Muelder to Present at Presidential Library on February 26

Owen Muelder, director of the Galesburg Colony Underground Railroad Freedom Station at Knox College, will give a presentation at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield at 5:30 p.m. on February 26. In “Path to Freedom: How the Abolitionist Movement Helped Establish the Underground Railroad,” Muelder will share his knowledge of how the Abolitionist Movement helped the Underground Railroad in becoming the first socially integrated movement in American history.

Free Day & Night at Peoria Riverfront Museum, March 28

On Wednesday, March 28, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Peoria Riverfront Museum will host, with WGIL radio station, a free day at Riverfront Museum (222 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL) for all Galesburg/Knox County residents and all Knox College students, faculty and staff.

Mayor John Pritchard will be on hand to celebrate the Illinois bicentennial – especially items from Knox College, Seymour Library, Knox archives, the Freedom Center and the Galesburg area (Carl Sandburg home). These objects were all key to telling the important stories of the writers, artists, achievers and activists from our area.

The “Celebrate Illinois: 200 Years in the Land of Lincoln” exhibition remains the most comprehensive exhibit on the Illinois bicentennial, and was curated in-house by the museum curatorial staff – with excellent and much appreciated support from Owen Muelder, Knox and Seymour Library/archives staff.

Schedule of events:

Hellenga to be featured speaker May 24 in Springfield

Robert Hellenga (George Appleton Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence) will be the featured speaker at the annual Friends of the Brookens Library at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Tuesday, May 24. He will read from and discuss The Confessions of Frances Godwin and The Truth About Death.

Event Information:

Sartre’s No Exit, May 5-7

In No Exit, Hell isn’t a place of brimstone and torture. For three damned souls, it’s a room where they will be trapped together for eternity, where the accumulated failures of a lifetime will be endlessly enacted. As author Jean-Paul Sartre sums it up, “Hell is other people.”

Prairie Players brings Satre’s classic existential tale to life Thursday through Saturday, May 5 through 7, at 7:30 p.m. at 160 South Seminary Street, Galesburg. General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and can be purchased online at or can be reserved at 309-343-7728.

Carl Sandburg Days Festival continues through April 30

Events honoring Galesburg-born Pulitzer Prize Poet and Lincoln Biographer Carl Sandburg continue through April 30. For details go to:

3 p.m., Saturday, April 30, 2016
Galesburg’s Central Park

The Galesburg Public Art Commission invites you to join in celebrating and formally dedicating the Poet in the Park statue project in Galesburg’s Central Park as it is dedicated to the Citizens of Galesburg in honor of Galesburg’s most famous son, Carl Sandburg.

Rain Location—Central Congregational Church.

Refreshments served immediately following the ceremony in Kleine Companies Conference Room in the basement of Wells Fargo Bank Building.

Galesburg Portrait Project Unveiling, March 31

We hope many of you will be able to join us at the Box, Kellogg and Simmons Streets, on Thursday, March 31, from 5-7 for the ‘unveiling’ of the Galesburg Portrait Project. There will be a time for brief remarks by the artist and others, starting about 6:15 p.m.

At 7 p.m., (following the party) the artist, John Bakker, will talk further about his work, motivations, and process. All are welcome.

In keeping with the community spirit of the project, we’re inviting people to bring cookies to share – but if you can’t, just come!

–Mark Holmes

Invitation to Participate in Downtown Galesburg – Plans, Projects and Priorities for Public Spaces

Galesburg residents are invited to attend one of these focus groups:

The City of Galesburg and the Galesburg Downtown Council are seeking community members who have an interest in downtown public improvements. The project will focus on a geographically defined downtown area and will look at the streets, sidewalks, public parks, plazas and parking areas. Potential improvements will be identified and priorities for implementation will be defined. This project will NOT focus on privately owned buildings, structures or vacant lots.

There are five designated focus groups about Downtown Galesburg:

Hardscape: Pavements, utilities, ADA access, parking areas, storm water drainage, etc.
Technology: Street lighting, architectural lighting, emergency communications, holiday light decorations, etc.
Discovery: Wayfinding signs/markers, visitor orientation, event banners, parking information, Wi-Fi/apps, etc.
Aesthetics: Street/park furniture, decorative banners, public art, fencing/barriers, park/plaza features, holiday/seasonal decorations, etc.
Greenscape: Street trees, tree grates/guards, groundcover/flower beds, planters, hedges, recycling units, storm water swales/basins, watering systems, etc.

The focus groups will be meeting at different times between 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at the Bondi Building, 311 East Main Street, in the basement conference room. Each focus group will meet for approximately 1 ½ hours, times to be determined.

Participants will be asked to offer ideas or opinions on the location, scope, design concepts and alternatives for proposed projects. The comments and feedback voiced by the members of these focus groups will be taken into consideration in the development of the final project report.

If you have an interest in one of the five focus groups and would like to volunteer 1 ½ hours of your time on April 21, please call the City at 345-3619 and provide your name, contact information and the focus group in which you would like to participate.

