Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

Jin / Flickr via Creative Commons

The end of the school year is approaching.  Millions of students will leave school, and some of them will fall flat on their faces.

Time magazine senior writer and New York Times best-selling author Lev Grossman knows this and knows it well. He didn't set out to become a professional journalist.  After college Grossman made some missteps along the way.  His struggles as a young man inspired the topic of a lecture at Bradley University this week:  "The Accidental Journalist:  The highly unprofessional education of a professional writer."

Nick J. Nixon / Flickr via Creative Commons

When the news broke that Prince had died, the world was stunned.

 Immediately, the media, both traditional and social, was flooded with tributes from shocked fans, who poured out their grief over losing the musical powerhouse.  Laura Kennedy talked with GLT culture maven, Shari Zeck about the impact of Prince and his music.

Hal Holbrook

Actor Hal Holbrook is 91. He has been playing Mark Twain on stage since 1948 and takes his famed rendition of the great American author and humorist to Bloomington's BCPA Tuesday night.

New Route Theater

New Route Theater is presenting a festival of LGBTQ plays Friday and this weekend. Theater Director Don Shandrow and program Curator Duane Boutte join Charlie Schlenker to talk about Voices of Pride.

Two State Parks Close

Apr 21, 2016
Illinois Dept. Natural Resources / IDNR

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area and Horseshoe Lake State Park are closing indefinitely.

Tnarik Innael / Flickr via Creative Commons

'Shall we play a game?'

That simple, but chilling, invitation from a not-so-benevolent computer triggers a race against time and technology in the 1983 techno-thriller, War Games.

Peter Hellberg / Flickr via Creative Commons

Email mail may reign in real life, but on stage, old-fashioned letter writing makes a bigger impact.

Heartland Theatre Company is staging a unique and imaginative work that , while simple in its presentation, delves deep into the complexities of a long term relationship. A lifetime of letters between Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner reveal a touching, funny and evocative relationship between two very different people.  The characters are at the heart of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters, and are played by Dean and Cyndee Brown, who have been married for 42 years.

Dance Studio Helps Kids

Apr 15, 2016
Angelique Racki / BCAI

Dancing empowers, and the owner of "Breaking Chains, Advancing Increase," a contemporary dance and art studio operating out of the BCPA's Creativity Center, wants to share that with others.

After writing seven books comprising two separate best selling crime fiction series, author Steven Gore is stepping into the realm of criticism. Before writing, Gore spent decades investigating murder, fraud, organized crime, and the trafficking of drugs, sex, and arms throughout the world. Publishers Weekly calls Gore a “masterful” writer for his gritty Graham Gage and Harlan Donnally books.

Julienne Fagere / ATMA Classique

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is getting ready to wind down its season with the next to last concert of the series. The ISO is bringing in a rising star Mezzo Soprano, Julie Boulianne.

Kendra Paitz / University Galleries

The distance between creator and critic is done away with in a work of performance art that  demystifies  the art review process.

David Congalton

  Illinois State University graduate David Congalton returns to campus this week to pass on the wit and wisdom of a Hollywood career that was years in the making.  

Illinois Wesleyan University

He's worked with Woody Allen, Oliver Stone on 'Nixon,' and Michael Bay on the 'Transformer' movies. Kevin Dunn is a veteran character actor, and an Illinois Wesleyan University graduate who will visit the Bloomington tomorrow. Dunn talks with Charlie Schlenker about the large differences in directors. Dunn says they are all demanding and expect you to know your job, but also all distinct in their approaches and temperaments.

Samba Gadjigo

  The 2016 Illinois Wesleyan University Film Festival highlights the work of one of Africa's most admired filmmakers and authors, Ousmane Sembene.

The first African filmmaker to achieve international success, Sembene is the subject of a new critically-acclaimed  documentary, which is also showing at the festival.  Samba Gadjigo is the co-producer of the documentary, and he noted that Sembene first influenced him when he was still in high school.  When Gadjigo read one of Sembene's novels, he discovered a voice that insisted on telling stories of real Africans.

Candace Lindemann / Flickr via Creative Commons

An Illinois State University alumnus is bringing a little Disney magic to campus.  

