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Want to be on the Urbana Park District Board of Commissioners?

Well now is the time to grab a nominating petition and start collecting those signatures. Two commissioners will be elected during the consolidated election on April 2nd, 2019, and this is a good way to get involved in helping shape your community. In order to be eligible, you need to fulfill these two requirements:

1. You must be a qualified voter residing in the Park District for at least one
year prior to the election.

2. Illinois law requires that any person who is behind in the payment of a tax or other indebtedness due to the park district or who has been convicted of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony cannot serve on a park board.

Petitions can be picked up at the Darius E. Phebus Administrative Office of the Park District at 303 West University in Urbana from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Friday. Those interested in running are encouraged to attend board meetings — you can find the schedule here — as well as set up a meeting with Tim Bartlett, the Urbana Park District Executive Director, to learn more about the responsibilities of the office. You can get a general idea here.

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First ever Roger Ebert Symposium is happening on October 1st

The influence of Roger Ebert's legacy in C-U and at the University of Illinois will continue to expand with next week's event. While Ebertfest brings a wide variety of cinematic experiences to C-U, this symposium will be specifically focused on "interactive storytelling, data visualization, and science communication." Monday, October 1st will be a full day of events which will mostly take place in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Auditorium, and will feature a wide variety of participants including Chaz Ebert, astronaut and cinematographer for IMAX film The Beautiful Planet Terry Virts, designer and inventor Temple Grandin, and many more brilliant scientific and creative minds. Here is the schedule of events. You can read more about the participants here, and see the full, detailed schedule here.

NCSA, 1205 W Clark St, Urbana

9:00 am: Welcome (Chaz Ebert)

9:30 am: Science on the Screen (Donna J. Cox, Chaz Ebert, Brand Fortner)

Terry Virts, former Astronaut and IMAX cinematographer
Toni Myers, IMAX film Director/Writer
Doron Weber, Sloan Foundation
Nate Kohn, Roger Ebert Film Festival; Peabody Awards

11:30 am: Story Framing and Visualization (Brant Houston, Brand Fortner, Donna Cox)

12:30 pm: Lunch Reception

1:30: Interconnectedness in Arts and Sciences (Anita Chan, Chaz Ebert)

Temple Grandin, University of Colorado, “Temple Grandin” (live remote)
Assistant Professor Stacey Robinson, University of Illinois, AfroFuturism
Rachel Switzky, Inaugural Director for the Seibel Center for Design

Savoy IMAX Theater, 232 W. Burwash, Savoy

4:30: Screening A Beautiful Planet IMAX film (45 minutes)

5:30: Q&A moderated by Chaz Ebert

Nate Kohn, Terry Virts, Toni Myers, Donna J. Cox, Katie Mack, and Brand Fortner

6:30: Conclusion

All of this is free and open to the public, which is amazing. It is recommended, however, that you pre-register here, as those who do will be given preference.

The inaugural Roger Ebert Symposium is hosted by the College of Media, the Advanced Visualization Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and Chaz Ebert.

Photo courtesy of Terry Virts

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Urbana Food Truck Rally is tomorrow

The Urbana Food Truck Rally is tomorrow, September 25th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Urbana Civic Center. This monthly event features a handful of food trucks parked in one spot (surrounded by ample parking). Last month it was about 125 degrees outside and I got a jerk chicken burrito from Caribbean Grill and a salted honey pie from Oh, Honey Pie. These were bold and delicious choices that resulted in a rather unproductive afternoon. My advice is to choose wisely, though you should choose as your little heart desires and not worry about being a functional human when you return to work after. 

Photos by Jessica Hammie
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See Lyric Theatre at Illinois' The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee this week

Lyric Theatre at Illinois, "a comprehensive program embracing a broad continuum of opera and musical theatre," is venturing outside of their usual home at Krannert Center's Tryon Festival Theater for this production — it will take place in the Allerton Barn as part of the Allerton Music Barn Festival. Described as "a hilarious tale of high school-aged overachievers, their hopes, their dreams, and their angst as they compete for a slot in the National Spelling Bee at Putnam Valley Middle School," the production is directed and choreographed by Sarah Wigley. She says it'll be "90 minutes of hysterical laughter, silliness, and pure joy. We promise you that just being here is winning!"

