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One People charity fundraiser happening September 23rd

C-U charity, One People will be hosting a party fundraiser on September 23rd, to promote the organization and to raise funds to continue their great work. 

The event will be held at 6 p.m. at the Independent Media Center in Urbana. Come out and support a great cause while enjoying performances, music, and dancing. 

In addition to recent events, 100% of the night's proceeds will benefit those effected by Hurrican Harvey & Irma.

To learn more about One People, and to buy your tickets, check out the event website. 


2017 Immigrant Welcome Award Recipients Announced

As co-sponsors of the 4th Annual Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony, the Cities of Champaign and Urbana, the CU Immigration Forum, and the Urbana Free Library are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Immigrant Welcome Awards.  The award recipients will be honored during the Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony and Celebration on September 23, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at the Muslim American Society Center (2011 Brownfield Rd, Urbana).  This event is free and open to the public.

Cu immigration

The 2017 Immigrant Welcome Award recipients are

Human Rights Award

Karyl Wackerlin

Community Impact Award

Education Justice Project

Immigration Project

Distinguished Leadership Service Award

Charles Larenas

Humanitarian Relief Reward

Samuel Smith

Student Leadership Award

Nancy Ramirez-Blancas

The Immigrant Welcome Awards Selection Committee congratulates this year’s award recipients and thanks them for their dedicated work enriching the lives of those not only living in Champaign-Urbana, but around the world.  The public is encouraged to celebrate their achievements during the Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony and Celebration on Saturday, September 23. This event includes free activities for children and refreshments.


For one day only, there’s going to be a cat park

On Friday, a parking space in front of the Orpheum will be converted into a cat park, which is not really a thing, but it's going to be a thing on Friday. I smell a cat-tastrophe that's sure to be a meowment to remember.

The installation is meant to highlight the need for more open urban space. There will be cat art, cat crafts, that sort of thing for sale and on auction, with proceeds going to benefit the Hospice Hearts animal rescue organization. It's a purrrrrfect event for cats and cat lovers, and it's all for a good cause. Check it out if you're feline frisky, and bring a pawsitive cattitude.


Candlelight vigil being held Sunday to honor missing student Yingying Zhang

The tragic news of the kidnapping of student Yingying Zhang came a few months ago now, and an arrest has been made, but there is still an ongoing investigation about her whereabouts. 

Now, there will be a candellight vigil to honor her this coming Sunday. Check out the information below.

From the press release:

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A candlelight vigil to honor missing scholar Yingying Zhang will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Anniversary Plaza on the south side of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana

The event will include remarks by John Wilkin, the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost; Kim Kidwell, the dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; and a representative of Ms. Zhang’s family.

Performer Ranae Wilson will sing Bette Midler’s “The Rose” as candles are lit, and yellow ribbons will be available to attendees as an additional representation of their support. Candles will be provided.

The vigil is expected to conclude by 7 p.m. In the event of rain, the vigil will be held in the Courtyard Cafe in the Union.

Top photo from UIPD.


Parkland College Theatre's season opens September 28th with The Crucible

Parkland College's 2017-18 theatre season opens with the drama The Crucible on September 28th. The theatre will be holding a talk-back with directors, designers, and cast members, immediately following the September 28th show. 

The production, directed by Mathew Green, will be held September 28-30, and October 5-7 at 7:30 pm, and October 1st and 8th at 3 pm. 

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors, and $9 for children. $9 tickets are available for groups of 20 or more. Opening night (the 28th) is also half priced night. 

Go here to make reservations, or call (217)351-2528. 


Urbana Drive Electric Fair taking place this Saturday

Did you know this week is National Drive Electric Week? Urbana is taking part by hosting a Drive Electric Fair this Saturday, September 16th. Local residents who own electric vehicles with have them on display for the public, and Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, State Senator Scott Bennett, and UIUC Professor Scott Willenbrock will be speaking at the event. More details below:

Urbana takes part in Drive Electric Week with Urbana Drive Electric Fair

WHAT: Hundreds of Champaign-Urbana electric vehicle drivers and enthusiasts will celebrate over 500,000 total miles of local sustainable transportation with State Senator Scott Bennett, Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, UIUC Professor Scott Willenbrock, and more to highlight the clean air benefits and cost-savings of electric cars on Saturday, September 16th, 2017. The event is part of the fifth annual National Drive Electric Week. Plug-in electric vehicles of all types, including plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt and all electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF, all-new Chevrolet Bolt, and Tesla Model S and X, will be on display by local owners – many of whom will be providing test rides/drives to attendees. Additionally, we will be joined by our local sponsors: New Prairie Construction Company, Prairie Group Sierra Club, Sullivan-Parkhill Chevrolet (Champaign), and UIUC Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS), as well as organizations such as Illini Formula Electric, Illinois Solar Energy Association, and more. The goal of the event is to spread awareness of increasingly lucrative electric vehicles (EVs) in the Champaign-Urbana area. Urbana’s event is one of more than 200 across the country (and around the world) where electric vehicle owners and their neighbors will hold electric car parades, “tailpipe-free” tailgate
parties, recognition of leaders promoting EVs, launches of new public EV charging stations and other public events.

