The Parkland College Blog

"Peter and the Starcatcher" at Parkland Theatre Nov. 14–24

Family-friendly introduction to young orphan who would become Peter Pan

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The family-friendly show "Peter and the Starcatcher" comes to Parkland College's Harold and Jean Miner Theatre Nov. 14–24.  
Adapted by Rick Elice from the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson,"Peter and the Starcatcher" introduces audiences to the young orphan who would become Peter Pan as well as to some dastardly pirates, some lost boys, and a  brave girl named Molly.

A small group of actors will portray a hundred characters in sea battles, jungle adventures, and other exciting escapades. It's a wildly theatrical journey into the imagination for kids, grownups, and those who will never grow up. Mathew Green directs a cast that includes, Jace Jamison, Emaline Johnson, Jess Schlipf, Rachel Hejmanowski, Lincoln Machula, Zoë Dunn, Tommy Howie, Parker Evans, Thom Billam, Laura Alcantara, Stephanie Swearingen, Sam Gegg, and Wesley Bennett.
The Parkland Theatre will hold a talkback immediately following the Nov. 14 show; Green and members of the cast and crew will be on hand to discuss the show and answer audience questions.  
Performances take place in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre Nov. 14, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 and 24 at 3 p.m. **The Nov. 17 show will be a sensory-safe performance.**

Tickets are $20 for Adult, $18 for Student/Youth/Senior/Veteran and $16 each for reserved groups of 10 or more. Opening night is half-price night. To make reservations, visit or call the show hotline at 217/351-2528.  
To request accessibility-related accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at 217/353-2338 or email accessibilityservices@parkland.eduPlease submit all requests two weeks in advance of your participation or visit.

Biennial "State of the Art" Ceramics Invitational

Ceramic works by US, Canadian artists at Giertz Gallery through Feb. 1

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"Masters of Material" curated by Heidi Preuss Grew
Exhibit: Monday, November 11, 2019–Saturday, February 1, 2020, Giertz Gallery
Reception: Thursday, November 14, 5:30–7:30 p.m., with curatorial talk at 6:30 p.m. and music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble
Gallery Closed: November 27 (5 p.m.)–December 1 for Thanksgiving; December 20– January 12 for Holiday Break; and January 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Ceramic works by nationally recognized US and Canadian artists will feature in a Giertz Gallery at Parkland College exhibition next month.

Artist and educator Heidi Preuss Grew of Salem, Oregon, curates the 2019 State of the Art: Ceramics Invitational. The exhibit, with its "Masters of Material" theme, opens Nov. 11 and will run through Feb. 1, 2020.

An opening reception for the participating artists will take place Thursday, Nov. 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will feature a curatorial talk by Grew at 6:30 p.m. and music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble. Grew will also provide a lecture about her artwork earlier that day at 11 a.m. in Room L111, just down the hall from the gallery.
"It was a pleasure to curate this exhibition with works from artists I respect for their distinctive creative output and their mastery of the material," said Grew, who teaches drawing and sculpture at Chemeketa Community College. "Each forwards their artistic vision using ceramics in a manner that acknowledges the versatility and tactile physicality of the material. There is a dominance of material in some cases and subservience of material in others; in the end, I aimed to curate a show where each piece reveals a specific and tangible presence."
Exhibit participants comprise artists and faculty from the US and Canada including Mary Barringer of Shelburne, Mass.; Thaddeus Erdahl of St. Petersburg, Fla; Robert Harrison of Helena, Mont.; Lindsay Montgomery of Toronto, Canada; Lisa Orr of Austin, Tex.; Dirk Staschke of Portland, Ore.; Shalene Valenzuela of Missoula, Mont., and Adero Willard of Chicopee, Mass. 
Cups Fundraiser. In tandem with the Ceramics Biennial exhibition, Giertz Gallery will host its biennial fundraiser, "Coffee & Tea: Cups & Dessert," on Thursday, Dec. 5, 4 to 7 p.m. in the gallery lounge. Ticket includes a ceramic cup by Parkland College Ceramics faculty and students. Delicious desserts, tea, coffee, live music and a silent auction are part of the event’s festivities; the auction items make perfect holiday gifts. Tickets are $30 each or two for $50, with advanced purchase recommended; guests will choose cups on a first-come, first-serve basis. For tickets, contact the Giertz Gallery office at 217/351-2485, go to, or email us at Tickets are limited, and proceeds will support Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. 
Giertz Gallery fall hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will be closed from 5 p.m. Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 for Thanksgiving Break; Dec. 20 through Jan. 12 for Winter Break; and Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through any door and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area.
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/353-2337 or email
For more information on the invitational, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit

[Image: Robert Harrison; Goose House; combination of handmade clay and vintage manufactured ceramic pieces, glaze and decals; 2017; 9” x 10” x 6”]

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Sing-A-Thon Nov. 3

Seven high school ensembles join Parkland in joint benefit concert

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The Parkland College Chamber Singers will join seven high school choral ensembles in a joint benefit concert for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Nov. 3.

