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The Orpheum Wine Tasting event is October 14th

The Orpheum Children's Science Museum will host its bi-annual wine tasting fundraiser event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 14th. 

Tickets for the event are $35, and can be purchased online or at the door. All proceeds benefit the Orpheum. 

Here's the press release:

September 15, 2017      

Xander Hazel
Events & Engagement Coordinator
(217) 352-5895


Orpheum Wine Tasting
All proceeds benefit the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum.

What: Orpheum Wine Tasting

When: October 14, 2017, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Where: Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, 346 N Neil Street, Downtown Champaign

The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum (OCSM) is hosting the “Orpheum Wine Tasting” featuring the Katie Flynn Cabaret and in partnership with Harvest Market. Our bi-annual wine tasting event will be held at the OCSM in our historic theatre on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Proceeds support the OCSM as it continues its 20+ year mission of inspiring, engaging and educating children through the exploration of science and the arts.

Guests will be able to to choose from a selection of wines from around the world and buy their favorite bottles on site.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage exclusive, behind-the-scenes tours of the Orpheum Theatre. Perry Morris, local historian and Vice President of the OCSM Board of Directors, will lead tours through the historic projector room, iconic vaudeville stage and private dressing rooms.

Guests can bid on silent auction items like a gift basket from Columbia Street Roastery and a one-night stay at the Candlewood Suites, among many others. Also, there will be a live auction for a private, three-course dinner for 10 people at the OCSM and hosted by Chef Ryan Rogiers from The Wheelhouse in St. Joseph, IL.

Tickets are $35.00 and are available on Eventbrite, Facebook, or at the door. All proceeds, including a percentage of wine sales, will directly benefit the OCSM and as we continue our historical role as a space for the education of science and the arts.

For more information please contact us at (217) 352-5895. You can also visit our Facebook page at or

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Photo from Facebook. 


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.


Rare Book & Manuscript Library hosting Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100 exhibit

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois Library is something else, folks — if you haven't been there before, you should plan a trip very soon. Such an interesting spot here in Champaign-Urbana.

They're hosting this upcoming exhibit (that runs September 20th through December 20th) on Gwendolyn Brooks.

Here's the information about the exhibit (and the Facebook event):

Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100

Curated by Anna Chen

This exhibition showcases the literary archives of Gwendolyn E. Brooks (1917–2000), Illinois Poet Laureate and the first black winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Brooks’s papers include youthful poetry and prose, scrapbooks of pieces she published as a young woman, extensive correspondence with a significant roster of other writers, and manuscript drafts and proofs, especially after she left mainstream commercial publishing to produce her works with black-owned presses.

Gwendolyn Brooks was an inveterate note-taker and self-chronicler, and the collection is filled with Post-Its, hotel stationery, and other scraps of paper on which she recorded her daily life and current events. She sketched out future plans and recorded meaningful memories in the flyleaves of notebooks and on the backs of photographs, and she interrogated others’ ideas and narratives in the margins of letters she received and books she read. Through these marginal jottings, Brooks destabilized the idea of finality: their presence transforms seemingly finished, self-contained documents into ongoing conversations and works in progress. This exhibition highlights the ways in which Brooks’s annotations bring attention to the margin as a space that matters. Here, the poet worked out the process of becoming, raising important questions about completion, authority, self-fashioning, and memory.

This exhibition was on view at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago this summer and returns to campus for our fall celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks’s life and legacy.

WHERE: The Rare Book & Manuscript Library — Ellen and Nirmal Chatterjee Exhibition Gallery

346 University Library – 1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801

WHEN: September 20 through December 20, 2017

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Parkland College offering community workshops throughout the fall

From the press release:

New Community Ed, Business Training Workshops for Fall

CHAMPAIGN —  Parkland College is hosting a new lineup of personal development classes, workshops, events and excursions, for area residents of all ages this fall.
Mindful Food Awareness, Dance Fit, and Internet Security at Home are just a few of the new classes included in the community college's latest noncredit course timetable, Discover, now accessible online. The latest brochure from Parkland Business Training and Community Education reached residents' mailboxes in late August. A sampling of new classes appears below.
To sign up for Parkland noncredit classes of interest this fall, visit To receive a copy of the October–December publication by mail, call 217/353-2055.