WHEN: Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 2 PM (just after the Urbana Farmer’s Market)

WHERE: Lincoln Square Mall Parking Lot (401 S Vine St, Urbana, IL 61801)

VISUALS: Over 15 electric vehicles on display; ride-and-drives; mayoral proclamation

WHO: Guest speakers include: State Senator Scott Bennett, Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, UIUC Professor Scott Willenbrock

Scott Greene, with Prairie Group Sierra Club, is organizing the Urbana Drive Electric Fair. New Prairie Construction Company, Prairie Group Sierra Club, Sullivan-Parkhill Chevrolet, and Students for Environmental Concerns are local sponsors. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association are national organizers. The Nissan LEAF® is the exclusive national automotive sponsor.


Black Dog Champaign now open for brunch on Sundays

Black Dog in Downtown Champaign is the latest restaurant to jump on the brunch bandwagon. The barbecue restaurant will open at 10 a.m. each Sunday this fall for brunch — the brunch menu will be available until items run out, and the regular menu will be available at 11 a.m. Do note that brunch is only available at the Champaign location. 

Here's a look at last Sunday's menu, which sounds delicious:

Photos from Facebook. 


Forum on gun violence prevention happening Thursday

Matthew Gladney, city council member and president of the McKinley Foundation has put together a forum this Thursday on the local efforts to prevent gun violence in the area. It will feature a panel of CU Fresh Start members. It's a great opportunity to learn more about how this issue affects our community and what is being done to try to solve it. The event will be hosted at McKinley Church and Foundation, 5th and John Street on campus from 6:00-8:30 p.m. See the press release below:

McKinley Foundation presents a forum on the efforts to combat gun violence in the Champaign-Urbana community. All are welcome to attend.

There will be a panel presentation of the CU Fresh Start Program
that has been developed to help deter future gun violence crimes by offenders with a history of violent, gun-related behaviors.

The panel will consist of Champaign Chief of Police Anthony Cobb, CU Fresh Start Project Specialist Vivian Gray, and Donte Lotts (Community Liaison for CU Fresh Start). There will be a short Q&A after the panel presentation. Light refreshments will be provided.

All in the community are welcome to attend and learn more about government and law enforcement effort to stem the tide of gun violence in our community!


Pig Out C-U charity cookoff taking place September 29th

First Federal Savings Bank of Champaign and Meyer Capel Law Firm are coming together to sponsor Pig Out CU, a charity BBQ cook-off, to benefit Special Olympics of Champaign and Courage Connection. The raffle proceeds will be split evenly between the two charities.

The BBQ will take place during tailgating before the Illinios vs. Nebraska football game in Lot 31 on that Friday from 3-8 p.m. 

Teams will smoke pulled pork and pork ribs and everyone in attendance will decide the winner! Admission is $20 for adults (includes vote for the winner), and $10 for children (ages 12 and under). 

The charity on the winning team will receive 100% of the money raised from the entrance fees. 

The day will also include raffles, DJ, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. 

For more information, check out the flyer below and Facebook event:

Tickets are available at the event, day of, or at First Federal and Meyer Capel until the day of the BBQ.


The Art Theater announces fifth annual Shocktober series

From the press release:


Horror-themed programming throughout the month of October, featuring
“scream queen” Linnea Quigley, All-Nite Horror Marathon, & more.

CHAMPAIGN, IL — This October, the Art Theater presents the fifth edition of
the widely popular SHOCKTOBER program, featuring 14 films to keep you
up at night!

Since 2013, the Art Theater has taken the month of October and transformed it into the most macabre, mangled, malicious month of the year. Our celebration of horror filmmaking celebrates its 5th anniversary with our biggest program yet, an opening night guest star (scream queen Linnea Quigley), tribute to George A. Romero, and a special Friday the 13th All-Nite Horror Marathon. We’re premiering new restorations of horror classics from Janus Films, the American Genre Film Archive, and Dark Sky
Films. We even have a (mostly) harmless free program for kiddos! Join us, won’t you, for Shocktober V?

Shocktober is programmed by Art Theater Artistic Director Austin McCann
and filmmaker Jessie Seitz.

The full line-up is available here. Questions should be directed to



** Opening Night (Oct 4) **

Feat. Return of the Living Dead (1985, Dan O’Bannon) & Devotion (2016,
Jessie Seitz)

** All-Nite Horror Marathon (Oct 13) ** 

Feat. Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter (1984, Joseph Zito) & Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982, Tommy Lee Wallace) + 3 new restorations from the American Genre Film Archive: The Last House on Dead End Street (1977, Roger Watkins), Eaten Alive (1977, Tobe Hooper), Nightmare Sisters (1987, David DeCoteau)

** George A. Romero Double-Feature (Oct 27) ** 

Feat. Night of the Living Dead (1968, George A. Romero) – new restoration
from Janus Films/MOMA!
& The Crazies (1973, George A. Romero) – new restoration from the
American Genre Film Archive!


Eraserhead – new restoration from Janus Films!
1977, Dir. David Lynch

Tales from the Hood
1995, Rusty Cundieff
Discussion feat. Sundiata Cha-Jua & Gus Wood (UIUC African-American Studies)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – new restoration from Dark Sky Films!
1986, John McNaughton
Special intro by The News Gazette’s Chuck Koplinski

Rocky Horror Picture Show + live cast from Illini Musicals!
1975, Richard O’Brien

SMART (SPOOKY) KIDS: Halloween Shorts Program (Free)