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Wednesday, July 9, 2008 04:37 am

IT Picks

IT's picks for what to do this week

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Taste test
Whether you prefer scarfing down a burger or noshing on pecan-encrusted chicken, Downtown Springfield’s Taste of Downtown has the chow to fill the belly of any eater. The annual event features 17 downtown restaurants, including favorites such as Café Brio, Maldaner’s, and the Holy Land Diner, along with relatively new kids on the block Sazerac, the Tea-Licious Café, and Caitie Girl’s. In addition to the tasty vittles and beverages, the Taste of Downtown serves up a newly expanded children’s area and a full menu of tunes on the main stage. The musical lineup boasts the Eva Hunter Band (2 p.m.), the Hi-Risers (4 p.m.), Marti Brom with Rocky Velvet (6 p.m.), Dale Watson (8 p.m.), and the Deadstring Brothers (10 p.m.).
Saturday July 12
Taste of Downtown Fifth Street between Adams & Jefferson 217-544-1723 Noon-midnight $2
Everybody enjoys receiving gifts, and the Illinois State Museum is no exception. This month the museum opens an exhibition showing off wares that have been bestowed on the museum’s art, anthropology, and natural history collections. Gifts to the Collections features notable pieces such as a 19th-century French doll, Navajo and Zuni jewelry, and bison fossils. The items on display were recently acquired by the museum from families and individuals and through financial gifts to the Illinois State Museum Society’s 1877 Fund. The gifts will displayed in the museum’s lower level through January.
Thu.-Wed. July 10-16
(Through January) Gifts to the Collections Illinois State Museum 502 S. Spring St. 217-782-7440 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun. Free

Material girl
The Springfield Art Association hosts a trunk show featuring the 2008 line of sparkling silver jewelry from Silpada. Leave swathed in jewels or just play dress-up at the show; the SAA provides light refreshments for an afternoon during which you can shop or peruse the current exhibit, The Many Faces of Abe: The Jim and Carole Shay Collection. The 2008 line includes sterling-silver pieces in a range of styles, set with many different kinds of stones. Twenty percent of sales from the trunk show will benefit the SAA’s 77th Beaux Arts Ball, a black-tie celebration of the association’s numerous contributors.
Saturday July 12
Silpada Trunk Show Springfield Art Association 700 N. Fourth St. 217-523-2631 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Remember when?
The Prairie Art Alliance presents a summer exhibition celebrating those days of yore, dubbed Memories. The exhibition opens Saturday in the H.D. Smith Gallery with a reception for (unrelated) artists Pam Miller and Darren Miller. Springfield denizen Pam Miller is the only member of the PAA who works in the medium of paper pulp painting; Darren Miller, a Decatur resident and self-trained artist, creates metal sculptures. The exhibit is the first time these artists’ works have been featured by the PAA. Memories closes Aug. 22.
Saturday July 12
Memories reception Hoogland Center for the Arts 420 S. Sixth St. 217-544-2787 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free
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