Applause
The Woodridge Professional Building in West Peoria hosted a grand opening and sculpture unveiling May 25. The Bailey Group accepted submissions from sculptors to participate in the first Woodridge Biennial Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, and two works from professional artists were selected for the two-year exhibition. The first piece, “Perched,” designed by Chicago-area artist Mike Helbing, was unveiled at a grand opening.

ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, Inc. announced the availability of its new public art catalog, “In Plain Sight.” The catalog is a celebration of the wealth of public art in the Peoria area and is authored by Dr. Peter Couri. It includes photos, maps, and historic facts regarding some of Peoria’s most noted pieces of public art.

Several students of the Peoria Ballet Academy are attending prestigious ballet summer intensives: Toby Lewellen, Milwaukee Ballet; Olivia Moore, Miami City Ballet; Hayley Salmon, Houston Ballet; Beth Rosecrans and Rebecca Bruch, Saratoga Springs; Emily Penn and Emily Penck, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet; Alexandra James, Alex Buchko, and Bridgett Miles, The Rock School of Ballet; Regan Fairfield, Nashville Ballet; and Kim Rosecrans and Anna Umholtz, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

The Peoria Ballet added the following individuals to its board of directors: Dr. Aaron Buchko, Laurie Pearl Cain, Walt Deehring, Curt Early, Joe Gillespie, Jr., Georgia Heth, Stephanie Ricketts, Nancy Levenick, and Becki Salmon.

C.S. Stanford, pastor of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peoria, released a novel, The Oracles and The Jewels, Vol. I, The Academy, a fantasy novel in the tradition of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The book is distributed by Baker and Taylor and Amazon.com.

Peoria Christian High School submitted nine paintings to the 18th District Congressional Art Show April 1. Of the nine paintings, five placed in the top 200, one ranked No. 31, and another ranked No. 73 out of 600.

The Illinois Arts Council announced Ricardo Cortez Cruz of Bloomington received a 2006 Literary Award for the Poem “Sweet Honey on the Rocks,” published in Normal by Mandorla.

Among the newly elected Prairie Fire Theatre officers for the 2006-07 year: Sharon Albee, secretary; Anne Standish, treasurer and business manager; Galen Crow, vice president; and Terry Park, president.

The Illinois Arts Council announced the second round of FY2006 grants:
• Peoria County—Fine Arts Society, $750 for lecture series; and the Peoria Art Guild, $3,740 for Youth Employment in the Arts project.
• Woodford County—Walnut Grove Fine Arts Association, $400 for a performance by storyteller Chris Fascione; and Sun Foundation, $245 for a performance by Rocky Maffit and Chad Dunn.

Exhibits
Exhibits of the National Ceramic Invitational will be displayed in Bradley University’s Heuser Art Center gallery through July 1. 677-2989.

“Somatic Ghosts,” a collaboration by artists and sculptors Michelle Acuff and Elizabeth Mead, is presented July 1 through 8 at the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria. 673-5589.

The Peoria Art Guild hosts a Fine Art Fair Invitational July 7 to August 12 featuring previous award winners and select past participants. 637-2787.

The Peoria Art Guild presents an exhibit by Ketra Oberlander, a Peorian who became blind as an adult and pursued painting to help her cope, becoming a professional artist. A reception takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m., July 7, and is open to the public. Free for members, $2 suggested donation for non-members. 637-2787.

The Peoria Art Guild hosts “Weekend of Warhol,” featuring one of the most influential and significant artists of the 20th century, July 13 to 15. The exhibit includes Warhol’s series of paintings of the nation’s 10 top athletes from the 1970s and 1980s. A reception takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., July 14. The exhibit is free for members and $2 suggested donation for non-members. 637-2787.

The Peoria Art Guild hosts “Illinois River Stories” August 18 to September 23. Professional photographers collaborate to illustrate the many ways in which the Illinois River affects our quality of life. This is a community-based show with an educational program for schools. Free for members, $2 for non-members. 637-2787.

Lakeview Museum hosts “Hatching the Past: Dinosaur Eggs, Nests and Young” through September 3. Recent discoveries of dinosaur eggs, nests, and even embryos are providing new evidence to unlock the mysteries of dinosaur behavior. What was life like for baby dinosaurs? Are dinosaurs alive today? These fascinating questions and answers are explored in an exhibition that’s a blend of art and science. $3.50, $5. 686-3000.

Festivals
The River City Soul Festival takes place August 11 and 12 on the Peoria riverfront. This event, celebrating African American heritage and culture, includes gospel music featuring Vickie Winans August 11 and R&B and soul music featuring The Dramatics and The Manhattans August 12. $3, $7. 689-3019.

