Wednesday, August 26, 2020

UIS to host a free public COVID-19 webinar on “Economic Impact, Disparities and Opportunities for Black-Owned Businesses”

The University of Illinois Springfield Office of Economic Development and Innovation, College of Business and Management, College of Public Affairs and Administration and Innovate Springfield will host a free public webinar on “Economic Impact, Disparities and Opportunities for Black-Owned Businesses.”

The webinar will be offered 12-1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, and will be led by Bruce Sommer, UIS director of economic development and innovation.

Significant economic inequalities existed across Illinois and United States before COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic seems to be widening the gap. The webinar will explore how that gap could widen even further during the economic recovery. Early reports show roughly 21 percent of all U.S. small businesses closed during March and April. During that same time period, 41 percent of Black-owned businesses closed.

Ken Kriz, UIS distinguished professor of public administration, will share new data and understanding of the overall economic condition in the state and region focusing on the unequal impact of the current recession across the Springfield area.

Celebrating 217 Black Business Month, Dominic Watson, president of the Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce; Gina Lathan, president of Rout History; and Kevin Lust, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College, will talk about the challenges, successes, opportunities and resources available to help grow local Black-owned businesses in Springfield.

Participants are encouraged to register for the event at, however registration is not required. The Zoom link for the event is and the Meeting ID is 939 7298 4635.

This webinar is part of a series aimed at providing the local community with expert information and quality resources to navigate these challenging times.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

UIS and Community Health Roundtable to offer webinar on “Public Health & Medical Care in Sangamon County: Six Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic”

As part of the Springfield Innovation Hub, the University of Illinois Springfield and the Community Health Roundtable will offer a free public webinar on “Public Health and Medical Care in Sangamon County: Six Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The webinar will take place from 12-1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, and will be moderated by John Stremsterfer, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, with a quick update about the current status of COVID-19 plans for the state and county by Molly Lamb, executive director of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership.

Panelists for webinar include Gail O'Neill, director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health (SCDPH); Dr. John Flack, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at SIU School of Medicine; and Kenneth Kriz, UIS distinguished professor of public administration.

O’Neill will discuss the current status of COVID-19 in Sangamon County, including breakdowns by demographics and location, and how the SCDPH is responding, contract tracing, testing and planning for the fall and winter.

Flack will talk about how front line clinical providers have responded and adapted to COVID-19, how they are modifying their approach since Illinois has “reopened,” how medical care may be changed as we go on and how disparities of health care access and COVID-19 outcomes are being addressed.

Kriz will discuss ways we measure the COVID-19 pandemic, including a newer concept, the estimated reproduction rate of the virus (Rt), which shows how fast COVID-19 is growing.

Participants are encouraged to register for the event at, however registration is not required. Zoom and call in connection information can be found on the registration page.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

UIS to hold a virtual Perseid meteor star party on August 11

The University of Illinois Springfield Astronomy-Physics Program will broadcast a virtual star party for the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower live on Zoom (rain or shine) from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 11.

The star party was originally scheduled to be held in-person at Lincoln Memorial Garden, but will instead take place in an online format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy/physics, will give tips for viewing the Perseid meteors, finding bright planets, the Summer Triangle, the Big Dipper and other bright stars and constellations in summer evening sky and answer astronomy questions submitted live. If weather permits there will also be live views of the night sky.

The link for the Zoom event will be posted at and @UISObservatory on Twitter. Participants are encouraged to follow the Twitter account for updates.

The UIS Astronomy-Physics Program will also be holding virtual star parties on Friday nights this fall. For more information, visit or contact John Martin at 217-206-8342 or 

Monday, August 3, 2020

UIS Visual Arts Gallery to present “Untied,” an experimental group exhibition

 The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Untied,” an experimental exhibition and performance series that takes shape through the gradual contributions of five artists over a ten-week period.

The exhibition is structured to reach both a physical and remote audience. “Untied” will open on Thursday, Aug. 27 and runs through Friday, Oct. 30 in the Visual Arts Gallery, located in the UIS Health and Science Building, Room 201. There will be no public reception for this exhibition.

In consideration of social limitations and public health concerns presented by COVID-19, as well as a collective cultural call to question, undermine and upend longstanding intuitional frameworks, “Untied” works to give shape to an exhibition that is experimental in nature and that encourages uncertainty and builds upon it, in pursuit of intentionally unclear outcomes.

Anything that is untied is freed, loosened, or unfastened from something that was restricting it. This frames an exhibition in which recognizable boundaries are intentionally abandoned, and in which artists can pursue any direction with or without consideration to what comes before or after their contribution.

The exhibition launches with a single artist – but as additional artists arrive to contribute to the project with artworks and performances, the exhibition will undergo radical changes. Exhibiting artists will be free to determine how to work with, react to, or reconfigure what is already in place at the gallery, and the exhibition will build and transition as artists navigate what has come before them. Individual intentions will surrender to a collective outcome that remains to be seen.     

Participating artists include A.J. McClenon, alejandro t. acierto, Katherine Simóne Reynolds, Marina Peng and Ruby T. “Untied” is curated by Allison Lacher and Jeff Robinson. The exhibition can be experienced on-site and through documentation made available at the exhibition website The site will be updated as the exhibition progresses. 

The Visual Arts Gallery will be open 12-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Masks are required on the UIS campus.

For more information, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at or contact the gallery at 217-206-6506 or