Have you noticed the small structure in front of the old Champaign County Nursing Home building? It looks like a bus shelter, but it’s actually a historical landmark. It was part of the train system that ran from Champaign-Urbana to Danville in 1903. Champaign-Urbana is full of rich history and historical landmarks, and there are wonderful art events that are happening all the time. Do you like live entertainment? Do you like spoken word and poetry? Well there’s a free event right here in Urbana that will have that and more— wine and beer tasting, basket weaving, painting and photography.

The Champaign County Nursing Home will host the Art Through the Generations Art Fare this Sunday afternoon. I sat down with three of the board members who want the community to come out and see the great events that are happening at the CCNH: Mary Hodson, (president of the auxiliary club and member of the Friends of the Champaign County Nursing Home), Cathy Emanuel, (advisor of the Friends of Champaign County Nursing Home), and Kay Bronston (SAK Management Services, LLC Marketing, Admissions & Community Relations Regional Director). All three women expressed the importance of having the public view the Champaign County Nursing Home. One on the main reasons to have the event in the building is to change any opinions the public might have about the building being old or it being a sad and lonely place. On my visit, I saw lots of smiling faces, from both staff and clients, and smelled delicious foods being prepared for lunch. And the building structure is great — with so much space I got lost!    

“There’s a misperception of the CCNH. If people in the community would come out and see how nice this building really is it would change their minds,” says Mary Hodson, member of the Friends of CCNH. Hodson (also a history buff) informed me there’s a plaque on property honoring Spanish-American War Veterans. Additionally, the older part of the building is used for law enforcement training, and there’s a whole wing that can be used in a national disaster. If Carle hospital were full and unable to take any more patients, this section of the building can be used to help the sick and injured without disrupting the residents. So why an art fair in a nursing home? Kay Bronston explains, “The reality is that one in four people will have to spend some time in a nursing home in their lifetime. Visiting a nursing home can be uncomfortable and scary. Having an open house will give the public a chance to see we have great programs and fun event here.” Some of the programs Bronston wants the public to know about are adult daycare services, outpatient therapy, and rehabilitation services, where clients don’t have to live at the nursing home, they can receive the care they need and return to the comforts of their own homes.

Getting back to the Art Fare, the “Almost a Trio” with Dorothy Martirano will be performing. There will also be samples from Riggs Beer Company and Wyldewood Winery. I visited the space, and it would be great for hosting any event and on top of it all, Champaign County Nursing Home isn’t charging artists or entertainment any fees for using the space. None of the proceeds of artwork goes to the CCNH; it all goes to the artist and vendors. Cathy Emanuel wants the community to see the building and partake in the events the CCNH has. She say, “We want to get as many people out here to see all the talented local artists from jewelry to photography to Gypsy Jazz to painting.”  

Art Through the Generations Art Fare will have 14 local artists, vendors, live music, and beer and wine tastings, paint-like-me, and many other activities. Come see for yourself what the Champaign County Nursing Home has to offer the community. Bring the family out to this free event!

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Art Through the Generations Art Fare will take place on February 25th from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Champaign County Nursing Home (500 S. Bartell Rd). If you would like to volunteer contact Kim Hottman, Activity Director at 217-693- 5004 or khottman@co.champaign.il.us. For more information and events updates, click here

Photos provided by CCNH are of works by artists who will be featured, including Debbie Mandel (knitware cover photo), Fraya Replinger (black and white photo), Victoria Kramer, Jeanne Shenkar, and Larissa Kramer (t-shirt necklace) and Rosaline Faiman Weinberg (print).