Datebook | WGLT


WGLT's Laura Kennedy highlights a wide variety of events and personalities certain to be of interest to WGLT listeners throughout central Illinois.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Illinois State University galleries in Uptown Normal currently has a show from Rob Swainstone called 'We thought they thought what we thought, but they didn't.'  Curated by Gallery director Barry Blinderman, the show features wood block prints on oversized sheets of fabric and paper.  Swainston uses the ancient technique of wood block printing, but with a modern sensibility. 

Wrote / Flickr via Creative Commons

Sunday, August 7 is Friendship Day.  In honor of that, The Tea Ladies have organized a special event at the Vrooman Mansion in Bloomington.  'Treasure Thy Friend - Celebrating the Joy of Friendship' is at 3:30 PM and reveals the special meaning of friendship in the Victorian Era.

Glen C. Davies

A retrospective exhibition that covers 45 years of work by artist Glen C. Davies fills both the Merwin and Wakely Galleries at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.  The retrospective reveals how a particular offshoot of pop art and his work in circuses influenced his highly colorful works.

tableatny / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is sending visitors to the moon and beyond this summer with a new exhibit that allows them to experience life as a space explorer.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr via Creative Commons

Heartland Theater serves up three plays in its annual New Plays From The Heartland:  Midwest One-Act Play Festival.  The plays were chosen during the short play competition open to nine states and highlights the talent thriving in the Midwest.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Faculty members from Heartland Community College are showing their work in a new exhibition currently up at the Joe McCauley Gallery.

Habitat for Humanity of McLean County

Habitat for Humanity of McLean County and the local chapter of the International Interior Design Association have teamed up for a local fundraiser like no other.  Artiture is the fine art of giving old furniture a new twist, and giving folks a roof over their heads.  

Donna Dickson / David Davis Mansion

The best blooms and more in the Twin Cities are on display in the 20th Annual Glorious Garden Festival.  

Carol Vantlook / Flickr via Creative Commons

First Book McLean County wants to put books into the hands of area at-risk children, and the organization hopes their upcoming fundraiser will fill shelves with Harry Potter, Nancy Drew and The Cat in the Hat.

Russ Sanderlin / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Penguin Project of McLean County takes on a classic of children's literature for their spring show.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington is currently showcasing the artwork of MFA students from around the state.

German Poo-Caamano / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Normal Public Library offers a wide variety of adventures this summer, from those on the page to those on the stage.

Friends of the Arts

The Friends of the Arts organization is staging an event at the Illinois State University Galleries to raise money to aid students in the ISU College of Fine Arts.

Central Illinois Figure Skating Club

It's heating up outside.  But at the Pepsi Ice Center in Bloomington, everything's cool.

Brian SImpson

Area visual artists strut their stuff as part of Downtown Bloomington's First Friday.

*Artists Brian Simpson and Amy Wolfe have teamed up with the DBA and Connect Transit to organize the Downtown Bloomington Arts Showcase, which  is Friday, May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

*There are many artist studios and galleries in Downtown Bloomington.  Several businesses will host  the artists, including Specs Around Town, Cravin Donuts (Mmmmm...donuts!) and Crossroads.

Darby Wilde / ISU School of Theatre and Dance

The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance is holding the Spring Dance Concert on April 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m, and April 23 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.  The show takes place in Westoff Theater on the ISU campus.

*Darby Wilde is the artistic director of the show, and noted that Westoff Theater is a great location for the dance concert because it's a thrust stage, as opposed to a proscenium arch.  The thrust stage means the dancers are visible from three sides, which means the dancers have to dig deep to find their performance presence.

Craig Luchtefeld

It's garage sale season again!

But instead of checking out just any old garage sale, you can visit one with a purpose.  The Seventh Annual Autism Society Garage Sale is Saturday, April 6 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crossroads Center in Normal.

*Organizer Craig Luchtefeld said the event raises funds for Camp Takoda, a summer camp program of Autism McLean.

