Smile Politely

Weekender: April 5-7

Friday, April 5th

Black and Queer, Parkland College, 11 a.m., free

Niko Paceley, a Parkland alum, will be having a Q&A in D-244 (you can see where D wing is here). Last week was International Trans Day of Visibility, and this is an opportunity to hear from someone about their personal trans experience as well as learn what allyship looks like. This event is open to all, not just Parkland students. (JM)


Eat vegan food and listen to local live music, Rose Bowl Tavern, 5 p.m.

Urbana First Fridays events are happening all over town tonight, and the Rose Bowl is no exception. The venue will host live music from several artists starting at 5 p.m. There will also be a pop-up hosted by The Red Herring, a local vegan restaurant starting at 6 p.m. A full schedule of performers, and a full menu of food is available here. No cover for the music, food available for purchase. (NL) Photo from Facebook

Bust out your 80s dance moves at the Illini Student Musicals production of Footloose, Lincoln Hall, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the 80s, this toe-tapping tale of teen rebellion will start your weekend off right. The production runs all weekend with 1 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, and another 7:30 pm. show Saturday night. And remember, dancing is not a crime. (DD)  

Saturday, April 6th

Learn to build a raised garden bed, Habitat for Humanity warehouse, 302 N Broadway Ave, Urbana, 9 a.m. to noon, $20

Here is an excellent way to begin your own garden. Raised beds are a little easier to maintain, and for $20 you’ll get a t-shirt, snacks, and planting ideas, plus the knowledge of how to build your own raised garden bed. Register for the class here. (JH) Photo from Facebook 

Japan House Spring Open House, Japan House, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., free

Spring is a lovely time to pay a visit to Japan House and the surrounding grounds. After this last burst of rain, stroll the grounds and check on the progress of the Sakura buds. Make it a point to head in by 1 p.m. so that you can see former Japan House director and Professor Emeritus Kimiko Gunji present her new cookbook The Art of Wagashi: Recipes for Japanese Sweets that Delight the Palate and the Eyes. (JM)

Check out the Edible Book Festival, Common Ground Food Co-op, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., free

The 14th annual Edible Book Festival brings together tasty treats (and some savory items) and literature, often resulting in truly inspiring puns. This event is family friendly and adorable; bring the kiddos, too. You might even be able to have a taste of those good looking books. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie 

Celebrate the Boneyard, Boneyard Creek Crossing, 12 to 4 p.m., free (but bring money for food trucks)

Since you’re already downtown Urbana, head over to the corner of Race and Griggs. This weekend is 40 North’s huge community wide celebration of the arts — Boneyard Arts Festival. Some performances and exhibits began Thursday, but a bulk of the festival continues through Friday and Saturday, with a few added opportunities on Sunday. Urbana Public Arts is hosting this family friendly gathering where you can hear music from Dance Music Therapy, grab some tasty food from local food trucks, and find all sorts of performances and artsy activities for the kids. Of course, the festival reaches far beyond this celebration, so be sure to check out the full list of venues throughout Champaign and Urbana, and go immerse yourself in local art. You can also hear from some of the participating artists here. (JM) Top photo of Robert Chapman’s Weaving #5 from Facebook

Sunday, April 7th

Take a trip around the world, Spurlock Museum, 12:30 to 5 p.m., free

Spurlock’s annual WorldFest will feature music and storytelling performances from countries all over the world — from India to Georgia to Brazil. You can find full descriptions of the performances here, as well as the schedule so you can plan your visit accordingly. (JM)

Head to a Boneyard Arts music event at the Loose Cobra in Tolono, 2 p.m.

In preparation for an upcoming tour, and as part of the Boneyard Arts Festival, Matt Talbott will be performing a short concert of solo material at the artist collective space (123 E Main St) next to his bar The Loose Cobra in Tolono. Matt will be sharing the space with letterpress artist Lisa Kesler (Lisa Kesler Studio) and concrete artisan Douglas Kistler (Uptown Concrete Design). Live music from the Derick Cordoba Quintet will follow at the Cobra, along with homemade bloody marys and margaritas, and food provided by Betsy’s Bistro Mobile.

According to Matt, his 11-show tour starts April 24th in Kansas City, and includes additional stops in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Ohio, should his car actually make it. (NL) 

Check out “the world’s most famous brass group”, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 3 to 5 p.m., $10-$32

Canadian Brass makes great music and knows how to engage an audience. Just looking at this picture you can tell these guys know how to have a good time. This musically satisfying matinee experience is just what you need to keep you smiling into Monday. (DD) Photo from KCPA Facebook page. 

Go out with your friends to see lots of half naked men, 51 Main, 1906 W Bradley, Champaign, 8 to 11 p.m., $22

Girls Night Out The Show is basically Magic Mike IRL, minus Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello — skwetty (that’s even sweatier than sweaty) men thrusting and gyrating and doing things on and/or to a stage/chair. Well, that’s what I envision at least; I have not yet attended this show. But a quick perusal of the show’s Facebook page confirms the “doing things on and/or to a stage/chair,” so you’re in for a real treat. Get your tickets here. (JH) Photo from Facebook 


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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