The 21st Show

ENCORE: ‘Minding The Gap’ Documentary; Illinois Murals; Black Sacred Music


Keire Johnson (front) and Zack Mulligan are two of the young men featured in the documentary 'Minding the Gap.' Bing Liu

All this week, we’re revisiting some of our favorite arts and entertainment conversations we’ve had on the show. You’ll hear from the University of Illinois Black Chorus and they perform a song for us ahead ofconcert at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. But first: An Illinois documentary called 'Minding The Gap' got a lot of buzz at film festivals around the world - including at Sundance, where it won a special jury award. The film was also nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature.  

'Minding The Gap' Documentary Follows Lives of Three Young Skateboarders in Rockford 

'Minding The Gap' follows the lives of three young skateboarders in Rockford, Illinois. and the family they formed, which helped them cope with abuse, death and domestic violence.  We spoke with producer and director Bing Liu back in August. His film was also nominated for an Oscar in the best documentary feature category earlier this year. 



Preserving Illinois Murals 

For many Illinois towns, murals are a way to keep local history alive. But what do you do once those murals start to age? And what do towns do when they might not have the knowledge or funds to properly take care of them? Janna Groharing is the Executive Director of Sterling Main Street, an organization working to preserve the historic murals in Sterling. Sterling is on the Rock River, just about an hour southwest of Rockford. And Tara Bedei is a city councilwoman in Streator, Illinois which is about an hour North of Bloomington. She also helped organize Streator’s five-day mural painting festival, The Walldogs Festival, which brought 16 new murals to the city. We spoke with both of them last summer. 


U of I's Black Chorus Discuss Sacred Music 

We’re revisiting our conversation with the U of I’s Black Chorus. We spoke with them back in March ahead of their concert at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Brianna Tyler is the TA - and a master’s student getting her degree in music education. Mikaela Odom and Jerry Bufore were both seniors at the time, who have since graduated. They were also the president and vice president of the chorus. There are about 80 members of Black Chorus and a few of them stopped by our studios in Urbana to perform a song.

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