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Friday, April 7, 2017 03:18 pm

Visual and performing arts

Where to find theater, dance and other cultural outlets

Local Artist Jeff Williams at work in The Pharmacy Gallery and Art Space.
Photo by Patrick Yeagle


Hoogland Center for the Arts

The city’s premier arts venue, the Hoogland Center for the Arts is a magnet for both practitioners and supporters of the arts. Named after the family that nurtured Family Video stores to nationwide prominence, the venue houses 18 different arts organizations. With four performance sites, two art galleries and meeting space galore, organizations coordinate schedules so that the space is used to advantage. For example, the Springfield Art Association Collective’s H.D. Smith Gallery is often open extra hours so that theater-goers may spend time savoring its exhibitions before the curtain goes up. The Hoogland Center is also home to the Springfield Area Arts Council, a nexus of information for artists of all stripes. A variety of organizations hold meetings at the Hoogland, thanks to its location, flexible accommodations and helpful staff. The Hoogland’s website provides an updated calendar of events and links to other area arts organizations.

Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787, www.hcfta.org.

Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield, Sangamon Auditorium has hosted more than 2,000 events, including conferences, debates, major concerts, plays and musical shows. Legends who have performed at the 2,018-seat facility include Sarah Vaughn, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Donny Osmond, Hal Holbrook, David Copperfield, George Carlin, Juliet Prowse, Jerry Seinfeld and Arlo Guthrie.

For ticket information, call 217-206-6160 or 800-207-6960 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday or visit www.sangamonauditorium.org.

The Legacy Theatre

A bright addition to the Springfield theater scene in recent years is The Legacy Theatre, operated by a private group that brought the long-shuttered Springfield Theatre Centre facility back to life. In addition to presenting shows by in-house company Roxy Theatricals and other local producers, The Legacy brings touring shows to Springfield and hosts concerts and movies in the intimate basement space.

For ticket information, check out The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence, 1-800-838-3006. www.atthelegacy.com.

Other entertainment


Springfield Theatre Centre, (www.springfieldtheatrecentre.com, 217-523-0878) holds shows at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787, as well as at The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence Ave., 1-800-838-3006.

Musical theater

Springfield Municipal Opera Association, also known as the Muni, presents locally produced musicals in an outdoor amphitheater near Lake Springfield all summer long. The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theater organizations in the nation. This summer’s lineup includes Willie Wonka, Mary Poppins, Grease and a seasonally counterintuitive production of White Christmas.

Curtain time is 8:30 p.m. The theater is located at 815 East Lake Dr. For ticket information, call 217-793-MUNI or visit www.themuni.org.

Regional and college theater

Theatre in the Park at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site. This summer’s lineup includes Mrs. Lincoln Fights Back, The Last Five Years, Treasure Island, The Dixie Swim Club, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, Hello Dolly, Cats and My Heart’s Home.

New Salem is on Highway 97, two miles south of Petersburg. For more information, call 217-632-5440 or 800-710-9290, or go to www.theatreinthepark.net.

Illinois College TheatreWorks presents work at the Sibert Theatre McGaw Fine Arts Center, 300 Lockwood Ave. in Jacksonville. For tickets and showtimes visit http://www.ic.edu/RelId/621665/ISvars/default/Season_and_Tickets.htm or call 217-245-3471.

The University of Illinois Springfield Theatre Department presents seasonal productions at the Studio Theatre in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. Visit http://www.uis.edu/theatre/productions/ for tickets and showtimes.


The Springfield Ballet Company performs at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS and the Hoogland Center for the Arts. For more information and a calendar of events, call 217-544-1967 or visit www.springfieldballetco.org.


The Illinois Symphony Orchestra performs at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS. For tickets, call 217-206-6160; for all other info, call 800-401-7222 or visit www.ilsymphony.org.

Springfield Municipal Band: Outdoor concerts in Douglas Park, Tuesdays from June through the first week in August, 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Additional performances in other parks throughout the summer.  For more information, contact springfieldmunicipalband@gmail.com

Fine arts

Springfield Art Association (see separate article on “Historic Edwards Place”) has been the local leader in supporting the visual arts in the community for more than 100 years. The SAA offers classes through its School of Art, presents local and visiting artists in the cozy DEMO Project space and offers monthly exhibitions in the M.G. Nelson Family Gallery, which is free and open to the public Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 700 N. Fourth St. 217-523-2631. www.springfieldart.org.

Other work by Springfield-area artists is on display and for sale at SAA Collective’s H.D. Smith Gallery in the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 12 p.m.-7 p.m. 420 S. Sixth St., 217-544-2787. www.springfieldart.org.

The Illinois State Museum features changing exhibitions of Illinois art, from historic to contemporary.  Exhibitions often showcase art from the museum’s extensive collections. A wide spectrum of art is featured, from fine art to decorative arts (see p. 15 for 2017 exhibitions). 502 S. Spring Street, www.illinoisstatemuseum.org, 217/782-7386, M- Sat 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sun. noon - 4:30 p.m.

The Pharmacy Gallery and Art Space, 711 S. 5th Street, presents work by member artists, with lively openings four times per year along with special events and workshops. Visit www.pharmacygallery.com for schedule and additional information.

University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery presents regular exhibits of regional and national artists, including visiting artists, faculty artists and art students. Located on the UIS campus in the Health and Sciences Building, Room 201. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. For more information visit https://www.uis.edu/visualarts/gallery/ or call 217-206-6506.

James S. Murray Gallery – Located at Lincoln Land Community College, this gallery displays works of faculty, students and national artists. Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 217-786-2219.  http://www.llcc.edu/?s=James+s+murray+gallery

Trutter Museum at Lincoln Land Community College features changing exhibitions., including “Trutter: Black and White,” featuring photographs of the architectural projects of the museum’s namesake. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Thursday, 5250 Shepherd Road. 217-786-2217. http://llccfoundation.org/trutter-museum.


Donnie B’s Comedy Club, near Target in the Parkway Pointe shopping area, 3455 Freedom Drive, 217-391-5653, www.donniebscomedyclub.com.


Prairie Capital Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, 217-788-8800, www.springfieldpc3.com.


Springfield has four motion-picture theaters. Three are operated by AMC Entertainment: Showplace Springfield 12, which features stadium seating; Parkway 8, which showcases a number of art and independent films throughout the year; and Showplace Springfield 8. The Route 66 Drive-In is on Springfield’s southern periphery, off Chatham Road or off the MacArthur Blvd. extension on Recreation Drive. For current listings, see www.amctheatres.com and www.route66-drivein.com.


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