Audio / Link / Photo / Quote / Video / Word / Submit to the SPlog! +
Category: Word

Do the Right Thing with communication conversation Monday at the Art

Per a press release from The Art Theater Co-op:

The Art Theater Co-op has partnered with Restorative CU and other community organizations for a special 25th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s classic film of racial & social tension in Brooklyn. The event will occur on Monday, September 15 at 7:30PM at the Art Theater Co-op in downtown Champaign.
After the screening of Spike Lee’s incendiary & acclaimed film, there will be a short panel discussion as well as open conversation with the audience about the meaning of the film as it relates to questions of race, violence, and justice in contemporary society.

Panelists include:
• (Facilitator) Mikhail Lyubansky, Restorative CU & UI Department of Psychology, who teaches Do the Right Thing as part of his annual course on Psychology of Race & Ethnicity. 
• Anthony Cobb, Chief of Police, City of Champaign.
• Sundiata Cha-Jua, UI Department of History & African-American Studies.
• Janice Marie Collins, UI Department of Journalism and Institute of Communication Research.
• Meadow Jones, UI Art Education.

“Given this year's fatal shootings in Ferguson, St. Louis, NYC, & elsewhere, there is no more relevant film to spark discussion about what we talk about when we say ‘justice,’” said Austin McCann, general manager & programmer of the Art.  “Considering the way the film presents many contradictory viewpoints, it allows us to see some of the pitfalls and opportunities for addressing issues of power in society, especially as it relates to law enforcement & communities of color.”

In Spike Lee’s landmark Brooklyn classic, the streets of Bed-Stuy boil and tensions run high on the hottest day of the year. Loaded with an amazing supporting cast (including Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro, and Rosie Perez) and music by Public Enemy, Do the Right Thing swings effortlessly from satire to social commentary, and 25 years after its controversial release it remains an important cultural touchstone for a very different Brooklyn.

In the film, Spike Lee dives into a maelstrom of racial & social strife on one block in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. The film focuses on a wild diversity of characters and businesses, including a radio station helmed by Samuel L. Jackson, a convenience store owned by a Korean couple, and most centrally, Sal’s Pizzeria, run by Sal (Danny Aiello) and his two sons (John Turturro and Richard Edson). Much of the film focuses on Sal’s employee Mookie (Spike Lee), who wants to get paid but doesn’t have ambition. The film also introduces us to Mookie’s sister Jade (Joie Lee), who encourages Mookie to take his responsibiolities more seriously, and Mookie’s girlfriend Tina (Rosie Perez). We also meet Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), who prefers blasting Public Enemy on his boombox to speaking, and additional characters. As the drama between these characters escalates, and characters becoming divided by boundaries of race & class, the movie moves towards its intense conclusion.


State Town & Country Amateur Art Show returns to Champaign

From a press release:

Visit the historic Springer Cultural Center in downtown Champaign to see award-winning art on display at the State Town & Country Amateur Art Show, now in its 58th year! The free, public exhibit runs September 13-27, with a public Juror’s Critique happening on Saturday, September 27 at 10:30am. Exhibit times are Monday-Thursday, 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-5pm, and Saturday 9am-2pm.

This show highlights Best of Show and blue ribbon winners from the county shows held in spring. Amateur artists from towns throughout Illinois, including some from our own Champaign County, will display their unique pieces at the show.  Original works from nearly 100 artists are on display for public viewing.

The artists compete against each other in two divisions: youth and adult, and three categories for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.  Both youth and adult divisions are awarded a Best of Show.  View a wide range of talented artists with varying mediums on display including eye-catching photography, drawings, paintings and 3-dimensional pieces.

Originally sponsored by the University of Illinois, it began in 1956 as a rural art show held in conjunction with the 55th Farm and Home week.  In the early years of the show, it was limited to residents of rural Illinois and towns with less than 10,000 residents.  It was then broadened to include all interested Illinois amateur artists.  In 1962, the program continued under the combined direction of the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service and Colleges of Agriculture and Fine & Applied Life Studies.  In 1998, the program was sponsored by the Illinois Parks & Recreation Association (IPRA).  Around 2001, the Champaign Park District began hosting the State Town & Country Amateur Art Show.  Local shows are supported by park districts, recreation departments, art centers, art leagues and volunteers.