The 3 p.m. concert at St. Patrick Church, 708 W. Main St., Urbana, will also feature selections by the Monticello High School Madrigals, the Argenta-Oreana High School Choir, the Tuscola High School Honors and Concert Combined Choirs, the Maroa-Forsyth High School Concert Choir, Champaign Centennial High School Expressions Choir, the Rantoul Township High School Chamber Choir and the Urbana High School A Cappella Groups.

Groups will perform more than 20 selections covering different genres. Selections will range from "Can’t Buy Me Love" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney to "Cantate Domino" by David L. Brunner to "Kwela Kwela" an arrangement of Sotho & Zulu songs.

The event is co-sponsored by Parkland and St. Jude Runs. Donations of any amount will be accepted at the door to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For more information, contact Franklin Gallo at 217/351-2217 or

Parkland College Ensembles Offer Free October Concerts

Concert Band, Wind Ensemble Oct. 20; Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble Oct. 27

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Parkland College's fall concert season opens with October performances by several ensembles.

"The British are Coming": A Joint Concert by the Concert Band and Wind Ensembles
Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m.
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre
Parkland October Concerts
The Parkland Concert Band, directed by Larry Stoner, will perform "The British Eighth March" by Zo Elliot; "Seasongs" by Ralph Vaughn Williams; and the "William Byrd Suite" by Gordon Jacob, among others.

Parkland's Wind Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Beckett, will perform "An October Sky" by Barry Milner; "Pinnacle" by Michael Kamuf; and "Riverside Overture" by Robert Sheldon.

"Autumn Classics": A Joint Concert by the Orchestra and Guitar Ensemble 
Sunday, October 27, 3 p.m.
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre 

The Parkland Orchestra, directed by Rodney Mueller, will perform "Music for the Royal Fireworks" by George F. Handel; "Overture to Poet and Peasant" by Franz von Suppe; "Danse Bacchanale" from "Samson and Delila" by Camille Saint Saens; and the Concert Suite from "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

Director Young Kim will lead the Guitar Ensemble in performing "My Heart Ever Faithful" and "Air on G the String" by Johann Sebastian Bach; "La Paloma" by Sebastián Iradier; and "Morning Dew/Drowsy Maggie/Taproom Guitar" a traditional medley. 

For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit

"Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future" Film Screening

Planetarium, gallery to co-host documentary of "Father of Modern Space Art"

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Film Screening: Wednesday, October 9, 7 p.m., William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Free theremin performance featuring Gloria Roubel and Jason Finkelman: October 9, 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., planetarium lobby
Trailer: Available at

What do the Chrysler Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the film "Destination Moon" and America's space program all have in common? They were each touched by the creative vision of a little known artist named Chesley Bonestell.

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium and Giertz Gallery at Parkland College will present the film screening "Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future" Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the planetarium. This award-winning documentary about the "Father of Modern Space Art" explores Bonestell’s impact on America’s enthusiasm for space that began as early as the 1940s and grew into a national phenomenon in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bonestell (1888-1986) inspired us to get to the moon by the use of his paintbrush. His mesmerizing depiction of "Saturn As Seen From Titan" became known as "the painting that launched a thousand careers." His visionary paintings and illustrations in science magazines, books and science fiction movies inspired and continues to inspire scientists, artists, architects, engineers and sci-fi enthusiasts alike.

This documentary chronicles the extraordinary, nine-decade life of this quiet, artistic visionary, whose beautiful paintings continue to inspire us to reach for the stars. It includes interviews with people who were influenced by or knew Chesley personally and is punctuated with rare interview footage of Chesley. 

Adult admission is $10 and children, students, and seniors are $8.

The planetarium is located on the west side of Parkland College's campus; the M1 parking lot is closest to the planetarium. A drop-off circle drive is located south of the M1 parking lot between the theatre and the planetarium. Call 217/351-2446 for a current schedule or visit the planetarium website. 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency and through Student Life at Parkland College. Partial funding also provided by Student Life and the Division of Arts and Sciences at Parkland College.

Parkland is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2338.

[Chesley Bonestell paintings courtesy of Bonestell LLC]