music/dance/performance/theater

The Swing Society at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is an organization with the purpose of promoting the education and enjoyment of the various swing dance styles within the community. We hold dances, organize workshops, and offer lessons teaching Lindy Hop, Charleston, and other swing dances.

The Swing Society at The University of Illinois was established in 1994, at the beginning of the national revival of the swing era of dance. Since then, we've seen our numbers grow and now have over 1,900 people who receive our weekly e-mail. Check the calendar, our website, our Facebook or Twitter for more information about us and our events!

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 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!

Stories & Queer, founded by writer Brian Kornell and poet Ruben Quesada, is a traveling reading series based in Urbana-Champaign that aims to provide a space for local & national readers/listeners to connect with queer & queer-friendly writers in underrepresented areas of the country. Each reading features two local and one live streamed writer with consideration given to a represent culture, gender, and language. Additionally, the event will also be broadcast live and archived to the web. The virtual components of this series are unique and allow us to reach beyond the local borders of the event.

Queer poets and writers need to be given a space to share their work just as much as their straight counterparts. This is an issue of visibility. Queer voices should not be marginalized nor hidden away. Even though the LGBTQ community is on the brink of historic advancements in equal rights, bullying and anti-LGBTQ speech is still pervasive. The Stories & Queer reading series steps in to embrace queer and queer-friendly poets and writers who express themselves, the issues/ideas most important to them. This series makes a positive contribution to the literary and LGBTQ community by encouraging all people to tell their stories without shame or fear.

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.

The Urbana Dance Company is a modern dance troupe founded in 2012 by artistic director Kate Insolia. Believing that artists have the ability to transcend conventional wisdom and offer new productive and vibrant modes of being, the Urbana Dance Company seeks to understand the power of performance as a vital means for political action and social transformation. Our choreography seeks to illuminate issues of oppression such as racism, classism and sexism with the intent to push society toward greater tolerance. In search for humanity, the company uses both drama and humor to create a space where transformation can occur. As an affiliate of the Urbana Park District, we are committed to creating a vibrant, community centered, and cutting edge modern dance troupe that is connected with and relevant to the international dance community. In 2013, we will perform our first work, “The Urbana Dance Company Presents!”  In this evening length performance, we will explore the social, political, and interpersonal dynamics of "oppressive behavior." Slowly coming to grips with the fact that we live on Native land is a hot spot explored.  

Kate Insolia received her B.A. in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she taught Jazz, Modern, and Dance History lecture courses. She has co-produced three full-length shows where she has showcased her own work "Just Remembering", "Feeling Stars", "International US," and “Mat Press.”  Kate currently teaches dance at Next Generation and the Phillips Recreation Center. Kate is board President of the YWCA at UIUC and leads a "White's Eliminating Racism" support group in town as part of the United To End Racism project sponsored by the Re-evaluation Co-counseling Community.

Fluid Events is a full service event planning company, located in the Champaign/Urbana, Illinois area. Fluid’s experienced event staff is professional, detail-oriented and will work along with you to create and execute extraordinary events. Our staff will assist you with everything from event design, site selection, management of food and beverage, floral arrangements, photography, decorations, music, entertainment or anything else that will make your event a masterpiece.

Together, we will define your dream event by combining your personal taste and individual style into an unforgettable event. Fluid Events is known for surpassing their client’s expectations with their passion for detail, organization and customer service. We can help you plan company weekend retreats, corporate holiday parties, executive off-site meetings, concerts, festivals, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, Sweet 16 parties, weddings, and much more.

Our staff is a valuable asset to planning any and all of your event needs. You can rest assured knowing your event has a competent, experienced and professional team working for you at all times. Work smarter, not harder…. Fluid Events can help you make your event a success. “Contact us” or please take time to fill out a “request for proposal” and a Fluid Events representative will contact you to discuss your event needs in more detail.

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