Out and About

Springdale Cemetery

On this first weekend of autumn, Nathan and Jenn invite Charles Brown into the studio for a preview of the upcoming historic Springdale Cemetery tours. Brown, a performer with Prairie Folklore Theatre , says this year's tour will focus on the contributions of Peoria's Jewish families. 

We're talking with Cathi Hawkinson about the Peoria Art Guild's Fine Art Fair. The annual event returns to the Peoria Riverfront Saturday and Sunday, with 150 participating artists. We talk about the reach of the event, which now draws artists from 25 different states, and two from outside the U. S. We also talk about some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into organizing the fair each year, and about the event's economic impact on the Peoria area.

The Fine Art Fair runs Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

This week, we're talking with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's George Stelluto, and with violinist Charles Yang, who performs with the PSO in their upcoming concert. They talk about some of the pieces on the program, which includes music from John Corigliano's "The Red Violin" and a piece by Edward Jospeh Collins inspired by Mardi Gras. They also talk about some of Yang's appearances and activities, in conjunction with the PSO's Resident Artist Week initiative.

The concert will be presented Saturday night at 8:00 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

This week, we're talking with Jack Mertes, author of the new play, "The Springfield Experiment." It explores a chapter in the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, who had been committed to an asylum and sought to regain both her autonomy and control of her finances. Mertes talks about about why he chose this particular moment in Lincoln's life to dramatize, about the long process that led to this production, and what he hopes audiences will learn about Mary Todd Lincoln. The play will be presented Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 at the Inspired Arts Academy in Morton.

Heartland Festival Orchestra

David Commanday, Music Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra, is with us to talk about the orchestra's concert on Saturday. The performance features return appearances by Nick Cannelakis and Elena Urioste, who team up to perform the Brahms Double Concerto. We talk about the soloists, the Double Concerto itself , and the orchestra's featured community partner for this concert.

John Martin is with us, to talk about about Erin Feis. The annual Irish festival is back, and runs Friday through Sunday along the Peoria Riverfront. He says that music is the highlight of the event, and talks about about the work that goes into finding all the featured performers, and scheduling them among multiple performance stages. He also talks about some of the festival's cultural programming.

Corn Stock Theatre

This week, we talk Molly Burroughs and Sharon Reed, the co-directors of the musical "The Color Purple" at Corn Stock Theatre. The musical is an adaptation of the novel and motion picture. They talk about why they chose this production in particular, and what they saw in its story and its music. The show features an entirely African-American cast and a racially diverse crew - things they think are important in local community theatre.

Fogelberg Foundation of Peoria

This week, we're talking about the 6th Annual Dan Fogelberg Celebration Weekend, with Hugh Higgins. The event grew out of a beneift concert, organized to pay for a memorial to Fogelberg on the Peoria Riverfront. It's grown into an annual event that attracts "Dan Fans" from around the world. The highlight of the event is a tribute concert, taking place Friday night at the Gateway Building. Other activities continue through Sunday. We also talk about some of the charitable work supported by the proceeds from the celebration weekend.

Lizz Barnes / Ear in the Envelope

This week, we're talking with Lizz Barnes, from Ear in the Envelope Studios in Peoria. She's one of the artists participating in Ignite! Peoria on Saturday. Attendees will be able to visit her table in the Creation Station and try their hand at metal-stamping. She talks about the history behind her studio, which has become a venue for showcasing local artists and performers. She talks about last year's Ignite event, and its importance to local artists and creators.

This week, we're talking with Bob Streitmatter, manager of the Luthy Botanical Garden. They're hosting their annual "Rhapsody in Bloom" art festival on August 1st and 2nd. The events features local artists exhibiting their work, live music and food, all in the setting of the venue's outdoor gardens. Streitmatter talks about the origin of the event, and some of the plants in the Garden's collection.

We're talking with Kaci Osborne and Megan Pedigo about Ignite! Peoria. The event returns to the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday, August 8th. The event features individual artists, a Creation Station, fashion and a car show. We talk about some of the elements that will be new for this year's event, and about what the organizers want it to achieve - both for the artists and for the Peoria community.

Corn Stock Theatre

We're joined this week by Bart Shatto. The actor and Peoria native is back in town to appear as Archibald Craven in Corn Stock Theatre's production of "The Secret Garden." The show reunites him with director Pam Orear, who gave Shatto his first role back in the 1980s. Since then, Shatto has gone on to perform on Broadway, and with several national touring productions. "The Secret Garden" opens tonight, and runs through July 18th, at Corn Stock Theatre.

For the kid inside everyone, the Peoria Riverfront Museum welcomes 'Dinosaurs in Motion', a traveling interactive exhibition to the area on July 11th. Ann Schmidt talks about some of the 14 dinosaur sculptures that will be on display next week at the PRM. 

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, talks about tonight's concert by the ensemble Quartetto Gelato. The quartet is known for its embrace of multiple musical genres -- classical, jazz, folk and world music. All of those influences will be on display in tonight's program. Stelutto talks about some of the works we can expect to hear, about the quartet's repertoire, and about the unique musical environment of Paris in in the early 20th century.

Corn Stock Theatre

Lana Warner is the co-director of "The Dixie Swim Club" at Corn Stock Theatre. The play focuses on the lives of five women, former members of the same college swimming team, who reunite each summer. Warner talks about why she chose the show, about working her cast, and about what she thinks amkes this production special.

"The Dixie Swim Club" opens tonight, and continues through June 27th at Corn Stock Theatre in Peoria's Upper Bradley Park.

