Category: Word

Urbana Food Truck Rally is tomorrow

The Urbana Food Truck Rally is tomorrow, September 25th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Urbana Civic Center. This monthly event features a handful of food trucks parked in one spot (surrounded by ample parking). Last month it was about 125 degrees outside and I got a jerk chicken burrito from Caribbean Grill and a salted honey pie from Oh, Honey Pie. These were bold and delicious choices that resulted in a rather unproductive afternoon. My advice is to choose wisely, though you should choose as your little heart desires and not worry about being a functional human when you return to work after. 

Photos by Jessica Hammie

See Lyric Theatre at Illinois' The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee this week

Lyric Theatre at Illinois, "a comprehensive program embracing a broad continuum of opera and musical theatre," is venturing outside of their usual home at Krannert Center's Tryon Festival Theater for this production — it will take place in the Allerton Barn as part of the Allerton Music Barn Festival. Described as "a hilarious tale of high school-aged overachievers, their hopes, their dreams, and their angst as they compete for a slot in the National Spelling Bee at Putnam Valley Middle School," the production is directed and choreographed by Sarah Wigley. She says it'll be "90 minutes of hysterical laughter, silliness, and pure joy. We promise you that just being here is winning!"

Tickets are $10 for students, $28 for adults, and you can purchase them through the Krannert Center website.


PSA: PYGMALION will be taking over a portion of Goodwin Avenue

PYGMALION kicks off this week, and will be generally focused in Urbana this time around. In case you plan to be out and about on the Urbana side of campus later this week, please take note of this road closure. Of course you should be out and about on the Urbana side of campus as a PYG attendee, in which case this will help with your driving and parking situation. From the City of Urbana:

South Goodwin Avenue between West Oregon Street and West Nevada Street will be closed starting Thursday, September 27th at 6:00 p.m. through Sunday, September 30th at 6:00 a.m. for The Pygmalion Festival.  Parking on this section of Goodwin Avenue will not be permitted during the event.

We appreciate your patience while this event is underway.


Sample ballots are available, and it’s almost time for early voting

Midterm elections have notoriously low turnout, in comparison to presidential election years, but they are as consequential, if not more than the "big" ones every four years. As a result, this is not the first time you will be hearing from me about this particular election, as it is becoming more and more clear just how crucial your vote will be. 

November 6th is just over a month away, but here are some things that you can do now:

  1. Go look at your sample ballot. See what offices are up for grabs, who is running, and what races you are eligible to vote for based on where you live. A bonus- in order to see your ballot you have to look up your voter information, so you will be able to confirm that you are, in fact, registered, and you'll be able to see your polling place. I highly suggest taking a look at your sample ballot before you head to the polls and hey, maybe even look up these people and find out a bit about them. This site is a good place to do that. Pro tip: you can print out your sample ballot, mark your choices, and bring it with you to the polls as a reference. 
  2. Make a plan to vote early. Early voting opens this Thursday, September 27th, in several locations around the county. If you don't want to deal with lines on the 6th, or if you'll be out of town, or if you've made your decisions and you just want to get that ballot turned in, this is a wonderful thing. Every time I've done this I've been in and out in about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Vote by Mail. Request a ballot to be sent to your home and vote without having to go anywhere. You can take your time, fill it in as you research candidates, involve the family, then just pop it in the mail. The county clerk's office will even send you an "I Voted" sticker, in case you're worried about that. Ballots will be sent beginning Thursday.

Here are your City of Urbana Leaf Collection dates

Attention Urbana-ites, Urbanians...people who live in Urbana. You will have three different weeks throughout the season to put your leaves and such out for collections.

October 22 - 26
November 5 - 9
November 26 - 30

Here are the important guidelines to follow:

  1. Place leaves in 30-gallon paper lawn & garden bags - NO plastic bags
  2. Paper bags must be placed at the curb or along the roadway edge before 6:00 a.m. on your U-Cycle collection day.
  3. Only leaves and non-woody plant material will be collected - NO brush, branches, tree limbs or garbage.
  4. If you placed leaves in bags earlier this season please make sure they are in good condition and can be handled without breaking.  Our Contractor will not pick up leaves that fall out of broken bags.

