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Edible Book Festival on UI Campus April 5

The 6th Annual Edible Book Festival will be held on April 5, 2011, at the University YMCA (1001 South Wright Street, Champaign). The campus and local community is invited to experience this unique intersection of the book arts and cuisine. Public viewing begins at 11:30 a.m., a welcome and the local celebrity judges' commentary takes place at 12:15 p.m., and consumption of entries starts at 12:45 p.m.

Edible art entries have a connection to books as shapes or content. Prizes will be awarded for the best culinary creations — which will be displayed, judged, and consumed. The Legend of Sleepy Challah, To Grill a Mockingbird, The Unbearable Lightness of Beets, and House of Seven Grables were among the entries last year.

"At the Edible Book Fest, we slow down and savor the joys of reading — quite literally!" said Sue Searing, UI librarian and coordinator of the Edible Book Festival. "They say that imagination is the key ingredient in good writing and good cooking. Fest attendees will see plenty of quirky creativity on display."

This year's festival is hosted by the University YMCA and the Know Your University Committee. The University Library is sponsoring the event with additional support from its Strategic Communications and Marketing Committee.

Judges will include Zachary Grant, manager of the Sustainable Student Farm; Kathleen Harleman, director of the Krannert Art Museum; and Christopher Hohn, owner of Lincoln Bookbindery and alumnus of the UI School of Art and Design.

The 6th Annual Edible Books Festival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pays homage to the International Edible Books Festival, an annual event held around April 1, which celebrates the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food. This ephemeral global banquet allows anyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments.

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Illini 4000 Presents: Portraits Project Exhibition and What People Do documentary screening

On April 2, at 7:30 p.m., the Illini 4000 for Cancer is hosting an exhibition at the Independent Media Center in Urbana. In addition to a documentary screening, this event will serve as the opening reception for a Portraits Project exhibit that will remain on display through Boneyard Arts Festival.

The Portraits Project is a collection of narratives, also known as Portraits, that demonstrate how cancer affects people across America. While traveling across the country, riders interview cancer patients and survivors from all walks of life and compile their stories. Gabrielle Fairbairn, director of the Portraits Project, explains the significance of this event: "For the very first time in our organization's history, we will be unveiling the Portraits Project to members of our local community." Portraits from 2007 through today will be on display.

What People Do is a documentary featuring the Illini 4000 in their inaugural trek across the country during the summer of 2007. It highlights not only the experiences of the riders as they navigate the American landscape, but the communities they encounter along the way and their experiences with cancer. Visit filmsthatmove.com for more information and to view the trailer. Zachary Herrmann, director, will be present for Q&A after the screening.

The event is free to the community, but the Illini will accept donations. "We hope that this increase in cancer awareness will encourage everyone to join the fight against cancer," says Fairbairn.

For more information.

What People Do Trailer:

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R Keenan Lawler: Ambient guitarist marathon

Location: Indi go artist co-op
Date: Friday, Apr. 1, 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $5.00

R Keenan Lawler is a Louisville Kentucky based musician, sound artist, improviser, and composer. For nearly thirty years he has been a restless explorer of sound from rock to electro-acoustic improvisation and many points in between.

Since the late nineties he is best known for developing a highly idiosyncratic difficult to categorize language on the metal bodied resonator guitar fueled by minimalism, blues, asian and african musics, ancient and modern classical, psychedelia and jazz.

 

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DoCha: DOwntown CHAmpaign’s free chamber music festival, April 1–3, 201

All events will be free and open to the public. Nearly all events will take place at the Orpheum Theatre. Committed to the idea that chamber music can and should be enjoyed by all people, DoCha's festival events will be fun-spirited, informal, engaging, collaborative, and educational. Food and beverages will be sold at each evening event. Tables and chairs will be set around the centrally-placed stage allowing guests to experience the live music performances up close while enjoying food and drinks.

The festival will feature some of Champaign's own world-class, internationally in-demand musicians, scholars, and music educators as well as visiting artists and gifted, local young artists in unique artistic collaborations exploring ideas both within and outside the chamber music genre. Programs will not be announced in advance of the performances. Musical selections and personnel for each performance will be announced from the stage. Guests are invited to experience an unexpected chamber music adventure at each festival event.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

All events are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, the events will take place at the Orpheum Theatre, 346 North Neil, Champaign, IL 61820.

Friday, April 1
12 p.m.: Young People's Concert: Introducing Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry, a comic musical/play introducing children to the string quartet and the process of composing. Instrument-making craft activity to follow performance. Field-trip program for school children ages 5 to 10.

Afternoon: Pop-up chamber music in surprise locations. Follow us (DoChaFestival) on Twitter to find out where we will pop up!

7 p.m.: Chamber Music Experience/Performance/Event. Open to people of all ages. Beverages and food prepared by Jim Gould Dining available for sale. Guests also welcome to bring your own "indoor picnic."

Saturday, April 2
1 p.m.: Young People's Concert: Introducing Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry, a comic musical/play introducing children to the string quartet and the process of composing. Family friendly! Open to the public.

Afternoon: Pop-up chamber music in surprise locations. Follow us (DoChaFestival) on Twitter to find out where we will pop up!

7 p.m.: Chamber Music Experience/Performance/Event. Open to people of all ages. Beverages and food prepared by Jim Gould Dining available for sale. Guests also welcome to bring your own "indoor picnic."

Sunday, April 3
1 p.m.: Young Artist Chamber Music Competition Winners Master Class. Exceptional youth chamber ensembles (under age 18) participate in this master class led by the professional DoCha artists. Family friendly! Open to the public.

