Forgottonia, an Intimate Portrait of Rural Illinois

A Road Scholar Program by Chris Vallillo

Neal Gamm at Forgottonia bridge

In this presentation, Chris Vallillo performs his new one man show, “Forgottonia” featuring music he wrote over the last 35 years about Western Illinois based on his experiences as a folklorist and songwriter in rural Illinois. Vallillo has spent the past 35 years documenting and preserving the heritage of Western Illinois: the land lovingly called Forgottonia.

The show combines music, storytelling, and historically accurate narratives in a solo performance. 

Along with the performance, Vallillo will speak to the history and backstories of songs that document, reflect, and validate rural lives, reinforcing these communities’ sense of commitment and worth.

Raw Image Forgottonia Highway sign

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Jeanne Jesernik at

Learn more about Chris Vallillo, this program, and how to book it here.