Smile Politely

Weekender: April 14-16

EKAH, "Salmagundi," Graphite and digital painting. A digital artwork that features an abstracted landscape with a rabbit traversing it. There are many colorful squares and some circles.
EKAH, Salmagundi, graphite and digital colors, 2023. 40 North on Facebook

Friday, April 14th

Check out some interesting art at the Boneyard Arts Festival, various locations, times vary, free though there will be art available for purchase

40 North’s annual Boneyard Arts Festival is happening this weekend with events and exhibits all around Champaign County. You can check out the Tiny Art Show at The Literary, woodblock printing and carving at Woods Studio Gallery at CU Woodshop, and contemporary photography at Phillips Recreation Center. Plenty of local businesses are participating, and the Boneyard Arts Market will be at Lincoln Square Mall. Our Five things in Arts this month highlighted more events, and you can find the full schedule of events on the Boneyard Arts Festival website. (SO)

Create your own poem, Ricker Library of Architecture, 3 p.m., free

In this workshop you will use typewriter art, collage, and 3D printing to create your own poem. This event is hosted by the Grainger Library IDEA lab. While you’re there, you can also visit the “Writing in Circles” exhibit which showcases artists, designers, and poets who create works that combine both poetry and visual art. (LKG)

The movie screen at Harvest Moon Drive In, Gibson City IL seen as dusk. The isn't anything on the large, white screen. There are many cars in the lot, and the sky is an orange sunset.
Julie McClure

Watch a scary(ish) movie, Harvest Moon Drive In, 6:30 p.m., $9 per person

Harvest Moon in Gibson City has reopened for its 69th season, and this weekend it is showing scary movies on one screen and on the other a family-friendly one with “a few slightly scary moments.” If you’re looking for a way to spend a good chunk of time with someone(s), this is the way to do it. Get your tickets online ahead of time. (JH)

Hear a lecture about designer babies, I-Hotel and Conference Center, 4 p.m., free

Yes you read that correctly. The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and Humanities Research Institute are hosting “Designer Babies: What are they & do we want them?“, with special guest lecturer Françoise Baylis, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor Emerita at Dalhousie University. It’s part of their IGB Distinguished Public Lecture Series. Sounds a bit like science fiction, but you will surely be learning the about the science involved in this topic. (JM)

Saturday, April 15th

Learn how to dance Flamenco, Lincoln Square Mall, 2 p.m., free

The Illinois Flamenco-Jazz Collective and La Fuerza Flamenca will be holding a free Flamenco dance workshop. The event is being hosted in collaboration with the European Union Center at the University of Illinois as part of their annual European Day of Art and will feature special guest artist David Chiriboga. The workshop will be followed by a flamenco-jazz music and dance performance. More information can be found on the event page. (SO)

Alyssa Buckley

Eat a smashburger, The Space, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., $13

This delicious smashburger is called the Smashy McSmashface, and it’s so good. Get it at the new restaurant The Space in Downtown Champaign beside Ladro Enoteca. The burger has two beef patties smashed on the grill with American cheese, pickled onions, and pickled jalapeño with a side of house-made potato chips, and we named it the BEST new burger of C-U last year. Read my interview with the owners and the bar manager here. (AB)

Watch a little bellydancing, Urbana Dance Company, 6 p.m., free (donations welcome)

Urbana Dance Company is hosting a Shimmylicious Chambana Spring Hafla. Hafla comes from the Arabic word for “social gathering.” This is billed as a “low key” event where you’ll get to see both amateur and professional bellydancing performances. Maybe you’ll be inspired to take classes! (JM)

The entire University of Illinois Black Chorus onstage with their conductor.
UI Black Chorus on Facebook

Honor moms alongside the UI Black Chorus, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $15

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis conducts the UI Black Chorus for their annual Mom’s Day concert at the Krannert Center. This year, the performance is titled Our Woman King: Mom. Get your tickets here or at the Krannert Center box office. (DP)

Sunday, April 16th

Masa pancakes at Cowboy Monkey in Downtown Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Brunch it up, Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., prices vary

Check out the brunch menu at Cowboy Monkey. I love these masa pancakes with strawberry-tequila syrup, but the restaurant has lots of great options. The churro French toast sticks are awesome, and my husband loves the breakfast burritos. Sit on the patio with a sangria and food you didn’t have to cook for a beautiful start to your Sunday. (AB)

A white and gray gemstone is perched on a Lord of the Rings gollum stand. The stand is on a gray mat on a table.
Mystic Moraine Minerals on Facebook

Take a drive to shop for some rocks and gems, Decatur Conference Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $5

There is a rock and gem show at the Decatur Conference Center this weekend. Not a bad time to take a ride to see what sorts of shiny (or matte) gems, rocks, or crystals you can acquire. While you’re in town, stop by Mister Softee for some ice cream. (JH)

A blue circular sign hangs on the outside of a gray building with large windows. It has an orange saxophone and says Neil St. Blues.
Alyssa Buckley

Go to dinner and a drag show, Neil St. Blues, 8 to 11 p.m., $35 (includes dinner)

Or maybe drag show is more your thing? This extravaganza promises to be a glamorous evening featuring some of the most talented performers in the area. A dinner buffet will feature some of Neil Street Blues finest foods including creole fettuccine, mac n’ cheese, vegan jambalaya, and more. Tickets can be purchased online. The show starts at 8 p.m. and will be hosted by Ceduxion Carrington and Hera Winn. (LKG)

Celebrate International Jazz Day in C-U, Souza Archives, Rose Bowl Tavern, 2 to 6 p.m., free

Celebrate UNESCO’s International Jazz Day at the Sousa Archives with featured trumpet players Tito Carrillo, Jeff Helgesen, and Saori Kataoka, accompanied by a rhythm section. The event is free and open to the public, and after the performances, head over to Rose Bowl Tavern for more performances. Don’t miss this jazz-filled afternoon and evening. (DP)

All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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