All Arts and Entertainment Content

Vermilion County Conservation District offers hike to get leaves

WESTVILLE – The Vermilion County Conservation District will offer a guided leaf-collecting hike at 10 a.m. Sept. 6 in Forest Glen Preserve, 20301 E 900 North Road.

The free tour is for students needing leaf collections for school requirements or anyone interested in learning more about leaves.


Urbana man taking anti-folk music on DIY tour of Europe

URBANA – After hearing anti-folk songwriter Jeffrey Lewis two years ago in Chicago, Morgan Reisman was inspired to begin writing and performing his own music.

Soon he was setting up concerts, for himself and other young musicians, in his backyard, houses, the Independent Media Center in Urbana and other venues.


Dinner at the Farm offers fresh food, conversation, perspectives

As chef Alisa DeMarco rolled the dough for a peach crostata for the first Dinner at the Farm at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, she said the food would be just half of the experience.

She, along with farm owners Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell, wanted their guests to also enjoy the peacefulness of the land and the diversity of the farm, the sunset and each other.

Except for the sun that bore down on diners until it dipped closer to the horizon the evening of Aug. 16, the experience, with a five-course meal of local and mostly organically grown food, with the emphasis on fresh, was convivial, delightful and memorable.


Danville library seeks black families to share their histories

DANVILLE – After three years as a part-time employee in the archives and reference section of the Danville Public Library, Jacqueline Woodard-Smith saw a need. She asked if she could do something about it.

"I do a lot of searches for people in the reference and genealogical sections of the library and came across an elderly relative of mine in a census," Woodard-Smith said. "I am doing genealogy for my own family and was happy for the find, but it got me to thinking about the history of African-Americans in Danville."


Stopping By: Finding hidden treasures at Chanute Air Museum

RANTOUL – Sometimes the finest treasures of all are the ones under your nose.

I had visited the Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul hundreds of times over the past 13 years and thought I knew a lot about its collection.


Oakwood library sets interactive classes starting Sept. 2

OAKWOOD – The Oakwood Public Library will hold interactive classes for parents and preschool-age children.

Classes begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 and 10:30 a.m. Sept. 3 at the library, 110 E. Finley St. Sessions last 45 minutes. Children must be 2 to 5 years old.


CASA of Vermilion County schedules set of training classes

DANVILLE – Court Appointed Special Advocates of Vermilion County will begin a new set of training classes Oct. 1 at its office at 101 W. North St.

The class will meet from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in October to prepare volunteers to represent abused and neglected children going through the court system.


Renowned pianist's Chicago Jazz Festival debut set Aug. 31

Last summer, singer Dena Vermette of Champaign had the good fortune to meet actor George Clooney in the lobby of a small hotel at Lake Maggiore, Italy.

They struck up a conversation which quickly turned to jazz. Clooney mentioned that in the late 1960s his father, a jazz buff, had frequented New York clubs where he heard a blind pianist whom he preferred over the legendary jazz pianist George Shearing, who also is blind.

Clooney couldn't remember the pianist's name.

"Donnie Heitler?" Vermette asked.

"That's it," the actor replied.

Vermette, a jazz-turned-cabaret singer, also favors Heitler, with whom she has performed.


Free UI event to remember music, times of World War II

URBANA – A free event featuring World War II music and information on the effects of the "Great War" on the University of Illinois campus will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave, U.

After the United States entered World War II, the UI campus was transformed. Enrollment sharply declined, and women took on new positions of leadership, while many male students went off to fight. New courses were added to support the war effort, and the Navy and Army offered training courses that brought thousands of soldiers to campus.


Carlock's early residents took partisanship to the grave

CARLOCK – Something more than solace lured me through the small town of Carlock to two cemeteries on its north side.

Sure, the two small parcels, less than a quarter mile from each other on opposite sides of the rural road, have the same peaceful characteristics of any other rural cemetery.