Dance Fit: Get fit in an exciting new class. Challenge yourself, build strength and improve your balance, through an exciting combination of American country line dance, Irish dance, and Salsa. All fitness and experience levels welcome.
The Joy of Yoga: Gain physical health and well-being by opening and deepening your understanding of an integrative yoga practice through lecture/discussion, meditative practices, breath work, and yoga journaling..
Mindful Food Awareness Refresher: Refresh your awareness of nutrition, and the hazards of overconsumption through discussion and application of familiar principles. Some understanding of the mindfulness approach is helpful.

Plant It, Grow It, Pick It, Sell It is our newest gardening class. Learn how to make money from your vegetable gardening. Scale of operation, planting, yield, and growing the operation, are all part of the discussion.

Android for Absolute Beginners: Get the best use out of the applications on your Android-based smartphone and tablet. You’ll learn the basics and touch on some of the advanced features.
Internet Security at Home and On the Go: An experienced analyst shows you how to provide your own best protection against scams, viruses, and malicious software.
Our newest food and beverage workshop is Fine Wine Tasting with Todd Fusco at Art Mart.
New Day Trips to Chicago, St. Louis, and Springfield explore unique neighborhoods, and each city’s influence on our history.


Urbana Park District’s 13th annual Jazz Walk takes place tomorrow

Urbana Park District is celebrating their 13th installment of their Jazz Walk event tomorrow, Friday, September 8th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Check out the information below for the deets:

Friday, September 08, 2017
05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Meadowbrook Park
2808 S Race St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Stroll through Meadowbrook Park and listen to FREE jazz music!

There’s no other jazz event like this one! The Wandell Sculpture Garden is a picturesque location for live, local jazz music during this sunset event brought to you by the Urbana Park District, Clark- Lindsey Village and State Farm. A selection of jazz soloists and small combos will be scattered along the paths of Meadowbrook Park; you can listen to as many as you like as you walk at your own pace through the Garden. Parking is available at the Race Street entrance with overflow parking courtesy of Stone Creek Church on the corner of Race and Windsor. Stop by our information table at the bridge near PrairiePlay playground to make a donation. Call the Park District Rainout Line for postponement information: 217-367-9575.

Photo from their Facebook event.


Members of Smashing Pumpkins, REO Speedwagon, more featured on Where It Begins panel

Filmmaker John Isberg has been hard at work on his documentary, Where It Begins: CU Music Documentary 1977-2000, and there's quite the panel that is lined up to talk about it on September 19th at Champaign Public Library. Check out the full info below, but damn, looks awesome.
The panel takes place on September 19th from 7-8:30 p.m.

From the Facebook event:

Watch scenes from local filmmaker John Isberg's "Where It Begins," a documentary about the rise of Champaign-Urbana's independent music scene from 1977 to 2000. He'll speak about his experiences making the film, and will be joined by such local music legends as Terry Luttrell (REO Speedwagon), Rose Marshack (Poster Children) and Jeff Schroeder (The Smashing Pumpkins) and more!

All-star panelists:
• Terry Lutrell, REO Speedwagon
• Rose Marshack, Poster Children
• Jeff Schroeder, The Smashing Pumpkins
• Paul Faber – owner of Mabel's
• Phil Strang – local musician, artist, Record Service
• Della Perrone – music photographer
• Brad Elvis, The Romantics

Watch the official teaser trailer: 

Visit the film's Facebook page:
Where It Begins: CU Music Documentary 1977-2000

Photo: Della Perrone Photography


Celebration for “Greatest Midwest Food Town” competition win happening September 9th

Back in June, Champaign-Urbana won Midwest Living's "Greatest Midwest Food Town" competition, and now Visit Champaign County is spearheading the celebration.

Here's the Facebook event, and the info from it below:

Remember when Champaign-Urbana was nominated as the Greatest Midwest Food Town from Midwest Living Magazine? Well...WE WON! To get everyone in the spirit of the excitement, Midwest Living representatives will be coming to the area for fun, excitement, and a few surprises on September 9th. 

