Smile Politely

Arts

Re-Fashioned 2023 was fun and inspiring

Last Saturday’s Re-Fashioned event was, like all of the others I’ve been to, crowded and wonderful. Re-Fashioned is the runway show showcasing the work by University of Illinois School of Art + Design fashion students …

Tango for all at this year’s CU Tango Music Festival

Argentine tango has a strong presence in many cities and towns internationally, including, of course, Champaign-Urbana. The 2023 CU Tango Music Festival brought together local and visiting tango musicians, instructors, and dancers. Tango is many …

Parable preaches the gospel of change

The science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler, who died in 2006 at the age of fifty-eight, is experiencing a posthumous renaissance. In 2021, the Library of America published its first volume of her collected works; she …

A look at Boneyard Arts Festival 2023

This year’s Boneyard Arts Festival saw events taking place at more than ninety venues across Champaign County. The annual four-day arts festival is put on by 40 North and brings together local artists and businesses. …

Designing art markets with Anna Gutsch

If you’ve spent any time shopping at our local markets, you’ve likely come across NORDEN or Pipapo. NORDEN is an Urbana-based design company making furniture and home goods. Pipapo is their birch jewelry spinoff. Owners …

Getting the giggles with Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts may not be a household name, but his creative output is. The comedian and television writer / producer has been attached to Mike & Molly and Two and a Half Men — you’ve …

CUDO Plays invites creativity and community

On Saturday, CUDO Plays, the annual board game design competition hosted by the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization, held their Grand Exhibition at Broadway Food Hall. This event is the culmination of months of work on the …

Five things in arts this month: April 2023

April is the March Madness of Champaign-Urbana’s arts community. There are two huge events — Boneyard Arts Festival and Ebertfest — that garner a lot of attention. But there is also a whole lot happening …

Behind the clay with artist Hye-Min Kim

I fell in love with the ceramics by OHMK Design on Instagram where Champaign-Urbana artist Hye-Min Kim shares how she turns clay into strikingly beautiful functional ceramics in timelapse videos. Some of her pieces can …

The Good Doctor is in at Parkland Theatre

Coming up next from Parkland Theatre is Neil Simon’s Broadway hit The Good Doctor, opening Thursday, March 23rd. This 1973 comedy with music adapts short stories from the works of 19th-century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov …

U of I alum Tyrone Phillips directs The Royale

Marco Ramirez’s The Royale, loosely based on the life of Black heavyweight champion boxer Jack Johnson, tells the story of Jay “The Sport” Jackson, a Black boxer. Jackson is slated to fight a white boxer, …

Torn between two parts in Valiente

The University of Illinois Department of Theatre will present Theatre Studies New Works Project on Thursday, February 16th (Close), Friday, February 17th (A Dance in the Dark), and Saturday February 18th (Valiente). These three projects are student-driven, and produced …

Learning more about A Dance in the Dark

The University of Illinois Department of Theatre will present Theatre Studies New Works Project on Thursday, February 16th (Close), Friday, February 17th (A Dance in the Dark), and Saturday February 18th (Valiente). These three projects …

Moving into Dream Hou$e at The Station Theatre

Coming up next in The Station Theatre’s 50th season is Dream Hou$e, a new dark comedy-drama by award-winning playwright Eliana Pipes, opening February 2nd. In the play, Latinx sisters Julia and Patricia Castillo appear on …