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Rapper, actor, screenwriter, and social activist Tamer Nafar is coming to Allen Hall on Monday night

Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar will be presenting My Life in Song for free on Monday night, which will include a performance and discussion in addition to Mediterranean/Levantine cuisine. This show is open to the public, and is an wonderful example of how rich and diverse the music scene in Champaign Urbana truly is.

Nafar grew up in the particularly turbulent town of Lyd (Arabic spelling; also known as Lod, Hebrew spelling), in Israel, and his experiences there have shaped his music and informed his activism. Monday’s show is an excellent opportunity to learn more about how Nafar has situated himself as an artist amid the relative chaos of national and international tension. You can check out his sound before the show on Spotify.

Tamer Nafar
Allen Hall
1005 W Gregory Dr
Urbana
7 p.m.

 
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Youth Lit Festival to feature free community day, March 30th

The 2019 Youth Literature Festival, co-sponsored by the College of Education at Illinois and the University of Illinois Library, will feature a free community day on March 30th.  Held at the I Hotel, this family-friendly event will feature face painting, arts and crafts, live music, storytelling and puppet performances, youth author talks and book signings and Super Why! from PBS Kids.

Find out more  here

Photo from the Youth Literature Festival Facebook page. 

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Rantoul (re)launches The Downtown Mural Project

Rantoul has (re)launched a new initiative to create artwork on their buildings: The Downtown Mural Project. Although the project has been dormant for a few years, it appears as though they are moving forward, commissioning local artist Madelyn Witruk (you've probably seen her work for Visit Champaign County's mural in the Blind Pig beergarden). This article discussed the project back in 2016, though it seems to have some new life in 2019.

Read our article about public art in C-U while you're at it.

Top photo from Downtown Mural Project's Facebook page

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Ye Olde Donut Shoppe will open on Neil Street

Ye Olde Donut Shoppe, your favorite doughnut vendor with all the extra -Es, will open a storefront on Neil Street in Stadium Plaza. The signage has been up for some time now; no hard date on an opening quite yet, though. 

By this non-native C-U resident's count, this is the fourth storefront for Ye Olde; it used to be on Lincoln and University in Urbana, as well on Green and First in Champaign, and then on Sixth and Peabody on the U of I campus. 

Check out some old(e) photos here and here

And until it opens, you can read our most recent review of the doughnuts here.  

Top photo by Rachael McMillan; store photo by Patrick Singer

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Parkland will be hosting a Human Library event on April 5th

This will be the first time an event of this sort will happen at Parkland, though it's not the only time it's happened in C-U, as it's been a part of Pygmalion for a bit. But the more the better, I say. From the press release:

As part of the Human Library™, a worldwide movement for social change, the Parkland College event will allow readers to 'borrow' real people, referred to as 'books', for 20-minute chats about their lives. The real stories of these human books are meant to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue, according to the humanlibrary.org website.

Hooray for any opportunity to hear from real people about real issues. 

Parkland's Human Library will be April 5th from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Student Union. If you're nterested in "checking out" some "books" then just email benefits@parkland.edu with the subject line: Human Library. Then you will receive a link to register and choose your books.

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Have you been to the Weiner Wagon yet?

The Weiner Wagon is a new food truck parked on Prospect and Sherwood just south of Bradley Avenue. It's in the parking lot near the Meat Mart, adjacent to Judah Christian. 

The food truck, unsurprisingly, serves hot dogs, as well as burgers, chicken, pork tenderloin sandwiches, mac and cheese sticks, and other fried delights. Looks like this truck serves Vienna Beef hot dogs, for those of you who prefer all-beef. 

Check out the menu:

Photos by Patrick Singer

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Register for the Illinois Farmers Market Association Conference at Allerton

The Illinois Farmers Market Association will have its annual conference at Allerton Park on Thursday, April 4th. The keynote speaker will be John Ikerd. 

