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What You Will Shakespeare presents The Revenger's Tragedy

The What You Will Shakespeare Company—a non-profit, student-run theatre company within the University of Illinois—will present a production of The Revenger's Tragedy on April 25th and 26th. The performance will be held at 8:00 p.m. and performed at University Place Christian Church, which is located on the corner of Wright and Springfield. Tickets are $7 at the door.

This text-based production focuses on the depravity and charity of both the protagonists and antagonists, displaying realistic flaws in each character. Join an assassin fueled by obsession, a hedonistic plotter, a maiden of unparalleled celibacy, and a host of unforgettable characters as they plot incestuous trysts and remorseless homicides through a tale that takes twists and turns through wit, slapstick, and tragedy in equal amounts!


A Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor to speak in Urbana

Garrison Keillor, the host of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, will read from his new book and answer audience questions during a WILL fundraising lunch at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 7th, at Urbana’s Frasca Field.

Keillor will be signing his book, The Keillor Reader. Copies will be available for purchase at the event, which takes place inside a hangar full of vintage airplanes and cars.

To get a ticket to the event, including a box lunch, make a $50 gift to WILL by visiting will.illinois.edu/garrisonkeillor or calling 217-333-7300.

The Keillor Reader brings together the full range of his work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, and newspaper columns. With an extensive introduction and headnotes, photographs, and memorabilia, the book also presents pieces never before published, including the essays “Cheerfulness” and “What We Have Learned So Far.”

Keillor — a storyteller, sometime comedian, essayist, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, poet — has hosted A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul, Minn., since 1974. Today, some 4 million listeners on more than 600 public radio stations coast to coast and beyond tune in to the show each week. Keillor has been honored with Grammy, ACE, and George Foster Peabody awards, the National Humanities Medal, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In addition to The Keillor Reader, his many books include Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny. He is the host of the daily program The Writer's Almanac and the editor of several anthologies of poetry.

Tickets to the event will be mailed when payment is received. Frasca Field is at 1402 Airport Rd., Urbana.


Illini basketball’s Darius Paul arrested

News via IllinoisHomepage.net — but it looks like Illini basketball player Darius Paul, brother of former Illini star Brandon Paul, was arrested early this morning. Here's the info from said post:

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Police say a UI basketball player was arrested early Tuesday. 20-year old Darius Paul, of Champaign, is accused of underage drinking and resisting a police officer. Authorities say two officers spotted Paul and another man cross a parking lot at 20 East Springfield Avenue "acting suspiciously."

When police tried to stop the men, Paul took off and was eventually tackled by one officer outside his apartment in the 100-block of East Healey. Neither Paul nor the officer was hurt, but during an interview, Paul reportedly admitted drinking a "large amount of alcohol."

Paul is a sophomore transfer from Western Michigan University. He sat out last season because of NCAA rules. The second man with Paul was never identified. Both charges are Class A misdemeanors with maximum penalties of up to 364 days in jail.

Not a good way to start the off season.


Volunteers needed for Dump & Run: May collection days

The University YMCA is seeking Dump & Run volunteers in Champaign-Urbana to help collect, sort and pack up reusable items from move out and spring cleaning. Volunteers are needed during Dump & Run’s collection days from May 12-17 and from May 19-23.

For each volunteer, volunteer orientation will take place at the University YMCA at the beginning of each volunteer shift. No heavy lifting is required. Volunteer groups are also encouraged to sign-up.

If you would like to join the University YMCA’s Dump & Run program as a volunteer, call the University YMCA at 217-337-1500, or visit universityymca.org/dump_and_run/volunteer.

"When you volunteer, you get first dibs on the things collected (after only 6 hours of volunteering) - and we get an unbelievable amount of great things donated! So come out and volunteer for this great cause," said, Alicia Beck.

Because of Dump & Run volunteers, each year six semi-trailers worth of used, but quality goods out of Champaign-Urbana's dumpsters and landfills each year. This project reduces litter and consumer waste, saves space in landfills, lowers dumping costs for certified housing and apartments, provides inexpensive items for folks to purchase in the fall - and acts as a major fundraiser for the University YMCA.

The University YMCA is the oldest non-profit in Champaign County, connecting student leaders to community since 1873. The University YMCA combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century and a half of experience in developing cause-driven leaders.


Entrepreneurship Forum taking place April 25th

From the press release:

Join us for a day of celebrating entrepreneurship on campus.

This day-long event allows attendees to participate in hands-on workshops and panel discussions to learn: the Lean Startup Method — with a special appearance by Steve Blank, How to Fund Your Company, and the Impact of Social Entrepreneurship. This event will begin at 9 a.m. with keynote speaker, Bill King of U of I and UI Labs and Provost Adesida will give remarks during lunch at 12 p.m.

