Smile Politely

Weekender: September 15-17

Two drinks on a wooden table inside Gallery Art Bar. One is in a highball glass, the other in a rounded martini glass
Alyssa Buckley

Friday, September 15th

Attend a symposium, Levis Faculty Center and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 4 p.m., free

The first Interseminars cohort — a group of U of I faculty and graduate students engaged in interdisciplinary research — will be presenting their culminating symposium, Imagining Otherwise: Speculation in the Americas on Friday and Saturday. On Friday evening, you can begin with a keynote from Carolyn Fornoff, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies at Cornell, and continue the evening at KCPA with a performance by dancers Adanya Gilmore and Zachary Nicol, and a film screening of Ruido (Noise). Saturday will be a full day of installations, artist talks, panel discussions, and more. Find the full schedule on the Humanities Research Institute website. (JM)

A large metal arched sculpture stands in a park. The left side of the arch has straight columns, while the right side has beams assembled going in every direction creating a 3-D effect.
Urbana Park District on Facebook

Take a Jazz Walk, Wandell Sculpture Garden, 5 p.m., free

To celebrate 25 years of the Wandell Sculpture Garden at Meadowbrook Park, the Urbana Park District is hosting a rededication of the sculpture garden in a special ceremony. After a social and rededication and remarks, there will be a jazz walk featuring live music set up throughout the garden to enjoy as you check out the sculptures, both new and old. (SSO)

Sip non-alcoholic beverages, Gallery Art Bar, 5 p.m. to midnight, $7

Gallery Art Bar, the newest bar in Downtown Urbana, is dazzling. It just opened this week, and the menu of beverages includes a roster of non-alcoholic mixed drinks made with artisan ingredients. Any of the drinks can be made with alcohol for a $5 upcharge. Follow the bar on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their events. (AB)

Watch Greener Pastures, Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $7

The Land Connection is hosting a screening of the farming documentary Greener Pastures, which “examines the various farm stressors, policies, and politics farmers must navigate to survive, connecting the dots between mental health, industrialization, food production, and climate change.” It doesn’t exactly sound like an uplifting topic, but it’s a hugely important one. Leslie Cooperband of Prairie Fruits Farm will be in conversation with the film’s director, Harold Wilken after the screening. (JH)

See world-famous bands, or rather their likenesses, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $15

The Great Cover-Up returns to the Rose Bowl Tavern for a weekend of fun and charity on September 15th and 16th, starting at 8 p.m. each night. Local bands and musicians will transform their bands into well-known artists, complete with stage props and costumes, all to raise money for Girls Rock! C-U. Tickets to the event are $15, being held all indoors, but additional donations are welcome. (DP)

Saturday, September 16th

Three paintings by Sara Jahn of skulls with red accents and black backgrounds hang against a black wall.
Paintings by Sara Jahn; photo by Serenity Stanton Orengo

Check out an art fair, West Side Park, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free, but you can buy things

West Side Arts is back for its second year this weekend. Hosted by 40 North and the Champaign Park District, the outdoor art fair was one of my top five recommendations in the arts this month, and is a great way to check out some local art in a family friendly environment. If the rain kept you away from the Crystal Lake Art Fair, now is your chance to see some talented local artists in one place, including photographer Fraya Replinger, mixed media artist Gregory Stallmeyer, and painter Sara Jahn. (SSO)

Eat a lunch buffet, Ambar India Restaurant, 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m., $14.99

If you’ll be in Campustown this weekend, swing by Wright Street’s Ambar India Restaurant for the lunch buffet. The buffet has a variety of chicken and vegetarian dishes plus naan, papad, salad, and dessert. For more photos of the spread, check out my SPlog about it from Wednesday. (AB)

A brindle pit bull mix dog is standing in a living room staring into the camera. His mouth is open as if he is smiling. He has a white mark on his muzzle and up the middle of his face. He wears a red harness and there is a blue and orange toy on the floor next to him.
Hospice Hearts on Facebook

Play with some cats and dogs, Tolono Public Library, noon to 3:30 p.m., free

Hospice Hearts is turning the Tolono Public Library into a cat cafe, of sorts, on Saturday afternoon. Stop by to see all of the adoptable pets; you can meet and play with the dogs in the library’s backyard. There will also be cat and dog themed games and puzzles. (JH)

Three white men sitting in a triangle talking to each other and laughing and smiling. The man in the middle wears a black vest and hat and has many piercings while the other two  men wear t-shirts.
Human Libary

Meet someone new, University YMCA, 4 to 7 p.m., free

As part of Welcoming Week, University YMCA is hosting an event with The Human Library. The concept started in Denmark and the idea is to check out a “human book” that can be “read” by attendees. Through this, you get to talk to someone who features characteristics unique to the individual. Examples of previous books are extreme body modification, homelessness, and bipolar. (LKG)

A group of people are standing together in a line. They are dressed in formal attire, with suits and ties.
Morris Day and the Time on Facebook

Get funky on a Saturday night, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $10 to $100 

Experience a musical journey with Morris Day and the Time, trailblazers in the Minneapolis sound that fused elements of funk, R&B, and new wave. Enjoy a night filled with iconic hits such as “Jungle Love” and “Cool,” all originally shaped under the mentorship of music legend Prince. (DP)

Hear music from French composers, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $10-$40

Sinfonia da Camera returns to Foellinger Great Hall for their 40th season with Viva La France!, a performance featuring the music of Debussy, Chaminade, Saint-Saëns, and Dukas. Conductor Ian Hobson will also be a featured soloist on the piano, and Jonathan Keeble will be featured on flute. Tickets are available on the KCPA website. (JM)

Sunday, September 17th

Try out some new board games, Savoy Recreation Center, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., $3-$25

Tabletop Central is hosting a convention for people who love to play board games, card games, and role playing games. On Saturday and Sunday they will have a library of more than 350 games to check out and try, as well as prize drawings, a silent auction, and more. On Sunday you can get lunch from the Mamma D’s Smokehouse food truck. Find the full schedule at the Tabletop Central website. (JM)

A yellow vintage train and blue vintage train facing opposite directions on parallel train tracks.
Monticello Railway Museum on Facebook

Ride some trains, Monticello Railway Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $20-$35

The Monticello Railway Museum is hosting Railroad Days on Saturday and Sunday. Your ticket will give you unlimited rides on the various train cars they will have running throughout the day. There will also be food trucks and a kids’ area on site, so you can make a day of it. Let this TikTok about the museum inspire you to attend. (JM)

A group of people stand on a stage  rehearsing a play. The walls and floor are black. There are black chairs in the foreground with long balloon swords in red, blue, and green.
The Station Theater on Facebook

Go see a new comedy, The Station Theatre, 2 p.m., $13-$25

The Station Theatre is premiering a new comedy The Inseparables by TJ Young. The story is about a small theater company rehearsing their own original adaptation of The Three Musketeers. There are promises of puppets, pool noodles, and hilarity. Buy tickets in advance. The show runs until September 24th. (LKG)

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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