*Luchtefeld's son, Cooper, said the camp typically will offer a variety of activities, including archery, zip lining, and friendly animal encounters.  He added that camp is a great place to make new friends.

Zorah Olivia / Flickr via Creative Commons

A local photographer is offering her talents to transgender folks in our community to help build their self-esteem and show themselves as they truly are.  

*Erin Bernard says she's all about inclusion and  has dubbed her project #MyNameIs.

*She wants to use her photography to make a difference in the lives of trans individuals.

Midwest Institute of Opera

Two Twin Cities arts organizations are uniting for a performance of an opera that has it all -- love, hate and everything in between.  And they manage to get it all in in just one act.  Laura Kennedy has more in this edition of the GLT Datebook.

*"Cavalleria Rusticana" is a one-act wonder that's full of passion and excitement and was composed by Pietro Mascagni in 1890.

Cyndee Brown / ISU Theater

 The hot topic of child immigration takes center stage in a play that takes reality and spins a web of fantasy around it. Illinois State University theater professor Cyndee Brown is the director of Bocon!, and talks about how fantasy can be a great way to explore troubling current events.

*The young hero of the play is forced to become on of the many unaccompanied minors who are fleeing their native land and heading to a new life in the United States.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A high school art teacher searching for a way to break down barriers between herself and her students has found a way to better understand the teenagers she teaches, and also give the students a unique way to express themselves. The resulting works are currently on display in downtown Bloomington.

*Bloomington High School teacher Monica Estabrook wanted to get to know her students better, so she took a black and white portrait of each student and then asked them to embellish the photos any way they liked, using any media they wanted.

Ralph Weisheit

High School holds more potential than studying, proms and zits.  Joining the high school jazz band can help students learn lessons not found in the classroom.  Twin Cities teens have practiced, practiced, practiced, and now they're taking the stage at Normal Community West High School for Jazz Night.  Jazz Director Ryan Budzinski  previews the upcoming concert.

*Jazz Night is Friday, March 11th at NCWHS.  The music starts at 5:30 PM.

*In addition to Normal West, the Parkside and Kingsley Junior High and NCHS bands will be performing.

Miller Park Zoological Society

A venerable fun run in aid of the Miller Park Zoological Society has a unique twist to add to the excitement of the event.  


  *This is the 19th annual Stampede to raise funds for the Miller Park Zoological Society.

*New trophies this year are glass jars that contain paintings done by animals at the zoo.

*It's a 5K run, 3K walk and a Fun Run for the kids.

*Money raised will aid the zoo and its animals and programs.

*For the very first times, part of the fun run course goes right through Miller Park Zoo.  

Leo Hidalgo / Flickr via Creative Commons

The age old battle between students and teachers will be played out on the basketball court of Bloomington Junior High next week.  It's all in fun, and in a good cause.

*Lynn Shook, BJHS Vice Principal, says the fundraiser is for Easter Seals.

*The boys and girls basketball team will compete against the staff and teachers, but they'll also get a lesson in giving back to the community.

*In order to be eligible to play, team members are asked to volunteer time at Easter Seal's  Timer Pointe camp.

Spyropk / Wikimedia Commons

The American Red Cross is calling upon a man of action to help them with their Evening of Stars fundraiser:  Captain "Sully" Sullenberger. Laura Kennedy has more in this GLT Datebook.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Illinois State University celebrates the work of its own with an exhibition at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal.  Check out the slide show of works featured on this episode of the GLT Datebook.

Joe King / Flickr via Creative Commons

Polish up that bowling ball to aid a local nonprofit organization that helps folks of all ages who have developmental disabilities!

Ann Rosenquist Fee

A new stage show depicts the disintegration of a musical marriage.  Terri Ryburn is co-producing the live show, as well as filming it for the silver screen.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Amy Wolfe, an art teacher from District 87, hopes to inspire her students by inviting a special guest to the school.   

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Fact and fiction mingle in the latest show from Community Players. The theater troupe is staging a searing drama that's based on a dark time in American history that's still relevant today.