There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Doug Elliot’s ‘Groundhogology’
Feb. 1, 8 p.m. Find out the real story of Groundhog Day along with the folklore, history, Native American and European mythology, and philosophy surrounding these furry critters. Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.
Opera House Tours
Feb. 2 & March 2, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The history and usage of the 1889 landmark building, as well as many architectural and design features, are explained by trained docents in the 30-minute tours. Woodstock Opera House, Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.
How Nations Atone for Past Wrongs
Feb. 3, 4-5 p.m. Fern Schumer Chapman presents the story of Edith Westerfeld, whose parents sent her to the United States to escape the Holocaust. Seventy-six years later, she returned to the German town where her family had lived for years. There, she witnessed the installation of “stumbling stones,” an artistic memorial to her family, and an attempt to help today’s generation face and atone for crimes of the past. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010 napersettlement.org.
St. Mark’s Mural Mystery
Feb. 12, noon-1 p.m. At this brown bag program, parishioners Ron and Margy Walkington share their discovery of the artist who painted St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s mural 100 years ago. Recently restored, it is Louis Grell’s earliest known American church mural still in existence. Geneva History Museum, 113 S. 3rd St., Geneva, (630) 232-4951, genevahistorymuseum.org.
Feb. 17, 9-11:30 a.m. Take a short course, then visit a specific wetland three times between March and June to identify frogs by their calls. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
Creative Living Series: Rediscovering Seven Woman Artists
Feb. 21, coffee and conversation 9 a.m., program 10 a.m. Donna Seaman brings to life seven artists. She reveals what drove these artists, how they were perceived and how they managed cultural expectations as mid-century wives and mothers. Woodstock Opera House, Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.
“Giving Our Children A Chance in the World”
Feb. 23, 5:30-9 p.m. Author and film producer Steve Pemberton presents the story of his life and shares how, no matter where you begin in life, resilience and determination can see you through. Benefits CASA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County; bring a book for participants in these organizations. Reg. online. Lakeside Arts Park at the Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesideartspark.org.
Wine, Cheese and Trees
Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Geneva’s Natural Resources Committee and the Geneva Park District Foundation host the 8th annual fundraiser, with proceeds supporting new trees and native landscapes, school gardens, Fox River cleanup and habitat restoration. Stephen Persinger Recreation Center, 3507 Kaneville Road, Geneva, geneva.il.us.
Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age
March 1, 8 p.m. Dr. Susan Landau of Tufts University, author of “Listening In,” discusses the most serious threats to the U.S. and what is needed to protect against them. What makes us most secure? Tickets online. Fermilab, Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.
Mary Florence Potts
March 9, 3-4 p.m. In honor of Women’s History Month, living history performer Ellie Carlson portrays inventor Mary Florence Potts, who held a U.S. patent and managed her own affairs. Reg. online. Cantigny Park, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Women’s Suffrage and Good Roads
March 10, 4-5 p.m. A presentation on how better roads and automobiles increased women’s freedom at a time when Illinois was at the forefront of both good roads and the women’s suffrage movement. Reg. online. Naper Settlement, Century Memorial Chapel, Naperville, (630) 420-6010 napersettlement.org.
The Art of Mapmaking
March 12, noon-1 p.m. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Geneva’s Birdseye View map, Jim Bibby of Rempe-Sharpe and Associates explains the evolution of early mapmaking from artist to engineer at this brown bag program. Geneva History Museum, Geneva, (630) 232-4951, genevahistorymuseum.org.
Prof. Moptop: The Beatles’ White Album
March 17, 1 p.m. The area’s premier authority on the Beatles dissects this iconic double album and sheds light on its brilliance. Tickets online. Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, (847) 895-3600, prairiecenter.org.
March 19-21, 1-3 p.m. College students and the general public meet with employers in a relaxed, career fair-type setting. Each session focuses on a career cluster: March 19, health care and fitness; March 20, business services; March 21, culinary management. McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8566, mchenry.edu.
Music that Changed America
March 21, coffee at 9 a.m., program 10 a.m. Georgetown University Music Professor Anna Celenza shares how music not only reflects, but changes our culture. Res. req. Woodstock Opera House, Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.
Elizabeth’s War: Southern Belle, Civil War Spy
March 24, 2-4 p.m. Author Doug Peterson and actress Jennifer Goran re-create the adventures of Elizabeth Van Lew. Most knew her as the privileged daughter of a Richmond, Va., family; they didn’t know she was also a Yankee spy. Reg. online. Gail Borden Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
March 29, 7:30 p.m. One of the most recognized and respected film critics of our time presents film clips, anecdotes and stories that tap into his vast cinematic knowledge and expertise. Tickets online. Prairie Center, Schaumburg, (847) 895-3600, prairiecenter.org.