Thursday, December 15, 2011

Annual Holiday Stars Project benefits Central Illinois Foodbank

The Holiday Stars Project, a campus-wide service initiative giving focus to the University of Illinois Springfield’s efforts to make a difference in the local community during the holiday season, is celebrating another successful year.

Volunteers helped collect 8,366 pounds of food, which will be donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank. On Halloween night, seventeen student groups went door-to-door collecting canned food from the Springfield community. The rest of the food was collected during a campus-wide drive during the month of November.

In 2008, a campus-wide committee created the Holiday Stars Project. It is designed to be a tradition on campus, which strengthens our community efforts during the holiday season.

The Central Illinois Foodbank distributes nearly 8 million pounds of food annually to over 160 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21 county region. The foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization, and is a United Way certified agency. More information is available at

For more information on the UIS Holiday Stars Project, contact Brittany Elder, volunteer services coordinator, by email at

Thursday, December 1, 2011

UIS Visual Arts Gallery holds annual auction & benefit

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery will hold its annual auction and benefit, which will start on Mon., Dec. 5 and end on Thurs., Dec. 8. A closing reception, along with final bidding, will take place on Dec. 8 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

This annual fundraising event will feature an extraordinary range of work by artists who are celebrated locally and nationally. Local artists Felicia Olin, Thom Whalen, Chris Britt, Bob Sill, Mike Miller, and Betsy Dollar are among the list of artist donors, and the list goes on to include artists that range from emerging to established.

Auction items will include photographs, ceramics, sculpture, paintings, and works on paper, as well as some miscellaneous items, such as a custom printing package donated by Miles Ahead Productions and theater tickets donated by the UIS Theater Department. Proceeds from the annual UIS Visual Arts Gallery Auction and Benefit will support gallery programming throughout the year.

“This art auction is a chance for anyone to acquire a unique work of art and, at the same time, support visual arts in the Springfield community,” said Shane Harris, the UIS Visual Arts Gallery director and assistant professor. “We feel honored and grateful for the generous donations from artists and overall community and campus support.”

The Dec. 8 reception will include complimentary refreshments as well as offer final bidding for auction items. Also enjoy festive holiday music performed by the UIS Chorus from 5:00-5:30 p.m., and the Chamber Ensemble from 5:40 to 6:10 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Mon. through Thurs., 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or email