Arts and Culture

Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is staging a production of the award-winning Broadway musical, "Ragtime" on Thursday evening. Based on the popular novel by E.L. Doctorow, "Ragtime" blends fictional characters with historic figures and actual events.

Tina Salamone, executive director of the BCPA, says "Ragtime" deals with subject matter that could have been ripped from today's headlines and presidential debates.

Staff / WGLT

Editors note: this interview is part of a special edition of Sound Ideas celebrating WGLT's 50th anniversary.

Sandberg Auditorium For Sale

Feb 4, 2016
Loco Steve / Flickr via Creative Commons

An auditorium with $3 million in renovations is for sale for $100. The Carthage City Council has approved buying the structure from Carl Sandberg College in Galesburg. The college board will vote on the matter this month. The school received the Charger Auditorium in 2008 as a donation from Pairieland Investment Group. It wanted to create a multi-building partnership that fizzled in large part because of the recession. Sandburg president Lori Sundberg says after $3 million in renovations, the school spends up to $35,000 a year to maintain it.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

You know that old chair or rusty lawnmower by the side of the road that you  passed by?  Well, you may have missed the potential that artist Doug DeWitt thrives on.  DeWitt uses found objects to create original sculptural compositions, and his work is currently on display at the McLean County Arts Center.

Ron Frazier / Creative Commons

Attendance at the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington fell by nearly 3,000 people last year. The State Historic Preservation Agency has released figures showing the site drew 56,631 visitors in 2015. That's a decline of nearly 5%.

Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra has narrowed the field for its new Music Director search to four. Executive Director Trevor Orthman says those people will conduct the Symphony in Bloomington and Springfield in the coming fall and winter. Orthman says it was a strong field with accomplished musicians from four continents and a variety of established musical groups.

State Historic Site Attendance Falls

Feb 2, 2016
Rogerd / Flickr via Creative Commons

Trips to Illinois' state-administered historic sites, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, fell 7 percent last year. That's despite commemorations of the 150th anniversaries of the end of the Civil War and the 16th president's death. Illinois Historic Preservation Agency figures show numbers fell just below 2 million at the Springfield museum and 29 other sites operated by the agency _ one-third of which have direct ties to Lincoln. Some sites have shorter hours because of state spending cuts.

pixabay.com

The close of  the year has resulted in a number of restaurant closings. Larry Carius joins Charlie Schlenker for a periodic update on the Bloomington Normal Restaurant Scene.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Time, light and nature figure prominently in Melanie Scott-Dockery's work.  The artist is showing an exhibition entitled "Then and Now" at the Joe McCauley Art Gallery at Heartland Community College.  Though her work is continually evolving, Scott-Dockery relies on one constant:   the ever-changing landscape in her own yard.

Jim Browne / WGLT

The asbestos that was discovered in Bloomington's Lincoln Leisure Center a week ago has been taken out of the building. The city says Ideal Environmental took the material from near the building's furnace. A full evaluation of the building will also be presented to the city. Last week the center, which houses activities ranging from dance, music therapy, and art, was closed when staff discovered the potentially cancer causing asbestos. No date has been set to re-open the facility on South Lee Street, and most of the programs centered there have been moved elsewhere.

Niece of Angela Davis Bringing Memories To ISU

Jan 21, 2016
ISU School of Theatre and Dance

An Illinois State University audience will be able to get an idea of what it's like to grow up in the shadow of a 1960's activist. Eisa Davis is bring portions of her piece, "Angela's Mixtape," to the ISU Center for the Performing Arts Theater Friday at 1pm. The performance piece uses sets and music to put the audience into a particular time. Davis says having Angela Davis as an aunt in Berkley California as she was growing up provided her with a unique perspective.

Joel Gillman / Flickr via Creative Commons

Admit it.  You like to do it.  Probably more than you should. And why not?  Increasingly, viewers are taking greater control of their entertainment consumption and indulging in binge watching.

