Smile Politely

Weekender: February 29-March 3

A black sandwich board with a sign that says PostMark Venue and a hand pointing to the right.
We Love Urbana – Community on Facebook

Thursday, February 29th

Celebrate the last day of Black History month, Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., free but registration is encouraged

The CU Reparations Coalition is hosting a screening of the PBS documentary film, The Big Payback. It tells the story of Robin Rue Simmons (who spoke at a CURC event last year) and her journey to pass the first ever tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans in Evanston, Illinois. Following the film, Dr. Jeff Trask of the CURC will moderate a discussion. (LKG)

Learn about Hope Village, Urbana Free Library, 7 p.m., free

Join Humanities Research Institute for their next Community Speaker Series. Claudia Lenhoff from Champaign County Health Care Consumers and Wanda E. Ward, Executive Associate Chancellor for Public Engagement will be sharing about Hope Village, a new initiative to develop housing for solutions for medically fragile adults. (JM)

Enjoy Studio Dance, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $10-$60

Dance at Illinois presents Studio Dance this weekend (Thursday through Saturday). There will be performances by U of I professors Tere O’Connor and Paige Cunningham Caldarella, as well as two MFA candidates. It takes place in the Studio Theatre which is a lovely, almost fully in-the-round space in which to really see the vibrancy and complexity of these types of performances. (JH) 

Influence the lineup for the Solshine Reverie festival, The Canopy Club, 8 p.m., $10-$12

It’s a good old-fashioned Battle of the Bands, as local bands compete to be on the big stage at this year’s Solshine Reverie Festival taking place in Chillicothe, IL over Memorial Day weekend. Competing for a shot at playing are 404, Femi Ishola, Half House, The Hangovers, Mr. Pink, Quantum, Sitrus Sol and Vorborg. (DP)

Friday, March 1st

The inside of crossroads consignment store. it has low white ceilings, brick walls that are covered with framed pictures, shelves of vases, dressers, lamps, and an assortment of chairs and tables.
Tom Ackerman

Buy some cool mid-century modern stuff, Crossroads Corner Consignment, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free to browse

Crossroads Corner Consignment has pulled together items from three different estates and will have them for sale through March. If you’re a mid-century modern enthusiast, get there on Friday to have the best selection. There will also be fine art and pottery for sale. (JH) 

Two cocktails at Bakery & Pickle restaurant in Bloomington, Illinois.
Bakery & Pickle cocktails; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Drive to Bloomington for dinner at a secret restaurant, Bakery & Pickle, 5 p.m. to midnight, prices vary

Bakery & Pickle is a secret restaurant hidden in Downtown Bloomington through a secret entrance with a secret phrase to get in. The mysterious speakeasy serves modern chef-driven dishes in a retro atmosphere. Last weekend, I went with my family, and we loved the whole experience especially finding the secret door. Read my full restaurant review here, and make your rez for dinner here. (AB)

Saturday, March 2nd

Attend UI-Con, Illini Union, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free

The inaugural UI-Con is taking place this weekend, all day on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re into anime or comics, or are anime and comics-curious, this is the space for you. The entire con is packed with performances, panels, demonstrations, and opportunities to show off your cosplay. Read my interview with two of the organizers to get a better sense of what to expect. (JH)

Spend time in Downtown Urbana, start at Main Scoop, 12 to 4 p.m., free

The March installment of PostMark Urbana is this weekend. Grab a map at The Main Scoop to see all of the fun things going on around Downtown Urbana. This month’s event features the Bow-dacious String Band, Dan Wild, artwork from Urbana elementary school students, and youth DJs at Gallery Art Bar. (JM)

A group of individuals is gathered in a room with a banner reading "Folk & Roots Festival" in the background. They are dressed in casual attire, with several holding musical instruments such as a guitar and a banjo, suggesting they are a band or a group of musicians. The setting has a communal and informal feel, with visible music stands and microphones, indicating a performance or a rehearsal space.
The Coneflowers on Facebook

Celebrate Women’s History Month with The Coneflowers, Urbana Free Library, 3 p.m., free

The Coneflowers, a dynamic ensemble of local women musicians with backgrounds in bluegrass, folk, choral, and classical music is performing in celebration of Women’s History Month. This special event is free to the public, offering a unique opportunity to experience the group’s passion for music and their tribute to the achievements of women through their artistry. (DP)

Watch some short films, CU International Film Festival, Spurlock Museum, doors at 6 p.m. (arrive early to get a ticket), free

The second annual CU International Film Festival is in the Knight Auditorium this year, where you’ll be able to comfortably sit and enjoy a series of short films from around the world. The screenings begin at 7 p.m., but arrive early to ensure you’re able to get a free ticket (they are all free, but seating is limited, of course). (JH)

Sunday, March 3rd

A cat with cream colored fur and a brown face and ears is laying sideways across a metal tray with a pad on it.
Julie McClure

Go to a cat show, McLean County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $8-$25

Last year I attended my very first cat show, hosted by the Illini Cat Club. This year’s annual event will be in Bloomington. If you’re a cat-lover, it’s a fun and cute thing to experience, especially the costume contest. If you can’t make it Sunday, it’s happening Saturday as well. (JM)

An exhibit of the Black Joy Project. A black wall is covered by many types of colorful art work In white frames. In front of the wall are grey plush armchairs.
Spurlock Museum of Culture on Facebook

Tell your story, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 1:30 p.m., free

As part of the Black Joy Project, members of the community are invited to share memories, legendary tales from family or friend groups, or important moments. Anyone can attend, however this event is especially centered on Black women and girls from the community so other attendees are invited to engage by listening to and celebrating with the storytellers. Stories will not be recorded or shared outside of this event. (LKG)

Watch Illinois Women’s Gymnastics, Huff Hall, 2 p.m., free

College gymnastics is super fun to watch. The Illini women are now ranked in the top 25, and there are just a couple of opportunities left to see them in action at Huff Hall. One of them is this Sunday against Bowling Green, so don’t miss it! (JM)

Rum pours on Sunday Rum Day at Punch! Bar & Lounge in Champaign, Illinois.
Alyssa Buckley

Rum it up, Punch! Bar & Lounge, 4 to 10 p.m., prices vary but all rums half off

If “No!” is how you feel about rum, well, me, too — until I went to Sunday Rum Day at Punch! Bar. The Downtown Champaign cocktail lounge has over 70 different rums available, and so many of them are sippable like scotch. And every single rum is half off on Sundays. The coolest rum I’ve tried is this South African rum, the Holmes Cay bottle on the right. It had a super funky aroma and tasted a bit like truffle oil; it was awesome. I’ve also enjoyed rums that tasted like pineapple, one that was slightly smoky, and one heavy on butterscotch and banana. Punch! has a ton of rum, so whatever flavors or notes you’re chasing, ask the bartenders because they know their rum and can recommend something that suits your taste. (AB)

A DJ stands at a turntable setup, making a peace sign with their fingers, smiling at the camera with a crowd of festival-goers in the background. The image captures a moment of connection between the artist and the audience, set within a large outdoor music event.
Inzo on Facebook

Sway, groove, and grind to EDM titan INZO, The Canopy Club, 8 p.m., $18 to $20

INZO, the Chicago-based musician and producer known for his distinctive “Vapor Wave” style in Electronic Dance Music, will be performing at the Canopy Club on Sunday night. Classically trained in piano and drums, INZO brings a fresh and versatile sound to his performances, showcasing tracks like those from his EP “Earth Magic,” a journey through melodic bass anthems and atmospheric production influenced by a diverse range of artists. (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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