Smile Politely

Five things in arts this month: December 2022

As we turn to the final page of the 2022 Chambana arts calendar, get ready for a holiday mix of local theater, readings from local authors, and an exhibition of art created by fourth graders from Booker T. Washington’s STEM Academy. This month, in addition to shopping from local artists and makers, consider gifting a theater experience for local friends and family. They’ll thank you. 

A Christmas Story

Photo of 1940s-style kitchen seen with mother at the wall-mounted phone and son at the kitchen table with soap in his mouth.Photo from the Parkland Theatre Facebook page.

Photo from the Parkland Theatre Facebook page.

If you like your holiday entertainment with a good dose of nostalgia, A Christmas Story is the play for you. Jean Shepherd’s comic memoir travels back to the 1940s Midwest, where nine-year-old Ralphie Parker sets out to make his dream of owning a Red Ryder BB gun a reality. Filled with lots of laughs and nostalgic toy references, A Christmas Story is sure to become a family-friendly favorite. Parkland Theatre will be raffling off a chance to win the play’s iconic Leg Lamp. Tickets, $5 each or five for $20, will be available at the box office, before and after the show, as well as during intermission. Raffle ticket proceeds benefit Parkland’s theatre student fun. Also consider bringing a toy for the Toy’s for Tot’s™ Drive, which runs through December 11th. 

A Christmas Story

Parkland College
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre
2400 W Bradley Ave
Champaign
December 9-11
F + Sa 7:30 p.m.
Su 3 p.m.
Get ticket information here

Homegrown: An Insurrection Play

A photo of a Black woman reading from a book at a dais, with a white woman and man off to the right side at a separate table.

Photo from the Station Theatre Facebook page.

In her recent interview with Homegrown: An Insurrection Play’s playwright Nicole Anderson-Cobb, Julie McClure wrote that “the play explores events surrounding the January 6th insurrection through the lens of a church community, and “like the others she’s written, she leans into her experience as a historian and researcher to dig into complex issues that permeate our culture.” Directed by Ben F. Locke and featuring actors Misty Martin, Aaron Miller, June Clark Eubanks, Seth Hubbard, Harry Brown, Alexander Harris, and Felipe Carmona, Homegrown offers a rare opportunity to process this very recent atrocity in true cathartic style. Anderson-Cobb is only the second local playwright to have their work debuted at the Station Theatre. Let’s give Homegrown the support it deserves and help ensure we get to see more high-powered locally-sourced theatre. 

Homegrown: An Insurrection Play
Station Theatre
223 N Broadway Ave
Urbana
December 8-11
Th-Sa 7:30 p.m.
Su 3 p.m.
Get ticket information here

In the Making

Cut outs from pictures of brightly colored children's art are integrated into a collage with ribbons of white like glues. Image from the Krannert Art Museum website.

Image from the Krannert Art Museum website.

For the past year, a group of fourth grade students from Booker T. Washington’s STEM Academy have been enjoying weekly interactions with Krannert Art Museum educators. They got to meet artists, explore how art helps us tell our stories, and make art. This year-long journey of creative expression and experimentation has resulted in a group exhibition aptly titled In the Making. This community collaboration celebrates the museum’s power as a learning laboratory. And that’s definintely something to celebrate.

In the Making  
Krannert Art Museum
500 E Peabody Ave
Lower Level, Hood Classroom
Champaign
December 8, 2022 – January 18, 2023
Opening reception: Th Dec 8th, 5 to 7 p.m.
Free

VOICE

Chairs set up in the Literary's reading corner with a brick fireplace to the right and shelves of books in the background. Photo from the Literary's Facebook page.

Photo from the Literary’s Facebook page.

For a book nerd, this event has it all. Cozy hub of literary culture featuring adult and other beverages? Check. Great selection of books, including those by local authors, to browse and buy? Check. A chance to hear students from the University of Illinois Creative Writing MFA Program read what they’ve been working on this past year? Done and done. Bring a friend and spend the evening celebrating our local literary scene.

VOICE
The Literary
122 N Neil St
Champaign
Th Dec 8th, 7-8 p.m.
Free

Local Author Showcase

A color close-up photo of author Ekta R Garg with an inset photo of her book The Truth About Elves. Photo from the author's website.

Photo from the Ekta R. Garg’s website.

Mahomet-based Yellow & Co. Events is organizing this large-scale celebration of local writers. Featured authors include Cristina Prestin-Beard, Holly Melby, Ekta Garg, Heidi Esther, Sal Nudo, Greg Pasley, Kaitlin Bergfield, Cherie Roberson, Amy Markstahler, Megan Montgomery, and Dewhitt Bingham. Come and meet the authors, and buy books. This big of a local literary showcase is definitely worth supporting.

Local Author Showcase
A Yellow & Co. Event
604 E Main St, Suite C
Mahomet 
Sa Dec 17th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Free

Top photo from the Station Theatre’s Facebook page.
 

Related Articles