JERushton / Wikipedia via Creative Commons

A national trapshooting event is returning to a shuttered state-owned shooting range in southern Illinois with an uncertain future. The American Trapshooting Association and Illinois Department of Natural Resources have agreed to host the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in August at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta. The complex was temporarily shut down in October because of the ongoing state budget impasse.

Expanded Library Opens In DeKalb

Jan 19, 2016
Jenna Dooley / IPR

DeKalb’s library has finally re-opened after months of construction. Workers last week put the finishing touches on an expansion more than doubling the DeKalb Library. The original building was dedicated in 1931 and financed by a bequest from barbed-wire millionaire Jacob Haish. This century’s addition was possible due to a grant from the state of Illinois. In fact, the 11.6 million dollar boost is the state’s largest library grant to date. The total cost of the project is around 25 million which includes borrowing and private contributions. Library Director Dee Coover.

Adam Bielawski

Tributes to David Bowie flooded social media when the world woke up Monday to news the ground breaking musician and film actor had died. He was 69 and had been battling cancer for a year and a half. One of the most retweeted tributes is this one from twitter user Dan Podesta, who wrote "If you're ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie." Bill McBride, an Associate English Professor at Illinois State is not surprised by such reaction.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History is peering through the years of central Illinois history to spotlight the stories of the wide variety of people who came to call McLean County home.  This new exhibit is the first in a series of five that will eventually make up the permanent exhibit called "Challenges, Choices and Change:  The People of McLean County."

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Merwin Gallery at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington has been transformed into a space that invites exploration.  As the artist describes, it's an installation that truly comes to life when gallery visitors immerse themselves in the 'Den.'

Illinois Wesleyan University

You might think there is not a lot in common with being a high level university administrator and a classical music artist. That's not necessarily the case as a concert tomorrow evening at Illinois Wesleyan University demonstrates.

Looking Ahead to Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Jan 8, 2016

Chris Sweet

While sales are flat, more people are using bikes as transportation and bike shares are popping up around the country. But whatever boom or boomlet is currently underway, it pales in comparison to the bike boom of the late 19th century. And central Illinois contributed more than its fair share to the boom. In the 1890’s, two-thirds of all bikes and bike accessories were produced with in a 150 mile radius of Chicago, which includes Bloomington and Peoria manufacturers.

Tighter Security At US Cellular Coliseum

Jan 6, 2016
Mapio.cz / Creative Commons

A new year brings tighter security at the downtown Bloomington US Cellular Coliseum. No bags larger than 15" by 13" by 6" will be allowed. All bags are subject to search, and patrons may also be "wanded," by having metal detection devices used. Doors to events at the venue will open an hour and a half before shows to facilitate the extra measures. Dave White, director of security at the coliseum, says in a press release the new measures are going into effect not because of any specific problem, but because many other venues are implementing them.

GLT's Datebook: 1/5/16

Jan 5, 2016

Cats on Counters

Jan 5, 2016

The Gypsy Coeds Ride Again in New Art Exhibit

Jan 4, 2016

America's Car Museum

The place of the automobile in American culture is changing. But, a nationwide tour of three historic vehicles stopping in Bloomington Normal recalls the glory days of the car in U.S. society.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Usually, there's no parking allowed inside the galleries of the Peoria Riverfront Museum.  But an exception has been made for an exhibition featuring a unique Ford Model T that took a gaggle of central Illinois women on adventures across North America.  The girls met movie stars, charmed a titan of industry and became a depression-era viral sensation.

James McGowan: To My Son, Old Enough for Bass, read by James McGowan. Music by Taj Mahal (Fishing Blues from The Taj Anthology)

Nostalgia 12/29/15

Dec 30, 2015

Billy Collins: Nostalgia, read by Billy Collins. Music by Oliver Lake (Stolen Moments from Dat Love)

Kathryn Kerr: Field Ecologist's Love Song, read by Kathryn Kerr. Music by Bruce Cockburn (Train in the Rain from Dart to the Heart)

Fishing 12/24/15

Dec 30, 2015

Kirstin Hotelling Zona: Fishing, read by Kirstin Hotelling Zona. Music by Joseph Mancilla (Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios from Oasis Classical and Instrumental)

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