CHAMPAIGN – To help with the stress of deployment, families of National Guard soldiers and reservists will get free memberships at the Champaign County YMCA.
The center is part of the new Armed Services YMCA and Department of Defense Outreach Initiative, which pays all the costs.
URBANA – Urbana students got down to Mozart on Wednesday morning.
They shook their shoulders to Duke Ellington, nodded their heads in time to a Cuban conga.
Packed in to the Prairie Elementary School gym, the students got a preview of the Harlem quartet, a nationally known string quartet playing with the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts tonight at 7:30.
DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Museum Society will hold its annual Arts Week Open House from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 116 N. Gilbert St.
On hand will be artists and craftmen displaying talents in tatting, crocheting, china painting, oil painting, wood carving, loom weaving, plastic canvas, counted cross-stitch, knitting, hand weaving, quilting, spinning, photography, costuming, teddy bear making, beading, embroidery, sock making and jewelry making.
CHAMPAIGN – "Tabula Rasa: A Drawing Exhibition" featuring contemporary drawings by artists from throughout the country will be on display through Oct. 25 at the Parkland Art Gallery.
The artists' reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, with a talk by Chicago artist Michael Dinges and music by pianist Kristina Engberg.
Celebration on Saturday offers variety of food, booths, events
MONTICELLO – Main Street's eighth annual Monticello Celebration will be held Saturday throughout downtown and on the square.
URBANA – Sinfonia da Camera's 25th season will open on Saturday with a concert featuring guest artist Ricardo Herrera, a bass-baritone and University of Illinois School of Music faculty member. Herrera will join Sinfonia for an evening of Spanish-inspired music, to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Herrera will sing Xavier Montsalvat- ge's Cinco Canciones Negras, five songs based on themes of Antillean rhythms and folk songs, and Pablo Sorozabal's "Despierta Negro," from the nautical opera "La Tabernera del Puerto."
CHAMPAIGN – For Mary Kalantzis and Violet Harris, planning the first-ever Youth Literature Festival for East Central Illinois has required a lot of labor. But it's work that Harris calls a "glorious burden" because it celebrates books.
The dean and associate dean, respectively, of the University of Illinois College of Education, have ambitious goals for the festival, happening Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They hope it will eventually rival Roger Ebert's Film Festival in popularity and the ability to attract people, including from out of town, and make reading central to families' lives.
CHAMPAIGN – The sixth annual Asian Film Festival starting Friday at the Boardman's Art Theatre will showcase five feature films seldom seen outside Japan, among them a family film and a World War II documentary.
All of the films have English subtitles and are open to the public free of charge. The festival is sponsored by The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies and the Asian Educational Media Service, both at the University of Illinois.
URBANA – The Asian Educational Media Service recently became more visible and accessible to area residents.
Earlier this summer, the service – a program of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois – began making its media library available through the Lincoln Trail Libraries System, which provides interlibrary loans to patrons of 118 public and school libraries in nine East Central Illinois counties.
ROSSVILLE – It's been nearly 100 years since Ross Township dedicated its new red brick building at 103 W. Attica St.
On the celebratory day in October 1908, a large parade was held before the speeches began, according to the hometown newspaper. A string of hayracks came to town, some decorated and all bearing children from the area schools within traveling distance. Students came from Alvin, Squankum, Pleasant View, Pleasant Hill, College Hill, Summer, Dale, Centennial, Lee, Mann's Chapel and Bethel schools – none are still in operation, and the buildings of most don't even exist today.