Arts

Arts and culture

Carl Nelson

Remember when we asked for your relationship-themed poems for Valentine's Day? We received 118 listener responses by the Jan. 29 deadline, which made for a busy weekend for our contest judge, Susan Porterfield.

Hats As Heritage

Feb 4, 2016
Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Valley College Studio Theatre presents the gospel musical “Crowns” this week and next. 

Regina Taylor's "Crowns" follows Yolonda, a tough city girl from Brooklyn who is taken to South Carolina after the shooting death of her brother.  There she is mentored by her grandmother, Mother Shaw, and a group of women who, through their stories, help her heal from her loss and more.

Dorothy Paige-Turner plays Mother Shaw.  She says Yolanda undergoes another, deeper kind of journey over the course of the play.  The women are with her every step of the way

A Voice You Can Feel

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly, you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

WNIJ/Victor Yehling

Friday is the final day of sculpting for the artists in the 2016 Illinois Snow Sculpting Contest, and teams were hard at work bringing their works to fruition.

Designs this year are mostly fanciful, with the occasional more-serious work. The official competitors are complemented bay an array of high school teams.

Spectators were not in short supply, as a fairly steady stream of cars wended through Sinnissippi Park on North Second Street in Rockford.

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right hand. Pursuing the piano would not exactly appear to be the most intuitive career choice. And yet that is exactly what the 26-year-old British pianist has done. His debut album, Solo, will be released next week.

McCarthy's "Aha!" piano moment came relatively late, at age 14, after he heard a friend play Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata. In a flash, he saw his future. He was determined to become a concert pianist.

WNIJ/Victor Yehling

The 2016 Illinois Snow Sculpting Contest finally got underway Wednesday along the roadways of Sinnissippi Park in Rockford. Lack of snow had delayed the start by a week.

Several teams took advantage of the comparatively warm mid-afternoon weather to work on their snow blocks, made from manufactured snow due to the lack of suitable precipitation.

The team names defy attempts to guess the origins. They include such monikers as Vikings in Black, Kilted Snow Weasels, Quatsch-Men, The Band of Misfit Boys, and the Slacktastic 4.

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