Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

Defining a griot’s role in West African society can be a challenge, as the title doesn’t translate easily to European-based culture.

Illinois Wesleyan University jazz studies director Glenn Wilson says rare concert footage is a major reason the Thelonious Monk documentary is "a must watch."

Herb Eaton with his sculpture 'Mommy's Broom'
Pamela Eaton

Bloomington's Herb Eaton says his "Mommy's Broom" bronze sculpture chosen for this year’s Peoria Sculpture Walk is actually a vision from 30 years ago.

Miski Dee Rodriguez, center,and City Mouse
Faith Cardelli

Miski Dee Rodriguez said she left corporate America 15 years ago to follow her true love: Music.

The BCPA and its front lawn.
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

New fine arts acts and more children's programming are part of the lineup of the new season at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

A Secret Garden Offers Healing To The Wounded

Aug 3, 2018
three people standing by a wall
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Prairie Fire Theatre goes gothic this year with an erie production of "The Secret Garden," based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Adam Humphreys and Jessica Wheet of Old Smoke
Adam R. Day, Betania M. Carvalho

The now five member blues-rock outfit Old Smoke has been headlining central Illinois shows and opening for national acts including Samantha Fish and Tommy Castro at the Castle Theatre for roughly three years -- despite no album to sell or promote.

Cody Diekhoff, aka Chicago Farmer
Cody Diekhoff

Cody Diekhoff as his alter ego Chicago Farmer is a riveting live performer who has cultivated a loyal following with folk songs and stories about the American heartland. And especially central Illinois.

Bistro
Eric Stock / WGLT

A first-time event in downtown Saturday celebrates 25 years since the city's first bar for the LGBTQ community opened.

Large theater with chandelier hanging from curved wooden roof in a proposed dinner theater building.
The Barn III

As many as 150 people recently participated in a ceremonial barn-raising event in Goodfield, but it wasn’t to help an ailing farmer.

Digital Age Accelerates Cultural Globalization

Jul 17, 2018
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The digital age has aided globalization of popular culture, according to Illinois State University professor Lane Crothers

Lincoln's Festival

It's the Illinois bicentennial, and as a result the 10th year of Lincoln's Festival in Bloomington-Normal will be richer and more nuanced, according to organizer Barb Adams and grant writer Marcia Young.

Creativity Center Fundraiser Faces Big Challenge

Jul 16, 2018
Front of the Creativity Center Building
City of Bloomington

For five days earlier this summer, the air conditioning system went out at the Creativity Center on Chestnut and Locust streets, across from the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Inside the Constitution Trail tunnel under Washington Street in Bloomington, young artist Eden Warner painted a giant letter “B” with lots of green trees.

The Something Brothers (L-R): Gregory Pare, John Ganser, Scott Lee Wilson, Tommy O’Donnell, Edwin Pierce
Scott Harrison

The Something Brothers guitarist Edwin Pierce said it was surprisingly easy for band members to create and record new music together despite a nearly 30-year studio hiatus, and missing a key band member.

After Hours
Mark Hill / WGLT

Central Illinois can lay claim to three of the best barbershop quartets in the world, including this year's international champion.

A bluegrass band performs on ISU's quad
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Concerts on the Quad have been filling pleasant summer Mondays since the 1980s at Illinois State University.

A studio picture of storyteller Brenda Huber
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Fourth of July holiday is all about mom and apple pie, as well as the nation's founding. Here is a different story of motherhood.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The last time singer-songwriter Neko Case played the Castle Theatre in Bloomington, the sold-out crowd missed out on her new album. The recording "Hell-On" was still a few months away from release.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday toured Illinois State University's aging Fine Arts complex, where nearly $6 million has been sunk into maintenance and short-term repairs.

Three people posed in an art gallery
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Hear five stories about the moon and lunacy from people in Bloomington-Normal.

Opera Season Full Of Fun ... And Pirates

Jun 6, 2018
Opera performers
Midwest Institute of Opera

The Midwest Institute of Opera is gearing up for the 2018 season with pirates on the prowl and the love lessons of a poet.

A bewildering maze of hollow plastic pipes charged with air that can keep balls aloft enchants children.
Children's Discovery Museum / Town of Normal

UPDATED 3 p.m. | Back when the state budget crisis was just kicking off, the Department of Natural Resources announced more than $1 million in grant money for Bloomington-Normal museums and the Miller Park Zoo. That money never came, as Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers refused to compromise on a budget and years of standoff turned into years of cuts.

Actresses around a cauldren.
Heartland Theater

Heartland Theater in Normal presents the 10-Minute Play Festival, debuting not only new, short works of theater, but a new listening system for the hearing-impaired.

Steampunk Event Returns To Downtown Bloomington

May 30, 2018
Steampunkers
taymetayme / Flickr via Creative Commons

Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening is back for a second year of elaborate costuming, outrageous gadgetry and history—both real and imagined.

After 20 Years Harry Potter Still Conjures Magic

May 29, 2018
Child reading Harry Potter.
Seth Wenig / AP

Twenty years ago, a bespeckled young boy captured the imaginations of readers young and old, becoming a cultural force that influenced the idealism of a generation.

The Penguine Project of McLean County

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Pengin Project of McLean County.

University Galleries Director Barry Blinderman
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After 31 years guiding the University Galleries, the director is heading into retirement.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

This season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival deftly combines the thrill of both a battle and a heart won, familiar faces revisiting cherished roles, and a chance to imagine "what if" about The Bard.

GLT Datebook: Children's Opera With A Message

May 12, 2018
Nancy Steele Brokaw
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Prairie Fire Theater teams up with theater students from Illinois Wesleyan University to stage an original children's opera that aims to be fun as well as thought-provoking.

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