Community Voices

Hear the voices of our community:  residents, leaders, visitors, listeners, donors, sponsors, nonprofits, and volunteers discuss what they care about.

If you would like to record a Community Voices segment, contact the Community Voices team at right.

Anna McFarland is a part of the marketing committee with The Springfield Muni. During the holiday season The Muni will be holding virtual meet and greets with Santa Claus. Anna talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Dr. Craig Russo is a neuroradioligst in Springfield, IL. He is also the leader of the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project, a group whose focus is Latin and Afro-Carribbean music. During the NPR Illinois Winter Drive, he talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Nabih Elhajj is Executive Director of iVenturED and Lead Facilitator of Sangamon CEO. Nabih also is an adjunct instructor of entrepreneurship at The University of Illinois Springfield and serves on the NPR Illinois Advisory Board. He talks about this and more with Community Voices co-hosts Bea Bonner and Randy Eccles.

Dr. Yona Stamatis is a professor in the music department at The University of Illinois Springfield. She is a enthomusicologist and uses her research to bring about social change. Yona also hosts and produces special arts coverage of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra on NPR Illinois. She talks about all this and more with Community Voices' Randy Eccles.

Betty Haynes is the Director of Communications at The Illinois Beef Association, a nonprofit organization that strives to make sure the beef industry is profitable and sustainable. Betty talks about the organization, farming, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic spikes again, how has central Illinois been doing in addressing the crisis? A panel of area doctors discuss what steps have been taken in the past year and where we are now.

Sangamon Reclaimed /

Brian Frieze is President and Founder of Sangamon Reclaimed. Their mission is to handcraft furniture from old barns, buildings, and other structures. Sangamon Reclaimed has repurposed and built tables, chairs, and more at many businesses' around Springfield. Brian talks about this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

The James Project /

Jan Williams is President and Founder of the James Project. The James Project recruits and supports foster parents in Springfield, Illinois through their different ministries such as The James Project Homes, Closet 1:27, and Call 1:27. Jan discusses their faith based mission and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Sheila Walk

Charles Scott is Co-Founder and CEO of The Garvey Tubman Cultural Arts and Research Center. Sheila Walk is Interiem Executive Director of the Springfield Area Arts Center. Both organizations are heavily involved in the arts community. The Garvey Tubman Center had the opportunity to give music classes through funds provided by the Levitt Foundation Amp Grant which The Springfield Area Arts Council has been instrumental in helping to secure. Charles and Sheila talk about their organziations, the impact of the Levitt Foundation Amp Grant, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. / The Storyteller Studios

Josh Hester is Prinicipal & Executive Producer at the Storyteller Studios. He discusses their work in the community, their unique process, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

UIS Community Health Roundtable Webinar - Predicting the Cost of the Pandemic on the Economy & Recent Restrictions on Local Business / Serious Lip Balm

Megan Luckey and Khara Koffel are the co-owners of 'Serious Lip Balm'. Their business is known for making unique scents and for doing what they can for many organziations in the community. They talk about their business and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson is Professor of Theatre and Director of UIS Theatre. He is currently directing the Fall 2020 UIS Theatre's Production of John Patrick Shanley's Rouge's Gallery. Eric talks about the show,  adjusting to COVID-19 protocol, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Jeremie Bailey is a local artist and podcast host. He hosts Lincoln's Legends and The Bailey Byte. He took time recently to talk with Community Voices about podcasting and the positive outlook that is getting him through COVID-19.

Tiffany Mathis is the CEO and Executive Director of the Boys and Girls of Central Illinois. She is also heavily involved in the Springfield community. She talks about her love for music, theater, community service, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

David Lee is chair of Momentum on Main Street and Managing Partner of The Public Market. The Public Market is coming to downtown Springfield and will feature a number of resturants, vendors, entertainment, and the area's first roof top bar. David discusses this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner. 

Besserat Habtes is a Springfield native. She is involved in the modeling industry and is the Public Relations manager for the Springfield cover band Kapital Sound. Besserat discusses this and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Casandra Austin-McDonald is a Personal Growth Strategist, author, speaker, and mentor. In 2017 she released her book, Unclothed: Memoir of a Naked Soul. She discusses her business, book, life, and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.


The UIS ECCE Speaker Series featured a Constitution Day presentation regarding the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Holly Kent, Associate Professor of History at UIS, makes this presentation followed by a discussion of where we are 100 years later. 

Kristina Barbee is a a columinst for The Springfield Business Journal. Her self published book of poetry is set to release soon. Kristina is also a huge advocate for mental health, social justice, and is involved in many organizations throughout Springfield. She sits down with Community Voices' Bea Bonner to talk about her journey and more.

Play poster

Gus Gordon joins Community Voices to discuss the Hoogland's shift to virtual performances to cope with COVID-19, the fiscal health of  the organization, and the therapeutic value of the arts.

Erica Austin is the Program Outreach Coordinator and Community Liaison at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She also does a lot of work in the community specifically focusing on Springfield youth. Erica discusses her organization and her involvement with youth in Springfield with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Springfield Art Association executive director Betsy Dollar shares the latest from the organization, including the news they are moving the SAA Collective Gallery out of the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

Eva Carroll Monroe headshot and Lincoln Colored Home
Illinois State Journal (L), Lincoln Library Sangamon Valley Collection (R)

Springfield artist Mary Frances produces a documetnary on Eva Carroll Monroe, the founder of the Lincoln Colored Home. 

SIU School of Medicine

Mary Aiello is the Director of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Standardized Patient Program. The Standardized Patient Program employs community members as standardized patients to help with the training and professional development of medical students. Mary Aiello sits down with Community Voices' Bea Bonner to discuss the history of the program and where it is now. 

Ruby Mendenhall, professor of sociology and African American studies and assistant dean for diversity and democratization on health and innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine; and Robin Wilson, director, Institute of Government & Public Affairs at the University of Illinois have come together to lead a blogging project on COVID-19 throughout Illinois. They've signed-up citizen scientists to share their perspectives.

Jeff Curtis Williams discusses the Dim Art House, NIL8, and more before his aMERICUNDRUM show October 24, 2020.

NIL8 Facebook Page

Dana Thomas House
Dana Thomas House Foundation

Cinda Klickna, board member of the Dana Thomas House Foundation, disusses their virtural tour coming up October 28, 2020.

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Emily and Tim Lewis are the owners of Three Twigs Bakery in Springfield, IL. They also are the owners of Biscuits + Brunch and The Salted Lemon - Market & Creamery. Emily and Kelsey Atkinson (PR and Marketing Specialist) discuss the journey of owning small businesses with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.

Garret Moffett is proprietor of Springfield Walks Tours and  Travelers Rest Tours. As Halloween approaches, Garret discusses Springfield's Haunted Dead Walk and more with Community Voices' Bea Bonner.