This program is supported by the Illinois Arts Council. More information on the State Town & Country Amateur Art Show held September 13-27 at the Springer Cultural Center can be found at champaignparkdistrict.com.


Krannert opening night party is September 12th

Per a press release from Krannert Center for the Performing Arts: Announcing KCPA's Opening Night Party, Featuring Tiempo Libre, Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández, and Samba Soul

Friday, September 12, 2014

6 p.m.: doors open, food sales begin in tented southeast terrace area

6:30 p.m.: Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández

7:15 p.m. & 8:15 p.m.: Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

7:45 p.m.: Samba Soul 

8:45 p.m.: Tiempo Libre

Summer might be at its end, but at Krannert Center things are just beginning to heat up! The 2014-15 season is bursting forth on opening night with all-ages energy, a fresh mix of revelers, lively activities for little ones, the wafting invitation from fabulous outdoor food vendors (including Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works, El Toro Mexican Restaurant, Rick’s Bakery, Caribbean Grill, Piato, Siam Terrace, KoFusion, and Rosati’s Pizza), exciting capoeira demonstrations, and a show-stopping set of Latin music masters.

Fifth-generation mariachi master José Hernández ignites the evening with his dazzling, Grammy-nominated, 13-member folk ensemble Mariachi Sol de México.® With brass fanfare, nimble strings, and powerful vocals, these cultural ambassadors preserve traditional Mexican tunes while peppering performances with novel renditions of pop, classical, and swing numbers.

After local favorite Samba Soul stirs in its trademark combination of classic Brazilian samba and sophisticated bossa nova, bandleader Jorge Gómez and the sensational Miami-based timba kings of Tiempo Libre are up. This is the third Krannert Center stop for these three-time Grammy nominees. Classically trained in Cuba’s top music conservatories, Tiempo Libre is celebrated for its sophisticated performances of timba, a joyous mix of high-voltage R&B, pop, jazz, and the seductive rhythms of son.

General admission tickets are just $5 (kids 5 and under are free but need a ticket) and are available at KrannertCenter.com or by calling 217/333-6280.


Midtown Sundaze free family event

Join the Champaign Center Partnership and area businesses for the Midtown Sundaze, a fun and FREE family event in the Boneyard Creek Second Street Basin on Sunday, September 14th from 2-4 p.m.

Families are encouraged to come out to enjoy the last few remaining days of the summer with bubble making with staff from the Orpheum Children’s Museum, sidewalk chalk art, bead making activities, cookie decorating with Pekara Bakery and Bistro, glitter tattoos from Party Prep, a frisbee clinic with members of the intramural Ultimate Frisbee teams and a performance by local band Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen. Local storyteller, Kathleen Brinkmann, will also be joining in the fun and telling interactive stories beginning at 2 p.m. Midtown business Boneyard Coffee and Tea will be providing refreshing samples of herbal iced tea and the Cool Bliss truck will be there with delicious shaved ice!

“We wanted to host a fun family event in our Midtown district this summer and really introduce our residents to that area of Champaign,” Champaign Center Partnership Executive Director, Erin Lippitz said. “After the success we had with Kids Fest at Summer Stage in July we knew that an event designed specifically for children was definitely needed and appreciated in this area.”

This event will take place in the south side of the Boneyard Basin accessible from Springfield Avenue, White and Stoughton Streets. Free street parking is available on Second Street along the East side of the park.

For more information call the Champaign Center Partnership office at 352-2400.


Summer Movie Nights return to Downtown Urbana on Friday, September 12th

Join us on Friday, September 12th at 8 p.m. at the Busey Bank parking lot in Urbana for the final Summer Movie Night of 2014. @urbanalove and the Urbana Public Arts Program present UP, the animation classic by Pixar. A feisty septuagenarian teams with a fearless wilderness ranger to do battle with a vicious band of beasts and villains in this beloved computer-animated adventure. Carl Fredricksen is a 78-year-old balloon salesman. His entire life, Carl has longed to wander the wilds of South America. Then, one day, the irascible senior citizen shocked his neighbors by tying thousands of balloons to his home and finally taking flight. But Carl isn't alone on his once-in-a-lifetime journey, because stowed away on his front porch is an excitable eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell. UP appeals to kids and adults alike. Come out and enjoy a groundbreaking film and let your imagination take flight under the stars.