Check the below list to see where you can find Midwest Living and the Visit Champaign County team throughout the day for giveaways, prizes, snacks, games & more: 

9:00am-11:00am | Urbana's Market at the Square
Featuring a performance by The Jazz Collective, local food samples/giveaways from Central Illinois Bakehouse and Cracked: The Egg Came First, the folks at will be on-site, and a joint proclamation by Urbana Mayor, Diane Marlin, and Champaign Mayor, Deb Frank-Feinen and a cornhole competition between 9:45–10:15 a.m.

12:45pm-2:45pm | The Blind Pig Brewery
Featuring a performance by Just Peachy, samples from sponsor, Roth Cheese, alongside local food samples from Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin PatchHopscotch Bakery + Market, beer specials from the Blind Pig Brewery, and a special performance from Just Peachy Music!

4:00pm-6:00pm | Grange Grove at Memorial Stadium
Featuring local food samples from Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch andBig Grove Tavern, and performances

At all three locations, you can enter to win some pretty great foodie raffle items! 

Stay tuned for more details. We can’t wait to celebrate with you all for helping make Champaign-Urbana the Greatest Midwest Food Town!


Trevor Noah coming to State Farm Center October 27th

Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, will be coming to State Farm Center on October 27th, tickets are on sale next Friday, September 8th at 10 a.m. CST.

Thanks for the tip, Visit Champaign County:


Tickets to Allerton Park’s annual Music Barn Festival now available

From the press release:

Tickets available for annual Music Barn Festival

Monticello – Allerton Park & Retreat Center and the University of Illinois’ School of Music have announced performance details for their annual Music Barn Festival, coming up September 29 - October 1. Limited tickets are available online for the three day event at the Allerton Music Barn, 588 Allerton Road, Monticello.

The Festival will kick off Friday evening at 7:30pm with the University of Illinois Jazz Faculty presenting A Dizzy Gillespie Centenary Tribute. The one-of-a-kind celebration will feature a diverse selection of John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie’s compositions, as a 100th-birthday tribute to one of the founders of modern jazz.

Lyric Theatre at Illinois presents the original Broadway musical [title of show] on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. This somewhat “brash”, high-energy musical tells the story of “two nobodies in New York” who set out to develop a new show – which turns out to be the show you’re watching.

“Our faculty and students are excited to continue performing at the Barn,” said School of Music Director Jeffrey Magee.  “Our jazz concerts and musicals have been particularly appealing to audiences, so this year’s programs are already creating a lot of buzz.”

In addition to quality entertainment, the unique setting of the Festival has helped it gain popularity since it began ten years ago. With an all-wood construction that reflects and absorbs sound simultaneously, and 30-foot ceilings, the restored Dutch hay barn at Allerton Park serves as a functional and charming performance space. 

“The Music Barn Festival has been a crowd favorite for several years, and we are happy to be able to continue this fall tradition,” explained Allerton’s Director Derek Peterson. “The Music Barn provides a different experience for both attendees and musicians – it’s a memorable, unique place.”

The Festival went on a brief hiatus in 2015, among state budget concerns, and was brought back on a smaller scale in 2016. Organizers are enthusiastic about the return to a three-day schedule.

“Showcasing the University’s musical talent in Allerton’s historic Barn just makes sense,” Peterson said. “We plan to once again make this a permanent fixture in Allerton’s portfolio; a staple in the community’s vast performing arts lineup.”

Peterson also noted that collaborating with other University departments is critical, given Allerton’s unique location 25 miles west of campus.

“Various University groups come out to utilize the Mansion’s unique meeting space, and there are always multiple research projects going on in our Natural Areas,” Peterson explained. “This partnership with the School of Music gives us another chance to connect with staff and faculty, and offer unique cultural opportunities to the students and community.” 

Allerton’s Concert Series is made possible with the support of presenting sponsor, the University of Illinois Community Credit Union, as well as: the News-Gazette, The Ayers Family, Illinois Public Media, Country Arbors, The Friends of Allerton, Kirby Medical Center, AHW LLC, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD), The Herbold Family Trust, and Kennedy Hutson Associates.

Tickets can be purchased through Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, at their website,, or by calling the box office at 217-333-6280.

Photos courtesey of Allerton Park.