Smile Politely

Weekender: March 30-April 1

FRIDAY, March 30

Good Vibes Only ShowcaseUrbana Champaign Independent Media Center, free, 5:30 p.m. 

IMC has assembled quite the showcase this Friday, featuring a ton of local artists — all for free. It starts a bit early, though if you’re wanting to stop by and check it out, there’s a wide range of time to see a variety of genres. Metal, hip hop, soul, and a bunch of other types of artists will be on display in Urbana. (PS)


Chasing Tornadoes, Staerkel Planetarium, 7 to 8 p.m., $2

Andrew Pritchard, who runs Chambana Weather and offers up a Monthly Weather Review here on Smile Politely, also happens to be a storm chaser, is presenting look at tornadic activity in the Midwest: how and where they form, how to be prepared, and you’ll get to check out some pretty cool tornado footage. All admission will be donated back to the planetarium, and this event has been pretty popular in the past so get there early. (JM) Photo from Facebook



Nite Lite Egg Pursuit, Hessel Park, 7:15 p.m., $10

This Easter Egg hunt is just for the grown-ups, because why should kids get to do all things? I mean Easter candy is THE BEST candy. Plus, there opportunities for even more interesting prizes for those that find bronze, silver, and gold eggs. So grab a basket, a flashlight, and get your game face on. Registration begins on-site at 7:15, the egg hunt starts at 8:10. You must be over 18 to participate. (JM) Photo from Facebook



Barbecue, Krannert Center for Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $25/ticket

Check out Illinois Theatre’s latest production Barbecue by Robert O’Hara, guest directed by Chuck Smith, resident director at the Goodman Theater in downtown Chicago. This comedy tells the story of a family confronting one of its members about their substance abuse, and the many ways in which the conversation unravels. (KF) 

SATURDAY, March 31

Learn how to properly make coffee at home, BrewLab, 10 to 11:30 a.m., $12-$24

BrewLab has been making efforts to build up an educational and social culture around the coffee shop; it’s hosted cuppings, live music, open mics, and now, is hosting a home-brewing class. You may say to yourself, “Why in the world would I need to pay for someone to tell me how to operate my Mr. Coffee?” There are a variety of ways to brew your own coffee that do not involve Folgers and Mr. Coffee — this class will teach you about that. Tickets are $12; they are $24 if you want a copy of Craft Coffee: A Manual. Get your tickets here. (JH) Photo from Facebook 


Native Pop Presents: Family Art Workshop, Orchard Downs Community Center, 10 a.m., free

This event is part of a series of events this weekend involving three artists from Native communities: MaryBeth Timothy (Cherokee), Serena Penaloza (Navajo and Maricopa), and Brent Learned (Cheyenne-Arapaho). They have a panel discussion, live art demo, and reception scheduled for Friday, and here they will be interacting and creating art with families. You can learn more about the artists here. A pretty cool opportunity for kids who love to create. (JM)


19th Annual Animation Show of ShowsThe Art Theater, 12 p.m., $10/ticket 

The Art Theater is hosting the 19th Annual Animation Show of Shows this weekend. So check it out and catch sixteen internationally acclaimed animated short films. This year’s edition will feature films from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. Check out a trailer for it here. (KF) 


Social Imaginary, Anthony Gravino’s All-Stars, Tori Leppert, Blackbird, $5, 9:30 p.m.

Social Imaginary is an act that plays pretty infrequently, but have been around for the past couple of years or so. Adam Fein, Mike Ingram, Mike Rader, Don King and Alleya Weibel make up the act, and they are joined by a few others to perform at Blackbird in Downtown Urbana on Saturday night. They’ve been posting some clips from new material, so check that out and browse their Facebook page to hear more of what they sound like. (PS) Photo by Billi Jo Hart.


SUNDAY, April 1

Learn something new about a holiday you don’t celebrate (or one you do), all weekend, free

This weekend is both Passover and Easter. If you’ve grown up in the US of A, I bet you know a thing or two about Easter beyond bunnies and eggs. But maybe you don’t? Maybe you also don’t know too much about Passover. Take to the library (or cautiously to the internet), and learn something about a religion, people, cultures that you don’t already know. Try some traditional holiday foods — a simple walk down the international aisle at grocery store can help you out. Or, perhaps you could reach out to a friend who celebrates differently. Don’t have one? Think about making one. (JH) Photo of matzoh ball soup from Avionics’ Instagram page




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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