This event is hosted by The Urbana Public Arts Program.


Steven Salaita press conference happening Tuesday, September 9th

From the press release:

Press Conference: Professor Salaita to Speak for First Time About Losing Tenured Position Over Gaza Tweets

Urbana-Champaign, IL –Professor Steven Salaita, faculty and students of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC), and legal experts will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9 at the University YMCA (located at Wright & Chalmers). Salaita had accepted a tenured position in the American Indian Studies program at UIUC, but the university’s Chancellor terminated his appointment in early August over tweets regarding Israel's latest attacks in Gaza. Salaita and other speakers will discuss his termination in the larger context of organized attacks on free speech on campuses and concerns about academic freedom and the First Amendment raised by the incident.

Many groups have come out strongly against the university’s actions, including the Modern Language Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Studies Association. Several departments at UIUC have cast votes of no confidence in the Chancellor, and many are boycotting the university – several scholars have already cancelled lectures at UIUC, and a national conference to be hosted there was cancelled. The press conference will be held following a student walkout.

This is the first time Prof. Salaita will be speaking about the situation in public. He is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Anand Swaminathan of Loevy & Loevy in Chicago.

For those unable to attend the press conference in person, a copy of Prof. Salaita’s comments will be sent around afterwards and the speakers will be available for interview by phone beginning at 2 p.m. CDT.

For more information and documents on the case, visit CCR’s website here.


Professor Steven Salaita

Professor Robert Warrior, director of American Indian Studies at UIUC

Maria LaHood, senior attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights

Michael Rothberg, head of the English Department at UIUC, on behalf of the Modern Language Association (MLA)

Eman Ghanayem and Rico Kleinstein, students at UIUC


Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 12:30 p.m. CDT


University YMCA

1001 S Wright St., Urbana, IL 61820


September news at Flying Machine Coffee

September is here, the students are back, and we have a month packed with fun stuff. So let's get started because I can be longwinded.

This coming Friday night, the 12th of September, we teamed up with Undercut Collective to host an acoustic all ages show that will be great fun. The show will feature Ryan Groff, Noah Harris, Marielle McNabney, and a poetry reading from Elizabeth Majerus. If you havent been out to a Undercut show yet, I urge you to go. And if you dont yet know about UC founder, Saskia Bakker, read this. I could not be more proud and encouraged by what Saskia and Undercut does. We are thrilled to be a part of it. 

A quick reminder that flight night (or flight club, I cant decide) will be on sunday the 21st. Sign up sheets are still at the shop for the 2 p,m,, and 3:30 p.m. tastings. All the coffee on our handcraft menu will be sampled, talked about, and even paired with food/other sensory fun. So come in and ask about it!

We will have a booth set up with Columbia St. Roastery at Pygmalion on Saturday and Sunday this year! Expect pour overs, iced coffee, and maybe some other tasty treats.

And last but not least: Flying Machine Coffee will turn one year old on September 23rd. I have no idea how this happened, but it's true. So, to show our appreciation for all of our new friends and family we have found in the last 12 months, we are going to have a little party. It will be at Crane Alley on the 23rd, starting around 6:30 p.m., snacks will be on us, and maybe even some beer! Either way, we would really like to just hang out with you guys, because we have grown quite fond of you. I will leave the cheesy, emotional nonesense for the party after I have a couple beers. For now I will simply say, thank you.

— Josh Lucas, Flying Machine Coffee


Stay tuned for a SPecial edition SPodcast with Ann Callis

Here at Smile Politely Radio, we're gearing up to chat with Ann Callis, the Democratic contender for Rep. Rodney Davis's congressional seat.

And we're curious: if you could ask Ann Callis one question, what would it be?

Stay tuned for this SPecial edition of the SPodcast, and in the meantime, check out our previous interview with Callis, available here.


Smile Politely Radio airs each Friday at 5:30 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 FM in Champaign and is available as a podcast the following week. You can find our past episodes here.