Datebook | WGLT


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. 

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! 

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. 

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. 

hewett and anthony debate
McLean County Museum of History

You can see, and hear, dead people on the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. 

seaside jumpers painting
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Cathy Engberg celebrates life’s simple, everyday moments.  

kids creating art
avilasal / Flickr via Creative Commons

Each autumn, Illinois State University offers kids in the community a chance to participate in a series of art classes, learning visual arts and drama. Naturally, those classes have a twist this year. 


Each year, Bloomington-Normal doctors put down their stethoscopes and pick up a violin, cello, guitar or other musical instrument for the annual Doctors in Concert fundraiser. 

happy contagion
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Don’t let the cute fool you. 

big fish performance
Community Players

The doors to their theater may be closed, but Community Players has declared the show must go on. 

Justin Vickers
Justin Vickers

It was just standing there, empty. No concerts, no audience, no applause. No nothing. And that’s a sad state for a concert hall. 

Illinois Art Station

Illinois Art Station is on the move and making plans for an expanded future in Bloomington-Normal. 

Normal Theater
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

For almost four months, the silver screen at the Normal Theater has remained dark. The seats  have been  empty. And that enticing scent of popcorn has been conspicuously absent. 

blue dog print
McLean County Arts Center

Works of art that once were part of private collections can now be enjoyed by the entire community at a new exhibition at the McLean County Arts Center in downtown Bloomington. 

front proch
Roger-Bruce / Creative Commons

Live theater has returned to the Twin Cities in a new project that guarantees audiences needn’t venture any further out than their own front porch.  

The fierce debate over the future of the Uptown Normal mural has inspired a documentary about the controversy and the role public art plays in our lives. 

transit photo
Courtesy of the artist and Regards, Chicago.

A group of students from Bloomington High School didn’t let anything stand in their way to curate the latest exhibition from University Galleries in Normal. 

Edward David Anderson
Edward David Anderson

The 2020 Sugar Creek Arts Festival requires no sunscreen, fan or sunglasses.  

kelsey fisher waits
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The stage may be bare this season at The Illinois Shakespeare Festival, but the show must go on–online, that is. 

"The show must go on" is one of the most repeated phrases in theatre, whether you're directing on Broadway or a children's production.

Cristen Monson
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

There’s an old tradition in the theater world that there must always be an electric light left burning on stage whenever a theater is left dark or unoccupied. It’s called a ghost light. 

Nancy Drew books
Celeste Lindell / Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s no mystery why Nancy Drew, that Titian-haired, flashlight-wielding teen detective, is still so popular after all these years. 

circus work
Jan Brandt Gallery

It was going to be amazing, colorful and fun. 

Christoph Scholtz / Flickr/Creative Commons

The coronavirus pandemic has millions sheltering indoors and bonding with their streaming services.  

window art display
Jane Osborn / Eaton Gallery

As art galleries across the country have locked their doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, one local gallery is trying to shed some light on the dark situation. 

Doug Johnson

On a day like today, Doug Johnson would normally be busy at his job as director of the McLean County Arts Center.