Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

flower paitning
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Jessica Bingham embraces the ephemeral around us in her work, incorporating memories of childhood, flowers from summers past, and the ever-shifting moments of motherhood.  

Her latest work is currently on view in a show entitled, “Tending Place,” at the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington. 

Bingham is the curator at University Galleries in Normal and welcomed this opportunity to showcase her artwork, created as she balances her work at the Galleries and her new role as a mother. Motherhood is a big part of how she navigates her life, said Bingham. 

christopher breu
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A world-weary detective ... a cynical femme fatale ... a bleak night world of sex and violence. Think Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Graham, Dana Andrews, Audrey Totter. Now think again — about noir.

Illinois State University

In a typical year, art collectors have just two days to snap up prints during the Annual Printmakers’ Exhibition and Sale at Illinois State University. 

As we’ve all noticed, this is not a typical year. 

actors on stage
Heartland Theatre

Every theater has had to find its way to reach audiences during the pandemic. For Heartland Theatre Company, that includes reaching into its own past.

Beth Whisman

The Children’s Discovery Museum will partner with more than 12 other museums and science centers in Illinois and Indiana to continue its annual tradition of providing local children with a Noon Year’s Eve countdown.


A popular Netflix miniseries has helped game merchants in central Illinois.

Edward David Anderson performing during the summer of 2019 at the Black Dirt Music Festival in Bloomington
Simeon Marie

The pandemic has hit full-time performing musicians especially hard. There are very few places to perform and in-person audiences are sparse, at best.

Christmas lights
Nick Amuscato / Flickr via Creative Commons

There isn’t much the pandemic hasn’t impacted, including the schedule at Community Players Theatre.

America is polarized. For evidence of that, look no further than … well, everywhere.

But sometimes, a good old-fashioned disagreement can be fun. Like, John McClane or George Bailey? Clark Griswald or Buddy the Elf?

A Civil War regimental flag
Sharon MacDonald

Andrew Jackson Smith was born a slave in Kentucky in 1842, the probable son of a slave holder. He escaped to the Union Army, became the servant of an officer from central Illinois, and later a soldier who distinguished himself for bravery "even in the cannon’s mouth."

Dave Howell

If you watched the mostly black-and-white Episode 9 of FX’s “Fargo,” you might have recognized a historic Italianate farmhouse where some of the action was set.

Kate Tombaugh performs
Kate Tombaugh

A central Illinois opera singer has won a prestigious singing competition.

Adam Stephey

Two Normal residents are a long way from where they were in 2017 with their Toilet Timer, when they first visited WGLT.

Naudia Williams closeup
Illinois State University

An Illinois State University student with a gift for words and a heart for equality has been nationally recognized for her poetry skills.

English education major Naudia Williams brought her best content to the stage as she battled it out with students across the country for a cash prize and bragging rights at this year’s America’s Best College Poet competition.

zoom rehearsal
Heartland Theatre

A gold watch chain and a woman’s crowning glory are at the center of a classic tale being told anew by Heartland Theatre Company.

Singer-songwriter Leah Marlene's first full-length album is quite a curveball for those that came to her through her 2018 up-tempo, hook-laden debut EP “Arrows.”

Doug Johnson
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Art meets the retail experience at a venerable holiday event hosted by the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington. 

A venerable holiday charity tradition is adapting to the current uncertain times. 

AP Photo / Ted S. Warren

COVID-19 is now so entrenched in daily life that some may not have noticed how it's bled onto the screen. From subtle mask wearing to celebrations of essential workers, the coronavirus pandemic has made its way into commercials and entertainment alike—sending different messages along the way.

Frank Black with WGLTs trophy for the Blues Foundation 'Keeping the Blues Alive' Award
Jon Norton / WGLT

Listen at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, for an hourlong special dedicated to Delta Frank, our legendary blues host. Listen on 89.1 FM or stream at

WGLT Hall of Famer and longtime blues host Gilbert Frank Black died Sunday of COVID-19-related complications. He was 79. Black served as a blues music host from 1985 until he retired in 2013.

kevin vernon
David B. Vernon

High school students from across Bloomington-Normal have dropped their crosstown rivalries to unite and send COVID-19 a message: You can’t stop us from performing! 

Chris Anderson, "aTOMic" Satterfield and Marsha Satterfield are Tina Sparkle
Tina Sparkle

The leader and front-woman for the Peoria-based rock outfit Tina Sparkle says she feels fortunate to be married to someone who understands a musician’s life, and that she could be the muse for many a song.

Performers on stage
University High School

Actors act, even in a pandemic. But what high school students are doing now is more subtle than the way they usually tread the boards.

Sarah Bennett "spins" the new Idles record at Waiting Room Records
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The pandemic ground live music to a standstill through much of 2020, but great albums continue to be released. That includes the third studio album from the British punk outfit Idles.

laptop class
Tracy Koch / MIOpera

MIOpera is filling a big opera-sized hole in the arts community by offering a chance to enjoy performances by some up-and-coming singers. 

cast of show
Community Players Theater

Community Players Theater is going mega meta with its latest production--a show that looks behind the curtain and reveals the pains and pleasures of creating a new musical. 

The Bloomington City Council on Monday narrowly approved a change to how the city's Public Safety and Community Relations Board makes recommendations and handles outreach. 

But before the 5-4 vote, council members disagreed in a lengthy discussion about whether the change constituted slightly amending bylaws to clarify the board’s purpose, or significantly broadening its mission. 

Rhys Lovell
Heartland Theatre

There’s an old joke in public broadcasting: When is the best time to air a radio drama?


Richar III statue
It's No Game / Flickr via Creative Commons

Illinois State University's School of Theater dives into the winter of our discontent in a new production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” 

Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Poetry and textiles entwine in a new exhibition by an interdisciplinary artist who draws her inspiration from the words we read and the materials we caress.