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Local poet's award-winning book needs no Translation

Local poet and lecturer at the University of Illinois Mathew Minicucci was awarded the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2014. The prize, one of the most prestigious in the nation, is given to a previously unpublished poet, comes with a little money, and publishes the first book. 

Translation is the resulting collection, and adjectives like "deeply original and profoundly moving" (Jane Hirshfield) and "beautiful, unflinching" (Kathleen Graber) are not bandied around lightly, not even at poets. 

I'm looking forward to reading it, and Arts will run a proper review once we get our copy from Kent State University Press. Why don't you beat me to the punch, though? We'll compare notes later. 


Stream Tara Terra and The 92s’ new split

Local band Tara Terra and formerly-local-but-still-local-in-our-hearts band The 92s recorded a split 7" together at Earth Analog in Tolono. The bands recorded vocals on each other's songs, and the production, done by Colin Althaus, is thoughtfully layered. The official release date is tomorrow, and the bands are celebrating together with a show at The Metro in Chicago. For now, you can stream below on the Ghost Track Soundcloud.

via Ghost Track


Where are bikes stolen the most, crashes happening, and tickets being given in C-U?

Neutral Cycle has spent the last year sending FOIA requests to different local government agencies to find the answers to questions from many local bicyclists. The fruits of their labor can be found in some really great infographics with in-depth breakdowns of each graphic.

This is such a great tool for locals and students that want to make sure that they and their bikes stay safe.

Check out these infographics to know where bikes are stolen, where crashes happen, and where tickets are given in Champaign-Urbana!

Posted by Neutral Cycle on Friday, September 4, 2015

Urbana Park District is hiring

Urbana Park District has a number of positions open, but right now you can also apply to work at the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center. Frankly, it'd be pretty cool to work near a pool in the winter — a time when many of us dream of warmer temps and swimming.

Want to work at the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center? Click here to see open positions and apply. Swim instructors and...

Posted by Urbana Park District on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Josh Gad to play Roger Ebert in new film, Russ & Roger

Per the Hollywood Reporter, it appears as though Josh Gad has been billed to portray the late great Roger Ebert in the upcoming film, Russ & Roger

Here's more information from the article, linked above:

Josh Gad has signed on to portray film critic Roger Ebert in Russ & Roger, STX Entertainment's comedy centering on the film critic and filmmaker Russ Meyer.

Will Ferrell is already on board to play Meyer, the sexploitation king who made movies like Wild Gals of the Naked West and Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill! before finally landing a picture deal at 20th Century Fox, which liked the way he handled his budgets. The first movie out of the gate wasBeyond the Valley of the Dolls, a satire that ran afoul the censors but ended up becoming a 1970s classic.

Meyer wrote that movie with Ebert, who in the late 1960s was just a budding film critic and had written Meyer a letter of admiration. Together, the two tackled the ratings tribunal and the tightly-wound studio.

Russ & Roger is described as a debaucherous comedy centering on two outsiders who defied the Hollywood establishment and made one of the first X-rated films ever released by a major movie studio, having the party of a lifetime in the process.


The CarX Crazy K taking place on September 19th

The Crazy K is right around the corner, and if you haven't read up on it, or know what it's all about — check out the website and the information below. It's also pretty awesome they're raising money for the community, and good causes. 

From the press release:

CarX Crazy K Celebrates 5th Annual Event Benefiting Local Charities

Champaign, Illinois (August 27, 2015): This year, the CarX Crazy K, a race that’s primary goal is to raise money for charities in the community, is celebrating their 5th annual race through varying obstacles at the Champaign County fair.

Taking place on Saturday, September 19th, 2015, the CarX Crazy K event will offer an array of races and fun for the entire family. The CarX Crazy K will take participants through obstacles such as a foam soaker, a mud pit, and a waterslide. The obstacles are designed to be fun and challenging, giving each runner the opportunity to enjoy some unique obstructions!

If obstacles aren’t your fancy, you can take on the ClassicK, a traditional 5K run, or bring the kids to enjoy the Mix 94.5 Kiddie K! The Kiddie K run is for children ages 9 and under and will be approximately 1k long. This run will also include a mud pit, bridge, and a waterslide!

In the last 4 years, the CarX Crazy K has proudly raised over $214,300 dollars to benefit local non-profits. The CarX Crazy K is honored to partner with many amazing Champaign-Urbana area charities, including the American Red Cross, Crisis Nursery, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts of Illinois and the YMCA.  All of the proceeds from this event will directly benefit over 30 local non-profit organizations, raising more money for charity in a single day than Champaign County has ever seen before!

About The CarX Crazy K:

The CarX Crazy K, a concept from local businessman Parham Parastaran, puts a twist on the traditional 5k run, all for the sake of raising more money for charity in a single day than Champaign County has ever seen.

Participants will race over, around, under, and through 5 kilometers of varying obstacles and challenges at the Champaign County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 19th. After completing the course, participants are welcome to hang out and join an after party. Live music will be featured and plenty of hot food and cold beverages will be available.

Find out more about the 2015 CarX Crazy K at www.CarXCrazyK.com


Teachers make art, too—Parkland faculty exhibition reception Thursday

Giertz Gallery at Parkland College will be holding an opening reception for the artists of the Art & Design Faculty exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.  A gallery talk will be given by Craig McMonigal at 6:30pm, and music will be provided by by Associate Professor Matthew Watt and Professor Matthew Hurt.

McMonigal, an instructor in photography, will discuss his work in the exhibition. He won the 2015 Illinois Community College Trustees Association Award for Outstanding Part-time Faculty Member, but will retire from Parkland in January.

McMonigal is a 21-year faculty member who has been praised by colleagues for his commitment to the college, the program, and the students. During his time with Parkland’s Art and Design program, McMonigal has developed new courses in photography, implemented innovative techniques, and worked to help create the Associate in Applied Science in Photography program. He is a member of the Society for Photographic Education, and he has served as the Parkland representative on the Illinois Higher Education Art Association.

The Art and Design Faculty Exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Image from Parkland's website: Craig McMonigal, Untitled/Viewer/Voyeur Series digital print, 20" x 15", 2014