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Vanessa Ferguson

Community Voices - Production Coordinator

Vanessa is the Community Voices Production Coordinator. Reach Vanessa at vfergu3@uis.edu.

  • Kathy Brennan hosts “Never Ever Really Dirty” comedy shows every other month at Harvest Market. She spoke to Community Voices about the creation of NERD Comedy as well as her journey with standup comedy in the Springfield area. The next upcoming performance is June 24 at 7 p.m. at Harvest Market in Springfield, IL.
  • Dr. Aimee Daily is the new president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network. She is also a Springfield native. She spoke to Community Voices about her personal experiences which led her to Children’s Miracle Network. She also explained how local donations and rounding up at the checkout benefits HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield.
  • The Kidzeum of Health and Science is installing two murals at its entrance that will allow visitors to feel like an insect as they walk toward the entrance. Muralist Jane Kim spoke to Community Voices about the murals, her experience as a science illustrator and how the murals will allow visitors to reflect on the nature around them.For more information about Jane Kim visit: https://inkdwell.com/
  • Chris Enroth and Ken Johnson are horticulture educators with University of Illinois extension and the hosts of the Good Growing podcast, which discusses gardening, horticulture and ecology. The duo also recently recorded an episode about eating cicadas in which they tasted tempura cicadas, cicada pizza and cicada sundaes. They spoke to Community Voices about the podcast, gardening tips and what cicadas actually taste like.To learn more about Good Growing visit: go.illinois.edu/goodgrowingpodcast
  • For 30 years Juneteenth has been celebrated by Springfield residents. This year Juneteenth Inc. has organized eight days of events and activities to commemorate the holiday. Co-founder and director Cherena Douglass and Director of the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies Jacob Friefeld spoke to Community Voices about the events including a special presentation by Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Genius Annette Gordon-Reed.For more information about the Juneteenth events visit: https://www.juneteenthinc.org/To sign up for the presentation featuring Annette Gordon-Reed visit: https://www.uis.edu/event/juneteenth-annette-gordon-reed
  • The Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference is an annual event about volunteers, organized by volunteers. The conference is scheduled for June 28 and will feature a multi-generational panel of volunteers, break out sessions and a keynote speaker. For more information visit: https://www.civconference.org/
  • After a two-year search, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra has found its new music director. Taichi Fukumura will conduct the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in its next season. Fukumura and Executive Director Trevor Orthmann spoke to Community Voices about the search process, the vision for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra moving forward and the Sip & Sounds series offered June through September.
  • Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach is a local, non-profit organization which has sent medical aid to 100 countries in need. Last year 20,000 patients worldwide received healthcare with equipment and supplies provided by Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Executive Director Erica Smith spoke to Community Voices about the impact of the organization, future plans and the upcoming “Around the World” celebration on June 6. Smith also shared stories from her recent trip to Ukraine and what it was like to travel among air raids.
  • The Crafted Stag Supply is a new store offering men’s clothing and accessories, but unlike other clothing stores, it also offers other services like freshly brewed coffee and a hot shave. Owner Grant Hammer spoke to Community Voices about the Crafted Stag Supply and explained it’s a man cave where customers can not only enjoy the products offered, but also the experience of shopping.For more information visit: https://craftedstagsupply.com/
  • The Citizens Club of Springfield held a presentation in April titled “Artificial intelligence: How AI Impacts Our Community.” The discussion was moderated by Rob Kerr, Executive Director of Innovation and Opportunity at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), and featured Dr. Neetu Singh, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at UIS, and Josh Smith, Software Engineer and Computer Science Faculty Member at UIS. They discussed what AI is, how AI is trained, bias in AI and the future of education.