Smile Politely

Weekender: February 23-25

Friday, February 23rd

Attend Untitled 2018, Orpheum Theatre, 7:30-11:30 p.m., tickets $45-80

Support the arts in C-U by attending 40 North’s annual fundraiser. Proceeds from tickets will support the organization’s many projects including Boneyard Arts Festival, ACE Awards, the Eric Show, Friday Night Live, Sky Gallery, and MTD ART. This year’s theme is Invasion of the Arts, a sci-fi/50’s vibe, and you can spend the evening dancing, browsing and purchasing artwork from local artists, bidding on silent auction items, and mingling with fellow art lovers. Your ticket also includes food and a complimentary cocktail bar. Purchase tickets online to avoid paying an extra $5 at the door. (JM)

Unflood your basement, your house, all day, cost varies

Well, the rain stopped, so you can stop working on your ark, but if you’re like me and any number of C-U residents who have a basement, you actually have a brown-watered subterranean swimming pool. Pump the water out, rip up the carpet, get the fans going, and laugh with a mad gleam in your eye as you shrug and say, “Well, that’s just C-U for you!” Celebrate your hard work and blunt your desperation with a tasteful drink on Saturday at C-U 1-to-1 Mentoring’s annual wine tasting event. (DT)


CJ Run, Sharon Li, Teddy Lerch, N. M. Garcia, Keegan Gulick, Olivia Tasch, Krannert Art Museum, free, 7 p.m.

Krannert Art Museum’s Remastered series invites local musicans to “choose an artwork on display at KAM and create a song in response to it” — so that’s what’s happening on Friday. Very cool. The performances will happen one after another in the galleries — and you can see the artists above who are performing. (PS)

Banditos, Loose Cobra, 9 p.m., free

The Loose Cobra is one of the best places to see a show in the area. I don’t mean best as in best sound or best venue or best whatever else, I just mean… you know something is great when you see it. I just love the Cobra, that’s probably what I’m getting at. Anywho, Banditos are a really awesome band, and they’re performing for free on Friday night. You should make the trip and put a few bucks in the donation bucket. (PS)

Saturday, February 24th

Learn to tango at KAM, Krannert Art Museum, 1 p.m., free

Spend your Saturday afternoon learning to tango in the middle of an art gallery with the live band Tangotta keeping time. The event is open to anyone, so you don’t need to have dance experience, or even a partner, to attend. (KF) 


See Oscar-Nominated Shorts, The Art Theater, times vary, $6.50-8.25

The feature length Oscar nominated movies get a lot of attention this time of year, but we don’t usually hear much about the short-length films that have gotten nods. It must take some serious skill as a director/producer/writer to get your point across in such a short amount of time, and do it in a visually appealing way. The Art Theater is taking this weekend to showcase the live action and animated shorts that are up for awards, so pick a time and have a unique movie going experience. (JM)


C-U 1-to-1 Wine Tasting Event, Art Mart, 4 p.m., $25

Wine, hors d’ouevres, and smooth jazz await you at the C-U 1-to-1 Mentoring Program Scholarship Foundation’s annual wine tasting event. Proceeds go to benefiting the C-U 1-to-1 Scholarship Foundation, which provides substantial scholarships to dozens of area youth every year. It’s wine and snacks for a great cause, so you should probably go. (DT)

C-U Folk & Roots Fest Winter Weekend, the Iron Post, Friday and Saturday, $5-20

The C-U Folk & Roots Fest doesn’t take place til the end of the year, but this weekend, they are throwing down a mini-version of their festival in Downtown Urbana at the Iron Post. 

On Friday, Joe Filisko and Eric Noden will be joined by Sharp Dirt, and Backyard BBQ Band playing a happy hour set. Saturday is headlined by Kilborn Alley Blues Band (above), Hobnob String Band, and others. Do check this one out. (PS)

Sunday, February 25th

Art Through the Generations Art Fare, Champaign County Nursing Home, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., free admission

The Champaign County Nursing Home will be hosting an art fare full of opportunities. It will feature numerous local artists showcasing and selling their work, live music, representatives from Riggs Beer Company and Wyldwood Winery giving presentations on the art of making beer and wine and giving out samples, weaving demonstrations, acrylic painting classes, poetry readings, and more. (KF) 

Get a cookbook from the library and cook something, all day, your house, prices vary but library books are free

Every week, my husband and I go to the library to pick up some movies, books, and cookbooks. It’s a routine that brings us joy. We usually randomly select some cookbooks from the new cookbooks shelf; then we see if there is anything in there we could make during the week. Sundays are generally an easy day to do some meal prep or to cook something nice. You can swing by the Market in the Square on Saturday for some produce, or stop by any one of C-U’s many grocery stores for the goods. I also suggest stopping into a speciality grocer — Fresh International Market, Am-Ko, Green Onion, Best of Africa, Cheese & Crackers, Art Mart — for items you may not typically find or use. Or just buy some fancy cheese. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Taste some tea, Walnut Street Tea Company, 115 S Walnut St, Champaign, 2 to 4 p.m., free

Tea is the next food trend (yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true). Look for tea-flavored doughnuts and booze soon. I often find it helpful to know what the original thing tastes like, and this tea tasting is the place to do that. It’s also a way to find some new cold weather drinks. This tasting is in an open house format, and there will be plenty of different teas for tasting, as well as some sweet treats for a nibble. (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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