Smile Politely

Taking in and exposing Urbana

Imbibe. From the Latin imbibere, and the Middle English ebiben. To receive into the mind and retain, to assimilate, to take in.

Kristin Walters and her partner Annie Adams, the “lady duo” of Imbibe Urbana, call themselves schemers. Full of passion, ideas, and excitement about our little city, the two women are on a mission to expose the community to what’s going on in Urbana. And as they assist the citizens of Champaign-Urbana in imbibing in what Urbana has to offer, Walter and Adams hope that you take the time to imbibe a beverage or two as well.

On Saturday, April 23rd from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., Walters and Adams invite you to begin their imbibing journey with them at Imbibe Urbana’s inaugural event, “Yoga Wine Beer Food.” Four sweeter words have never been spoken. Straightforward and to the point, the name of the event is what you’ll get. The evening will begin with some low-key, all levels yoga, led by Kelsey Bourgeois, which will be the gateway to socializing, eating, and drinking. Music for the event will be local via Airship records, and the imbibing will be courtesy of the host of the event, Bar M. All you have to do to enjoy is bring yourself and a yoga mat. If the yoga turns out to be a bit much for you, Katie Rau LMT will be providing chair massages. Or you can shake it off with a little dancing while you sip, or gulp, your beer or wine of choice.

“Why wine?” I asked, after it had been brought up a number of times during my conversation with Adams and Walters. Though beer will also be offered at the event, as indicated in the name, Walters said she’s been around wine her whole life. A Delaware native, Walters describes her passion for wine as  “hand me down,” from her dad. It also didn’t hurt that her childhood best friend’s father owned a wine shop. Since her Delaware days, Walters has “totally turned Midwest.”

Adams, who moved here from Chicago, is a Midwest native, and fell in love with Urbana almost instantly. To Adams, Urbana is creative and entrepreneurial, like “good soil.” The only problem was, to find out what was going on in town; she really had to dig for it. So when Adams and Walters met, they became the perfect pair, or in their own words, “Urbana lady duo promoting Urbana art, business, and people. Big ideas in a small town. Happy happenings on quiet streets. Rowdy souls pursuing their peers. All kinds of parties.”

The goal of all these kinds of parties? 1) To perpetuate the Imbibe Urbana motto: Local, Social, Culture and 2) find out what in the world Urbana wants. What kind of city does Urbana want to be? What is going on here? All of these questions are part of placemaking, an idea that “refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.” Placemaking is about bringing people together to shape and connect within the space in which they live. That is the ultimate goal of Imbibe Urbana, to bring talented, creative, and passionate individuals together so that more can be offered and enjoyed by Urbana’s citizens.

So if you’d like to invest in and connect with Urbana, as well as “Warm Up. Fuel Up. Dance,” you and your friends should get tickets to “Yoga Wine Beer Food.” Tickets to the event can be purchased in advance

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