The Scene

Thursdays at 12:40 PM, rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:40 PM

The Scene is our Illinois arts & culture podcast hosted by Rachel Otwell and the Illinois Times Scott Faingold.

Rachel Otwell curates this blog which provides full-length stories and follow-ups, links to other reports, and conversations with you.

This blog will contain a range of stories from the world of arts & culture, from visual art to Springfield's DIY music scene, to profiles of interesting local characters. This blog is about what makes artists tick, and the diverse culture that exists within our community. 

We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of arts and culture, and to email Rachel with tips on stories.

The Deep Hollow perform at NPR Illinois Suggs Performance Studio.
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Deep Hollow is a Springfield band that has been performing together for three years. Last November they joined us in our Suggs Studio during the 2016 Thank You Fest to play for our donors. 

Geoff Leathers & Ellyn Thorson perform at NPR Illinois
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

During our 2016 Thank You Fest at the station, we were joined by two young, emerging musicians.

The Scene On "ArtLiterations" & Roots Tunes

Jan 19, 2017
courtesy

This week Rachel and Scott talk about the Bedrock 66 show at Bar None Friday night featuring Suitcase Junket. We also hear about the latest ArtLiteration event, Thursday night (those happen monthly.) Plus lots more! Tune in:

The Scene Visits 'Heathers: The Musical'

Jan 12, 2017
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week Rachel and Scott visit The Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield during a rehearsal for Heathers: The Musical, which opens this weekend and is for three days only. It's based on the movie, a cult hit from the eighties, which stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. 

The Scene Gets Literary

Jan 5, 2017

This week we hear an appearance on This American Life by author Roxane Gay. Perhaps most well known for her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, Gay recently released a collection of short fiction stories called Difficult Women. We preview that, and Scott pays homage to one of his favorite poets, Steven Jesse Bernstein. Tune in!

Given the breadth of the output of work -- (21 episodes!) it seems impossible it's been just a year since The Studio Show premiered. The goal originally was to create a program for public access. Instead it's become a web-based showcase of Springfield talent including short films, musical performances, a mini-series and much more. The crew now has a new vision, as we hear on this episode.

The Scene Plays 'Santa Is Real'

Dec 15, 2016

This week Scott previews his feature story for the Illinois Times on the "state of the (visual) arts" in Springfield. Read it here.

Rachel Otwell

This week Rachel and Scott head to Springfield's oldest home, Edwards Place. It's on the Springfield Art Association's campus in the Enos Park Neighborhood. They hear from the organization's director, Betsy Dollar, for a year-in-review interview.

Rachel Otwell

This week Rachel and Scott take a trip to corner of 11th and South Grand in Springfield where a block or so known as Southtown contains an in-door skate park, skateboard shop, music venue, soon-to-be-rehabbed recording studio and Dumb Records.

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week Rachel and Scott ventured out of studio, to Kingsway African & Caribbean Cuisine restaurant in Springfield. The menu offers many dishes unique for the area, including authentic jerk chicken created with a Nigerian recipe, goat curry and many vegan & vegetarian offerings. They sat down to lunch with local poet Johari Osayi Idusuyi who garnered national attention last year for her appearance at a Trump rally in Springfield.

Cody Duncum

U of I student and 22 year old singer/songwriter Emily Blue believes music has the power to heal and to educate. Herself a survivor of sexual assault - she devoted her new album, Another Angry Woman, to feminist issues and causes. The work includes interviews she did with friends about street harassment and other forms of sexism they face as females on a regular basis. What she earns from the record will be donated to the organization RACES, which stands for Rape Advocacy Counseling & Education Services,  in Champaign.

Rachel Otwell

This week Rachel & Scott are joined by two locals who are heavily immersed in the community theater scene. Phil Funkenbusch and Reggie Guyton come by the studios to talk about A Raisin in The Sun - the classic play opens at the Hoogland in Springfield this weekend - more info here.

The Scene On Tacos & Hobgoblinspookadelic

Oct 27, 2016
Facebook / Rachel Otwell

This week we hear about Springfield's annual Halloween punk/rock n' roll show, hosted and performed in part by the areas's longest running punk band, NIL8 (pronounced "annihilate".) We hear their song named after the event as our Song of the Week.