Additionally, all finalists of the Cozad New Venture Competition (CNVC) will showcase their ideas in the morning, and compete for over $185,000 in funding and in-kind prizes during the final competition at 2 p.m. This day of entrepreneurship will also include the announcement of the $20,000 Illinois Innovation Prize Winner (IIP) at 2 p.m.

Check out the full agenda for Friday, April 25th here.


AGORA Festival happening May 2nd & 3rd

The premier AGORA Festival will be held in Urbana, IL, on May 2nd & 3rd, 2014. We are celebrating collaboration in our community – all things collective, cooperative, and collaborative! Whether business, org/group, or musical performance, we look to highlight collaboration as something that brings value to the community, and an important piece of sustainability, while encouraging others to start their own collaborative ventures!

Friday, May 2, will feature local and special music guests, great food and drink, and fun times over at Cafeteria & Company. $5 at the door.

Saturday, May 3, will feature a downtown open house with special events happening at participating organizations, exciting presentations by local groups, a panel discussing the deeper themes in collaborative ventures, and the featured musical performance by The New History. All Saturday events are free!

So come join us! Pick up your festival pass at any of the participating organizations, and don’t forget to fill out your raffle card for great prizes!

Additional details on the festival schedule and participants below: 

7 p.m. – Cafeteria & Company

Come for music, drink, and food as we open the festival! $5 at the door.

Featured artists:

The New History
IO Mining Corp
Rebecca Rego & The Trainmen

May 3rd | Downtown Open House and Evening Festival | 10 a.m.–3 p.m. in Downtown Urbana

Visit local businesses and organizations for special events, info on their collaborative activities, and fill out your visit card (located at participating businesses) to enter for a raffle with prizes! Free to play, thanks to generous sponsorship.

List of participants

7–10 p.m.: Cafeteria & Company
Come see presentations of exciting local endeavors, engage with the panel, enter the raffle, and witness The New History Collaborative Music Project Big Unveil

7 p.m. – Presentations
8 p.m. – Panel
8:30 p.m. – The New History featured music performance

List of presenters, panelists
The New History


“Suit & Tie” in the 217 by Champaign Central students goes viral

In case you missed it, you should check out this version of Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" by a group of students out of Champaign Centennial. You can watch/read about the whole thing below, called "A Counter-Narrative on Black Male Students", and it was featured on MTV as well.

Timberlake even tweeted about it himself:
From the description on YouTube:
A Counter-Narrative on Black Male Students: At Central High School's Black History Month Celebration, the Central and Centennial High School African-American Clubs released a joint video countering the negative images of young African-American males in the media. The students affirmed the following in a video highlighting the successes of young black males within the District:
• We are not gangsters and thugs.
• We are employees and volunteers.
• We are scholars.
• We are athletes.
"The negative stories told daily in the media and in our culture about our young African-American men tend to ignore their successes and don't tell the full story about how young Black men are becoming leaders within our community schools," said Central School Social Worker and African-American Club Sponsors Tiffany Gholson and Barbara Cook, who worked with the students on this effort. "In this video, our students reclaim the narrative of who they are and inspire other students to follow in their footsteps." In our assembly, we addressed the State of the Youth and highlighted what Black students have overcome from a historical perspective. The assembly also highlighted how overcoming those obstacles has helped make America stronger and urged students of all backgrounds to carry the torch for future generations.
*Video Production by Sam Ambler of Ambler Video
*Champaign Central High School & Centennial High School African-American Clubs
*Inspired by the men of Alpha Phi Alpha--Tau Chapter
Awesome stuff. Nice work to all of those involved with putting this together.

Walk on the Wild Side to support local wildlife

On Friday, May 2nd, wildlife fans can take a Walk on the Wild Side in support of area wildlife.

This second annual dinner and auction event, held from 6–9 p.m. at the Pear Tree Estate in Champaign, will benefit the Wildlife Medical Clinic, part of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

During the evening, an owl from the Illinois Raptor Center will fly over diners’ heads during the raptor demonstration, and the Zoo Lady’s Zoo Crew will bring out your inner wild side with face painting.

The event will feature both a silent and live auction. Auction items will include adventure and vacation packages, including the chance to swim with dolphins, and one-of-a-kind animal footprint artwork by wild animals, including Clinic residents Nokomis, a great horned owl, and Odin, a red-tailed hawk.

The Wildlife Medical Clinic, a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that cares for nearly 1,500 sick or injured animals a year while training veterinary students and educating the public about local wildlife, depends solely on fundraising, donations, and grants for its operating budget.

Get your tickets here.

Or if you can’t attend, the Wildlife Clinic accepts donations of all sizes here!