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The WheelHouse delivers heat-and-eat dishes to your door with We Locavore

Meal subscription plans like Blue Apron have been popular for awhile, but The WheelHouse just began their own meal subscription plan. Sourcing food from a cooperative of 60 farms, The WheelHouse builds their menu from locally grown food and also shares why they believe it's important to eat local food. On the website, it reads: "Whether you’re a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, be a Locavore."

The new program developed by The WheelHouse is called We Locavore, and it offers a selection of chef prepared entrees that can be picked up or delivered to your front door. The meals are heat and eat, and each entree is one portion. The dishes offered will be similar to what is available at The WheelHouse, and the dishes will follow the seasons. If customers have any allergies, they should note them through email, and the chefs will be happy to accomodate.

Photo of four photos combined together in one image. The top image is a bright and colorful salad, the top right image is a white-gray cream sauce over chicken with a side of broccoli and mashed potatoes. The bottom left is a dish with a large white covered over some meat with a lot of drizzle of balsamic glaze, and the bottom right is a chicken leg and tigh over a bed of rice with corn. Photo from We Locavore's website. Photo from We Locavore's website.

The current meal choices are spaghetti and meatballs, risotto with blue oyster mushrooms, Cabernet braised chicken leg and thigh, grassfed beef stew, mushroom and spinach lasagna, pan-seared chicken breast, and ultra bowl. You choose four entrees, and they can be four of the same — if your family would all like to have spaghetti, you can order four spaghetti and meatballs.

If you subscribe to weekly or bi-weekly (every other week) meal delivery, then you will receive four meals for $60. If you would like to try the service without subscription, the cost is $75 for four entrees. There is an option to add wine as well. Orders are due by Wednesday, and you can pick up your order or have it delivered Thursday or Friday.

Follow The WheelHouse on Facebook for updates on upcoming dishes for the menu. 

We Locavore

Top image from The WheelHouse Facebook page.


Screen Keenan Dailey's Greene on Amazon Prime

University of Illinois grad Keenan Dailey's film, Greene, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime. You can watch for free with your Prime subscription, or rest or purchase the movie. Written and directed by, and starring Dailey, Greene was shot on the U of I campus and tells the story of a gallery owner who is coming to terms with his past and present, and looks toward the future.

You can read past interviews with Dailey and lern more about his projects here and here. You can also support him through his Patreon page.

Top image courtesy of Keenan Dailey.


40 North wants your input in planning Boneyard 2021

40 North wants your help as they begin planning for Boneyard Arts Festival 2021, which has been tentatively scheduled for June 17th through 20th.

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts and suggestions via this e-form. Together we can find the safest path back to this important arts community event.

Top image from the Boneyard Arts Festival Facebook page.


Get hungry for the 38th Annual International Dinner on March 7th

Hosted by the University YMCA, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), and students from the College of Liberal Arts and Science's International Program, the 38th Annual International Dinner will be on Sunday, March 7th. This year, it will be a virtual event.

The event will offer a local restaurant sampler that can be picked up at the University Y on the day of the event from 3 to 5 p.m. for the virtual event that begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 7th. The evening will showcase cultural food made by local chefs and special guest performances in addition to facilitating intercultural dialogue in multiple languages.

Eight female dancers in black pants, sneakers, and dressy tops jump at the same time on stage at the International Dinner hosted by the UIUC University YMCA in March 2016. Photo by Scott Wells.Photo by Scott Wells.

Tickets are available now for purchase. Community member tickets are $12; students and children tickets are $10. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance of the event. Buy yours here and check out the Facebook event page here.

Top image from University YMCA Flickr album.


Krannert Art Museum calls for submissions for pandemic-themed community exhibition

Krannert Art Museum has announced a call for community art submissions for a pandemic-themed exhibition. Submissions for Pandemic as a Portal to Change: A Community Exhibition are due by April 19th, 2021.

Pandemic as a Portal to Change: A Community Exhibition is collaboration between Krannert Art Museum, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, The Urbana Free Library, Urbana Arts and Culture Program, the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Illinois, and Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.

Get more information here.

Top image from Krannert Art Museum website.


Here’s one more chance to hear artist Bea Nettles talk about her career

On Friday, February 25th fans of mixed media artist Bea Nettles will have yet another chance to hear her talk about her life and career. This online event is sponsored by Artists’ Alley at the McKinley Foundation, in conjuction with the Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory exhibition at Krannert Art Museum through March 6th. This free discussion will run from 4 to 5 p.m. CST and requires registration.

Top photo, a crop of Bea Nettles, "String of Hearts," 1984; from Rachel's Holidays, is from the Artists' Alley at the McKinley Foundation website.


