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Get your Culture here: Five things to do in September 2023

a picture of two drag queens. on the left is Alaska 5000 against a pink background, she wears a red dress, necklace, and lipstick and holds a red phone to her ear. She is white with very long blonde hair. On the left is Monet X Change set against a red backdrop wearing a gold dress and staring into the camera, her hair is braided and pulled back, she wears a silver cross on her neck.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Champaign-Urbana really comes alive in September, and there are so many things to do it was hard to pick just five experiences. From some non-music things to do at music festivals, to hearing people talk about their art and tell their stories, this month is a great time to add some Culture to your schedule.

Bring your kids to ELLNORA

ELLNORA has been a mainstay at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts since 2005. What might not immediately come to mind though, is that there are also several free activities and events for kids. You can get a caricature done by artist Dan Wild (Friday 5:30 to 11 p.m. and Saturday 4 to 10:30 p.m.), there will be information tables from local groups, a photobooth, trivia, a family craft activity hosted by Prism Studios, and an instrument petting zoo with a variety of musical instruments provided by The Upper Bout where you can look at, touch, and also play the instruments. Of course there will also be an incredible lineup of music as well. 

ELLNORA
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S Goodwin Ave
Urbana
September 8th + 9th
F 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Sa 11:30 am to 10:30 p.m.
Tickets available online

a white woman dressed in a long light blue dress and bonnet acts as a school teacher from the early 18th century. She is standing in front of a simple white building and a group of children, some also dressed in costumes others wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
Museum of the Grand Prairie on Facebook

Take a Walk

Lake of the Woods is partnering with the Mahomet Public Library to offer a StoryWalk® trail to visitors. New stories will be updated monthly August through October, and then bi-monthly until December. To celebrate this partnership, there will be a ribbon cutting during the Prairie Stories event at the Museum of the Grand Prairie. There will also be activities, music, and school house lessons.

Prairie Stories
Museum of the Grand Prairie
950 North Lombard, Rt 47
Mahomet
September 9th
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free

A black wall with framed artworks in white frames with white mats.
Spurlock Museum

Discuss some art

Join Philadelphia-based Asian American Studies scholar Rob Buscher and curator Jason Finkelman at the Spurlock Museum of Art as they discuss Nikkeijin Illinois, a current exhibition on the Japanese American Experience. They will discuss Buscher’s collection, collaborative work, and his connections to the Illinois stories on display. 

Jason Finkelman in Conversation with Robert Buscher
Spurlock Museum
600 S Gregory St
Urbana
September 9th
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Free

Two in the hand sculpture by Michael Young. A large white flowing sculpture set amidst tall trees and grass.
Urbana Park District

Learn the history of Meadowbrook

Meet author Roger Digges and listen to him discuss his new book Meadowbrook: A History and how the Urbana Park District transformed farmland into a sprawling park complete with prairie, art, and plenty of recreation spaces. There will be drinks and refreshments during the presentation, a chance for Q+A, and signed books to purchase. Spots are limited but you can register until September 20th.

Book Release & Meet the Author of Meadowbrook: A History
Anita Purves Nature Center
1505 N Broadway Ave
Urbana
September 21st
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Free, but signed books can be purchased for $29

a picture of two drag queens. on the left is Alaska 5000 against a pink background, she wears a red dress, necklace, and lipstick and holds a red phone to her ear. She is white with very long blonde hair. On the left is Monet X Change set against a red backdrop wearing a gold dress and staring into the camera, her hair is braided and pulled back, she wears a silver cross on her neck.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

See the stars

PYGMALION is coming! And while the focus is certainly on the music, there are quite a few other things to do. (Check out Serenity’s post for Arts related ideas.) One of the shows I am most looking forward to is the performance by Alaska 5000 and Monét X Change. Both are well known for their time on RuPaul’s Drag Race (Alaska 5000 won All Stars season two and Monét X Change won All Stars season four) but they have since spread their wings, performing all over the world, co-writing and appearing in TV and movies, and hosting their own podcasts. They’ll be performing at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and it promises to be a great show.

PYGMALION: MONÉT X CHANGE & ALASKA 5000 
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S Goodwin Ave
Urbana
September 21st
9 p.m.
$35 general admission or $100 meet and greet

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