Christopher Chapman works as the Global Creativity & Innovation Director for Disney. He's returned to campus this week to be inducted into the College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame and meet with students to discuss his time at Illinois State University as an art major, plus how he forged his career path in art and design for Disney.  

Loyola Press

It's a familiar sight at papal events: Pope Francis departing from his security detail and wading into the crowd to embrace a child or lift a baby in the air.

Children from across the world have been writing to the Pope, and he answers. A new book, "Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World" compiles some of those letters and the Pope's responses. The letters were collected from parishes and social service agencies and compiled by Loyola Press in Chicago, a publishing arm of the pope's own Jesuit religious order.

Ebertfest Line Up Finalized

Mar 24, 2016
Jeff Bossert / WILL

The final slate of six films announced for next month’s Ebertfest in Champaign adds a second silent film to the schedule, and two 2015 movies honored for their performances.

Steven Gerner / Flickr via Creative Commons

A classic and popular festival from India is being held in the Twin Cities this weekend for the very first time. Laura Kennedy has more on the festival where colors fly and the music never stops.

*Vinod Nambiar and Leyons Philip are the organizers of the first-ever Festival of Colors in the Twin Cities.

*It's meant to celebrate spring, featuring the colors of the flowers that are just now beginning to emerge.

Steve Bowbrick / Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is going to the Proms. This has nothing to do with fancy dresses, corsages, and the annual high school ritual.

Sharon ShareAlike

The Illinois State University Charity Drag Show comes of age this year.  The 18th annual show is sponsored by ISU PRIDE and benefits Project Oz.  The organizer and emcee of the show is local drag legend, Sharon ShareAlike, who will share (appropriately) the stage with a variety of drag queens, plus one king, and a member of drag royalty, who was a popular contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Sam Howitz / Flickr via Creative Commons

A nationally recognized expert on comic books is appearing at Illinois State University to deliver a lecture that exposes the dubious research of a fierce arch enemy of comics.  Wonder Woman fan Laura Kennedy talked with Dr. Carol Tilley, the researcher who has been dubbed The Comic Book Crusader.

*Dr. Tilly examined the research of mid-20th century psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, whose research with young children seemed to indicate that comic books were having a bad influence on kids.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The very first exclusive survey of the video work by acclaimed artist and Illinois State University graduate Terry Adkins is on view at the University Galleries in Normal. 

Steve Hunt

While GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump was addressing more than 2,000 people at a hangar at the Central Illinois Regional Airport, a small group of Illinois State University faculty and students were watching the Trump rally go viral.

McLean County Museum of History

Abraham Lincoln scholars now have a new critical resource, and casual fans of the 16th President can find out more about him in the words of his law partner. A newly edited volume of letters by Thomas Herndon offers insight into Lincoln's time.

Staff / WGLT

Local visual artists have a unique opportunity to circumvent the usual distance between artist and critic in a unique piece of performance art at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal.  Acclaimed art critic Lori Waxman is offering central Illinois artists the chance to have their work reviewed as part of 60 WRD/MIN Art Critic.

Bloomington Brick Streets Disappearing

Mar 9, 2016
Staff / WGLT

Another historic Bloomington brick street will soon be overlaid with asphalt.

Brick streets were once so common in Bloomington it was rumored to be home to the first such driving surfaces in the nation. While that's not true, it illustrates the city's long love affair with paving bricks.

Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said the city will not take over management of the Downtown Bloomington U. S. Cellular Coliseum. Renner said, "that needs to be in private hands."

Carleen Spahn / Eureka College

When a biology major who also has a major in art puts on an exhibit, it looks at the interplay of life and death in graphic beauty. Carleen Spahn of Kenwanee is a senior at Eureka College who's artwork is currently on display in an exhibit entitled, "Vita Et Morte," or "In Life as in Death." Spahn says she finds one piece especially gratifying.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History invites you to make yourself at home in their new permanent exhibition, Making a Home.

*The exhibit is the first new exhibit at the museum in 24 years, and serves as the foundation for its interactive and student programs and public education.

*Making a Home explores the lives and experiences of those who settled in McLean County over several centuries, including Irish, German, Asian and Mexican immigrants, plus Native American tribes.

Bloomington Public Library

The Bloomington Public Library faces a number of challenges and opportunities, most of which will wait until a new director is found.