Tickets are $10 for students, $28 for adults, and you can purchase them through the Krannert Center website.

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PSA: PYGMALION will be taking over a portion of Goodwin Avenue

PYGMALION kicks off this week, and will be generally focused in Urbana this time around. In case you plan to be out and about on the Urbana side of campus later this week, please take note of this road closure. Of course you should be out and about on the Urbana side of campus as a PYG attendee, in which case this will help with your driving and parking situation. From the City of Urbana:

South Goodwin Avenue between West Oregon Street and West Nevada Street will be closed starting Thursday, September 27th at 6:00 p.m. through Sunday, September 30th at 6:00 a.m. for The Pygmalion Festival.  Parking on this section of Goodwin Avenue will not be permitted during the event.

We appreciate your patience while this event is underway.

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Sample ballots are available, and it’s almost time for early voting

Midterm elections have notoriously low turnout, in comparison to presidential election years, but they are as consequential, if not more than the "big" ones every four years. As a result, this is not the first time you will be hearing from me about this particular election, as it is becoming more and more clear just how crucial your vote will be. 

November 6th is just over a month away, but here are some things that you can do now:

  1. Go look at your sample ballot. See what offices are up for grabs, who is running, and what races you are eligible to vote for based on where you live. A bonus- in order to see your ballot you have to look up your voter information, so you will be able to confirm that you are, in fact, registered, and you'll be able to see your polling place. I highly suggest taking a look at your sample ballot before you head to the polls and hey, maybe even look up these people and find out a bit about them. This site is a good place to do that. Pro tip: you can print out your sample ballot, mark your choices, and bring it with you to the polls as a reference. 
  2. Make a plan to vote early. Early voting opens this Thursday, September 27th, in several locations around the county. If you don't want to deal with lines on the 6th, or if you'll be out of town, or if you've made your decisions and you just want to get that ballot turned in, this is a wonderful thing. Every time I've done this I've been in and out in about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Vote by Mail. Request a ballot to be sent to your home and vote without having to go anywhere. You can take your time, fill it in as you research candidates, involve the family, then just pop it in the mail. The county clerk's office will even send you an "I Voted" sticker, in case you're worried about that. Ballots will be sent beginning Thursday.
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Here are your City of Urbana Leaf Collection dates

Attention Urbana-ites, Urbanians...people who live in Urbana. You will have three different weeks throughout the season to put your leaves and such out for collections.

October 22 - 26
November 5 - 9
November 26 - 30

Here are the important guidelines to follow:

  1. Place leaves in 30-gallon paper lawn & garden bags - NO plastic bags
  2. Paper bags must be placed at the curb or along the roadway edge before 6:00 a.m. on your U-Cycle collection day.
  3. Only leaves and non-woody plant material will be collected - NO brush, branches, tree limbs or garbage.
  4. If you placed leaves in bags earlier this season please make sure they are in good condition and can be handled without breaking.  Our Contractor will not pick up leaves that fall out of broken bags.

Photo from City of Urbana Facebook Page

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5th Annual CU Aruna Run to be held on Saturday, September 29th

This very second, millions of women around the world languish in sexual slavery. They are more than statistics; they are individuals, with hopes and fears, dreams and doubts. Apart from someone stepping into their need, young women like Reshma will never be free.

We run to raise awareness of her need, to raise funds to secure her freedom through outreach programs, and to sustain her freedom through full-time employment. When you run or walk in an Aruna Run, you run for a specific woman by name, like Reshma. You run for her freedom.

The first four CU Aruna Runs have raised over $70,000 for the Aruna Project. Participation has grown quickly, with 1100 participants joining the movement in those four years. As a result of our race, and other Aruna Runs across the country, 46 women have reached freedom since 2014.

Register and learn more at ArunaProject.com.

5th Annual CU Aruna Run

Date: September 29, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. race registration, 10:00 a.m. race start
Distance: 5K
Location: University of Illinois Arboretum (Corner of Florida and Lincoln Ave) 2001 S. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61802
Cost: $30 (includes a race shirt, drawstring bag, and medal)

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Twin City Derby Girls are hosting their first ever outdoor exhibition

If you're curious about what the heck roller derby is, here's a unique opportunity to do so, and it's free. From the Facebook event:

Join the Twin City Derby Girls as they take on a Midwest mash-up of skaters in a first-ever, outdoor, exhibition game at Douglass Park, Champaign. This game is free and open to the public and we invite you to find out what roller derby is all about.