Erin Feis takes place August 25 to 27 on the Peoria riverfront. Enjoy a weekend full of Irish music, dancers, food and beverages, historic exhibits, and more. Individual prices and family packages available. 689-3019.

Films
The Peoria Park District offers the following movies as part of its Twilight Theatre at dusk at the Glen Oak Amphitheatre:
• July 11—Casablanca.
• July 18—Citizen Cane.
• July 25—The Wizard of Oz.
$1 per person.

For Children
The Community Children’s Theatre presents Pocahontas at 7 p.m., July 6 to 8, and at 1:30 p.m., July 7 to 9, at Peoria Players Theatre. Local children bring an American legend to life in this musical production. $6, $8. 681-2861.

The Peoria Park District offers the following Family Flicks at dusk at the Glen Oak Amphitheatre:
• July 10—Zathura.
• July 17—Nanny McPhee.
• July 24—The Polar Express.
• July 31—Wallace & Gromit.
• August 7—March of the Penguins.
25 cents per person.

The Lakeview branch of the Peoria Public Library hosts a Teddy Bear Wellness Clinic from noon to 1 p.m., July 14. A noted teddiologist gives tips, tells teddy stories, and sings songs. Free. 497-2200.

Bonding With Books Club, for mothers and daughters ages 13 to 16, discusses Battle of Jericho by Sharon Draper at 6 p.m., July 19, at the Lincoln branch of the Peoria Public Library. Free. 497-2600.

Trinity Lutheran Church presents Kindermusik, with weekly daytime and evening summer classes, through July 25. Camp tuition includes five one-hour sessions at Trinity for children ages newborn to seven years. Children also use Kindermusik’s sheet music, instruments, and CDs for activities at home. 676-4609, ext. 202.

The Peoria Civic Center hosts Barbie Live in Fairytopia, an elaborate stage production that brings Barbie to life at 7 p.m., July 25, and at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., July 26. $16 to $38. 676-8700.

The Peoria Public Library continues its long-time tradition of holding a summer reading program this year with its 60th anniversary Summer Reading Program, “Summer Read-In” for all ages through July 29 at all library locations. The seven-week program culminates with a final celebration party at the Peoria Zoo at Glen Oak Park August 1. 497-2141.

Literature
The Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club discusses Nine Layers of Sky and Empire of Bones by Liz Williams at 7 p.m., July 10, at the downtown library. Free. 497-2160.

The Pekin Public Library book club discusses The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini from 2 to 3 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m., July 12. Free. 347-7111, ext. 2.

The Junior League of Peoria Book Club meets at 7 p.m., July 19, at Biaggi’s in Bloomington to discuss The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith. Members only.

Club Read discusses The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini at 6:30 p.m., July 26, at the Lakeview branch of the Peoria Public Library. Free. 497-2141.

Lakeview’s Leaky Cauldron Book Club discusses chapters 31 and 32 of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling at 7 p.m., July 26. Free. 497-2200.

The Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club discusses Polaris by Jack McDevitt at 7 p.m., August 14, at the downtown library. Free. 497-2160.

The Pekin Public Library book club discusses The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears from 2 to 3 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m., August 16. Free. 347-7111, ext. 2.

The Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club discusses Water Room by Christopher Fowler and Locked Room by Laurie R. King at 2 p.m., August 20, in the Sturrock Room at Bradley University’s library. Free. 497-2141.

Club Read discusses Gilead by Marilynne Robinson at 6:30 p.m., August 23, at the Lakeview branch of the Peoria Public Library. Free. 497-2141.

Lakeview’s Leaky Cauldron Book Club discusses chapters 33 and 34 of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling at 7 p.m., August 30. Free. 497-2200.

Music
The Peoria Municipal Band performs at 7:30 p.m. at the following locations:
• July 3 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• July 5 on the Peoria riverfront.
• July 9 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• July 12 on the Peoria riverfront.
• July 16 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• July 19 on the Peoria riverfront.
• July 23 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• July 26 on the Peoria riverfront.
• July 30 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• August 2 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• August 6 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• August 9 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• August 13 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• August 16 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
• August 20 at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheater.
691-3318, 677-2605.