Afternoon: Pop-up chamber music in surprise locations. Follow us (DoChaFestival) on Twitter to find out where we will pop up!

4 p.m. Chamber Music Experience/Performance/Event. Open to people of all ages. Beverages and food prepared by Jim Gould Dining available for sale. Guests also welcome to bring your own "indoor picnic."

 

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New Meetup.com for C-U

I would like to announce the availability of a Meetup group for amateur tenor saxophone players in the Champaign area. Check it out at Meetup.com.

If you are interested and meet the minimal qualifications, you should join C-U Tenor Sax Amateur Group to exchange information and arrange realtime meetings for group sessions.

Minimal qualifications are that you are an amateur musician and that you can get around on the horn. Teenagers should get parents' permission before attending any realtime meeting.

I'm Ron Hutchison; I started the group. Anyone who wants to talk about it can find me in Espresso Royalle most days between 10:00 and 12:00 a.m. Most of the baristas can point me out to you.

This could be very cool, if we get enough participants!

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Little new revealed by additional City emails

Over the past couple of weeks, Smile Politely has posted a couple of articles discussing emails sent by a city secretary scheduling a campaign appearance for Mayor Jerry Schweighart. City Attorney Fred Stavins maintained that the mayor's secretary's actions were not "political acts," in his interpretation, and therefore did not violate city ordinance Sec. 2-107, which prohibits working on a political campaign on city time. Since the city attorney has jurisdiction over local ordinances (and the state's attorney general said one could appeal to the city prosecutor if one didn't agree with the city attorney's interpretation, so that didn't leave many options), that's about the end of that road.

Recently, I received copies of additional mayor's office emails which were in the same vein as the communications discussed above: city employees assisting with campaign-related activities like scheduling appearances, compiling information for interviews, passing along messages about yard signs, etc. If Stavins found no political acts in the original communications at issue, it's difficult to envision him finding more here.

The emails below are in pdf format.

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News-Gazette endorses Schweighart

A fairly predictable development, sure, but the article is definitely worth a read.  Here's a quick teaser:

 

If he's a little too rough around the edges for some, Schweighart remains a personable, approachable public figure who's always willing to help out. Although he was criticized by some last year for his remarks about President Obama's birth certificate, that faux controversy has no bearing on his ability to perform his mayoral duties.

[...]

But there's always room for a fresh face in politics, and, for those who desire change, Gerard is a sound choice despite never holding elective office. We are, however, troubled by his consistent refusal to say who is funding his campaign. Gerard is not required to identify contributors until the election is over, but that information will be of little value to voters then. He does acknowledge receiving union support, but with plans to spend a staggering $20,000 on the race, he should be more forthcoming about his funding sources. Schweighart estimated he will spend $13,000-$15,000

 

 

 

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Champaign County 2010 Census snapshot

Two big census data stories of the past couple days are the 25% drop in population in Detroit since 2000, and the increasing numbers of black folks, particularly younger ones, moving out of northern cities and to the South.

The New York Times yesterday morning had an interactive map of census data that has some pretty interesting data.  For Champaign County:

Population for 2010: 281,081. An 11.9% increase.
Share of population  and  percent change.
White: 71%  +2%
Black: 12%  +23%
Hispanic: 5%  +104%
Asian:  9%  +55%
Native Am: 0%  +4%
Multi-Racial: 2%  +49%

(Ed. Note: Also, C-U Citizen Access has put together some excellent maps of Champaign-Urbana noting its racial divide. Check them out here.)

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Landmark Campustown restaurant reportedly on fire : UPDATED 9:43 A.M.

Zorbas, a Campustown gyro shop, an institution since 1971, and one of the last remaining pieces of "old campus," is reportedly on fire. Little details are known at this time, since I am out of town, and I am receiving word from a friend who heard it from a friend, but more details as they arrive.

If confirmed, this would be a huge blow to whatever culture remains in campustown. Terrible.

UPDATE 9:44 AM CST: From Brian Mertz:

Oh I guess I should add some news from what I was able to observe: None of the paramedics/police I spoke to were able to give any details, but they reported no injuries/fatalities, and also it looked like, at least by the time I got there, ...no one had been injured. The ambulances that were there were on standby as opposed to treating anyone. This would be from about 8:25 to 9:20. If anyone was hurt before then, I don't know.

The fire was definitely contained to three buildings (Za's, Zorba's and Piyata) although I heard rumblings that the new kabob place had been damaged. The bank next to Za's appeared unharmed, and fire crew were on the bank roof most of the time.

Most of the hoses (both on the cranes and on the ground) were focused on Za's roof and the area between Zorba's and Za's. Water was flowing like a river out of Za's side door, and most of Za's windows were blown out by the hoses.

Because of the density of the smoke, I was unable to see the smoke damage to the other side of Green St, but I imagine it is bad. Power is out on all of Green St, and the outage extends all the way to the Espresso on 6th St.

I have to give major credit to the CFD... there was never a moment that I was there that things didn't seem under control. Their ability to keep the fire contained (along with winds that were rather calm) saved campustown. So they deserve applause from all of us.

 

UPDATE 8:20 AM CST: Fire is confirmed. Here is a photo courtesy of the @dtchampaign Twitter account: http://yfrog.com/h86g6kgj. Evidently, the fire is affecting Za's, Pitaya clothing store, and Zorbas.

UPDATE: New photo courtesy of Brian Mertz: