Come Labor Day, Central Illinois will be one sonic experience richer. The Allerton Music Barn Festival will kick off for the first time in Monticello August 31. The festival will feature a wide range of musical genres, from American classical and Latin jazz to zydeco to Balinese gamelan. University of Illinois School of Music director Karl Kramer has been working toward this new music event since he came to Urbana Champaign five years ago. AM 580's Michael Koliska talked to him.
Illinois Public Media News
Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is the subject of a three-day forum at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. At age 88, the author of "The Gulag Archipelago" rarely leaves his home near Moscow. But his wife and two of his sons are taking part in the forum. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked with Natalya Solzhenitsyn about her husband's work since returning to Russia.
Traveling overseas can give Americans a glimpse of their image among the rest of the world. AM 580's Tom Rogers just completed his first journey to China, and in his opinion, what he found was both a wakeup call -- and, at times, cause for a good laugh.
Earlier this month, EIU selected William Perry (left) as its tenth president. Perry comes from Texas A&M University, but received masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois. Perry says a return to the Midwest from Texas was simply a bonus -- AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with Perry about what appealed to him about EIU and the challenges he'll face.
Candidates for the Champaign Unit 4 School Board answered questions about the federal consent decree, No Child Left Behind and the police presence in middle and high schools during a PTA forum before the March 17 election. But one question that wasn't asked was how the candidates felt about the administration of Superintendent Arthur Culver. AM 580's Jim Meadows posed that question after the forum was over, and seven candidates gave their answers.
Illinois' largest teachers' union has lined up behind Governor Rod Blagojevich's proposal to launch a new business tax to boost funding for education and health care. But the Illinois Education Association's president says that does not mean the union is opposed to an alternative plan that the governor opposes - a plan that would raise the state's income tax while lowering local property taxes. As AM 580's Tom Rogers reports, all IEA president Ken Swanson (left) wants to see is the end of what he calls chronic state underfunding.
For the sellout crowd at the Assembly Hall in Champaign February 21, the big highlight wasn't Illinois' victory over Michigan, but the last appearance of Chief Illiniwek. The Chief has plenty of critics -- but at the game, supporters showed how much they loved him. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
The chair of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees has retired the tradition of Chief Illiniwek. The last halftime dance for the Chief will be Wednesday, February 21st, during the final men's basketball home game of the season. Larry Eppley says he is a fan of the Chief, but his decision was in the university's best interest. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked to him, along with Ted Land from the student-run television channel UI-7.
There were plenty of questions but not many answers for parents in a meeting at Urbana's Thomas Paine Elementary School. District 116 officials held the meeting to hear parents' concerns following the arrest last week of a teacher on charges he sexually assaulted children at the school. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
A forum on racial and ethnic tensions on the University of Illinois campus brought together top university officials and a student group. The event was entitled "Racism, Power and Privilege on the UIUC Campus." The student group confronted the administration in the wake of a fraternity/sorority party last fall, in which students dressed as offensive Mexican stereotypes. But the "tacos and tequila" party was just part of the discussion. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.