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Arts and Culture

Ewing Cultural Center

'Tis the season to tour some fabulously decorated historic homes in the Twin Cities, including Ewing Manor.

Radio Munson 12/1/16

Dec 1, 2016

Count Basie and Stacey Kent head this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with the pairings of Slim and Slam, Supersax and LA Voices, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, plus a bonus roof-raiser from Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

As Cuba moves on from the late dictator Fidel Castro, Illinois State University Professor of Languages, Literature, and Cultures Jim Pancrazio looks at events leading up to the Cuban Revolution to contextualize the how and why of Castro's rise to power.  

According to Pancrazio, Castro was an outgrowth of the 19th century nationalist leader Jose Marti', and the Castro-led revolution that toppled the government of President Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959, was a vindication of the struggle for independence began by Marti'.

McLean County Museum of History

As many social service agencies in the state suffer from lack of state funding today, we hearken back to an era when such services came only from the local community.

GLT's Charlie Schlenker produced this edition of the occasional series McHistory done in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal Arts Collective is facing recent turmoil on the political scene with a three-day  exhibition called Art for a Change. 

Jack / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Twin Cities Ballet celebrates 35 years of performing The Nutcracker ballet in Bloomington/Normal.

Selena N.B.H. / Flickr via Creative Commons

There's nothing like a movie that can make your mouth water. It's fun to savor movies involving food and cooking, luxuriating  in the morsels created, finding inspiration -- but never paying the price of too many calories.

Habitat for Humanity of McLean County.

Habitat for Humanity of McLean County ReStore is renovating its current space and has just implemented a project to expand the square footage.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra rolls out its Holiday pops offering this Sunday at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Fifteen different holiday and Americana works are on the program at three p.m.

Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College has added a self portrait of slain art teacher Joe McCauley to the gallery that bears his name.

The college on Raab Road in Normal says the image of the beloved professor was among the hundreds of works McCauley left behind in his office after his killing in 2009.

Lincoln Academy of Illinois

Four Bloomington Normal area college students have been named student Laureates of the Lincoln Academy.

The Lincoln Academy seeks to honor outstanding students who are dedicated to their schools and communities.

Lauren Koszyk of Bloomington attends Illinois State University. Rachel Hile-Broad attends the University of Chicago. Steven Drew of Downs goes to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. And Kendra Baber of Normal attends the University of Illinois at Sprringfield.

Hiltrud Moller-Ebertha / Flickr via Creative Commons

When the growing season is done, that's the time to make plans for the future of your garden -- that's the time to collect seeds. Careful collection and storage of seeds in the fall ensures new plants for the spring, said Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.

Larry Kanfer / "A Prairie State Of Mind"

Photographer Larry Kanfer celebrates the Heartland in his new book, A Prairie State of Mind.  The serene beauty and remarkable contrasts of the prairie cycle through the season's in Kanfer's book. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Tom Ashbrook, an award-winning journalist who has covered stories all over the world, came home last week to central Illinois.   Based in Boston at WBUR, Ashbrook was the guest this past Friday for the 2016 GLT's Radio Faces.  He's currently the host of NPR's On Point, though his resume includes forays into  Alaskan oil fields as a surveyor, and a producer of international editions of vintage Chinese Kung Fu movies.  

Rexness / Flickr via Creative Commons

Some stunning holiday decor will help the children and families of The Baby Fold in Normal with The 23rd Annual Festival of Trees, Nov. 18 - 20.

Carnat Joel / Flickr via Creative Commons

It's been a pretty mild fall, particularly in the Midwest, so there's still time to get some loveliness into the ground before winter gets here.  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, has a few suggestions.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

On this Veterans Day, Americans  across the country are honoring those who served.  A visit to the Illinois State University Archives reveals  some of the various ways those associated with ISU served their country, including  how the first president of the university risked his life in battle, and how the university's first librarian helped document the activities of students turned soldiers.

Geoff Hughes / Heartland Theater

Peel back the flesh of The Homecoming  and you'll find a dangerous family dynamic that plays out to a shocking conclusion. Heartland Theater in Normal is currently staging this masterpiece of contemporary drama by Harold Pinter, who carefully charts the tumultuous inner workings of a working class English family.

Kendra Paitz

The latest exhibition at the University Galleries in Normal allows contemporary women artists to explore the legacies of the writers who inspire them. It's Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy, currently on view. Very much in the vein of inspiration, the title of the show was written by one writer, underlined by another and used to inspire a work of art.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A pair of artists shared not only studio space but a creative impulse in creating works that are currently on display at heartland Community College.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr via Creative Commons

Having raspberry bushes in your backyard is a real bonus -- they produce a healthy and delicious treat that's versatile in the kitchen.  But, according to Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, keeping the plant healthy in the yard takes some work.

Gordon Vayo

A Twin Cities native is the runner-up in the World Series of Poker, which wrapped up play early this morning in Las Vegas. 

j van cise / Flickr via Creative Commons

Many, many years ago, prairie grasses covered much of the Midwest.  The grasses lost the battle to cultivated crops -- corn, wheat, soybeans.  But now everyday gardeners are trying to bring prairie grass back where it belongs.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Nobel Committee recently named musician Bob Dylan as the winner of this year's prize in literature.

The songwriter and sixties icon is known for his distinctive voice and delivery as much as for his lyrics and activism.

ISU Professor of English Jan Susina is a Dylan fan from way back and thinks this year's prize is a great choice.

Susina joined GLT's Charlie Schlenker to talk about Dylan's work. Susina says he and his tolerant family recently got to geek out on Dylan...

mcfarlandmo / Flickr via Creative Commons

Season seven of The Walking Dead just started, returning a terrifying vision of a zombie apocalypse to the small screen.  It's quite a departure from TV 40 years ago, when the supernatural was often depicted as funny and cute, like on the show, Bewitched.  At least that what it seemed on the surface. 

Kim McCord

Being a rock musician isn't just a young person's game.  An Illinois State University music professor wants to help people of all ages live the rock n' roll dream.

Debroah Carr Senger

A noted local medium and ghost tour guide has just published a book about the lively dead of the Twin Cities.  Deborah Carr Senger is the author of Haunted Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, just available on Arcadia History Press.

Atul Gawande

The end of life is automatically a stressful time for those who are dying and their families. And people in today's society are often more removed from death than those in foregoing generations.

A documentary film about medicine and end of life issues shows Tuesday evening at the ISU Alumni Center. It's called "Being Mortal:,Medicine and What Happens at the End."


It's rare to find a child prodigy. It's almost unheard of to find a child who excels in two fields. But, Harmony Zhu played a piano recital at Carnegie Hall at the age of seven.

At age eight she was a world age group chess champion. She is the youngest ever winner of the Chopin International Piano competition at age nine. She plays with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra on Saturday.

Creative Commons

Historic Route 66 was not only a highway, it was a pie-way.

Let's hear about food on the mother road. Rob Dirks is a retired food anthropologist at Illinois State University.