Nova Singers Presents: A Nova Christmas, Dec. 19

Nova Singers, under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, presents two performances of A Nova Christmas on Friday, December 18, 7:30pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, and on Saturday, December 19, 7:30pm at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg.

Celebrate the holiday season with Nova Singers and join the many families who have made this concert one of their annual traditions! This year’s program is packed full of standard carols such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, O Come, All Ye Faithful, The First Noel, What Child is This, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Bring a Torch, and Jingle Bells. Known for the variety of our Christmas program, we will also sing carols from Russia and Haiti, an African carol accompanied by drums, and the incomparable and exquisite Biebl’s Ave Maria. Join us for a beautiful night of laughter, hope, peace and joy.

Dr. Lane says: “I think of this year’s Christmas program as the best of the best of Christmas! I chose what I thought were audience members’ favorite carols from all of our past holiday concerts, asked the singers to vote for their favorites, and put them all in this marvelous program! There has never been a Nova Christmas program with more standard, familiar carols than this one, and yet we still have our signature variety in terms of styles, tempos and emotions. Especially popular among the singers is the Biebl Ave Maria, which we haven’t sung since 2009. In the old days, audience members used to come up to me before the concert and ask, ‘Are you doing it tonight? Are you doing the Biebl Ave Maria?’ Well, I predict that there will not be a dry eye in the house when we sing it this year. Another one the singers adore is John Rutter’s What Sweeter Music; although John Rutter has written hundreds of beautiful pieces, this is my number one favorite.

I urge everyone to take the time to slow down, to take a break from the holiday pressure, the shopping and decorating and baking…to take one hour to come and sit quietly, and listen to this beautiful singing. Let us give you a few precious moments of serenity and beauty in this high-paced, material world.”

Nova Singers, a professional vocal ensemble under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, is known for the beauty, charm, sincerity and emotional power the singers bring to their music.

Tickets will be available at the door. Admission is $18 for adults and $15 for seniors. Students are admitted free of charge. Discounted 3-concert Season tickets are still available for purchase at the door: $45 for adults and $35 for seniors. For information about tickets, recordings, or other Nova Singers’ events visit our website at!

Heart & Soul Community Gallery Event, Nov. 18

You are invited to the Heart & Soul Community Gallery Event on Wednesday, November 18 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at The Orpheum Theatre.

During the Community Gallery Event you will have the opportunity to hear the thoughts and reflections of dozens of Galesburg residents, representing a broad spectrum of the community. The event will showcase the results of 17 focus groups recorded by Galesburg High School students.

In addition to hearing from the focus groups, you will have the opportunity to comment on the discoveries of the groups and share your thoughts about Galesburg, which will be recorded by a professional illustrator. These group discussions and the event are part of an effort to prepare for a community planning and development process, known as Community Heart & Soul. Additionally there will be an opportunity to learn more about the various ways to get involved with Heart & Soul.

Please attend on Wednesday (Nov. 18) and invite your colleagues. If you work with an organization or have contacts who you would like to invite to this event, please do so.

The Heart & Soul Galesburg project is a collaboration between the Galesburg Community Foundation, the City of Galesburg and private philanthropy. Community Heart & Soul is a community development method that has helped transform small towns across the country by bringing residents together to determine what they value most about their town and getting people to see strengths and possibilities where they may have seen obstacles.
Heart & Soul lays out a roadmap that then leads to concrete actions the town can take to make positive change. Heart & Soul is organized by and carried out by local residents working towards achievable actions, some of which can be acted on right away and others for the long term.

Cuban Professor Masvidal to Speak at Sandburg College, Nov. 18

Dr. Mario Masvidal, a professor at University of the Arts in Havana, Cuba, will give presentations at 12:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Student Center on Carl Sandburg College’s Main Campus in Galesburg, 2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Masvidal’s visit comes as a result of the trip President Dr. Lori Sundberg and other Illinois community college leaders made to Cuba last February. Their trip was an opportunity to learn and understand the educational system in Cuba and took place just after the United States’ ties with Cuba were being re-established. Masvidal was the first lecturer the Illinois contingent of presidents had during their visit.

“Professor Masvidal’s presentation was absolutely the most insightful discussion I have heard on Cuba,” Sundberg said. “Everyone in the room could have listened to him for hours. As he grew up in Cuba and was educated there, he has a perspective of Cuba that is unique. He is quite fluent in English and understands the curiosity associated with his country. He can speak on Cuban history or Hemingway with equal passion. He is an absolute delight!”

Masvidal has worked in education in Cuba for more than 40 years and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in semiotics, communication theory and other related disciplines. He also has taught courses and led workshops on the history of English-speaking countries, English as a second language, linguistics, English stylistics, Spanish stylistics and professional communication. Masvidal also has hosted a radio talk show in Havana since 2009 and participates in four Cuban TV shows as an interviewer, presenter and writer.

He is a founding member of the Cuban Linguists Association as well as the Teachers Association of Cuba. Masvidal also is a member of the Cuban Artists and Writers Association, Economic Society of Friends of Cuba’s, Cuban Association of Film Critics and Cuban Association of Social Communication.