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Located in Champaign-Urbana IL we are committed to building community and strong individual voices through the power and practice of poetry. We meet once a week to workshop our poems and works in progress with the goal of publication in mind.

Founded 20/02/2002, Spineless Books is a local independent publishing house dedicated to producing innovative literature in print and electronic forms. Spineless Books also helps organize numerous local literary events, such as Callings, Urbana Burning, and Urbana Free Poetry.

The Women's Resources Center, a unit of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the University of Illinois, hosts monthly exhibitions of a diversity of art mediums. Preference is given to University of Illinois undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and/or art that examines dynamics of gender and other social identities.

Apart from exhibition space, the Women's Resources Center's primary services include advocacy and support services for survivors of violence or trauma; educational programs in leadership, career development, wellness, and safety; and the promotion of an awareness the needs and issues facing women and trans* students and other marginalized communities.

The Institute 4 Creativity (I4C) was founded in September 2012 to help people of all ages and backgrounds understand, develop, and utilize their creativity by providing a dynamic synergy of education, arts, humanities, science, technology, and ecology. Our goal is to encourage creative expression and provide a safe and stimulating environment where everyone can come together to learn, teach, think, and grow.

I4C is an Illinois non-profit organization with a multi-purpose creativity center, located at 111 South Walnut in downtown Champaign, which features classroom, event, exhibition, and studio spaces. We also provide off-site workshops, presentations, events, and creative development opportunities, in addition to marketing assistance and networking opportunities to help promote individuals and groups engaged in creative pursuits.

For more information about I4C, contact:
Bill Longfellow, Director
217-417-1667
bill@institute4creativity.org

The CUSO is a professional orchestra dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by providing symphonic music of the highest caliber through live performances and music education in the schools, the concert hall, and the community.

In 1959, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra was founded, and in 1960, Bernard Goodman, the CUSO’s first music director and conductor, led the orchestra in its inaugural concert. In 1964, the first Youth Concert was performed; these performances have since reached over 200,000 students.

In 1969, the CUSO began performing in the renowned Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, one of the finest and most magnificent performance halls in the world. Paul Vermel became the CUSO’s second music director and conductor in 1974, and by 1988, the CUSO was designated the professional orchestra in residence at the Krannert Center.

From 1995-2012, the CUSO enjoyed continued success and state and national recognition under the leadership of music director and conductor Steven Larsen. In 2009, the CUSO celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, and most recently, the Illinois Council of Orchestras has honored the CUSO’s Guild, Executive Director, and Board President with statewide recognition.

Following Maestro Larsen’s retirement at the end of the 2011-12 season, the CUSO completed an exciting search for only the fourth music director and conductor in its history. In March 2013, Stephen Alltop was appointed, and he has planned a thrilling and colorful inaugural season. Together, Maestro Alltop, the musicians of the orchestra, the CUSO Board, and the CUSO Guild will lead the CUSO into a new era of outstanding live performances, music education, and community engagement.

One People is local service and arts organization in the Champaign-Urbana community that exists for creativity, service, and community. The Lounge is One People's signature event where creative and local emerging artists perform to support and bring awareness to various causes.

Djibril Camara is a master dancer from Boke, Guinea in West Africa. He spent his childhood dancing and began his formal training at the National School in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Djibril was a principal dancer and choreographer for the international touring company Ballet du Afrique Noir of Senegal, as well as Troupe Federale Conakry and Ballet Bougarabou for 17 years, traversing Europe and Africa. Eventually his talent brought him to the U.S. for Ballet du Afrique’s presentation of the Mandika Epic on notable stages such as New York City’s Kennedy Center.

He has been sharing his love of West African dance and culture with the Champaign-Urbana community for several years now. He teaches classes twice a week at the Channing-Murray Foundation, offers private lessons and also leads the Mara Giri Dance Ensemble.

The Mara Giri Dance Ensemble, directed by and starring Djibril along with several of his most dedicated and experienced students, performs high energy West African dances accompanied by live drumming. Mara Giri Dance Ensemble shows are lively and fun for the whole family!

The NSAL is an organization which actively support the work of young people who are pursuing an interest in the following categories; art, music, drama, literature, dance, and musical theater. The society was founded in 1944 and consists of 18 chapters distributed across the United States. While local chapters may vary in local endeavors, all participate in the "Career Awards", a national competition held each spring, as well as the Winston Endowment scholarships in art and voice.

What: The University YMCA will host Rev. Dr. Cindi Love from Soulforce on “Fundamentalism, Freedom, and Faith” on March 8th at Friday Forum.

When: March 8, 2013, 12 Noon

Where: Latzer Hall, University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois

Details: The talk will focus on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community and other marginalized communities, who are often subjected to the violence of exclusion, and highlight the non-violent efforts made by Soulforce to resist the oppression arising out of fundamentalism. Local church and political officials as well as the media are invited to speak with Rev. Dr. Cindi Love before and after the noontime talk.

Background: Successful entrepreneur and corporate executive turned minister, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is the Executive Director of Soulforce as well as a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Love also serves on the United Nations UUO Coalition for LGBT Human Rights and authored the book Would Jesus Discriminate? named for the international campaign of the same name.

Soulforce is a national non-profit organization dedicated to bring freedom to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious & political oppression. It also challenges other forms of oppression including sexism, racism and classism. Soulforce accomplishes its mission primarily through community organizing, education and training, advocacy for public and private institutional policy change and street-based nonviolent resistance to overt discrimination.

"Soulforce, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love" is a part of the Friday Forum Spring 2013 lecture series, Faith in Action. The series will feature speakers from across the spectrum of faith traditions that are compelled by their faith to engage in bold and creative forms of action. All lectures are free and open to the public. Y Eatery is available during the lecture: $6.50/3.00 student.

Additional Information: The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect the views of the University YMCA, co-sponsors, or the Friday Forum committee. A sign language interpreter is available within a 72 hour notice (contact Carol Nunn at 217-337-1500). All forums are radio broadcast at 6:00pm on WEFT 90.1 the Monday following the lecture. For more information, plus a list of our sponsors, please visit www.universityymca.org/friday_forum.

More info about Rev. Dr. Cindi Love: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-cindi-love/

Contact: Ann Rasmus, Program Director

[217-337-1514, ann@universityymca.org]

Prairie Crossroads Blues Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed to promote blues music and artists in East Central Illinois. Our mission is to preserve, promote and educate the public about the great American music heritage know as "The Blues".

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