Smile Politely

Five things in arts this month: April 2019

Champaign-Urbana’s April arts calendar is much like its April weather.  When it rains it pours.  We start off the month with the now four-day-long Boneyard Arts Festival, followed the next week by the feast of film, panel discussion, and celeb sighting that is Ebertfest. For fans of local visual art and film buffs, this time of the year is both thrilling and exhausting; and ultimately followed by a bad case of the post-festival blues.  So before you bemoan the looming holes in your mid-April dance card, allow me to offer this humble post-Boneyard/Eberfest survival kit, or, in other words —five things to look forward to in April arts after Boneyard and Ebertfest. 

Come Home to Krannert Center:  A 50th Anniversary Weekend

As an arts writer and all-around fan of the performing arts, I can’t (and don’t) want to imagine what our community would be like without KCPA. Krannerrt is a cutting-edge performance space, an educational laboratory, and a welcoming oasis where you can feed all of your senses and restore your spirit. If you feel the same way, you’ll definitely want to join in on this milestone anniversary celebration.  Enjoy an all-access open house, panel disucssions, interactive experiences about KCPA’s history, and more. A golden anniversary symbolizes lifelong love, so cheer’s to you KCPA, today and always. 

Come Home To Krannert Center: 50th Anniversary Weekend
April 12th to April 14th
500 S Goodwin Ave., Urbana
Register or get more information


Small Press Fest!

If you’ve ever consumed or created indie pubs, you’ll definitely want to check this out. They’re be opportunities to talk to local and international makers and hear them share their experiences via panel discussion.  Panelists include three artists, scholars, and zine makers: Devin Morris, Mimi Thi Nguyen, and Mugiko Nishikawa. Moderated by Kathryn LaBarre, Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences and UCIMC Archivist and Zine Librarian. Stop in and check out the IMC’s amazing zine library, chat up the folks from the Ninth Letter.  Let’s make sure this fest becomes an annual tradition. 

Small Press Fest!
April 13th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Independent Media Center
202 S Broadway, Ste 1, Urbana

Stupid F**king Bird

Kudos to writer Aaron Posner, local director Kay Bohannon Holley and everyone at the Celebration Company at the Station Theatre for this exciting reimagining of Anton Chekov’s The Seagull. This “moving meditation on love, art, life, and the world we live in” features Kay  Gary Ambler, Eric Beckley, Jake Fava, Lindsey Gates-Markel, Joi Hoffsommer, William L. Kephart, and Hannah Yonan. Plus, there’ll be a yukele, and who doesn’t love that. 

Stupid F**ing Bird
April 18th to May 4th
223 N Broadway, Urbana
Tickets available online

Jupiter String Quartet performs new work Kati Agócs

The New Yorker called them an “ensemble of eloquent intensity” and here in Champaign-Urbana, we are lucky to call the Jupiter String Quarter our “quartet in residence.”  Fans old and new will want to check out the newly composed work by Kati Agócs, co-commissioned by Harvard Musical Association, Aspen Music Festival, and Krannert Center, which will be featured alongside Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13 and Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106.

Jupiter String Quarter
April 23rd, 7:30 p.m.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S Goodwin Ave., Urbana
Tickets available online


Reading by poet Claudia Rankine

A chance to meet Claudia Rankine is just one more reason to cross the town/gown divide. Rankine’s voice is an important one, and we’re so lucky to have her here. In challenging times like these, we need to be reminded that the pen is stronger than the sword. Recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets and Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts (phew), she currently servies as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. A book signing will directlyt follow the reading. 

A Reading by poet Claudia Rankine
Alice Campbell Alumni Center
601 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana
April 24th, 7:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public

All photos from individual Facebook event pages.

Arts Editor

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