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Local artists: here are some funding opportunities for you

Kudos to the folks at the Urbana Arts and Culture Program for sharing two pieces of good news for local artists seeking funding. #1: The Urbana Arts and Culture Program Grant application deadline has for Tier I and II categories is January 15th. Get more info here. #2: They've shared the an amazing list of arts funding opportunities from the artworkarchive.com website

Image from artworkarchive.com

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Obsession: Media and Material, An Arte 475 Exhibition opens Thursday

Obsessions. We all have them. And most of us keep them well hidden. But for artists, obsessions often provide the seeds for some of their most fascinating work.

According to the "Obessions" organizers, the exhibition "introduces how obsessions are manifested and documented through collecting and creating. The exhibition itself will allow us to sneak a peek into the ways people express, process, and experience obsession."

"Obsession: Media and Material" has been curated by ARTE 475 in collaboration with 40 North

Obsession: Media and Material, An Arte 475 Exhibition
40 Point One | Art Space
1300 S Neil St, Champaign
November 21st through January 21st, 2020
Opening reception: November 21st, 5 to 7 p.m.

Image from Facebook event page

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You can audition for two plays this Saturday

Hey local thespians, warm up those vocal chords and get ready to audition for two local productions this Saturday. 

Martha Heimberg of theatrejones.com, called The Moors "a feisty ensemble delivers a laugh-out-loud satire of Gothic romance with a feminist twist and a left-arm hug to the Bronte sisters” 

The Moors Auditions
The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre
223 N Broadway, Urbana
November 16th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Get more information here

Image from Facebook event page
 

"Inspired by a real event and featuring the Grammy-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s."

Auditions for Bright Star
DLO Musical Theatre
2917 N. Vermilion St, Danville
November 16th, 2 to 5 p.m.

Get more information here

Image from Facebook event page

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Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space has a new game for you to try

Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space just launched their latest room, Game Night, and it sounds like the team over there has upped their game (no pun intended) once again. Here's the description:

Your weekly game night turns into an epic fantasy adventure as you're sucked into the game and find yourself inside a magical kingdom!

Your quest takes you through a labyrinth of passageways and culminates in a boss fight with a giant dragon! Can you defeat the dragon and return home a hero?

The kingdom is counting on you!

There are a couple added elements that have not yet shown up in their previous adventures: your group will have to be split up at some point, and there will be actual actors that you will need to interact with to complete the puzzle. It's recommended for 4-8 players, and you can book your experience here.

Of course if you haven't tried their other adventures, keep those in mind as well. Right now they are also running Revenge of the Cabin, Calling All Villains, and The Wizard's Curse. 

Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space
302 N Broadway Ave
Suite 100
Urbana

Photo from Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space Facebook page

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New Revels Players hosting writers workshop this Saturday

If you're a writer looking for feedback or someone who just loves to talk about creative writing, local theatrical organization extraordinaire, the New Revels Players, will be hosting a free two-hour writers workshop this Saturday afternoon. 

New Revels Players Writers Workshop
University of Illinois
English Building
608 S. Green St., Urbana
November 9th, 1 to 3 p.m.

Photo from the Facebook event page

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The Kaufman Lake puppy made national news

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few days, you've seen the local story of middle school science teacher Bryant Fritz, who spotted and rescued a puppy in a cage, floating in the cold water at Kaufman Lake. I'm sure that we can all agree that the person responsible is a trash human, so let's not keep our focus there. 

The puppy, who Bryant Fritz wants to adopt and name Dory, was taken to University of Illinois Veterinary Hospital, and is doing much better. Someone set up a Go Fund Me for the dog's medical expenses, and though there will be no charge for services at the hospital, Fritz says it can be used for any ongoing medical costs.

This story was picked up by a couple of Chicago affiliates, and eventually CNN

Photo from University of Illnois Veterinary Teaching Hospital Facebook page

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Champaign Outdoors is highlighting local women

If you head over to the Champaign Outdoors Blog right now, you can learn about 17 different women in our community who interact with the outdoors in various ways, whether it be through their careers or hobbies or everyday lives. The series is title C-U Women Outdoors. 

You should take some time and click through each profile, if only because it's great reminder of some of the amazing people who are living and working in our community, and maybe also a reminder to get out there in nature and do things. Plus, you may spot someone you know.

Photo from Champaign Outdoors website

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Read Will Leitch's story about Deadspin given this week's events

This week, Deadspin was essentially laid to rest by way of the actions of a private equity firm telling the massively popular sports blog to "stick to sports", therefore leading to the departure (via firings and resignations) of basically all of the staff that worked there. While it is tremendously sad to see the site go (as much as leadership is saying it isn't going anywhere), watching this week's events unfold has been nothing short of inspiring in a variety of ways.

In case you are unfamiliar with what the hell I'm even talking about, you can read all about what happened by way of this piece which showcases the events that took place and why it all happened.

Founder of Deadspin, Will Leitch (pictured second from the right in this header image), published this in his newsletter this morning, which is worth a few minutes of your time to read and digest. Leitch is from Mattoon, a U of I graduate with a ton of links to this community, and an absolutely prolific writer through and through. He goes through his experience growing up, slugging it out in New York City making no money chasing his dream as a writer, founding Deadspin (and obsessing over it for years and years), his time after Deadspin, and what it means in the aftermath of this week's events.

We're lucky enough to have his byline — along with Tommy Craggs' too of course — gracing the pages of SP to write about Illini Basketball. Stay tuned for more on that front.

Photo from Will Leitch's newsletter

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Parkland student photo exhibition runs November 1-9 at Analog

Behold another reason to check out the gallery space at Analog if you have to do so.  Students from Parkland's advanced photo classes will be showing you what they've been up at a new exhibit running from November 1-9.

The Parkland photography program consistently puts out great work from its faculty and its students, so this is definitely worth checking out, especially if you like your art with wine, and great wine at that. 

Stay tuned to the arts section for more about this exhibit. 

Untitled: A Parkland Photography Exhibition
Analog

129 N Race St, Urbana
November 1st through 9th

Photo from Facebook event page

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A group from U of I developed a “restaurant accessibility” website

If you are someone with a disability, or have a child or another person in your family with a disability, navigating everyday experiences such as dining out can be a challenge, if those establishments do not create an accessible environment. Special Education Professor Meghan Burke, along with undergraduate and graduate students in special education, the James Scholar honors program and student interns from Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts and Sciences, are aiming to alleviate this with their new website, Access Urbana-Champaign

They've evaluated 117 local restaurants based on a series of questions related to things like parking, spacing of tables and chairs, allowance of service animals, restroom accessibility, etc. Restaurants receive a rating of excellent, good, or limited based on the answers to these questions.

You can read more about the project here

Screenshot from Access Urbana-Champaign website

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Willard Airport is making a big economic impact on this region

The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation released a report detailing the economic impact Willard Airport has on Champaign County, and it's big: $99.75M, a 34% increase since 2016. Here are some of the important stats:

  • Total estimated local job creation or support of 751 full-time employees with $30M in annual payroll, an increase of 34% since 2016
  • Total estimated 122 visitors per day, an increase of 91% since 2016; and
  • Total estimated $14M taxes generated, an increase of 39% since 2016.
  • In recent data released by the Federal Aviation Administration, there were a total of 109,878 enplanements at Willard Airport in 2018, up 9.73% from 2017.

The full report, sponsored by Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, University of Illinois-Willard Airport, Visit Champaign County, City of Champaign, Parkland College, Frasca International, University of Illinois Research Park, Flightstar, and the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®, can be found here.