Friday a 100th birthday bash is taking place for the Lincoln Square Theatre in Decatur. We hear about its storied past and plans for the future, in this spoooooky episode of The Scene. We also hear about a Halloween themed show at the Black Sheep venue in Springfield on Saturday, plus much more... Tune in!

Rachel Otwell

This week The Scene is out on the scene, coming to you "LIVE" from The Pharmacy art gallery in Springfield. This weekend the 'Cute Creep' art show will be on display complete with treats, and maybe a few tricks. More info for hours and location here.

courtesy

Tune in to The Scene - this week we hear from area musician and artist Clare Frachey who set up a benefit show to help out Springfield's community radio station, WQNA:

courtesy

On The Scene this week, we touch base with Dave Adams - his band Food and Money was active in Springfield in the eighties. He returns to town to play new tunes this weekend, we'll hear about his past and present.

Kelsey Greene

The Pygmalion Festival in Champaign brings together artists, musicians and intellectuals from across the country. It wraps up this weekend. Last year, it helped bring together two local rappers - and resulted in their collaboration.

This week Rachel and Scott preview central Illinois' premiere music fest - the Pygmalion Festival which celebrates music, art, technology, literature - and new this year, food. A whole extra weekend has been added to this year's roster, and it runs from the 16th thru the 24th. 

c/o DEMO

This week we talk with two artists who have concurring shows at the DEMO project this Friday. We also hear from a political satirist who uses music to spread his messages around the country, Roy Zimmerman comes through Springfield next Wednesday. We feature his song of peace, love & understanding, Everybody is Everybody, as our Song of the Week.

flickr.com / msig

This week we learn about the Lost Cross house in Carbondale. Much like the often-covered-by-us Black Sheep, it's a DIY punk venue, but with the unique caveat being it's also a residence. Over the past 30 years its been called home by dozens and hosted hundreds of bands from all over the world. 

Dave Shaw

This week, we bring you an audio post card from a Godspell rehearsal, it opens this weekend at the Hoogland in Springfield. 

This week Scott and Rachel are joined by Our Lady, one of the most well known and active bands out of Springfield. They are part of the Black Sheep scene and it brought them together. On Friday their new full-length comes out, a release show will go down at Black Sheep.

The Scene Meets The Absurdist People's Theatre

Aug 12, 2016
Rachel Otwell

This week we head to Black Sheep venue to meet two of the cast members of a play opening Friday and running thru the weekend. We speak with Julia Mitchell & Keegan Otwell (who yea, full disclaimer, is Rachel's brother) and director Alex Martin of Edward Albee's 1962 play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.' 

The Scene Speaks With DEMO Artists

Aug 4, 2016
facebook.com/demoprojectspace

This week Scott and Rachel speak with two artists who will have their work on display at the DEMO Project Gallery this Friday from 5:30 - 8:30. Tune in to hear Bloomington artist Erin Furimsky and Pennsylvania-based Ron Lambert discuss their unique works: 

hcfta.org

This week Scott and Rachel are joined by the co-stars (John Love & Jim Yale) and the writer (Ken Bradbury) of a new musical called 'The Boys From Nantucket' - which you can see this weekend.

http://www.nikkilane.com/

This week Scott and Rachel talk with Sean Burns. He's been booking roots and Americana music in the area for nearly 20 years and founded the Bedrock 66 Live! concert series which has been sponsored by NPR Illinois. He tells us about the very first Bedrock music festival happening this weekend in conjunction with DSI's Downtown Bacon Throwdown in downtown Springfield.

bonesjugs.com

This week Scott and Rachel talk with Betsy Dollar of the Springfield Art Association about the recent change the organization went through when they merged with the former Prairie Art Alliance (now considered the Springfield Art Association Collective.)

Hoogland Center for the Arts

On today's episode we are visited by two big names in Springfield's theater world. 

c/o Fill in the Blank

This week on The Scene Rachel and Scott are joined by two members of the band Fill in the Blank - they have a show coming up at the Black Sheep on Saturday and will release a new album there. 

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