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Music & Potlucks presents 3rd Annual FolktoberFest featuring Songwriters in the Round: Michael Peter Smith, Heather Styka and Mark Dvorak.

FitzGerald's SideBar is the place to be Sunday, October 6th as we gather to celebrate folk music, and the fall season.

Michael Smith, once called "the greatest songwriter in the English language" by Rolling Stone Magazine, might be best known for his song The Dutchman. Smiths rich and challenging songs have been covered by more than 40 artists including Suzy Bogguss and Steve Goodman.  

Heather Styka "puts her vocal prowess on full display alongside her talent for telling stories in her most recent well received album North. Sykas refreshing and melodic singing and guitar playing will leave you wanting more!

Mark Dvorak is a prolific songwriter and performer, authentic storyteller, and award-winning teacher at Chicagos Old Town School of Folk Music. Chicago Tribune calls Dvorak "Chicago's Official Troubadour 

Schedule of Events

Tickets include ALL of the following:

4:00 -  vocal workshop by Mark Dvorak
5:00 - heavy appetizers/lite supper and acoustic jam - bring your instruments!
6:15 - Songwriters in the Round
7:30 - Closing jam

Advance purchase tickets: $35
Tickets at the Door: $40


Music & Potlucks is dedicated to nourishing our community by presenting cultural programs in support of neighbors experiencing challenging circumstances. We will pass the tambourine to collect cash donations. Check donations can be made payable to Beyond Hunger or Housing Forward. All donations will be forwarded to Beyond Hunger (formerly the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry), Housing Forward and the OPRF Community Foundation.

Guests are also encouraged to bring unopened travel-sized toiletries for donation. Helpful items include: shampoo, deodorant, travel-sized shaving cream with a razor packaged in a sealable plastic bag, tooth brush & toothpaste in a sealable plastic bag, travel sized foot powder, facial wipes, and nail trimming kits. New pairs of socks are also useful.

Grab your acoustic instrument, singing voice, and festive essence. Listeners are especially welcome. Can't wait to see you at our 3rd Annual FolktoberFest!



Music & Potlucks presents an evening of folk music and dessert potluck.

Friday, November 1st we gather at 7 PM at the River Forest Library in River Forest, IL. Mark Dvorak will perform The American Folk Song, a program that examines the roots of American music through examples from African-American and British Isles traditions. Featuring songs, oral history, demonstrations, and the music of American folk artists such as Lead Belly, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. This event is free of charge.

Bring your favorite dessert to pass.



Winter 2020 jams/gatherings/cabin fever remedies are brewing. 

Memories are made when there is live music in your home! Host a House Concert, special event or jam, Music & Potlucks will help with the details and planning.  Happy to hear from you: musicandpotlucks@gmail.com or 312-451-5101




Thursday Night Out – We love Folk Park

Hundreds of neighbors visited Marion Street on June 13th for a breezy summer evening of food from local restaurants, catching up with friends, and live folk music performed by Jenny & Robin Bienemann  and Mark Dvorak. Showcase “setlets” were performed by Exit Left and The Tell.  Thanks for coming out . Downtown Oak Park’s Thursday Night Out is a terrific way to spend a summer evening.


Pete Seeger 100th birthday celebration and Tribute Concert with Mark Dvorak and the Power of Song Singers

Martin Recital Hall is a terrific venue to try out a harmony. What fun we had singing together in memory and honor of the legendary Pete Seeger. We also enjoyed hearing some of Mark Dvorak’s outstanding original music.  Pete once said, “Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live.”   Concert attendees helped us forward more than $2,000 to area agencies. Thank you to our generous partner Dominican University!

Acoustic Jams 2/10/19 & 3/16/19

Acoustic Jams were held on 2/10 and 3/16, here is the press release:



A potluck in a private home in Chicago followed by an Acoustic Jam at The Grafton Pub. We raised enough money on 1/1 to purchase more than 1,000 meals for our neighbors experiencing hunger, as well as dozens of toiletries and more than 100 pounds of food.