Out and About Podcast Every Friday afternoon join WCBU's Nathan Irwin and Jennifer Gordon, executive director of Arts Partners of Central Illinois for a look at current and upcoming art and cultural events across the region.

Out and About Podcast


Every Friday afternoon join WCBU's Nathan Irwin and Jennifer Gordon, executive director of Arts Partners of Central Illinois for a look at current and upcoming art and cultural events across the region.More from Out and About Podcast »

Most Recent Episodes

Prairie Center Hosts Exhibit of Work By Past Resident Artists

The Prairie Center of the Arts is hosting its 4th Regional Alumni Art Exhibition. It features the work of 28 artists — all alumni of the Center's residency program. We spoke with Barb Hoffmann and Michael Gilbert, two current residents. They talk about what the residency program has meant for them, and how it has enhanced their work. We also discussed a few of the works included in the exhibit, representing multiple styles and media. The Prairie Center of the Arts is located at 1506 SW Washington St. in downtown Peoria, in the former Cordage Building. The exhibit continues through September 8th.

Ignite Peoria Showcases Area Performers

We talk with Kelleen Nitsche and Sarah Marie Dillard about this year's Ignite Peoria event. Nitsche is the coordinator of the main performance stage, which features appearances from local performing arts groups — theatre, dance, even magic. There are also musical theatre and improv workshops for young performers, and a "ticket booth" with special offers from area performers. Dillard is the organizer of the State and Water stage. It's designed to operate like an "open mic" night, to feature local bands. Multiple musical genres are represented in the lineup, including a promising 15-year-old making her debut performance. Ignite Peoria runs Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00 at the Peoria Civic Center.

"Bring It On" opens at Peoria Players Theatre

Nyk Sutter and Sandra Iadipaolo are the co-directors of "Bring It On: The Musical," the summer youth production at Peoria Players Theatre. The show features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda (of "Hamilton" fame) and demands a range of dance, cheerleading and tumbling from its cast. They talk about adapting their rehearsal process to those needs, the elements of the show that they found to be universal, and about the challenges (and rewards) of working with a cast of 14- to 20-year-olds. "Bring It On: The Musical" continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Peoria Players.

Tazewell County's "Fourth Friday" Showcases Local Arts and Businesses

Leigh Ann Brown and Kelly Scarfe are in the studio this week to talk about the Tazewell Art Loop, held the fourth Friday of every month. Similar to First Fridays, the event offers opportunities to meet local artists, tour their studios and see works in progress. The Tazewell event also highlights locally-owned businesses. The organizers have developed walking tours for four participating communities: Morton, Tremont, Delavan, and Pekin. The Tazewell Art Loop is tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. There's more information about the event on their Facebook page .

Museum Exhibits Demostrate the Art and Science of Light

Ann Schmitt joins us to talk about two exhibits now on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. "Illuminations: Light in Art" features works from their permanent collection, which explore the role of light in art. The exhibit includes Impressionist pieces, work by local artists Doug and Eileen Leunig, and a sample of Vantablack — the blackest artificial substance known. Also on display is "Playing with Light: The Magic of Lasers, Holograms & Kaleidoscopes." This interactive exhibit examines how light is used in the worlds of science, physics and art. From infrared security systems to laser surgery and fiber-optic communications, it looks at how light is in use every day in the world around us. This is exhibit continues through September 10th.

'Wild' Art, Music Options This Weekend at Wildlife Prairie Park

Its time to get wild this weekend on Out and About with a pair of events at Wildlife Prairie Park . Today, Jenn talks Doug Dillow, Executive Director of Wildlife Prairie Park to learn about the Art in the Wild photo contest and display, and we'll heat things up with a preview of the next installment of their Wildfire Concert Series. If You Go Art in the Wild Featuring: Self-guided sculpture walk, hayrack rides, photo contest judging. Date: Saturday, July 15th Hours: 9 AM to 6:30 PM Wildfire Concert Series Featuring: 3 1/2 Men Date: Saturday, July 15th Hours: 5 to 11 PM

Fiber Artist Trish Williams Featured in "Wabi-Sabi" Exhibition

Nathan and Jenn talk with fiber artist Trish Williams to learn about her works and the Fiber Artists Coalition exhibition titled Wabi-Sabi: Finding Beauty in the Imperfect. The fiber and mixed media is currently on display at the Foster Gallery for Christianity and the Fine Arts on the second floor mezzanine at First United Methodist in Peoria. Foster Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Sunday from 8:30am to 5pm at First United Methodist Church, 116 NE Perry Ave. in downtown Peoria. More information is available at 309-673-3641

Corn Stock Presents "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike"

This week, we're talking with Eric Ewan. He's directing "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at Corn Stock Theatre. The names of the characters are drawn from the works of Anton Chekhov, but Ewan says the play stands on its own, without requiring a knowledge of those works. He also talks about the six-person cast, three of whom are returning to the Corn Stock stage after absences of varying lengths. The production continues tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Corn Stock Tent in Upper Bradley Park.

Harmonica Invitational Comes to CAC

This week, we're talking with Bob Kessler, a Chicago-based harmonica player, and one of the three musicians featured in the Third Annual Harmonica Invitational at the Contemporary Art Center. He talks about what initially drew him to that instrument, about what to expect from the invitational event, and about his recent collaborations on opera and theatre productions. The Third Annual Harmonica Invitational takes place tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Contemporary Art Center, at 305 SW Water Street in downtown Peoria.

Wheels O' Time Offers New Exhibits and Activities for Summer

This week, we're talking with Marcia Johnson, from the Wheels O' Time Museum. She talks about some of the museum's special exhibits and event for the summer. The River and Rails exhibit includes a 1/8th-scale model of a locomotive that was that was in use in Peoria for many years. She also updates us on the progress of a steel house. The house has been moved from its prior location on Grant Street, and is currently undergoing repairs before it goes on display. The museum is also participating in the Science Treasure Hunt this year. It's a partnership involving 19 organizations in the area, which aims to expose kids to science over the summer. The museum is located on North Knoxville Avenue in Dunlap, and is open until October 29th.

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