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Arts & Entertainment

Illinois showcases vibrant art collections and powerful performances at venues all over campus.

dancers at Illinois

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Krannert Center's outdoor theatre

Under the Stars: Krannert Center's outdoor amphitheatre has live performances each year on opening night.

For top performances nothing beats Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, which boasts four indoor theatres and an outdoor amphitheatre. Krannert is host to over 300 events every year featuring both student and professional casts. Great discounts are available for Illinois students.

  • Notable performances include Yo-Yo Ma, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Ballet, London Symphony Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Clark Terry
  • Krannert hosts the biennial Ellnora Guitar Festival featuring artists such as Los Lobos, Buddy Guy, and Taj Mahal
  • Krannert sponsors the Pygmalion Music Festival every September, highlighting indie rock bands

Art Galleries and Museums

hip hop art show

Student Shows: The Illini Union Art Gallery occasionally showcases student art, like the Hip Hop art show shown here.

The Krannert Art Museum, which sits adjacent to the School of Art and Design, boasts an archive of over 8,000 works and houses rotating exhibits of traditional and innovative art. The museum's permanent holdings include the Trees Collection of European and American Painting, the Moore Collection of European and American Decorative Arts, the Olsen Collection of pre-Columbian Art, and smaller collections of 20th-century art, Asian art, and African art. Each spring the museum hosts group BFA and MFA exhibitions, as well as a group faculty exhibition.

Between the entrance of the School of Art and Design and the Krannert Art Museum lies the Link Gallery, a space stretching 100 feet and enclosed by walls of glass windows. The Link Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of student work year round.

Other galleries/museums include the Art Coalition Gallery in the basement of the Art and Design building, Japan House, Spurlock Museum, and the Illini Union Art Gallery.

Concerts and Performances

concert photo

Something for Everyone: A diverse selection of concerts and performances are available on campus and around Champaign-Urbana.

The State Farm Center Concert Series has recently brought in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dane Cook, Rascal Flatts, Wiz Khalifa, Jason Aldean, 30 Seconds to Mars, and other artists and comedians. In addition, shows such as Cirque du Soleil and the annual Broadway Series grace the stage.

Head to Canopy Club to catch local and national bands. Previous headliners have included Third Eye Blind, Plain White T’s, Girl Talk, Rusted Root, and Explosions in the Sky.

Try your hand behind the scenes through the student-run concert production group Star Course, which brings acts like Ben Folds, Bright Eyes, Sara Bareilles, and Spoon to Foellinger Auditorium.

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