Central Illinois Jazz Society

This week, we're talking with Dick Marsho from the Central Illinois Jazz Society. They're co-sponsoring the River City Jazz Festival on the Peoria Riverfront, tomorrow from noon to 10:00 p.m. Marsho talks about some of the artists and bands featured in the event, which offers a range of jazz styles. He also talks about the Society's monthly events at the Landmark Recreation Center, which spotlight local jazz musicians; and about a series of Thursday-night jazz concerts, which run in July and August on the CEFCU Stage.

Kim Armstrong ArtsPartners Sculpture Walk

Jun 5, 2015

Preview of Downtown Peoria Sculpture Walk Opening Saturday, June 6, 2015 along Washington Street.

This week, we're talking wih Bobbi Rice, from the Wheels O' Time Museum. The museum may be bext known for its collection of vehicles -- cars, tractors and fire engines -- but it also features artifacts of everyday life. Rice talks about some of the new exhibits the museum is offering this year, and some ongoing restoration efforts. The Wheels O' Time Museum is open now through October 31st.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

This week, we're talking with George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. The PSO is presenting Gustav Mahler Symphony no. 7 this weekend -- the first time the orchestra has performed that work. Stelluto describes the symphony as a "journey from darkness to light," and talks about some of the additional instruments that the score calls for. He also puts the symphony in the context of Mahler's own life. The concert is Saturday night at 8:00 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

Peoria Park District

This week, we're talking with Alex Larson about the Peoria Park District's inaugural Artist and Comic Expo. The event features many guests and creators with ties to the region -- including voice actor Larry Kenney, who worked on the 1980s animated series "Thundercats." Artists Jenny Frison and Hilary Barta, who currently work in the comic book industry, also grew up in and around Peoria.  The Expo also includes film screenings, panel discussions and activities aimed at children. The Artist and Comic Expo will be held May 9th and 10th at the Bonnie Noble Center.

Bishop Hill to host Civil War Day

Apr 24, 2015
Peoria Public Radio

This week, we talk with Brian Fox Ellis, one of the participants of Bishop Hill's Civil War Day. The event honors the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's death and the end of the Civil War. The event is a collection of formal presentations, each delve into what life was like during the Civil War Era. Civil War Day activities include presentations from historical figures, small battle reenactments, and a presentation of 19th century embalming. Bishop Hill's Civil War Day is Saturday, May 9th.

Illinois Central College

This week, we talk with Doug Rosson, one of the directors of Illinois Central College's production of "All in the Timing." The show is a collection of six short plays by David Ives, each of which explores ideas about chance and variability. Rosson explains the premises behind some of those pieces. He also talks about the logistics of organizing a production that includes a large cast, working on multiple scripts, with three directors. And he talks about why David Ives is so frequently produced in American theatres.

Eureka College

Joel Shoemaker is directing Eureka College's upcoming production of "August: Osage County." A graduate of Eureka, he talks about returning to campus in a different capacity. He also talks about the show, which is driven by the complicated dynamics of an extended and multi-generational Oklahoma family. Shoemaker also talks about what he has learned as a first-time director. "August: Osage County" runs April 14th to 18th in the Pritchard Theatre at Eureka College.

Today, we're talking with Jenn Gordon, the new Executive Director of ArtsPartners of Central Illinois. The Peoria native was active for many years in the local arts scene -- performing with groups like Peoria Players Theatre and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. For the last several years, she's been living in New York, where she worked for Steinway. She talks about her background, the changes she's noticed in the Peoria arts scene, and her hopes for ArtsPartners.

Peoria Civic Center

This week, we talk with Harold Meers. He's bringing actor/singer Ron Raines and arranger/accompanist Don Pippin to central Illinois to present their program "Legends of Broadway." The show is a tour through the history of American musical theatre, focusing on the songwriters, and songwriting teams, that shaped the Great White Way. Meers offers some background information on Raines and Pippin, and talks about what to expect from the performance. "Legends of Broadway" is Friday night at 7:30 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

Corn Stock Theatre

Tim Wyman directs "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," opening this weekend at Corn Stock Theatre. The play is set in the early 1990s, towards the end of the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland. Wyman talks about the dark humor of the script, about how it treats on- and off-stage violence, and about some of the technical challenges he faced in staging this production in Corn Stock's Winter Playhouse. "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" opens tonight, and runs through Sunday, March 29th.

Peoria Players Theatre

Laura Garfinkel is directing "The Pirates of Penzance," which opens this weekend at Peoria Players Theatre. She talks about the decision to propose the operetta as part of Players' current season; about the her cast and production team; and about the approachability of the work by Gilbert and Sullivan. Performances of "The Pirates of Penzance" begin tonight, and continue through Sunday, March 22nd.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Ann Schmitt talks about an exhibit now on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. "Stuff! The Art of Collecting" includes a cabinet curiosities; these private collections of items that inspired curiosity and wonder were an early precursor of the museums we know today. She talks about some of the other items featured in the exhibit, about what the exhibit tells us about the urge to collect, and about a collector's fair the Museum is organizing in May. "Stuff! The Art of Collecting" continues through May 25th.

Peoria Art Guild

Beth Reusch joins us this week, to talk about the Peoria Art Guild's exhibition "Nude Attitude." The event is tonight, from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. The exhibit includes representations of the human figure, employing a range of techniques media. The event includes live performances, lessons in figure drawing and a live canvas.

Bradley University Theatre

This week, we're talking with Susan Felder, who's directing Bradley University Theatre's production of "The Mountaintop." The play, by Katori Hall, depicts an invented interaction between Dr. Martin Luther King and a hotel maid, in the hours before King's assassination. Felder talks about the play's "warts-and-all" look at King, and the realities of race in 1960s America. She also talks about the two actors featured in the production, and working with them to create performances that worth both as history, and as drama.