Photo from City of Urbana Facebook Page


5th Annual CU Aruna Run to be held on Saturday, September 29th

This very second, millions of women around the world languish in sexual slavery. They are more than statistics; they are individuals, with hopes and fears, dreams and doubts. Apart from someone stepping into their need, young women like Reshma will never be free.

We run to raise awareness of her need, to raise funds to secure her freedom through outreach programs, and to sustain her freedom through full-time employment. When you run or walk in an Aruna Run, you run for a specific woman by name, like Reshma. You run for her freedom.

The first four CU Aruna Runs have raised over $70,000 for the Aruna Project. Participation has grown quickly, with 1100 participants joining the movement in those four years. As a result of our race, and other Aruna Runs across the country, 46 women have reached freedom since 2014.

Register and learn more at

5th Annual CU Aruna Run

Date: September 29, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. race registration, 10:00 a.m. race start
Distance: 5K
Location: University of Illinois Arboretum (Corner of Florida and Lincoln Ave) 2001 S. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61802
Cost: $30 (includes a race shirt, drawstring bag, and medal)


Twin City Derby Girls are hosting their first ever outdoor exhibition

If you're curious about what the heck roller derby is, here's a unique opportunity to do so, and it's free. From the Facebook event:

Join the Twin City Derby Girls as they take on a Midwest mash-up of skaters in a first-ever, outdoor, exhibition game at Douglass Park, Champaign. This game is free and open to the public and we invite you to find out what roller derby is all about.

The exhibition is this Saturday, September 22nd, beginning at 5 p.m. and will happen at Douglass Park. There is limited bleacher seating, so derby goers are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. And hey, it's dinner time, so why not bring some dinner along? May I recommend Wood N' Hog, which is one short block away.

For a little background on the Derby Girls, check out this article we published a few years back.  


Jim James of My Morning Jacket to perform at Canopy Club October 17th

Headcount has announced Jim James of My Morning Jacket will head through Urbana on Wednesday, October 17th as a part of The Future Is Voting tour, which hits a variety of cities around the U.S. to promote voting in the midterm elections. The show is presented by PYGMALION, Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment, and Canopy Club alongside Headcount.

From the press release:



Jim James of My Morning Jacket is coming to campus with #TheFutureIsVoting Tour. A free, non-partisan event for students around Urbana, IL on Wednesday, October 17th at The Canopy Club. It’s all about getting a little information and a lot of inspiration for voting in the upcoming midterm elections.

Jim James has announced “The Future Is Voting Tour,” comprising six nonpartisan multi-artist shows in college towns in electoral “swing districts” that he instigated in order to promote voter participation. The Canopy Club show on Wednesday, October 17th will feature Jim James along with Benjamin Booker.

“The importance of getting involved at this moment in time cannot be overstated. This isn’t only a Get Out The Vote concert,” says James.  “This is a learning moment aimed at college students to motivate them to vote, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. Each stop on the tour purposefully takes place in a contested electoral district or state for this important midterm election, where students and young voters have the ability to dramatically affect the outcome of this tremendous moment in history. Please join special surprise guests and myself at these events with the goal of truly inspiring thought, discourse and participation.”

“The Future is Voting Tour” is part concert, part town hall meeting, during which James will perform a solo set alongside performances from Booker. The meeting segment of the tour will include a non-partisan forum where candidates and their representatives will be invited to speak directly to students and take their toughest questions.

HeadCount, a rapidly growing voter-engagement non-profit (501c3), has organized the tour with James and will be underwriting it in its entirety. In addition to all of the artists donating their time, HeadCount has also created an Indiegogo funding page where fans can make donations and receive special experiences and commemorative items from the tour.

About HeadCount
HeadCount harnesses the power of music to drive social change. Since 2004, HeadCount has registered over 500,000 voters, and helped organize various initiatives in the live music community to promote civic participation. In their role as the organizing arm of the live music scene, HeadCount has hosted activism villages at over 100 concerts & festivals and has raised close to $10 million for other music-industry non-profits. With 20,000 volunteers, street teams in most major U.S. cities and affiliations with over 200 touring musicians, HeadCount ranks as one of the largest and most active music-based non-profit organizations in America.

