Press Releases


Join us Thursday, July 20, 5:00-8:00 at It’s All About Wine.

Space is limited at this location, so please make your reservations now. (That will also help us to plan for the right amount of food.) You can mail me a check, or if you prefer to pay online … here is the link, and the “DONATE” button is at the top of the Home page. (Be sure to give us the names of the persons attending so we can check you in at the door the evening of the party.) Our senior dogs thank you!! Carol Rodgers, The Helping Paw Project, 2344 South Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62703


Ken Bradbury production July 13 – 14
about Robert Earl Hughes
to benefit Jacksonville Heritage Cultural Center

JACKSONVILLE - “The Boy from Fishhook: The Story of Robert Earl Hughes,” written and directed by Ken Bradbury, will be staged Thursday and Friday, July 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Illinois College’s Sibert Theater. The performance is a fundraiser for the Jacksonville Heritage Cultural Center, and tickets will be $10 each. They may be purchased at County Market and Our Town Books in Jacksonville, or on-line at .

Robert Earl Hughes, a native of Fishhook, Illinois in Pike County, was the World’s Largest Man at 1,147 pounds according to the Guinness Book of World Records. His story reads like a movie script. Hughes was born into poverty and stayed there most of his life, traveled all over the U.S. in side shows, and was scheduled to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show but was fleeced by a shyster and left adrift in a New York hotel. Hughes died of measles at the age of 32 while traveling with an Indiana sideshow, and is now buried near Mt. Sterling. Hughes has a Jacksonville area connection – he appeared at both the Morgan County Fair and the Illinois State Fair.

“The Boy from Fishhook” will be a reader’s theater production featuring projected images and a video of Hughes, and will include an original, life-size Hughes artifact. Cast members include Willem Kline, Jim Yale, Keith Bradbury, Rich McCoy, Brenda Yale, Melissa Mueller and Sylvia Burke.

Ken Bradbury said the story is amazingly uplifting.

“The thing that makes the story so poignant is that throughout all the hardship he endured, Hughes remained such a happy, positive person. Every interview I’ve conducted reaffirms this,” Bradbury said. “Hughes’ story and the play itself speaks to Midwest rural living in the early part of the 20th century, and to the spirit of optimism and hope that still exists in our part of the world.”

Corporate sponsors for the performance are Jacksonville Savings Bank and the Farmers State Bank and Trust Company.

The Jacksonville Heritage Cultural Center Board Board is developing the Jacksonville Area Museum to be located in the Old Post Office Building in downtown Jacksonville.

Living with Modernism: Mid-Century Decorative Arts
Curated by Anthony Rubano

June 2- July 1, 2017

The twentieth century witnessed dramatic shifts in the design, production, distribution, and consumption of objects for the home. Many designers and consumers rejected traditional styles and materials as new horizons of form, color, and use came into view influencing everything, from appliances to furniture. The M.G. Nelson Family Gallery at the SAA is currently filled with some of the finest examples of modern design from the late 1920’s through the 1980’s. Tables, chairs, lamps, rugs, toasters, vacuum cleaners, china, flatware, toys, and more offer a glimpse into the spectrum of 20th-Century Modern design.

The exhibition curator, Anthony Rubano, a project designer for Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, has assembled nearly 300 objects from homes and collections throughout Springfield. Today, mid-century modern design is all the rage; it isn’t grandma’s old stuff anymore. Come see the show, see lots of familiar objects and some unfamiliar ones, and learn about the designers and manufacturers who produced them.

A reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, June 9th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. It is free and open to the public. Mr. Rubano will do a brief gallery talk at 6 pm. A full Gallery Talk will be presented on Tuesday, June 20th at 7 pm. It, too, is free and open to the public. Plan to spend some time with this exhibition; there is a lot to see.

The M.G. Nelson Family Gallery is open Monday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 3 pm. Admission is free. For additional information contact Betsy Dollar, Executive Director, at 217-523-2631 or by email

# # # Mission Statement: The Springfield Art Association (SAA), a community based, non-profit organization*, promotes and supports the visual arts, provides art education opportunities for the greater Springfield area and preserves and interprets historic Edwards Place and the collections of the SAA. *SAA is a non-profit tax exempt organization organized pursuant to IRS code 501(C)(3).

Karen Carlson

Lauren Murphy



(Springfield, IL) Springfield’s premier vintage market will make its debut downtown this summer on Saturday, June 10 at 5th Street and East Washington (right in front of the Old State Capitol building).

Lavender & Laine Vintage Market is a one-day, open-air market and will feature a host of outstanding antiques, vintage and handmade vendors. In addition to great shopping, visitors will be able to enjoy live music, great food, décor demonstrations and more. It’s an event for the whole family. Proceeds from a children’s craft area will benefit local charity Helping Paw.

The market runs from 9am to 4pm. Admission is $5/person at the entrances (located at both 5th Street and 6th Street). Children 12 and under are free.

Participating Music Acts:

Devin Williams (Springfield) Rylie Bourne (Nashville)