longtime residents. The filmmakers will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Learn more about the library's More Than a Month initiative at oppl.org/more.

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Film Screening: "Mrs. Henderson Presents" with Dame Judi Dench

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Film historian Doug Deuchler continues his film series ,"Presenting Dame Judi Dench"  with Mrs. Henderson Presents, a 2005 film featuring an eccentric socialite widow who buys an old London theater and open a performance hall that stages nude revues during World War II.

Judi Dench, one of Britain's most respected and popular actresses, can claim a 60-year career encompassing the stage, screen and television. Born in England in 1934, Dame Judi Dench made her stage debut in Hamlet in 1957. Dench won an Academy Award in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love. This series will showcase six of the renowned actress's outstanding movies from the past two decades.

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Pleasant Home Architecture Lecture

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Hold for Pleasant  Home confirmation.
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Film Screening: "Mrs. Henderson Presents" with Dame Judi Dench

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Film historian Doug Deuchler continues his film series ,"Presenting Dame Judi Dench"  with Mrs. Henderson Presents, a 2005 film featuring an eccentric socialite widow who buys an old London theater and opens a performance hall that stages nude reviews during World War II. 103 minutes long.

Judi Dench, one of Britain's most respected and popular actresses, can claim a 60-year career encompassing the stage, screen and television. Born in England in 1934, Dame Judi Dench made her stage debut in Hamlet in 1957. Dench won an Academy Award in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love. This series will showcase six of the renowned actress's outstanding movies from the past two decades.

View More