Smile Politely


Everything you need to know about 8 to Create 2021

When asked about any upsides to this year's virtual format, 8 to Create president Caroline Wuerl said “it is refreshing to know that we have the potential to reach even more people now that it’s streamed virtually.”

Behold the art of the Sisterhood

”The young women of Sisterhood Academy would like to bring to you our difficulties and our victories. We want you to know that we all struggle sometimes but it does get better. Women of Color are a significant part of history.” Excerpted from the Sisterhood's artist statement.

Preparing for The Journey with Scott Silven

Illusionist, mentalist, and performance artist Scott Silven feels lucky to offer this chance to “take a moment to step back and reflect and realize that even in fragmented times, we can still find new forms of connection.”

CU Poetry Group Haiku Project brings hope for the new year

“A few weeks ago we started talking about how moving into the new year we all felt hopeful about the future for the first time in a while. We wanted to share the feeling and see if we could keep it going, so we came up with the CU Haiku Hope Project.”

Queering the zine scene

At a recent Small Press Fest workshop, zine expert Dr. Spencer Keralis guided us through the history and culture of zine-making and what makes it so inherently queer.

Getting a Clue with Champaign filmmaker Genna Roth

“If there's anything I'm able to leave behind for underclassmen, I'm hoping that they’re able to come out of this shooting process having learned something new. I know I've learned a lot so far, and we haven't even really gotten started.” Genna Roth on her experience creating Central High's COVID-friendly film version of Clue.

Five things in arts this month: November 2020

Like everything else, gratitude will look different this year. But preparing for this article has given me hope. It has reminded me that artists are resilient and often at their best when the chips seem to be down.

The return of November Dance

“Dance is an art form rooted in the body, which carries the stories of our ancestors and the emotional tone of the present moment. At catastrophic moments, words fail us. The body absorbs experiences, and it never lies.”  Jan Erkert, Dance at Illinois Department Head and November Dance Concert Director. 

Flag is, flag ain’t

The flag has often been interpreted by artists. But what messages do these images convey, especially during divisive times?