The 21st Show

Music, Comedy And More From The Pygmalion Festival


Niala Boodhoo, far right, speaking to Seth Fein, Joaquin Vieira and Felipe Menanteau about Pygmalion at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 27. Vishesh Anand/Illinois Public Media

On the 21st: We're coming to you from the Pygmalion Festival at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Pygmalion showcases a wide range of guests and performers, and we invited some of those people to our show: everyone from the organizers of the festival, to astronomers, to musicians, to stand-up comedians. 

The Pygmalion Festival is one of the largest annual events in Champaign-Urbana. It features all kinds of events, whether you’re hoping to see a late night show or take your kids there.

It’s also a chance for community members to bring more people into what they already do on a regular basis. We talked to the organizers of Astronomy On Tap in Champaign-Urbana. They’ve been holding astronomy talks in local bars all around town on a regular basis, and they’re also here at Pygmalion.

We spoke to Joaquin Vieira and Felipe Menanteau who are the co-organizers of Astronomy On Tap’s Champaign-Urbana chapter. Joaquin is also an associate professor of astronomy at the U of I, and Felipe is a research scientist at the U of I’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications. 

But first, we spoke with Seth Fein, director of Pygmalion. Seth told us about Pygmalion's journey as a performing arts and "culture" festival.

And —

If you’re not feeling up to a music or comedy performance, you can “borrow” someone for an interesting conversation here at Pygmalion.

That’s part of the idea behind the Human Library. They have chapters all over the world including in Champaign-Urbana. 

Sarah Christensen is one of the organizers of the Human Library. She also works at the U of I Library, and spoke to her about her motivation behind organizing this. AJ Taylor also joined us, he is one of the human “book” volunteers. 

Plus —

We also interacted with some of the performers who have come to central Illinois for Pygmalion. When you think “live performance” you might not immediately think “podcast,” but that’s what host Phoebe Judge and producer Lauren Spohrer came to do. Their show “Criminal” from Radiotopia features all kinds of stories about crime. They joined us to talk about their work on the eve of their 100th epidode.

Kristen Toomey also joined us to talk about her experiences of performing as a stand-up comic in the Midwest. Kristen is also a comedy actor, writer, and producer. 

From there, we shifted gears a little bit. We ended the hour with a band from Champaign-Urbana, Nectar.

They released their debut album in April of this year. And actually performed on Sept. 26 in Urbana and two of their members joined us to give a taste of their live performance.

Kamila Glowacki is the vocalist and guitarist. Aaron Shults also plays guitar.

Story source: WILL