Arts

Dan Klefstad

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois News Anchor Dan Klefstad about his novel, Fiona's Guardians.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

One of a string of burglaries south of Harrisburg in 1925 leads to the arrest and trial of one of Birger’s most notorious gangsters, a man known by the pseudonym “Steve George.” In 1926, Birger marries his new wife, Bernice.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

A shootout ensues when Earl Shelton’s bulldog kills Charlie Birger’s in a dogfight, one of the common forms of entertainment at the bootlegger’s hideout, Shady Rest.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

After escaping suspicion in the investigation of a bloody shootout, Charlie Birger serves a month in jail for possessing intoxicating liquor and then, a free man again, builds his most notorious entertainment complex, Shady Rest.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

As dangers mount, Beatrice Birger draws away from her husband, but Charlie is obsessively desperate to keep her.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

On March 26, 1924, Charlie Birger is found guilty on several bootlegging-related charges and sentenced to a year in prison. Meanwhile, Carl and Earl Shelton ambush S. Glenn Young and his wife and take part in a Herrin shootout.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

In December of 1923, a war sparks between bootleggers and law enforcement, many of whom are prominent Klan members. When Carl and Earl Shelton are indicted for the murder of one of these members, they seek out an alliance with Klan-connected Marion attorney Arlie O. Boswell.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

After escaping another murder conviction, Charlie Birger is injured in a fight but recovers in a hospital in Herrin, where his wife Beatrice encounters one of his mistresses for the first time.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

A complicated man to say the least, bootlegger and murderer Charlie Birger gains a reputation among locals for extreme acts of kindness. However, his deadly temper always lurks beneath the surface.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

After Charlie Birger establishes the profitable “Near Bar” in town, Beatrice recalls her husband’s ability to “operate with minimum of interference” due to his weekly payoffs of certain local law enforcement.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

In this episode of Inside the Blanket Fort, learn more about upcoming projects for Blanket Fort Radio Theater - and meet the students behind those projects.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

In the summer of 1919, Charlie Birger meets and marries 18-year-old Beatrice Bainbridge in Harrisburg, much to the dismay of her parents. Beatrice becomes the reluctant stepmother of Charlie’s daughter Minnie, and the three of them take up residence in Harrisburg.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

When police raid a local saloon, Charlie Birger uses it as an opportunity to take down one of his competitors in the liquor business, but not everything goes to plan.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

In this episode of Inside the Blanket Fort, meet some of the students behind Blanket Fort Radio Theater, and learn how their project evolved amid a global pandemic.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

As Blanket Fort Radio Theater premiers, join Amy Etcheson of the SIU Press and Pinckney Benedict of SIU's Creative Writing Department as they take a look at how A Knight of Another Sort came together.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

In 1913, southern Illinois bootlegger and former cowboy Charlie Birger moves to the small mining community of Ledford, where he quickly ingratiates himself by selling liquor to the locals and providing them with employment.

However, not all the locals are fond of his breaking the law.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

Charles Birger has gone down in southern Illinois history as a bootlegger, enemy of the Ku Klux Klan, and even as the reigning "kingpin of the Saline County underworld" during the Prohibition Era.

In this episode, we meet Charlie as he emigrates from Russia to America, escapes a murder conviction, and settles in southern Illinois, his home for the rest of his life.

Inside The Blanket Fort
SIU Press

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Press Interim Co-Director Amy Etcheson and SIU Senior Fiction Writer Pinckney Benedict about the new Blanket Fort Radio Theater - a new podcast collaboration between WSIU, SIU Press, and SIUC's Creative Writing Program.

Illinois is on track for salons, some offices and outdoor seating at restaurants to open this weekend as the state moves into its next phase of reopening. The state’s movie theaters, which have been shut down since March, said Wednesday they want to welcome customers during that phase too.

COVID-19 Mask Makers Are Part Of A Bigger History

May 22, 2020
A collage of women wearing masks.
Karina Neill

As the U.S. struggles with shortages of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic, volunteers have jumped into action. Around the country people are sewing masks, for healthcare workers and community members at risk for contracting COVID-19. But sewing for a cause fits into a much bigger history.

The Muny announced a plan today for a shortened summer season, if St. Louis officials deem it safe to produce events.

Leaders of the outdoor theater in Forest Park would push the opening of “Chicago” from June 15 to July 20 and reschedule all performances of “Mary Poppins” and “Sweeney Todd” to next season. 

The theater will announce a final decision on the season by June 8. 

Images
Arts Illinois Relief Fund

The State of Illinois has launched a new relief fund to support artists and cultural organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

SEMO to Expand River Campus with New Art Complex

Mar 3, 2020
Images
SEMO

Southeast Missouri State University plans to expand its River Campus with a new art complex to house its ceramics, sculpture and painting programs.

School officials say the idea is to create a “gateway to the arts” in downtown Cape Girardeau.

There's no how-to guide for re-adjusting to civilian life after returning home from war. 

Politics, television, and social media were once again rich sources for abuse of the English language during the past year. And they're the main contributors to the latest list of words and phrases, "Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness.

Ed Benyas
SI Music Festival

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Southern Illinois Symphony Music Director and Southern Illinois Music Festival Artistic Director Ed Benyas about Lionel Semiatin's American Symphony being honored at the national level.

You can watch the performances of American Symphony below:

Local Teacher Makes Arts Education His Mission

Dec 24, 2019

Art programs are often the first thing to go when budget cuts hit.  Illinois in particular  falls short when it comes to art programs -  only 63% of schools have it, compared to the 90%. nationwide. 

Middle schoolers from Loves Park were chosen to create the ornament representing Illinois for the National Christmas Tree Celebration in Washington D.C.

The two dozen Harlem Middle School art students worked on 24 ornaments for more than a month in secret. The National Parks Service didn’t let the kids say anything about their project until the official announcement.

Arts
Brian Flath, WSIU

A performance in Marion this weekend aims to both entertain the audience, and enhance the venue.

Two of the Indie Lens Pop-Up films that WSIU screened last season in partnership with Carbondale Public Library won Emmy awards recently.

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