Laura Kennedy | WGLT

Laura Kennedy

Features Reporter/All Things Considered Host

Reporter, content producer and All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. Presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.

Astonishingly pale and a tad goth, Kennedy tends to sizzle if left in the sun too long.

In her spare time Kennedy nurtures her worrisome passion for cashmere, plays zither in her imaginary garage band, Dowager Hump, and sits slack-jawed in front of the television watching Turner Classic Movies.

Ways to Connect

Gamers playing Halo.
Matt Sayles / AP

Rick Valentin would like you to join him at the intersection of film and video games.

John Poling
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Community Players in Bloomington is staging a biting comedy/drama of family relations.

Prairie verbena flowers.
Sonal Patil

Sonal in Texas has the right idea about using native plants in her yard. She's tempted to transplant the prairie verbena she sees on the roadside right into her garden. Is that a good idea?

Jar of buttons
Vintage Fairy Tale / Flickr via Creative Commons

For as long as humans have needed to keep clothing fastened, we've counted on buttons to do the heavy lifting. But more than being simply useful, buttons have become highly collectable.

Circus performer's rings.
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

For the very first time, the Circus Fans Association of America is holding its annual convention this week in Bloomington-Normal, a community that was once called the Trapeze Capital of the World, owing to the number of flyers who originated in the Twin Cities.

Mike McNeil and Madonna Courtright
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Golden K Kiwanis organization is planning a fundraiser to help kids on our community.

Foxtail barley
Matt Lavin / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you want a garden that's true to its American roots and flourishes no matter what Mother Nature throws at it, then you need to add native plants to your yard.

Chef Roy Choi
Amy Harris / AP

Be honest and live your truth. That's the advice of award-winning and groundbreaking chef and restaurateur Roy Choi.

Fans in front of theater.
Jim Cooper / AP Photo

In 1980, the movie musical "Xanadu" bombed in a big way. But it didn't slink off into dark ignominy.

ISU students doing yardwork.
Harriet Steinbach / ISU Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning

The 10th annual Illinois State University Bring It Back To Normal event allows students and members of the community to forge new ties.

Squash bug
Katja Schulz / Flickr via Creative Commons

Gabriele in Nine Mile Falls, Washington, has issues with two different types of bugs that have made her garden their home. But should she get rid of both varieties? Well, no.

Henry Griffin / AP

The words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. touched many in central Illinois. 

Director Sandra Zielinski
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The tragic tale of a young man with a soul for searching takes center stage at Heartland Theatre starting Thursday, April 5.

Gerry Broome / Associated Press

The Central Illinois Figure Skating Club welcomes national champions for the upcoming spring show.

Garden in sunshine.
Tejvan Pettinger / Flickr via Creative Commons

The pull to garden is strong, even if the flesh is ... absent. If you plan on being an absentee gardener, there's a few things you need to know to find success.

Library book stacks.
David Mulder / Flickr via Creative Commons

Once a librarian, always a librarian.  

Shelves filled with comic books and graphic novels.
Keith Srakocic / AP

An expert scholar in children's literature is a firm believer in the power of graphic novels as an educational tool.

Photographer Rana Young
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Photographer Rana Young is currently showing her work at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal. "The Rug's Topography" navigates intimacy and separation in the face of transitions.

Compost bins in backyard.
Chelsea Wa / Flickr via Creative Commons

Your can turn your garden into fertile ground with the addition of compost. And what better place to create it than in your own backyard?

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

State Rep. Dan Brady successfully fought off a Republican primary challenge from Twin City real estate agent David Paul Blumenshine on Tuesday.

Drag performer
Sharon ShareAlike

Naomi Smalls may not live up to her name, but she lives up to her fierce reputation.

Duriel E. Harris / Illinois State University

Artists and audience members will engage in an afternoon of conversation, poetry, music and more in @Salon.

Freshly dug soil.
United Soyben Board / Flickr via Creative Commons

Rosa in Utica, Illinois, wants to know the best way to test her soil to get great results in her butterfly garden.

photos of sleeping men
University Galleries

Photographer Terttu Uibopuu draws parallels between her homeland of Estonia and her new home in America in a collection of photos currently on view at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal.

Collection of coffin sculptures.
University Galleries

A new exhibition of art at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal is actually more than just art. It's a blinged-out protest against violence and injustice.

Jim Pennucci / Flickr via Creative Commons

Big Brothers Big Sisters of McLean County is hosting a fun fundraiser that helps kids in our community.

Francois Battiste

Illinois State University honored one of its own by inducting Francois Battiste into the College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame.

Hand holding earthworms
USDA NRCS South Dakota / Flickr via Creative Commons

Gardeners love to care for things—and that extends past plants.

Author Paul Allen
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

At the age of 8, Paul Allen was perusing the stacks at the Bloomington Public Library when he discovered a book that ignited his imagination and, years later, resulted in a biography of the acclaimed author, Eleanor Cameron.

Cantus Novus singing.
Cantus Novus

The local choral group Cantus Novus mixes seldom-heard classical music with contemporary pieces in their upcoming spring concert.

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