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Isaac Arms announces new album, drops first single

Isaac Arms, former member of the C-U rock outfit Withershins, has announced the release of a new solo album. An eponymous effort put forth with his backing band, The Extremities, Isaac Arms and the Extremities comes out on February 21st via Fourth Street Records. The album will have sonic similarities to Arms’ work in Withershins and other projects, featuring big shoegaze sounds over a pop-emo soundscape, but with a new spin. The first single from the album, “Cut The Anchor,” is available for streaming now. 
Arms is a central member of the local music scene and has been involved in many different projects and causes over the last several years, including many different bands and organizations, and management of the local label Heirship Records. All proceeds from Isaac Arms and the Extremities will go to benefit the organization Girls Rock! C-U, continuing the trend of local musicians doing a lot of good while also doing what they love.
Isaac and his band will play a release show on the 21st at Blips and Chitz. All proceeds from the show will also go to GR!CU.
Stream “Cut The Anchor” below and learn more on the bandcamp page.

Dr. Susan Zola announced as new Superintendent of Unit 4 Schools

From the press release:

The Unit 4 Board of Education has announced Dr. Susan Zola as the next District Superintendent. Dr. Zola will begin her duty as Superintendent on July 1, 2017

"The impressive quality and quantity of the work Dr. Zola has done for Unit 4 was more than enough to propel her to the finalist stage," said Board of Education President Chris Kloeppel. "However, it was her performance during the interview process--her eloquence, passion, poise, and professionalism--that ultimately convinced us to choose her as the next Superintendent of Champaign Unit 4." 

In his remarks, Mr. Kloeppel thanked current Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand for her service. "It is my belief that you are leaving Unit 4 in a tremendous place," said Kloeppel. "It cannot be understated how appreciative I am of your leadership and guidance to this District."

Dr. Susan Zola began her career as a first grade teacher in Urbana School District 116. In 1990, she joined Champaign Unit 4 School District and became the Principal of Dr. Howard Elementary School. She later served as the Director of Title I/Literacy, Director of Choice, Principal of Jefferson Middle School, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. 
Dr. Zola currently serves the District as the Assistant Superintendent for Achievement, Curriculum, and Instruction where she oversees curriculum and instruction work and the District's 12 elementary school campuses. She will continue to work in this capacity in Superintendent Dr. Wiegand's administration until July 1
Dr. Judy Wiegand's planned retirement at the close of the school year prompted the Board of Education to hire the Illinois Association of School Boards to conduct a national search for the District's next leader. IASB assisted in the board in narrowing the number of candidates from 50+ to 7 finalists, who were interviewed in closed session by the Board of Education. 
The pool was then narrowed to 3 candidates who were then interviewed by a panel of community members, faculty, staff, administration, and the Board of Education. The Board of Education reviewed information provided by the panel and deliberated in closed session on January 18 and again on January 23, ultimately selecting Zola as the District's next top leader. The Board will vote to finalize her contract at its next meeting on February 27.

City of Urbana now hiring Public Arts Coordinator

More good news for those in Champaign-Urbana who may be seeking employment - the City of Urbana is seeking to fill the position of Public Arts Coordinator.

The position is full-time, and involves overseeing the City's arts programming, as well as working very closely with the Public Arts Commission.

For more information on the position, including how to apply (due by March 5th), check out the job listing below:


The successful candidate will be responsible for administering the City's public arts programs, promoting the incorporation of art within the community, organizing special events related to the arts, providing staff support for the Public Arts Commission, collecting and developing information related to arts-related initiatives within the community, coordinating a variety of arts-related tasks for economic development, and assisting with other economic development and community development activities.  To learn more about Urbana's Public Arts program, visit:

Application Deadline is Sunday, March 5th, 2017.



Espresso Royale in the Undergrad Library is now open following renovations

Good news, coffee lovers of Champaign-Urbana (especially those who spend their time in Campustown) - the Espresso Royale in the basement of the Undergrad Library is now open, following some fairly extensive renovations.

Check out the Instagram post from Espresso below, as well as a picture from the UGL:


Fired food truck coming to C-U this spring

A new food truck is coming to Champaign-Urbana, and while details are on the sparse side, we do get a few nice tidbits of info. The truck, which is called "Fired," will be opened at some point in April, and will feature comfort food. As far as what "comfort food" means, we will have to wait a while to find out.

Check out their Facebook post that answers a few questions below:


Art Mart hosting “Hot Stuff” tasting

Art Mart is hosting a "Hot Stuff" tasting on Thursday, February 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and will include:

...classic hot sauces [and] chili crunch, hot mustard, ghost pepper chips and more. Can you make it all the way to the spiciest? 20% off any tasting item if you can! Admission is $10, all you can taste. There will be $2 cans of Dale's Pale Ale available to cool off your palate.

Can you take the heat? You might want to consider buying some milk to cool the capsaisan. Keep your hands away from your eyes!

Photo from Facebook. 


Big Grove Tavern hosting “Mimosagate 2017” event

On February 25th and 26th, Downtown Champaign's Big Grove Tavern will be hosting a special mimosa-inspired brunch, entitled Mimosagate. Here, Big Grove's mimosa bar will be ever-accessible, for an extremely minimal cost, ensuring that your weekend day starts right. They'll even be open longer than normal on the 26th.

As part of the brunch, for an extra dollar (you read that right), you will be able to take advantage of BGT's extensive mimosa bar. Drink up.


Miga seeking experienced line cooks

For those of you who are seeking a job, or know someone who is seeking a job, Downtown Champaign's Miga is looking to hire two experienced line cooks.

Experience in fine dining is preferred, with pay being based on experience. The job is also full time.

Applications can be received in the restaurant (301 N. Neil St.) after 3 p.m., or interested applicants can send a resume to


Winder releases debut single

Local post-hardcore band Winder have put out their debut single. Entitled “Fertile / Feral / Fallow,” the fast-paced track clocks in at 1:27 and is full of distorted guitar and fuzzy vocals. The track is an official introduction to Winder, though showgoers in the area have been aware of them for a while. The group’s members hail from both C-U and Bloomington, and Winder have already played shows in both areas, including the venues Blips and Chitz, Ghost Planet, and a set at this year’s iteration of The Great Cover Up at The Accord.

The track is the first release off of their upcoming debut EP. Stream “Fertile / Feral / Fallow”  below.