Ask 'Mimi,' Sept. 20, 2015

Are there any children's plays coming up?

An exciting new project in that area is Champaign Central and Centennial's drama departments' plan to collaborate on a full-length production of "The Little Mermaid," in February at the Virginia Theatre.

It's time to Pyg out

CHAMPAIGN — If you haven't kept up with the indie music scene, you might not be familiar with many of the acts playing the 11th annual Pygmalion Festival this coming weekend.

Folk hero brought to life

URBANA — John Henry was an African-American folk hero.

Or, he might have been a white folk hero.

Was he real? Or a myth? No matter, John Henry's said to have been the strongest "steel-driving man" as he drilled holes through rock to build railroad tunnels a century ago.

That's Entertainment: Spotlighting events in and around the area

Music scene

Salt Fork River Art & Music Fest

The seventh annual Salt Fork River Art & Music Fest will take place Saturday and next Sunday at Sleepy Creek Vineyards, 3 miles south of Oakwood.

Vineyard co-owner Joe Taylor said batik artist Jill Miller of Urbana has put a lot of effort into making it a great festival.

Alice B. McGinty: Two great school-related selections

Here's hoping the school year is off to a great start. These are two terrific new school-related picture books in tribute to an exciting back-to-school season.

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Wind Symphony ahead

Studio Visit: Barbara Kendrick

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Barbara Kendrick, a retired University of Illinois art professor, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

What will you be showing at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College?

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Sept. 20, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

I've seen many poems about the atomic bomb drills that schoolchildren were put through during the Cold War, but this one reaches beyond that experience. John Philip Johnson lives and writes in Nebraska and has an illustrated book of poems, "Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town."

There Have Come Soft Rains

Weekend planner: Get on board with this

If you can't resist the lure of the call of "All aboard," head to the Monticello Railway Museum today and Sunday. As a part of its Railroad Days and Main Street's 14th annual Monticellobration, the museum is offering unlimited train rides from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days to and from downtown, where most of the Monticellobration festivities take place.

40 North announces ACE winners

The winners of the 2015 ACE (Arts, Culture and Education) Awards, announced Thursday by 40 North 88 West:

Advocate: Carolyn Baxley, owner of Cinema Gallery, Urbana, for her commitment to regional emerging and established artists and for showcasing their work.