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University of Illinois dance teacher Kemal Nance works with students in his African dance class.

African dance expert uses dance technique to tell the stories of African-American men

Author: Jodi Heckel, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2015

The dance piece choreographed by Kemal Nance, a lecturer in the University of Illinois Department of Dance, imagines a mythical scenario in which trees are dancing from communal joy. The work – “SHADE! (The Secret Dance of Trees)” – also serves as a metaphor of African-American culture.

Published Date: July 1, 2015


Bassist Larry Gray, who teaches jazz studies at the University of Illinois School of Music, will play at jazz festivals in Europe and the U.S. this summer with the Made in Chicago ensemble, led by drummer Jack DeJohnette.

Larry Gray, esteemed bassist and cellist and U. of I. jazz professor, touring with jazz greats

Author: Jodi Heckel, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:June 17, 2015

Larry Gray is a highly regarded bassist who has played with many legends of jazz music. But playing on the “Made in Chicago” project with drummer Jack DeJohnette, with whom he is about to embark on a European tour, is “a career high.”

Published Date: June 17, 2015


Jorge Lucero, a University of Illinois art professor, created a Barack Obama Presidential Library art exhibit in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.

U. of I. art professor curates a Barack Obama Presidential Library by the people

Author: Jodi Heckel, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:June 17, 2015

The Barack Obama Presidential Library is open in Hyde Park, Illinois. Not the official presidential library, which won’t be completed for years, but a Barack Obama Presidential Library exhibit at the Hyde Park Free Theater, a new storefront community arts center.

Published Date: June 17, 2015


Monster of the Twentieth Century: Ktoku Shsui and Japans First Anti-Imperialist Movement, by Robert Tierney, a University of Illinois professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, includes the first English translation of a work by a Japanese journalist and anarchist who opposed Japans colonialism in the early 20th century.

Book on anti-imperialism in Japan includes first English translation of work by Japanese activist

Author: Jodi Heckel, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:June 8, 2015

Japan entered a period of colonial expansion in the late 19th century, starting with its annexation of Taiwan in 1895. Within just a few years of this colonial conquest, an anti-imperialism movement began in Japan. One of the key figures in the movement was Kōtoku Shūsui, a journalist and anarchist who wrote a book opposing imperialism and who was executed by the Japanese government in 1911.

Published Date: June 8, 2015


Somi, a singer and songwriter who grew up in Champaign-Urbana, will perform her fusion of jazz and African music during the 2015-16 season of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts announces its 2015-16 season

Author: Jodi Heckel, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:May 12, 2015

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ 2015-16 season will feature international stars whose roots are in Champaign-Urbana or at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: May 12, 2015