The Illinois State University School of Music offers the following Concerts on the Quad at 7 p.m.:
• July 3—The Special Consensus. A return engagement by one of the country’s best acoustic bluegrass bands.
• July 10—An Evening of Chamber Music. Enjoy the sounds of strings featuring ISU faculty and guest artists.
• July 17—StoneRing. Listen to an educational performance of dance music and songs on a wide variety of instruments from this Madison-based Celtic group.
• July 24—Ninth Annual Jazz Festival. Enjoy hot jazz and cool riffs with the ISU Faculty Jazz Quartet.
• July 31—Singing Under the Stars. ISU vocal faculty and guest artists sing favorites from the operatic and Broadway stages.
Concertgoers should bring lawn chairs or blankets. Free. 438-3838.

The Peoria Park District offers the following acts, free, as part of Thursday Night Jazz from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at CEFCU Center Stage at The Landing:
• July 6—Kevin Hart and the Vibe Tribe.
• July 13—David Hoffman Quartet.
• July 20—Billy Cook Quartet.
• July 27—Dan Diefendorf/Swing Daddies.
• August 3—Joe Metzka.
• August 10—Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra.
• August 17—Cassie Hart & Friends.
• August 24—Todd Kelly Quintet.

Forest Park Nature Center hosts Applegate & Company in Concert at 7 p.m., July 8. A music icon of central Illinois, Applegate and Company brings more than 30 years of musical existence to the stage. With guitar, mandolin, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, five-string banjo, and vocals, the music they spin covers the range from bluegrass, ragtime, and folk classics. $5, $6. 686-3360.

The following bands perform at 8 p.m. this summer at the CEFCU Center Stage at the Landing:
• July 8—Heartbreaker, a tribute to Led Zeppelin.
• July 21—The Boat Drunks, a tribute to Jimmy Buffett.
• July 22—Jammsammich.
• July 29—Groovethang, a tribute to Steely Dan and Earth, Wind & Fire.
$3, $7.

Luthy Botanical Garden hosts Gigs in the Garden from 5 to 7 p.m., July 9 and August 13. This family-
friendly concert offers a great chance to bring the kids and the grandparents out for a relaxed evening in the Garden. The July concert features the rockin’ blues of the Lizzie Neal Band, and the August concert features the folk music of The Prescott Family. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner or settle in the chairs provided, and have a great time with your family and friends. Admission is $5 for ages 10 and older; ages nine and under are free (maximum of $15 per family). For more information, call 686-3362.

Old Time Folk & Country Jams take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m., July 9 and 23 and August 13 and 27, at Forest Park Nature Center. Free. 686-3360.

The Peoria Park District’s Teen Battle of the Bands takes place at 6 p.m., July 15, at the Glen Oak Amphitheater. A maximum of five bands, with members aged 14 to 18, chosen from all submissions received by the Park District, will compete in a live performance showdown, which the public is encouraged to attend. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winner. The first place winner also will compete in the state Battle of the Bands competition in Springfield, hosted by Illinois Parks and Recreation Association. $5. 681-2859.

The Central Illinois Jazz Society and Johnny Slu’s Dixie Daredevils perform from 6 to 9:30 p.m., July 16, at the Radisson Hotel. $5 for members, $7 for non-members, children 14 and under free with an adult. 692-5330 or 691-3259.

A “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” Youth Music Festival takes place at 6:30 p.m., July 20, at the Glen Oak Park Amphitheatre. This event is a fun-filled evening with the young musicians from the Peoria Park District’s Summer Band and Orchestra Program, along with Great Expectations 2006 Show Chorus and Fine Arts Fair. $3; students with ID are free. 681-2861.

The Ameren Summer Serenades 2006 continue at 7 p.m., August 11, on the Lakeview Museum lawn. The Neverly Brothers perform a concert including music from the 1950s and the 1960s, providing a narrative journey from Kentucky rockabilly to Liverpool pop. Food is available starting at 6 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Free.

Forest Park Nature Center hosts Dave Berchtold in Concert at 7 p.m., August 12. He blends acoustic instrumentals—such as “Little Martha” by the Allman Brothers and “Embryonic Journey” by Jorma Kaukonen—and a huge variety of folk, blues, ragtime, gospel, originals, and acoustic rock classics. A native of central Illinois, Berchtold has been playing acoustic guitar for more than 30 years. $5, $6. 686-3360.

James Taylor performs at 8 p.m., August 14, at the Peoria Civic Center Arena. $47, $57, $67. 676-8700.

The Central Illinois Jazz Society and the Billy Cook Quartet featuring Steve Thomas perform from 6 to 9:30 p.m., August 20, at the Radisson Hotel. $5 for members, $7 for non-members, children 14 and under free with an adult. 692-5330 or 691-3259.

