Guy Stephens

WNIJ Here and Now Host

Guy Stephens is the local host for NPR's Here and Now on WNIJ.  He also produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements.  In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level.  Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU.  In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford University Art Gallery holds its biennial fundraising event, “Heart Art” this Friday, Feb. 20.  The silent art auction gives attendees have a chance to bid on pieces donated by a wide range of artists.

Molly Carter is the director of the Rockford University Art Gallery, and organizer of this year’s Heart Art.  An artist herself, she’s also donated one of her own pieces to the show.  Carter says quite a few people look forward to the event.

HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded nearly $116 million to public housing authorities in Illinois.  The department says the funding will allow agencies to make major large-scale improvements to their public housing units.  The Rockford Housing Authority was awarded nearly $3 million, LaSalle County's authority 1.3 million, Aurora's a little more than $1 million, Freeport's nearly $675,000, Whiteside County's more than $429,000 and DeKalb's close to $395,000. 

Christine Swanberg, Trinadora

This weekend, poet Christine Swanberg and Trinadora, musicians Ron Holm and Jannie Nelson, give a Valentine’s Day concert at Rockford’s JustGoods Fair Trade Marketplace.  Swanberg explains the theme of the concert.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Area efforts to combat hunger are the focus of a concert this weekend at NIU. 

“Make Our Garden Grow” will feature NIU, high school and community choruses.  NIU Choral Director Eric Johnson is the man behind the event.  WNIJ’s Guy Stephens asked him what he was hoping to accomplish.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford’s Womanspace celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and, by all accounts, is going strong.  

ISP

The Illinois State Police say more than 91,000 concealed-carry permits have been issued in Illinois since the state began allowing people to carry concealed guns around in public a year ago.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The NIU Art Museum’s latest exhibition, "Local Visions," features items plucked from the homes of area collectors. 

Peter Olson is the assistant director of the museum, and one of the curators for the show.  He says a couple of years ago, he was thinking of possible themes for an exhibition.

“I’m an artist and my house is full of artwork that I love, and I know a lot of other people who are artists and who have a lot of artwork themselves that inspires them . And that seemed like a great idea for an exhibition.”

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

I’m standing in one of the galleries housing the exhibition with Freeport Art Museum Executive Director Jessica Modica.  In front of us is "At the World’s End: Only Evil Will Travel in a Straight Line," a painting by Dan Brinkmeier.

At first blush, it’s a farm family having a picnic. But then you notice the bleeding lamb, people flying or wearing animal masks and, like a scene from “The Wizard of Oz,” a house in the air.  Modica says the artist admits that the picture is chock-full of symbols.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

This weekend, Dec. 21, the Fox Valley Orchestra and Chorus present a "Sing-Along Messiah," an event often known as a "Do-It-Yourself Messiah."  Audience members are invited to join the choir in singing choruses from Handel’s masterpiece.

DeKalb Park District

The DeKalb Municipal Band marks 160 years with a concert of holiday music Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Egyptian Theatre.  Proceeds from the concert go to the Palmer Family Music Education Fund.  Kirk Lundbeck succeeded the band’s longtime leader, the late Dee Palmer, as director three years ago. WNIJ's Guy Stephens spoke with Lundbeck recently about the concert and the anniversary.

GS:  Most people think of the band as a summer band. So why a holiday concert?

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