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Tuesday, March 12

Toys from the Attic Exhibit-related Program

Starts at 7:15 PM

When we were children, toys were the center of our universe. They accompanied us on our adventures, comforted us when we were scared, and taught us important life lessons. Tattered and battered, they are eventually retired to closets, attics, and basements, but they continue to occupy a special place in our memories. More than mere playthings, toys are cultural artifacts that symbolize the social values and technological advances of our society. And, most importantly, they help children navigate the complicated path to adulthood.

Join us on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 7:15 p.m., as we welcome Laura Taylor, Curator of Interpretation at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, who will discuss the significance of toys in the realm of material culture. This free program will take place in the Governor Fifer Courtroom on the Museum’s second floor.

This discussion is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s temporary exhibit, Pedal Power!, which features dozens of pedal-powered vehicles from the Bruce Callis Pedal Car Collection. Pedal Power! is sponsored by State Farm.

Thursday, March 14

Lunch and Learn: Lasers, Chicken Eggs and a Nagging Medical Problem: Key Ingredients for a Signature Learning Experience for Illinois Wesleyan Students Lunch & Learn

Starts at 12:10 PM
200 N. Main St, Bloomington IL 61701

Tyler Schwend
Assistant Professor of Biology
Illinois Wesleyan University

In recent years, higher education has morphed from fact-cramming in lecture halls to real-world learning experiences that blur the lines between passively acquiring knowledge and actively applying concepts. At IWU, we are embracing this new way of signature learning. Yet, how do professors (like myself) that were educated in lecture halls succeed in breaking down the walls and engaging our students in real-world learning?

The answer, I believe, is to look to the real-world. That means identifying challenges that impact our community. It involves a willingness to meet new people outside of academia, seek their advice, and then be ready to try new things collaboratively. Today I will tell you a story of how a signature experience for my students came about, how it continues to evolve, why it involves lasers, chickens and medicine, and what this all means for student learning at IWU.

Friday, March 22

Tri-Valley History Fair March 22 through April 9

Starts at 9:00 AM

Every spring since 1998, history fair projects created by seventh graders at Tri-Valley Middle School have graced the halls of the Museum—and this year is no exception. Many of these student-crafted projects featuring McLean County and Illinois history-related topics will go on to compete at Illinois History Day in Springfield on May 2. Come see what these hard-working students, led by their teacher Ms. Julia Hopman, have created. You won’t want to miss them!

Saturday, March 23

Movies Under the Dome: A Mighty Wind

Starts at 1:45 PM

From the creative genius of the same company of actors who brought you This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, and Best in Show, join us at the Museum on Saturday, March 23 at 1:45 p.m. for an afternoon showing of A Mighty Wind (2003)—starring none other than award-winning, Illinois State University comedy darling, Jane Lynch (Class ’83).

As this mockumentary-style comedy follows the story of three folk bands reuniting for a television performance for the first time in decades, the Museum is taking full advantage of the opportunity to celebrate our rich local music scene with a pre-film performance by Bloomington’s own Emily Hope. Hope “believes whole-heartedly in music’s power to inspire, encourage, and enact change… Her music features cheerful ukulele and catchy acoustic guitar tunes inspired by a variety of country, folk, and pop influences that are sure to get your feet tapping.” For more information, visit

As always, rarely-seen artifacts from the Museum’s collection will be on display to celebrate McLean County’s historic musical tradition. During the past several years, the Museum Library/Archives has made a concerted effort to beef up its collection of local music—LPs, 45s, cassettes, and CDs. Whether it’s classical, jazz, rock and roll, country, hip hop, or something else entirely, the Museum is actively collecting, preserving, and cataloging any and all music produced by local acts or recorded locally. Clear out your closet or attic, and send your tunes our way!

After a brief introduction, the musical performance will begin at 2:00 p.m. The film showing will follow at 3:00 p.m. after a short intermission. Those in attendance will be eligible to win prizes from our local friends, including Waiting Room Records, nightshop, and School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State. A Mighty Wind has a run time of 1 hour 31 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sex-related humor. This event is free and open to the public. Drinks, treats, and popcorn will be available for purchase.

Saturday, March 30

MIX.FUZE.EVOLVE. Celebration of Native Culture Series

Starts at 3:00 PM

Museum Partners in Program Series to Celebrate Native Culture

The Museum is pleased to partner with BCAI School of Arts, the Normal Theater, and Coffee Hound to present a spring program series that seeks to celebrate the past, present, and future impact of native peoples on our communities’ (and our country’s) shared history and culture.


In keeping with BCAI’s mission to “equip individuals with increased awareness of self, community, and various cultures through unique training in the arts,” this year’s MFE event will explore the rich native history of Central Illinois and other regions through music, dance, food, and visual arts—all centering on the theme, “Epic Resilience: We Are Still Here.” Participants, presenters, and vendors will include: Whirlwind of the MHA Nation, North Dakota; Silverback Apparel; Fox Way Designs; Coffee Hound; and more.

The signature event of this program series is BCAI’s annual MixFuzeEvolve (MFE) fundraiser on March 30 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at the New Lafayette Club, 107 E. Lafayette Street, Bloomington.

MFE is a ticketed event. A $10 entry fee includes stage art and performances, hands-on cultural crafting, and access to the event’s guests of honor. An additional $10 meal ticket includes a serving of six culturally specific dishes. A $25 VIP ticket includes the cost of entry, food, one free raffle ticket, VIP seating for stage art and performances, and VIP parking. All proceeds benefit BCAI School of Arts. Tickets can be purchased at For more information about MFE, please contact BCAI School of Arts Executive Director Angelique Racki at

The Normal Theater

In anticipation of the main event, the Normal Theater will present two documentaries, More Than a Word (2017) and Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World (2017), on Saturday, March 2 and Saturday, March 16 respectively. Both showings will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be free of charge. Presented by the ISU Department of Psychology and the Extending Empathy Project, a panel discussion with the co-director of the film and others will follow the March 2 showing. 

McLean County Museum of History

As the concluding piece of this months-long program series, award-winning Ojibwa author and speaker Kim Sigafus will present her program, A Celebration of American Indian Culture Through Music and Dance, at the Museum of History on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:15 p.m. Sigafus’ presentation “will explain the importance of Native ceremonies and why music is a key component to them. The audience will be invited to learn traditional songs in the Native language and can participate in a pow wow circle where the audience can sing, play a rain stick or drum, and dance.”

Sigafus is an internationally published, award-winning author and speaker. Her Ojibwa name, Bekaadiziikwe, means “Quiet Woman.” Her family is from White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. She currently resides in Freeport, Illinois with husband Andy and their two dogs, Animosh and Miika. A selection of Sigafus’ written works—both fiction and non—will be available for purchase following the program. Cash and card will be accepted. Free and open to the public, this program is made possible through the support of the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. For more information contact