History of Music Poster Design talk moved to February 23rd

ICYMI: After being postponed due to weather, Liza Wynette's History of Music Poster Design talk will take place February 23rd at 6 p.m. Wynette will "examine how culture and technology influenced the look of music posters from Art Nouveau to Contemporary times." A multi-talented artist who works as an independent designer and illustrator, Wynette teaches History of Graphic Design at Parkland College and ceramics classes at the Champaign Park District.

For more information about Wynette's work, visit her website.

For more information on the History of Music Poster Design talk, visit the Facebook event page, or register here.

Top photo from the Giertz Gallery Facebook page


Plan your visit to the Illinois Art + Design faculty show at Krannert Art Museum

Now that Krannert Art Museum is open for by-appointment viewing, it's time to plan your visit to the 95th annual faculty exhibition. The exhibition "highlights current work by School of Art + Design faculty in studio arts, art education, craft, new media, and design disciplines. The exhibition represents excellence in arts research and practice, as well as the collaborative relationship between the School of Art + Design and Krannert Art Museum."

Learn more about the exhibit and how to reserve your viewing time

Illinois School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition
Krannert Art Museum
500 East Peabody Dr., Champaign
Main Level, West Gallery and Light Court
February 16th through April 24th  

Top photo of School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition, Installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2019. Photo by Julia Nucci Kelly


Bergie’s Place in Monticello to permanently close

Following the unexpected passing of owner Pete Bergstrom last month, Bergie's Place in Monticello has announced they will permanently close the restaurant. The restaurant has been open for five years at 106 S. Charter Street in Monticello, one we reviewed a few years ago. On behalf of all of us at Smile Politely, we send our condolences to the Bergstrom family.

From their email blast:

Dear friends of Bergie's Place,

On behalf of Linda Bergstrom, we want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out, shared a message, called the restaurant, and stopped by Bergie’s Place. The outpour of support and the stories you’ve shared have been touching. Pete was loved by many, and we’ve continued to feel that love over the last month.

We are writing today to share with you that we will permanently close Bergie's Place. This decision was not an easy one to make. The past five years that Bergie's has existed on the Square in Monticello have been some of the most fun (and delicious) years we've known. It's been an absolute pleasure serving you in the restaurant, in our makeshift "patio" under the tents, and at your special events as caterers. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives here in Monticello.

As the Bergstrom family moves forward in this next chapter of their lives, please keep Linda in your thoughts and prayers. And again, we thank all of you for a great five years in business, and especially for all that you've done for us in the past month.


Bergie's Place

h/t to Mark Palmer.

Top images by Bergie's Place.


Save the date for the Young Baroque Artists Competition Showcase

The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana have announced that the 2021 Young Baroque Artists Competition Showcase will be held on Sunday, February 28th at 7: 30 p.m. via Facebook. This free event will showcase "the talented winners of our annual high school student-artists competition" as they share their "fresh interpretations of Baroque classics." Find out more here

Top photo by Ceng Ismail from Pexels⁠


February 18th is National Drink Wine Day

Cheers! Today is National Drink Wine Day. Celebrated every year on February 18th, it is an opportunity for you to pick out a good wine to enjoy. If you're uncertain about what wine to imbibe, make plans to get food from one of C-U's great restaurants and be sure to add on a bottle to your order. Pizza and wine from Pizzeria Antica is always a good idea, or head over to Art Mart to find more than 400 different kinds of wine.

However you choose your wine, make sure you drink it today; that is how to celebrate this holiday.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.


Originally planned for Ireland, Illinois Football’s 2021 opener moved home to Memorial Stadium

Illinois Football's 2021 season opener against Nebraska, originally planned to take place in Dublin, Ireland, will return home. Just a short while ago, the team announced the August 28th game would no longer happen in Ireland due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


2021 Illini Season Opener Moved from Dublin to Champaign

Illinois Hopes to Return to Aer Lingus College Football Classic in Future

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Following extensive consultation with the Irish government, medical authorities and the administrative staffs at Illinois and Nebraska, the 2021 season opening football game scheduled for August 28 between the Fighting Illini and Cornhuskers will not be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two teams still plan to open the 2021 season on Aug. 28, but now the game will be played at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. 

"This is very disappointing for our athletic program, our team and for the fans who were planning to attend the game in Dublin," said Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. "For our players, staff and fans, this would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We will work diligently with Irish American Events and the Big Ten Conference to find a future opportunity for us to take Fighting Illini Football to the Emerald Isle."

"It is desperately disappointing that it is necessary to cancel the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic but public health must take precedent," said Neil Naughton, Chairman of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. "These games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between Ireland and the United States. We have made great friends with both the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska and I look forward to welcoming them back to Ireland in the not-too-distant future and giving their travelling fans the welcome Ireland is so famous for."

Ticketholders will be contacted by their purchase provider in the coming days.

Top image from