Events

Step back in time as history comes to life, enjoy classic cars and music of a bygone era, or savor the best in bar-b-que and blues. You'll find hundreds of special events happening all year long.
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IL Bicentennial Speaker Series

2/18/2018 - 10/21/2018, 2 pm
Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. Springfield, IL 62706

A special Bicentennial series of programs, “The Culture and Heritage of Illinoisans,” will begin on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, and continue on the third Sunday of every month through October 2018. The series is presented by the Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) at Lincoln Land Community College in collaboration with the Illinois State Museum and will feature several Road Scholar speakers offered by Illinois Humanities. Reservations are not required.

February 18: “Two Centuries to Celebrate: Illinois at the Bicentennial,”  Dr. Samuel Wheeler
March 18: “This Land Was Your Land: Native Americans, Globalization and Treaties,” Dr. Michael Wiant
April 15: “Becoming A State: The Illinois Way,”  Tara McClellan McAndrew
May 20: “Binding Our State Together: Canals, Railroads, Postal Services and Roads,” Dr. Norman Moline
June 17: “Illinois Antislavery and the Struggle For Freedom,” Jeanne Schulz Angel
July 15: “Building Illinois: Entrepreneurialism Flourishes, Workers Rise” Mike Matejka
August 19: “Farming in the Great Corn Belt: 200 Years of Challenges, Choices & Changes,” Don Meyer
September 16: “Illinois in Art & Literature, 1818 to 2017,” Laura Mueller
October 21: “From Prairie to Farm to City: Music To Commemorate Illinois’s Bicentennial,” Phil Passen


From Illinois to the White House Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama

3/23/2018 - 12/31/2018, Daily: 9 am - 5 pm
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Musuem, 212 N. 6th St. Springfield IL 62701
The exhibit will explore their connections to the Prairie State, their political battles, the first ladies who helped them succeed and much more. Visitors will see amazing documents and artifacts, including Ronald Reagan’s yearbook from his high school days in Dixon, the table where Ulysses S. Grant’s accepted Robert E. Lee’s surrender during the Civil War, an original draft of Barack Obama’s speech at the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights march, and the briefcase Abraham Lincoln used as president. 


Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection

6/30/2018 - 2/3/2019, Monday - Saturday: 9 am - 4:30 pm, Sunday: Noon - 4:30 pm
Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. Springfield, IL 62706
This major exhibition, in celebration of the State’s 200th birthday, features rare and rarely-seen artifacts from the Museum’s 13.5–million-object Illinois Legacy Collection to highlight the dynamic story of Illinois.
Bicentennial and Beyond! exhibits artifacts from a variety of disciplines, including art, anthropology, archaeology, botany, decorative arts, geology, and zoology, chosen for the unique stories they tell about Illinois. Reflecting the fact that the complete story of Illinois goes well beyond the 200 years since statehood, artifacts will range from 400-million-year-old fossils to contemporary art. Visitors will see a helmet worn by a World War I soldier; a trunk brought by German immigrants in 1852; a core segment from Route 66; a piece of contemporary art created of cowhide; an Olney albino gray tree squirrel mount; and a portrait miniature done by an itinerant Illinois artist, among many other treasures. Visitors will explore, discover, learn, and share the history, prehistory, and natural history of Illinois through the featured objects and the fascinating stories behind them. 



From Prairie to Farm to City: Music to Commemorate Illinois' Bicentennial (IL Bicentennial Speaker Series)

10/21/2018, 2 pm - 4 pm
Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. Springfield, IL 62706
The music performed by singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen reflects the story of Illinois, which has been shaped not only by its land and natural features – the prairies, lakes, and rivers – but also by the many cultures that have flourished here: those of Native Americans, French, Germans, African Americans, Latin Americans and numerous others. Songs of the Underground Railroad, which ran through Illinois, will also be featured. So will selections representing farmers, workers, labor struggles, disasters, and tragedies, as well as a few blues and rock-and-roll songs. Passen will provide commentary about the histories of the selections and the contexts in which they have been sung and played in Illinois. This will be an informative and entertaining look at Illinois, its history and its people. The word dulcimer means “beautiful song.” Audiences are fascinated by the uncommon, trapezoidal-shaped hammered dulcimer. After Phil’s performances, members of the audience, young and old, musicians and non-musicians, are welcome to take a closer look at the dulcimer and try their hand at it.


Lincoln and Shakesphere

11/2/2018 - 11/3/2018, 7 pm
Old State Capitol - Representative Hall, 1 Old State Capitol Plaza Springfield, IL 62701
Starring Fritz Klein as Abraham Lincoln. Directed by Kevin Purcell


Springfield Through the Wars (Town Hall Series)

11/13/2018, 6 pm - 9 pm
State Journal Register, 1 Copley Plaza Springfield, IL 62701
Laura Reyman, Springfield’s Soldiers’ Aid Society during the Civil War, and Craig King, Chief Division Council of the FBI speaking about his time serving at Guantanamo Bay 


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