listen * join in * learn * give forward
Music & Potlucks gathers community members and resources at music and cultural events to support neighbors in need.
Music & Potlucks events are memorable and fun!
Live, hybrid or virtual, the recipe for our events includes acoustic music, delicious food and giving forward.
Music & Potlucks events can be anything you/we create. Our guests have delighted in these gatherings:
House concerts with potlucks
Acoustic jams with potlucks
Sold out public concerts
Local musician showcases
Summertime street festivals
Community music lessons
Celebrations of Life
Zoom gatherings galore!
We gather at local restaurants, businesses, non-profits, schools, churches, private homes and on Zoom.
Music & Potlucks virtual events are possible from anywhere in the world.
Let us create one with you!
Every Music & Potlucks event features an opportunity to give to neighbors in need.
Music & Potlucks has gathered and forwarded thousands of pounds of food, toiletries, gift cards, and other items, plus financial donations to local social services agencies including Beyond Hunger, Housing Forward, Build Chicago, A House In Austin, Peace Corner Youth Center, and Intonation.
Betsy joins Music & Potlucks with service experience on several local boards, most recently the Beyond Hunger and One Earth Film Festival boards in Oak Park. Folk music, poetry and family are her greatest joys. Betsy also believes that the most powerful word in the English language is “yet” and that passionate people united for a cause will bring about real change.
Peggy is a musician, song writer and teacher with Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. She received a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from University of Illinois at Chicago. After college, she capitalized on her love of math and took an accounting job with a Chicago restaurant group. Years later, she established her own business offering accounting services to bars, restaurants, and other small businesses. When Music & Potlucks asked her to join the team, she was honored to put her skills to work for an organization that aligns with her core beliefs about connecting through music, community and helping others.
Jill Cohen Niewoehner
Jill came to Music & Potlucks with her computer and database skills at the ready. Through her tech knowledge and donor management skills, Music & Potlucks has grown into a donor responsive non-profit. She updated Music & Potlucks’ record keeping, technical capabilities, and the ability to reach our ever-growing database of musicians, participants, donors and grantees.
Jill lives in Oak Park with her 3 kids, her husband and multiple iterations of backyard chickens. She is a recovering Social Worker, a multiple cancer survivor, a cheesemaker, a leather worker, a soap maker and a self-described slob. She sings and has been playing guitar for over 25 years but has yet to conquer a B minor. Fortunately, her husband and daughter can play barre chords for her.
The Chicago Tribune calls Mark Dvorak "masterful," and the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as a "living archive of song and style." WFMT Classical 98.7 fm Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him “Chicago's official troubadour."
Dvorak has won awards for children's music, journalism, and was honored in 2013 with the FARM Lantern Bearer Award from Folk Alliance International. In 2008 he received the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since 2017, Music & Potlucks has been proud to have Mark Dvorak as resident artist.
Marianne Mohrhusen has been a certified yoga instructor since 2017. She specializes in Hatha Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Yoga for Kids, Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids and Chair Zumba serving students aged 2 through 80.
Marianne teaches at the Park District of LaGrange, The Local Workout in LaGrange and the Linda Sokol Francis Public Library in Brookfield, IL. Marianne also created and leads monthly livestream gentle yoga sessions for the Music and Potlucks’ “Yoga, Wine and Song” series.
She says, “The yoga philosophy of seva which means ‘selfless service’ aligns beautifully with the mission of Music & Potlucks.”
Stephanie is a community volunteer and a hobby musician (guitar & upright bass). She is inspired by the power of singing, music, and nature. A descendant of prolific potluck-ers, she relishes a bountiful table with food offerings from family and friends.
Stephanie believes ordinary gatherings become extraordinary when the recipe includes music, food and “Playing it forward”.
Favorite family recipe: Grandma’s sugar cookies, Favorite dish to bring to a potluck: Caprese salad. Favorite songs that relate to Music and Potlucks: “Homegrown Tomatoes” by Guy Clark and “This Little Light of Mine.”
Liz truly believes what the world needs now is love, more love.
Her search for a caring community has taken her around the world with work and volunteerism. After years of corporate team building exercises, Liz experienced the neighborhood creating magic of voices around a campfire raised in shared song. Music & Potlucks affirms her belief that a loving community, music, spoken word, and giving back are elemental and powerful.
The potluck aspect of Music & Potlucks has even challenged Liz to provide more than her traditional Bag O’ Ice and she has upped her game to include things made with chocolate chips.
WE'RE IN THE PAPER:
Fitzgerald’s folk music fundraiser to benefit three Oak Park charity organizations, October 2019
Songwriting legend Michael Smith headlines at Fitzgerald’s, October 2019
Songs for Peace and Justice, April 2017
Folktober Fest, September 2017
Folktober Fest, October 2018
AND ON THE RADIO:
The Mike Nowak Show