Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History has raided Lincoln'-related collections and archives for a new exhibit that explores Lincoln's life in central Illinois.

"Abraham Lincoln in McLean County" reveals Lincoln's deep local connections and how they influenced the man who would one day guide the nation.  "We examine recollections and reminisces of Lincoln to provide  a more complete portrait of Lincoln as a man and as a leader," said Museum Librarian Bill Kemp. "We take time to really look at stories local folk told of Lincoln to paint a more three dimensional portrait of the man."

Catholic Women Appear Closer To Becoming Deacons

May 18, 2016
Aleteia Image Department / Creative Commons

Within the Catholic Church, ordained deacons provide assistance to bishops and priests. They can officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals and are allowed to preach at Sunday Mass. For decades, this role has been reserved for men only.

But that may soon change.

David Locke / Creative Commons

The Town of Normal is cancelling its annual Pooch Parade and Pet Fair because of disease.

Michael Schwartz

Veteran comedian Paula Poundstone loves her job as a panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."

She also loves to hear the audience laugh in response to a joke.  But when the comedian first started on "Wait, Wait" there was no audience at all.

Illinois State University Theater grad Nick Demeris is a whirling dervish.  His own Twitter account lists him as a writer, composer, actor, & street artist.  He teaches workshops on Hip Hop & Shakespeare, and is part of the vocal improvisational group Moving Star currently serving as an artist in residence at Carnegie Hall.  And that's just the beginning.

Bloomington Synagogue Holds Holocaust Remembrance

May 5, 2016
Aberdeen Proving Ground / Creative Commons

Six candles will be lit Thursday night at Bloomington's Moses Montefiore Temple, representing the six million people who perished in Nazi death camps during the Holocaust. Prayers will also be said honoring the dead.

The local event is timed to coincide with the annual Yom HaShoah remembrance service taking place in Israel.

The service will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to the public.

Mike Maehr / Creative Commons

The Miller Park Zoo has broken its attendance record. Annual attendance for Fiscal Year 2016 was 114,311 guests. Zoo Direcor Jay Tetzloff says they are happy to have so many people enjoying all the zoo has to offer.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

As Illinois State University works to decommission the Hamilton-Whitten and Atkin-Colby dormintories on the south end of campus, the buildings have offered up  lovely parting gifts.

University archivist April Anderson is all atwitter because two time capsules have been unearthed under the almost 60 year old buildings.  The first, sadly, experienced water damage.  But the second capsule was fully intact and revealed some interesting elements of university life in 1961.  The students who filled the time capsule included a number of items, such as a '61 yearbook.  Well, most of it. 

Illinois State University

In Illinois, as in other parts of the country, parts of the African American Community have been resistant to LGBTQ issues. This is in spite of the traditionally Democratic party makeup  of that community driven by Chicago and Metro-East populations. In fact, as the Associated Press reported at the time, one of the reasons the Illinois gay marriage bill vote was closer than it could have been and took longer to pass was resistance by the Chicago Black legislative caucus.

Wu Tong

East meets west in the next  Illinois Symphony Orchestra Concert. It's the final concert of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra season, coming up Friday.

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.  

The Pope Writes To Children

Mar 24, 2016
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.