Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

Kee-Yoon and Jason
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

When guests check into the Yellow Inn, they get something other than a bed for the night. They get class warfare and murderous mayhem. 

Jason Hawk Harris plays Nightshop Friday night.
Bloodshot Records

Jason Hawk Harris’ debut on Bloodshot Records is an Americana gem many are calling one of the best albums of the year.

Kendra and Aram
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Aram Han Sifuentes stitches together a communal art experience to give power to those seeking change. 

cute critter
City of Bloomington

The Miller Park Zoo has another cute dose of aww for visitors. Its red pandas have had three cubs. The litter has one male and two females, the first time the zoo in Bloomington has had panda cubs.

Red Pandas were once native to North America. There are fossils as far back as five million years. The zoo said their habitat today is in pockets of mountain areas above four thousand feet in China, Nepal, Burma, and Bhutan.

Wonsook Kim as a student.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

“Illinois State University is where I started. Why ISU? Because this is where my heart is at.”

Wonsook Kim earned three degrees at Illinois State in the 1970s and experienced her first dates, first job, and first experience with dorm life there. Her love for her alma mater is why she and her husband decided to give the school a $12 million donation last Thursday, the largest individual donation in the school’s history. For her generosity, ISU President Larry Dietz announced that the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art will both be renamed after Kim.

Wiplot plays a rare show at Nightshop Saturday night.
Vince SanFilippo

The Bloomington-Normal alt-pop/rock quartet Wiplot makes a rare performance Saturday night at Nightshop in downtown Bloomington.

actors in play
Geoff Hughes / Heartland Theatre

Heartland Theatre dabbles in magical realism for its latest production, “The Electric Baby,” opening this weekend and running through Sept. 28.

Jennie Bateman
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Silk reveals its soft touch and capricious core in a new exhibition of works in downtown Bloomington. 

Central Illinois Girl Scouts are seeking new methods to recruit girls to combat a drop in enrollment.

Les Filles de Illighadad plays Reverberation Vinyl Monday night.
Les Filles de Illighadad

This week wasn’t the first, tenth, or maybe the hundredth time Reverberation Vinyl owner John Anderson was spinning what’s become known as Desert Blues on the turntable in his Bloomington store.

screen art
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Jonah King explores the warmth of a simple human gesture as it exists within a digital realm.  

a parade route with tumblers and a banner
Illinois State University

Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University will celebrate its 90th year with a parade: the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.

The Central Illinois Regional Airport has collaborated with the Illinois State University’s School of Art and College of Fine Arts to open its first student art gallery.

actors
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy, does that ever change everything!

Stephanie Jean and Chris Turpin are Ida Mae. They play the Peoria Blues and Heritage Festival Saturday night.
Dean Chalkley

Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean seemingly had it made by 2014. The English natives were half of the grunge/blues band Kill It Kid that was signed to Sire Records and had just released its third album.

painting detail of face
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The school year is barely underway, but for one young artist, it’s already homecoming. 

Grant Milliren plays Nightshop in Bloomington Saturday night
Jeff Smudde / Courtesy of Grant Milliren

Grant Milliren, now 21, was getting serious about music by his mid-teens. But the Illinois State University arts technology student was also a varsity athlete at Neuqua Valley High School in suburban Naperville.

Josh Ritter plays The Castle Theatre Friday night.
David McClister

Josh Ritter is known worldwide as a talented songwriter. Matter of fact, Paste Magazine named him one of the 100 greatest living songwriters in 2006.

picture of ISU Center for the Performing Arts
Illinois State University

Illinois State University will name its College of Fine Arts and School of Art for graduate Wonsook Kim.

Elaine Rexdale
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A riot of color and lighthearted images brighten the Armstrong Gallery at the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington. 

BCPA Announces Diverse Lineup For New Season

Aug 15, 2019
Exterior of the BCPA
Chauncey Davis / Creative Commons

Programmers for the Bloomington Center For The Performing Arts said the city-owned venue had a full and successful season last year and hope to build on that performance. The BCPA has never turned a profit and was not expected to at its founding. But, Assistent Performing Arts Manager Ann-Marie Dittman said last year gross revenue rose by $200,000. The improvement came after some instability and a lower than usual number of bookings in 2017 following the unexpected death of BCPA Director Tina Salamone. This season, Dittman said the BCPA is revving its engines with an even more full and diverse selection of shows.

Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials headline the Front Street Music Festival August 17.
Paul Natkin

Lil' Ed Williams and his band The Blues Imperials emulate the Chicago houserockin’ style of fellow Alligator Records great Hound Dog Taylor and Lil' Ed's uncle, Delmark Records artist J.B. Hutto.

American Passion Play
American Passion Play/Facebook

One of the longest-running theater productions in the United States has decided it will be back for a 97th year in Bloomington.

contra dancers hold hands
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Martha Tyner drew a bow across her fiddle and grimaced at the resulting sound.

John Conlee play the Normal Theater tomorrow night
John Conlee

John Conlee is one of those small-town boys that made good. Coming of age in the 1950s on a farm outside Versailles, Kentucky, Conlee’s family sold eggs door to door and raised sheep and even feeder pigs. Their cash crop at that time was tobacco.

James Plath
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Jay Gatsby made the list. So did Hester Prynne, Huckleberry Finn and Harry Potter. 

National Park Radio plays the Hallowed Hall in downtown Bloomington Sunday night
National Park Radio

Stefan Szabo came to professional music at the relative late age of his later 30s.

The founder of the folk/Americana band National Park Radio says working full-time in IT after college, then getting married and having two kids at 19 and 21 kept him from pursuing his love of music, at least full time.

The Menzingers play The Castle Theatre Friday night
Jess Flynn

The Philadelphia-based pop/punk band The Menzingers has received critical acclaim for their last two albums, much of which fleshes out the angst of moving from 20-somethings into their 30s.

opera singers on stage
MIOpera

MIOpera draws on a pair of monster classics for the 2019 season. 

The Darts play Nightshop in Bloomington Thursday night
Chris Barber

A judge and prosecutor ... a sports medicine teacher ... an orthodontist office administrator. That doesn't scream "all-female horror-punk/garage-rock band that tours the world."

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