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The game is afoot! or could be, with your cash

Speaking of ways your PhD in Theatre can be lucrative... you could go on to design what looks like a pretty cool board game.
Recent Illinois doctoral alum B.J. Gailey is one-half of the creative team behind Victoriana, a board game seeking funds through Kickstarter. It's a cooperative game set in Victorian London, with the objective of discovering which villainous character has decided to wreak havoc and how they plan to do it. 
I say "character" but your possible roles and foes can be taken from either history or literature, so Sherlock Holmes and Aleister Crowley can undermine Rasputin's evil scheme with the help of Van Helsing. Or Nikolai Tesla. Or Wilhelmina Harker. 
Good. Times.
While the playthrough videos show that it has plenty to offer fans of Arkham Horror or Pandemic, what is intriguing about this game to me is that for a game that seems to have at least a two-hour play, it actually seems to get more interesting the longer you play. The closer you get to the end goal, the more types of obstacles you encounter. And instead of rolling dice to ... roll dice... for the purpose of rolling dice... the game's progress is strategic rather than random. For each clue you uncover, you have to make choices that can change the outcome of your game, and give you different avenues to explore. 
So support local thespians — Kickstart a boardgame!
The second playthrough video, it's the most interesting. There are others as well.

Education Justice Project open house this Thursday

The Education Justice Project, a college-in-prison program that offers upper-division college courses to people incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center, will be hosting an open house this Thursday from 3 - 7 p.m.

The open house will show off EJP's new offices at 403 E. Healey St. in Champaign. Attendees can see posters, student work, get some free food, and learn how to get involved with EJP. 


Neutral Cycle needs your input for Active Chambana

Neutral Cycle requests your opinions on a survey for their upcoming fitness promotion program that collaborates with local organizations, Active Chambana. For your participation, you will receive a free water bottle and the chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Common Ground Co-op. The survey closes on Saturday, February 20th at 6:00 p.m.

From Neutral Cycle:


WE NEED YOUR ADVICE! This year Neutral Cycle is building a program that encourages you to be more physically active in...

Posted by Neutral Cycle on Saturday, 30 January 2016

Common Ground Co-op releases Champaign store update

When I moved from Urbana to Champaign, perhaps the biggest thing I knew I would miss was quick access to Common Ground Co-op for healthier and more sustainable grocery options. I was so overjoyed when they announced a new Champaign location, but now, it appears as though they have been delayed once again.

If this means the new Common Ground location in Champaign will be awesome-upon-arrival, however, I can totally understand the delay and wish them the best. For all the info, including a video and a loosely revised timeline of construction, check out the full press release below:

Hello Cooperators!

We have an important update on our Champaign store project that we would like to share.

At our January board meeting, General Manager Satina Braswell presented a revised project timeline for review, which was approved unanimously. The new timeline includes the following milestones:

September 2016: we will relaunch our owner loan campaign, with a goal of raising $1.5 million total.

January 2017: we will start construction.

Summer of 2017: opening of the new Champaign store!

This revised timeline comes in response to staff concerns about operational readiness. As we plan the expansion to a second location, we've kept three critical questions in mind. Can we afford this? Is there enough local demand?  Is our staff ready? The answer to the first two has always been a resounding yes but, as time for opening the Champaign store came closer and closer, the staff realized they needed more time to work on internal systems and operations for the project to be done right and in a way that strengthens the Urbana store at the same time.

Satina has spent the last couple of weeks working through the new timeline with our project manager, landlord, design team, contractor, owner loan campaign manager, and primary lender. They remain as committed to the project as we are. Satina's top priority right now is to spend time working through staff concerns and making improvements in our operations, so that all staff are ready to serve our owners and both cities with excellence.

You may have questions about this news, and we welcome those conversations. Click the image below for a brief video from Satina answering common questions. Board members will also be available to answer your questions at the Urbana location in the classroom on Saturday, February 13 from 10 AM to noon, as they are every second Saturday of the month, or you can contact them at board@commonground.coop.

To stay up to date on our progress, you can also follow our expansion blog at http://commonground.coop/get-the-scoop/blog/tags/expansion, where we will be posting regular updates about what is going on to prepare for the Champaign store and how you can get involved.


General Manager Satina Braswell and the
Common Ground Food Co-op Board of Directors


Kenna Mae featured on Daytrotter

Singer-songwriter Kenna Mae has recently made the move from C-U to New Orleans but the impact of her debut album Blue Darlin' is still being felt here - it made our top 10 list of albums for 2015. Daytrotter recently released their recording session with Kenna Mae - check out the full thing here.


Illini 4000 and Portraits Project Gallery at [co][lab]

The Portraits Project and the Illini 4000 are pleased to announce their Spring gallery event, taking place at [co][lab] in downtown Urbana! A collection of documentary style portraits from those who have experienced cancer will be on display in addition to community artwork.

The gallery will open with a reception on Friday, February 12th at 5 p.m. Several speakers will share their experiences with the Portraits Project starting at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. The Illini 4000 hopes you will stop by to see and listen to their inspiring stories!

About the Portraits Project:

As cyclists with the Illini 4000 bike across the country, they conduct interviews with many incredible people whose lives have been affected by cancer. These interviews, or ‘Portraits,’ are conducted with cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and anyone else willing to share their story. These stories share insight into their heart-felt experiences as they gain new focus on family, friendships, and community. There is no agenda, and the interviews always begin with: “In your own words, tell us about your experience with cancer.”

Gallery Open Hours:
Thursdays and Fridays: 5-10 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Come witness these inspiring stories full of courage, sorrow, resilience, and hope collected from people across America.


Mahomet-Seymour dance team “What room does fear have?” video goes viral

Viral videos happen all the time, as one who uses the internet knows quite well, and can take off in an instant. The Mahomet-Seymour Dance Team found that out, as their performance has taken off — being featured on numerous publications (San Francisco Globe being one of them) and has amassed thousands of views on Facebook and upwards of two million on YouTube.

Check it out:


We are incredibly proud of these amazing dancers; their strength, talents, joy, time, spirit, heart and translation thru...

Posted by Mahomet Seymour Dance Team on Saturday, January 30, 2016

H/t Jill Guth.