Chicago Southland's zest for the arts is manifested in symphony orchestras, little theater groups, a spectacular outdoor music theater, a university performing arts center, dance companies, art galleries, museums, professional dinner theater, and so much more.
Governors State University's Center for Visual and Performing Arts facility is state-of-the-art. This impressive videoconferencing and performing arts center features boxes and a balcony, an orchestra pit on a lift, a fully-rigged and lighted fly loft, and the latest in television technologies. Its facilities are available to area businesses and others for meetings and conferences. The 1,171-
seat performing arts center brings nationally-famed artists and area ensembles, orchestras, and theatrical groups to its stage. Also on the campus of Governors State is the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, with a collection of 22 outdoor sculptures regarded as among the finest in the world.
South Suburban College Performing Arts Center in South Holland schedules a full season of concerts and performances by talented artists. Its facilities are also available for business conferences and meetings. The Midwest Carvers Museum, also in South Holland, displays more than 800 wood carvings and features hundreds of books and videos about carving, and a gift shop.
The 82,000-square-foot Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Moraine Valley Community College is unique in the southwest suburban area. It contains a 600-seat proscenium theater, a 150-seat black box theater, a 90-seat recital hall, and a 1,000-square-foot gallery. The center is home to the Moraine Valley Children's Choir, Southwest Community Band, Valley Players Guild, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the Voices of the Valley.
The Chicago Southland area is home to the professional Illinois Philharmonic, now in its 21st year; the Southwest Symphony; the Governors State University String Quartet; the Community Choral Arts Club Children's Chorus; the Heritage Harmonizers, who specialize in barbershop harmony; and the 22 year-old Park Forest Singers. The Lincoln-Way Theatre Guild and the Palos Park Fine Arts Association each bring a wide range of performances to their communities. Starry Nights is a summertime concert series sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District. The Illinois Theatre Center, located in the new downtown Park Forest Center, has been presenting drama and comedy since 1976.
The Conservatory of Music and Dance makes its home in Park Forest. Park Forest's Illinois Theatre Center presents professional theatrical performances by the only Equity Theatre in the Chicago Southland region. Richton Park points with pride to its American Dance Center Ballet Company. For more than 60 years the Chicago Heights Drama Group has been presenting community theater with practiced expertise.
Freedom Hall, Nathan Manilow Theatre houses a 300-seat theater, professional art gallery, an art activity room, and several meeting rooms. A mix of dance, music, theatre, and comedy is offered throughout the year, with many nationally-known artists appearing.
Tinley Park's Tweeter Music Theatre is the world's largest outdoor music theater, accommodating an audience of 27,000. The theater books only the top stars of popular music.
There are places that Chicago Southland residents always take visitors. Among these is the Lotton Art Glass gallery in Lansing where displays of mouth-blown art glass are exhibited.
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