Learn more about HeadCount | Register to Vote | Volunteer

This is a free, students-only event. All patrons must display a valid, active student ID from any school upon entry. Ticket does not guarantee entry into the show. Awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Limit 4 tickets per customer.


The 21st will have three live public broadcasts next week

Illinois Public Media's talk show The 21st, hosted by Niala Boodhoo, will be out and about throughout Champaign-Urbana next week with live broadcasts that will be free and open to the public.

EnterpriseWorks at Research Park

Tuesday, September 25th, 11 a.m. to noon

Boodhoo will interview entrepreneuers with start ups in Research Park, as well as students who have launched businesses.

Champaign Farmer's Market

Tuesday, September 25th, 5 to 6 p.m.

Hear from The Land Connection about food and farming.

Pygmalion- Krannert Center

Thursday, September 27th, 11 a.m. to noon

Boodhoo will host multiple guests from Pygmalion, including Phoebe Judge and Lauren Sphoerer of Criminal Podcast, comedian Kristen Toomey, the organizer of Human Library and Astronomy on Tap, and our own Seth Fein, Director of Pygmalion


Here’s the full lineup for this year’s C-U Folk & Roots Festival

Back in April, the C-U Folk & Roots Festival revealed that their headliner for their 10th annual festival will be Robbie Fulks, who performed at the very first one. The festival runs October 18-20 this year, and you can check out the full lineup at their website. Passes are on sale now.

Check out the press release:

10th Annual Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival October 18-20

Celebrating its tenth year, the annual Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival will be held in downtown Urbana on Thursday, October 18 through Saturday, October 20

“The 10th annual C-U Folk & Roots Festival lineup includes several long-time festival favorites as well as many first-time performers,” explained Rob Krumm, who chairs the all-volunteer festival. “Our goal has always been to provide a one-of-a-kind, inclusive, accessible, and diverse community experience. The grassroots music and arts festival brings together national, regional, and local artists and organizations for about 80 high-quality, interactive music performances, dances, storytelling, and hands-on activities for all ages.” 

The Festival’s kick-off event will be from 5to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 18 in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby. The free show will feature the Latin folk fusion band Son Monarcas from Chicago. Joining this performance will be local musicians Jose Gobbo and Nathaniel Ruiz.

Highlighting this year’s festival is Robbie Fulks, a Chicago-based singer/songwriter whose work covers everything from roots rock, traditional country, bluegrass, and folk. Fulks headlined the first C-U Folk and Roots Festival in 2009 and will be performing with guitarist Redd Volkaert—a Grammy winner, longtime lead guitarist with Merle Haggard, and guest artist at the Ellnora Guitar Festival—and singer Linda Gail Lewis (who happens to Jerry Lee Lewis’ younger sister).

Multi-instrumentalist bluesman Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton returns for his third festival appearance. Other returning artists include Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton (Trumansburg, NY), Mother Banjo (Minneapolis), Devil in a Woodpile (Chicago), Fiddlin’ Banjo Billy Mathews, and children’s performers Deep Fried Pickle Project (Chicago), Miss Hanna Rae (Cincinnati, OH), The Rhumba Bums (Charleston, IL), and Tom Turino and Shannon Arnold (Lexington, KY).

Nikki D. Brown—described as the “Jimi Hendrix of Sacred Steel”— will perform with the Sisters of Thunder. The 9th Street Stompers (Chattanooga, TN) and Ever Lovin’ Jug Band (Waterloo, ON, Canada) feature blues and ragtime reminiscent of the early 1900’s. Other regional acts include banjo player, historian, and author Stephen Wade, Joseph Huber (Milwaukee, WI), The Mighty Pines (St. Louis), Rum Drum Ramblers (St. Louis), and Will and Marina Hope (Galesburg, IL).