Additional information is below, and you can register here

Do you manage or sell at a farmers market? Or maybe you're interested in the local food movement? Then save the date of Thursday, April 4, 2019 for the Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) annual conference  at Allerton Park & Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois.

This full-day conference will be packed with informative and inspiring speakers, 3 educational tracks (Market Managers, Market Vendors, and Market Presentations), targeted break-out sessions at all experience levels, networking opportunities, and a fabulous winter market and vendor fair. This year's keynote speaker is John Ikerd and the lunch keynote is the new Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan.

Each registration includes all educational sessions, keynotes, full breakfast, buffet lunch, entrance to the winter market and vendor fair, free Wi-Fi, parking, numerous networking opportunities, and more!

Arrive a day early to enjoy a discounted room rate to stay onsite at the Allerton Mansion, as well as the opportunity to take part in a farm-to-table fundraiser dinner benefitting ILFMA featuring Chef Jordan Baldarotta of Baldarotta's Porketta & Sicilian Sausage.

To register for the dinner and conference visit www.ilfma.org.

Link / Word

Here’s your lineup for the first year of Flor Fest

Flor

There's a new festival in town this spring. Flor Fest, set to take place at the IMC on April 5th, is designed to bring together DIY/Emo bands in and around CU. The majority of proceeds from this show will be donated to the UP Center, a local organization dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community). Check out the lineup below, and head to the festival’s website here for more information, ticket details, and links to the artists’ music.

Today's Children
Urbana, IL
ShifterXChi
Chicago, IL
The Telephone Junkies
Springfield, IL
Ex Cathedra
Urbana, IL
Lost Wilderness
Park Ridge, IL
Silent Generation
Urbana, IL
Feed the Monkeys
Chicago, IL
Jake Fava
Champaign, IL
Warm Darn
Champaign, Illinois
Kiddsoul
Chicago, IL
Tarun Mahajan
Champaign, IL
This is A Stick Up!
Decatur, Illinois
Jordan Kahn
Chicago, IL
Alien Thing
Chicago, IL
Clockwork Owl
Champaign, Illinois
Dani Avila
Champaign, IL
Edgar Cuevas
Norridge, IL  From Circumstances
Champaign, Illinois
Ben Cheslow
Champaign, IL
Patrick Fang
Champaign, IL
Anika Emily
Champaign, IL
Wes Harmony
Champaign, IL
Kathleen Dowling
Chicago, IL

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The Best of Africa is expanding

According to the City of Urbana's February Business and Development Report, The Best of Africa, the grocery store on Griggs Street in Urbana, has just completed an expansion of the store, and has plans to build out an event space that can hold up to 100 people. 

You can read our interview with owners Lisette Mbaki and her husband Memoire Budimbu Mabizahere here

The Best of Africa Food Store
208 W Griggs St
Urbana
M-Sa 8 a.m. to 8 p.m
Su 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Photo by Megan Flowers

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Looking to adopt a pet? Hit 25 O’Clock Brewing this Sunday

25 O’Clock is teaming up with Hospice Hearts to host an adoption and fundraising event. Well-behaved pups are invited to attend with their owners. The event will include adoptable pets, a raffle, merchandise, pies for sale by the  Oh, Honey Pie truck, and of course, delicious beers.

Get Lucky: Hospice Hearts at 25 O'Clock Brew
208 W. Griggs St., Suite 101
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Sunday, March 17th
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Unit 4 is ready to break ground at Central and Centennial

Next month, construction will begin at both Champaign high schools, and there will be groundbreaking ceremonies for both. 

On Friday, April 5th, it will happen at Centennial High School where there are going to be additions on the north and south ends of the building, as well as interior renovations. You can read more about the project here

Central will break ground on Monday, April 8th where the construction of a new multi-purpose gym will commence, followed by renovation of Seely Hall. You can read more here.

The Centennial project is estimated to be completed by the summer of 2021, and Central the following year.