Central Illinois arts & entertainment calendar for weekend of July 12-14

Central Illinois arts & entertainment calendar for weekend of July 12-14

Without further ado, here are our picks of the most exciting events going on this weekend.


First Friday Art Walk (Decatur)

Eastern Europe - Kindred Cultures

The Decatur Area Arts Center (DAAC) and friends have a lot going on at July’s First Friday Art Walk (which was actually moved to the second Friday of the month due to the Fourth of July holiday weekend).

In connection with its Eastern Europe: Kindred Cultures exhibition, DAAC is presenting a second Eastern Europe-centric experience.

  • Music by Tatiana Shustova, Russian pianist who is currently staff accompanist at Bradley University and piano instructor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • A taste of Eastern European cuisine

The Blue Connection, also in the Madden Arts Center, presents “Artists in Action” featuring various Millikin University student, faculty and alumni artists demonstrating their art as they work live.

Illinois Art Gallery at 160 E. Main St. features Kristine Palmer’s poured acrylic paintings.

The ArtFarm is exhibiting “Wabi Sabi” by Jen Watkins.

Artist talks will take place at 6 pm at the Madden Arts Center and 6:30 pm at Illinois Art Gallery.

“Donald Mason: Double Consciousness” (Peoria)

Donald Mason: Double Consciousness

Growing up in the church, being influenced as teenager by the murder of Emmett Till and troubled by the economic and social disparity between the races prepared Contemporary Art Center of Peoria resident artist Donald Mason to teach art and provide insight to students in Peoria’s District #150 for 42 years. His mixed media paintings and sculpture are the psychological and spiritual catharsis of his 78 years of life.

At Gallery 2R. Reception to be held on July 13 from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, featuring music by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Barry Cloyd. Free admission; donation requested.

Twenty Dirty Hands (Peoria)

Photos: Pottery by Twenty Dirty Hands @ CAC Peoria

The Twenty Dirty Hands Pottery Tour was developed to promote 10 ceramic artists in small towns in the Northwest corner of Illinois — but if you can’t make it to their neck of the woods for the annual tour in October, you can at least view some of their work in Peoria!

At Gallery 3R. Reception to be held on July 13 from 6:30 pm-8 :30 pm, featuring music by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Barry Cloyd. Free admission; donation requested.

Sugar Creek Arts Festival (Normal)

Sugar Creek Arts Festival

The 36th edition of the Sugar Creek Arts Festival will host about 130 artists – and thousands of visitors – from across the Midwest and beyond in Uptown Normal. BloNo’s second longest-running street festival also features a wine tent and two music stages on Broadway Avenue and Uptown Circle, with blues and roots performers including Leah Marlene, Sarah Quah, Sugar Creek Cloggers and Shuga Beatz.


Friday Night Live (Champaign)

Friday Night Live

Now in its seventh year, Friday Night Live presents free live performances at four Downtown Champaign intersections every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Here’s a list of this week’s performances:

Neil & Church (One Main Plaza)

6 pm: Two & A Third (folk/rock/jazz/pop)
7 pm: Mike & Kayla (indie/folk/rock/blues/soul)

Neil & Park

6 pm: The Young & The Fretless (bluegrass)
7 pm: Nfinite Soul (R&B/neosoul/jazz/reggae)

Market & University

6 pm: Zondo (Afro folk)
7 pm: Riders of the Golden Maize (roots/rock/Americana)

Walnut & Chester

6 pm: Domenic & Nicolina (acoustic pop)
7 pm: Christopher Corkery (Americana/honkytonk/roots)

Smells Like Nirvana (Peoria)

Smells Like Nirvana

Get your 90s nostalgia fix here! Surely you don’t need to be told which band Smells Like Nirvana pays tribute to, but that ain’t all – there’s also a Rage Against the Machine tribute, Brainchild. It all starts Saturday at 8 pm at the Monarch Music Hall.

Summer Lawn Concert w/ Casey James & Karen Waldrup

Summer Lawn Concert w/ Casey James & Karen Waldrup

Enjoy an evening of rootsy music outdoors at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts’ 2019 Summer Lawn Concert! Local alt-folk duo Stone & Snow open, followed by the contemporary blues stylings of Casey James.

Rising country star Karen Waldrup completes the evening’s lineup.

Midwest Punkfest Showcase

Midwest Punkfest Showcase

Did you miss Midwest Punkfest XI back in June? Well, Rough Dreams is coming back from their homebase in Knoxville, Tennessee, and teaming up with Bloomington’s Dirty Rotten Revenge and Peoria’s No Solution at the scene of the crime.

Free show/donations accepted. All ages until 10 pm.

Check out Dirty Rotten Revenge’s 2015 debut:

And here’s No Solution’s recent debut:


Our Town (Springfield)

Our Town

The Springfield Theatre Centre’s Active & Creative Teen Theatre group is breathing new life into Our Town, Thornton Wilder’s three-act play that broke new ground with its use of metatheatrical devices. Friday-Sunday at the Hoogland Center for the Arts (more details here).

The Addams Family Musical (Bloomington)

The Addams Family Musical

In this 2009 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, Wednesday Addams is 18 and ready to have her own life – and she’s in love with Lucas Beineke, a perfectly normal boy from an Ohio family that’s coming to the Addams family’s mansion for dinner. Hilarity ensues, along with revelations that force everyone’s favorite spooky(ish) family to confront change.

Presented at Bloomington’s Community Players Theatre through July 28. Rated PG-13 – parental guidance suggested (adult innuendo, profanity, and scenes containing torture).

Caesar (Normal)


The 42nd Illinois Shakespeare Festival presents a modern, media-saturated take on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about the downfall of Julius Caesar. Through Aug. 10 at the ISU Center for the Performing Arts.

And some good ol’ family entertainment

Fisher Fair

Fisher Fair

Fisher’s long-running fair includes livestock judging, beauty pageants, baby contest, kid’s games, pedal tractor pull, carnival rides, donkey races and more! Saturday morning though from 8 am–noon there will be a Fisher Fair 5K Run/Walk. If that’s too early, come around 2 pm for a wine, beer and spirits tasting at the Commercial Building, and stick around for a community car show! Click here for the full schedule (pdf).

Central Illinois Buzz

Written by Central Illinois Buzz

Covering the good life in central Illinois.

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