Opportunities
ArtsPartners of Central Illinois is accepting nominations for the 2006 ArtsPartner of the Year. The intent of the award is to recognize and encourage those who invest their resources so the central Illinois area can have a healthy and vibrant cultural community. The award will be presented at the ArtsPartners Celebration of the Arts Annual Meeting September 7. Nominations and three letters of support must be received by August 4. 676-2787.

The Peoria Park District hosts auditions for Park Troupe Mirage, an adult dance group, at 6:30 p.m., August 9, at the Franciscan Rec Complex Dance Studio. 677-6705.

Social Events
The 7th Annual Maui Jim/Children’s Home Charity Golf Classic takes place July 17 at the Peoria Country Club. The event, to benefit Children’s Home, features instructional clinics by Senior PGA Tour Pros Dave Stockton, Don Pooley, Morris Hatalsky, and Dan Boever. 691-3700.

Rhythm in the Rainforest takes place from 6 to 9:30 p.m., August 18, at Luthy Botanical Garden. The seventh annual event includes a fun night of cool jazz and exquisite hors d’oeuvres amongst the palm trees and tropical setting of the Conservatory. Mingle around the torch-lit rose garden outside and let the soothing sounds take you away. Ages 21 and over only. $15 for members and $20 for non-members in advance; $25 day of the event. 686-3362.

Theatre
Corn Stock Theatre presents Brighton Beach Memoirs, a comedy/drama, at 7:30 p.m., June 23 to July 1. The first part of Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy, it’s a portrait of the writer as a Brooklyn teenager in 1937 living with his family in crowded, lower-middle-class circumstances. Brighton Beach is a deeply appealing play that deftly mixes drama with comedy. $11. 676-2196.

Corn Stock Theatre presents Godspell, a youth musical, July 14 to 22 in Upper Bradley Park. In the tradition of CST’s 2004 production of Smokey Joe’s Café, here’s another main stage production by young adults. Based on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Godspell is a ground-breaking and unique reflection on the life of Jesus, with a message of kindness, tolerance, and love. $17. 676-2196.

Prairie Folklore Theatre presents “Black Hawk’s Band: A Native View of Illinois History,” from 7 to 9 p.m., July 14 to 16, at Chillicothe’s Three Sisters Park. The event features Indian creation myths and history. $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $25 for a family. 689-8000.

Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre presents Who’s Under Where? through July 23. It’s a wild comedy centering around two women who design exotic lingerie for both women and men and their attempts to set up for a private fashion show. Full buffet performances take place Thursday through Saturday evenings, and brunch productions take place Sundays. $27.50, $29.50, $31.50. 965-2545.

Prairie Fire Theatre in Normal presents HMS Pinafore, a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, at 7:30 p.m., August 4, 5, 11, and 12, and at 3 p.m., August 6 and 13. $10, $15, $18. 824-3047.

Corn Stock Theatre presents Crossing Delancy, a comedy, at 7:30 p.m., August 4 to 12. Isabel is a modern young woman who lives alone and works in a bookshop. When she isn’t pining after a handsome author, she’s visiting her grandmother on Manhattan’s lower east side. Her delightfully nosy grandmother and her friend, the matchmaker, have found a “good catch” for Isabel: Sam, the handsome pickle vendor. A lovely, amusing romance in which the ending is the beginning. $9, $11. 676-2196.

Heartland Theatre Company in Normal presents The Drawer Boy August 10 to 12, 18 to 20, 24 to 26, 31, and September 1 and 2. 452-8709.

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival returns to Ewing Manor through August 13. The Mediterranean is the central theme for the productions this year, which include The Comedy of Errors, Julius Caesar, and Pericles. The Comedy of Errors is a story about two sets of twin brothers separated during a shipwreck and their adventures discovering each other’s existence. Pericles, Prince of Tyre is an ancient account of the Prince of Tyre’s search for love, his loss, and his eventual salvation. Julius Caesar follows the rise and fall of Rome’s first dictator and tells a story of betrayal, politics, and moral penalty. 438-8974.

Prairie Folklore Theatre presents “Prairie Fire! Pioneer History and Melodies,” from 7 to 9 p.m., August 18 to 20, at Chillicothe’s Three Sisters Park. The event is a celebration of bison and covered wagons, wolves and wigwams, featuring a tapestry of American Indian and pioneer stories with a bluegrass duet. $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $25 for a family. 689-8000.

Corn Stock Theatre presents State Fair at 7:30 p.m., August 25 to September 2. Set against a background of America’s heartland as the Frake family spends three days at the Iowa State Fair, it’s the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical originally written for film and later adapted for Broadway. $12, $17. 676-2196. a&s