Wednesday, August 31, 2016

UIS Speaker Series presents "Hispanic Americans: Civil Rights, Social Justice and the Legal System - Where Policy Meets Practice"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series presents “Hispanic Americans: Civil Rights, Social Justice and the Legal System - Where Policy Meets Practice” as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. The featured speaker will be attorney Reggie Koch, managing partner of the Koch Law Firm of central Arkansas.

WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2016, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: This talk will highlight societal and legal institutional challenges that are faced today by Hispanic Americans. By illustrating their plight and the successful litigation outcomes that can occur, this event hopes to build awareness to the struggles faced by at-risk populations in general, and Hispanic populations specifically.

A large part of Koch’s practice deals with employment discrimination, issues of social justice and civil rights. Koch and his staff also network with attorneys abroad, especially in Mexico, to ensure that their clients' interests and rights are protected internationally as well as domestically. Koch studied Spanish and International Studies prior to studying law at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas. He also studied at the University of Arizona at Tucson and the University of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. He was presented with the Marco Polo Award for Excellence in International Studies. His work experience includes a fourteen-year career in law enforcement and a position with the Secretary of Public Security in Jalisco, Mexico, where he studied Mexican culture and trained Mexican police officers.

This event is co-sponsored by the UIS Departments of Legal Studies and Public Administration. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events and more information, visit All events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

UIS Friday Night Star Parties return in September

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Friday Night Star Parties will resume the Friday after Labor Day and run through the end of October. Those dates include: September 9, 16, 23, and 30 and October 7, 14, 21 and 28. Friday Night Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m., weather permitting, at the UIS Observatory on the roof of Brookens Library.

Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, UIS associate professor of Astronomy/Physics. The observatory’s telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including the planets Saturn and Mars; the Moon, when visible; the Ring Nebula; globular star clusters M13 and M15 and other double stars and star clusters.

A typical Star Party begins with a presentation as visitors ascend the stairs to the observatory, learning about galaxies, the sun and stars along the way. On the roof observation deck visitors are invited to view the skies through telescopes and ask questions. Participants are welcome to arrive and leave as they wish between 8-10 p.m.

Friday Night Star Parties are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required and groups are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the campus observatory is located outside Brookens Library on the southeast corner of the building.

Star Parties may be canceled for cloudy weather. Questions about whether the weather is suitable for viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 at 7 p.m. on the evening of the Star Party. Participants may also follow the UIS Observatory on Twitter  for updates.

For more information on Star Parties, email John Martin at or visit

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

UIS Speaker Series presents "Truth Telling: Promoting Healing, Change, and Joy for the Movement!"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series present “Truth Telling: Promoting Healing, Change, and Joy for the Movement!” This multi-media event brings together musical artists and peace and justice professors to promote healing, change, and joy for the current civil rights movement.

WHEN: Friday, September 9, 2016, at 3 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: This event will feature David Ragland, professor of peace and conflict at Juniata College, founding member and co-director of the Truth Telling Project and a Peace and Justice Studies Association board member; Cris Toffolo, professor and chair of the Justice Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University and a founding member of The Truth Telling Project; and Steff Reed, a Grammy award-nominated music educator, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music and film producer and anti-violence Black Lives Matter activist.

The Truth Telling Project aims to use truth telling as a tool for racial justice. Ragland will discuss the Truth Telling Project's work and share documentary footage of truth telling panels held in Ferguson. Toffolo will address the role this work can play in community engagement workshops beyond Ferguson and report on her first-hand experience of how facilitated discussions around the truth telling panel hearings can shift opinions and inspire civic engagement. Reed will bring truths directly to the audience through the power of art.

For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events and more information, visit All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

UIS Theatre to hold open auditions for upcoming performances of Shakespeare’s "Macbeth"

The theatre program at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS Theatre) will hold open auditions and crew interviews for their upcoming production of “Macbeth” on Monday, Aug. 29 and Tuesday, Aug. 30, in The Studio Theatre at UIS.

Crew interviews will begin at 6 p.m., followed by auditions at 7 p.m. both nights. The roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth will be played by theatre faculty members Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson and Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, all other roles are available.

Roles and crew positions are open to students, faculty, staff, and community members. Roles are available for 10 women, 21 men, three boys and five others, which could be played by men or women. Callbacks may occur on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

In honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, UIS Theatre is proud to produce this showcase. “Macbeth” is one of the world’s most famous plays, exploring the dark side of ambition. The story is filled with ghosts, witches, murder, suicide, guilt, prophecy and supernatural power, conveyed in some of Shakespeare’s most memorable language.

“Macbeth” will feature special guest theatre artists, Bill Kincaid (director), D.C. Wright (fight choreographer) and Katie Eickhoff (costume designer). It will run October 28-30 and November 3-6.

For more information on the production, contact Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-6613 or You can also visit the UIS Theatre website at

UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Avez Vous un Crayon?” by St. Louis artist Lyndon Barrois Jr.

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Avez Vous un Crayon?” by St. Louis-based artist Lyndon Barrois Jr. The exhibit will open on Thursday, August 25, 2016, and run through Thursday, September 15. A reception for the exhibit will take place on Thursday, September 1 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The passing of Prince prompted a personal and critical observation of his life and work. “Avez Vous un Crayon?” borrows a line of dialogue from the 1986 film “Under the Cherry Moon” for its title, and will explore the surreal and metaphoric gestures of Prince to produce an installation of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Prince stands as a radically progressive figure, blurring the distinctions between race, sexuality, genre expression and the spiritual and secular. The title translates to “Do you have a pencil?”, reflecting what Prince has written into history: he constructed his existence on his own terms, with a kind of liberated nature that we all can draw from.

Lyndon Barrois Jr. lives and works in St. Louis. Recent solo exhibitions include “Of Color”, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, “For the Benefit of Man”, Garwood Gallery, Western Illinois University, Macomb (2015), and “Float”, Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, St. Louis (2014). Group exhibitions include “You Are Looking Good, A Real Good Looker”, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago (2016), “A Donkey is a Lion, and Insecticide, A Message from God”, Blackburn 20/20 Gallery, New York (2015).

Barrois Jr. has also been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, from the Desert Space Foundation, the Gateway Foundation, Regional Arts Commission and the Kittredge Fund. He received his MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been a teaching artist at Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, and has served as adjunct faculty member in drawing and design at Washington University in St. Louis, and Webster University, respectively. He is currently the Museum Educator at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

The Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, Room 201. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at or contact the gallery at 217/206-6506 or