There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Feb. 12, March 12, 6:30 p.m. Directed by Dorothy Paige Turner, local actors read excerpts from known and lesser-known African-American plays. JustGoods Fair Trade Store, 201 7th St., Rockford, (815) 965-8903, rockfordlisteningroom.com.
Art Talks: Who, What, Wear
Feb. 14, March 14 & April 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Three engaging talks by Milwaukee costumer and art educator Wendy Schaller Crawford, on “The Art of the Handbag” (February), “The Art of the Shoe” (March), and “Fashion in Art, Art in Fashion” (April). Lunch included. Res. req. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Author Jacquelyn Mitchard
Feb. 15, 7 p.m. The New York Times bestselling author and professor recounts some of the most moving and frightening stories about the way readers feel about her stories. Free, tickets req. Severson Auditorium, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu.
Victorian Murder Mystery
Feb. 17, 6 p.m. Rose is hosting a party to show off her new electric lights, the first in town. All of Rockford’s elite are in attendance, as she is known for her over-the-top events. What they don’t know is that there’s a killer in their midst. Tinker Swiss Cottage, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, tinkercottage.com.
Victorian Health & Wellness
Feb. 18, 10 a.m.-noon. Learn some yoga and Victorian-era exercises. Reg. online. Rock County Historical Society, Lincoln-Tallman House, 440 N. Jackson St. Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
The Archaeology of Man’s Best Friend
Feb. 18, 2 p.m. Zoo archaeologist Steven Kuehn talks about recent discoveries that enlighten us on the prehistory of the oldest domesticated animals in the world, dating back some 30,000 years. Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Open Mic & Poetry Slam
Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m. All acts including music, comedy, dance and magic are welcome during the first half of the show; for the slam competition, participants read original works. Sign up online or at the door. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Champions Ball and RPS Athletic Hall of Fame
Feb. 24, 5 p.m. Enjoy dinner, drinks and a silent auction at this fundraiser for the Rockford Sports Coalition and Rockford Public Schools athletics. Welcome new inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 200 S. Bell School Road, Rockford. Tickets/Info: (815) 966-8960, rockfordsportscoalition.org.
Guided Tour of Midway Village Museum
Feb. 24 & March 24, 10:30-11:30 a.m. A historical interpreter gives visitors an in-depth look at Rockford’s history. Learn stories and anecdotes not available on the regular self-guided tour. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
JFK, Rockford and the Nation
Feb. 25, 2-3 p.m. Dr. Catherine Forslund, chair of the History Department at Rockford University, discusses the direct and indirect connections between John F. Kennedy, his administration and the city of Rockford in this Connecting with History lecture. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
RAM: Pop-up Restaurant Fundraisers
Feb. 28, March 28, 6-9:30 p.m. Experience top local chefs in the galleries. Enjoy a prix-fixe menu alongside the museum’s current feature exhibition. Featuring Abreo, Greenfire, Alchemy and Toni’s of Winnebago. Res. req. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
March 3, 9 a.m.-noon. Train to collect population data that can be used to help conserve bees, on which so much depends. Training for bats March 17 and butterflies March 24. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago County Forest Preserve Headquarters, 5500 Northrock Dr., Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
MPAC: The Other Guys Fundraising Concert
March 3, 7:30 p.m. The University of Illinois’ premier men’s a cappella group performs a concert in support of MPAC programming. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Saving America’s Scenic wonders
March 4, 2 p.m. Actor R.M. Lindsey portrays Stephen T. Mather, founding director of the National Park Service, whose work was crucial to preserving Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, among others. Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Visual Culture of the 1960s
March 11, 2-3 p.m. Connecting with History lecture by Dr. Jennifer Langworthy, Assistant Professor of Art at Rockford University, who looks at fashion of the 1960s and its broader artistic and cultural context. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Nygren Wetlands 60th Anniversary
March 13, 6-9 p.m. Live music, cash bar, dinner and a silent auction. Natural Land Institute, Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, (815) 964-6666, naturalland.org.
The World of Pompeii
March 13, 7:30 p.m. Sinclair Bell of Northern Illinois University treats the audience to a talk on the fascinating city of Pompeii. Bell is a classical archaeologist and art historian. Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-3433, burpee.org.
Community Forum on Regional Government
March 18, 2-3 p.m. Join a panel discussion on how regional governments can cooperate to be more competitive nationally in attracting businesses and other amenities. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Sundays at 4: Clara Barton: Patriot Angel
March 18, 4 p.m. Actor, writer and storyteller Susan Marie Frontczak brings history to life as pioneer nurse Clara Barton, who cared for the wounded on the Civil War battlefield and worked to convince the government to bring the Red Cross to America. George Williams College of Aurora University, 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.