A number of local acts will also be part of the festival including Charlie Ford, Joe Asselin, Mackville Bluegrass Band, the Knights of Cabiria, the Coneflowers, the Church St. Ramblers, Wildwood, Dearie, Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra (Bloomington, IL), Chris Maden, Jean Rene Balekita, Bones Jugs, the Caleb Cook Band, John Coppess, and storyteller Dan Keding.

On Friday and Saturday, all festival events and performances venues will take place in downtown Urbana venues including the historic Rose Bowl Tavern, Iron Post, Blackbird , Community Center for the Arts, Sipyard, the Cohen Building, Busey Bank, the Urbana Free Library, and the Urbana First United Methodist Church.

Saturday’s daytime program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., continues to be entirely free, with many family-friendly events at the Urbana Free Library, the Community Center for the Arts, and other downtown venues. These events include musical performances, storytelling, hands-on workshops, demonstrations, dance lessons and dance, jam sessions, and sing-alongs.

Full festival wristbands are $40 and will be available for purchase in-advance at the Rose Bowl and Iron Post in Urbana, and at The Upper Bout guitar shop and Techline in Champaign. In addition, wristbands can be purchased online at and at the festival booth at the Urbana Market at the Square. Single day wristbands ($20) and individual-venue admission will be available during the festival.

The C-U Folk and Roots Festival is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the promotion of accessible art forms and community building in East Central Illinois. Volunteers are always welcome to join our community, make friends, have fun, and support the folk arts.


Grounded in empathy: Me Too activist Tarana Burke shares her story with students

"Don't just celebrate me if you're not going to stand for the work that I am doing."

Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement and a 2017 Time Person of the Year, spoke to a group of mostly U of I students at Foellinger Auditorium last night about the origins of the movement, what it is, what it's not, and how they can be catalysts for change on campus and beyond.


Born and raised in the Bronx in a culture of activism with a drive toward organizing, it was her work with the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, first as a participant and after college as a staff member, that led to the birth of Me Too when a teenage girl confided in her about being sexually assaulted as a child. Not knowing how to respond in the moment, she later realized that as a survivor of sexual violence herself, she could've just said "me too."

She set about simply bringing discussions and education on sexual violence to high school and eventually middle school students in her community (which was Selma, Alabama). It was about giving them language to put words to their experiences, and a space to begin healing. And it continued this way until October of 2017. When actresses in Hollywood began to speak out about the horrific sexual violence perpetrated by mega producer Harvey Weinstein, a tweet from actress Alyssa Milano with #metoo catapulted the movement into the stratosphere.

Burke was casual and at times self-depricating, yet exuded passion for the work that she does. While there were a decent amount of students there, I was somewhat disappointed that the auditorium wasn't packed, especially at the moment that we are living in right now, where a President accused of sexual assault has nominated a Supreme Court justice accused of sexual assault and Sean Penn randomly shows up on TV saying that Me Too divides men and women. Meanwhile, the Secretary of Education is pushing policies that protect colleges and those accused of sexual violence rather than bolstering protections for the victims, and the woman who dared to come forward about Brett Kavanaugh is facing death threats and harassment. 

While she spoke of her appreciation of the explosion in recognition of Me Too, she lamented the fact that while millions used the hashtag and shared their stories, not much is changing in terms of policy or culture. She also warned against making the movement what it is not: It is not about "taking down men." Unfortunately that is what the media has made it, which takes the focus off of survivors and their healing, and also ignores the fact that men can be victims of sexual violence as well. Her movement, the one she began over a decade ago, continues to be about creating a global community of survivors and guiding them toward healing.


After challenging students to examine the policies and culture surrouding sexual violence on campus, there was a Q & A with lots of great thought-provoking questions brought by students. One of the more inspiring interactions was when a trio of young Centennial High School students came up to the mic and shared the work they were doing in their school, including challenging language in the dress code that discriminates against female students. They just about rendered Burke speechless, but she used the moment to direct them to resources on her website that could support their work. 

Kudos to the Illini Union Board for bringing such an important speaker here; I wish that more of the campus would've heard and been inspired by her words. 

Photos by Jessica Hammie