The exhibition is this Saturday, September 22nd, beginning at 5 p.m. and will happen at Douglass Park. There is limited bleacher seating, so derby goers are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. And hey, it's dinner time, so why not bring some dinner along? May I recommend Wood N' Hog, which is one short block away.

For a little background on the Derby Girls, check out this article we published a few years back.  

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Jim James of My Morning Jacket to perform at Canopy Club October 17th

Headcount has announced Jim James of My Morning Jacket will head through Urbana on Wednesday, October 17th as a part of The Future Is Voting tour, which hits a variety of cities around the U.S. to promote voting in the midterm elections. The show is presented by PYGMALION, Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment, and Canopy Club alongside Headcount.

From the press release:

JIM JAMES ANNOUNCES “THE FUTURE IS VOTING TOUR”

IN ASSOCIATION WITH HEADCOUNT JIM JAMES AND BENJAMIN BOOKER TO PERFORM AT THE CANOPY CLUB IN URBANA TO PROMOTE VOTER PARTICIPATION

Jim James of My Morning Jacket is coming to campus with #TheFutureIsVoting Tour. A free, non-partisan event for students around Urbana, IL on Wednesday, October 17th at The Canopy Club. It’s all about getting a little information and a lot of inspiration for voting in the upcoming midterm elections.

Jim James has announced “The Future Is Voting Tour,” comprising six nonpartisan multi-artist shows in college towns in electoral “swing districts” that he instigated in order to promote voter participation. The Canopy Club show on Wednesday, October 17th will feature Jim James along with Benjamin Booker.

“The importance of getting involved at this moment in time cannot be overstated. This isn’t only a Get Out The Vote concert,” says James.  “This is a learning moment aimed at college students to motivate them to vote, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. Each stop on the tour purposefully takes place in a contested electoral district or state for this important midterm election, where students and young voters have the ability to dramatically affect the outcome of this tremendous moment in history. Please join special surprise guests and myself at these events with the goal of truly inspiring thought, discourse and participation.”

“The Future is Voting Tour” is part concert, part town hall meeting, during which James will perform a solo set alongside performances from Booker. The meeting segment of the tour will include a non-partisan forum where candidates and their representatives will be invited to speak directly to students and take their toughest questions.

HeadCount, a rapidly growing voter-engagement non-profit (501c3), has organized the tour with James and will be underwriting it in its entirety. In addition to all of the artists donating their time, HeadCount has also created an Indiegogo funding page where fans can make donations and receive special experiences and commemorative items from the tour.

About HeadCount
HeadCount harnesses the power of music to drive social change. Since 2004, HeadCount has registered over 500,000 voters, and helped organize various initiatives in the live music community to promote civic participation. In their role as the organizing arm of the live music scene, HeadCount has hosted activism villages at over 100 concerts & festivals and has raised close to $10 million for other music-industry non-profits. With 20,000 volunteers, street teams in most major U.S. cities and affiliations with over 200 touring musicians, HeadCount ranks as one of the largest and most active music-based non-profit organizations in America.

Learn more about HeadCount | Register to Vote | Volunteer

This is a free, students-only event. All patrons must display a valid, active student ID from any school upon entry. Ticket does not guarantee entry into the show. Awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Limit 4 tickets per customer.

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The 21st will have three live public broadcasts next week

Illinois Public Media's talk show The 21st, hosted by Niala Boodhoo, will be out and about throughout Champaign-Urbana next week with live broadcasts that will be free and open to the public.

EnterpriseWorks at Research Park

Tuesday, September 25th, 11 a.m. to noon

Boodhoo will interview entrepreneuers with start ups in Research Park, as well as students who have launched businesses.

Champaign Farmer's Market

Tuesday, September 25th, 5 to 6 p.m.

Hear from The Land Connection about food and farming.

Pygmalion- Krannert Center

Thursday, September 27th, 11 a.m. to noon

Boodhoo will host multiple guests from Pygmalion, including Phoebe Judge and Lauren Sphoerer of Criminal Podcast, comedian Kristen Toomey, the organizer of Human Library and Astronomy on Tap, and our own Seth Fein, Director of Pygmalion