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The Scene was our Illinois arts & culture podcast through 2017. Rachel Otwell curated the podcast which provided full-length stories and follow-ups, links to other reports, and conversations with you.This podcast contained 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. The podcast was about what makes artists tick, and the diverse culture that exists within our community.

The Scene With Guest Host: Springfield's Project Southtown's George Sinclair


This week we hear an update from George Sinclair. The godfather of Southtown gave the area new life in the eighties when he built a skate ramp - now one of the premiere indoor mini-ramp complexes in the country. A year ago he got the nonprofit Project Southtown up and running. Its purpose is a mix of archiving history unique to the area, and keeping it vibrant with efforts like art classes, community gardening and more.

Skank Skates, the indoor ramp, has hosted touring bands from around the country and even Tony Hawk has skated there. Over the past decade new additions likeBlack Sheepmusic venue, Boof City Skate Shop,Dumb Records and for a while, a place for DIY projects to record calledSouth Town Studio built up around it. 

Credit facebook.com/Institute4Creativity
The Institute 4 Creativity

Also joining us on this episode, we hear from Austin Duncan, an event coordinator for the Institute 4 Creativity in Champaign. He and others are breathing new life into the organization, since March they have hosted dozens of events ranging from chess club to cabaret. Find out more about the group here.

Events discussed this weekend include:

  • The Radon Lounge presents its annual Horse Show in Rochester on Saturday from 12pm - 10pm with a large roster of bands, both touring and local. Info here.
  • Champaign group Kowbunga! Kid plays at The Accord on Wednesday, info here.
  • Club Station House, a gay club in Springfield, will host a fundraiser for victims of the massacre in Orlando on Saturday. Info here.

You can watch the entire documentary Small Town Gay Bar on Youtube, here's the first installment:

Listen to 'Pulp' off of Kowabunga! Kids new record, 'Wasting my Time':

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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