Arts and Cultural Offerings in Kankakee County Keep Residents Entertained

April 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm EST


Kankakee County is eager to showcase arts and culture options to residents and visitors. Art galleries, big names in entertainment, theaters and a rich history make Kankakee County a great place to expand your artistic mind.

Metro Centre Arts Gallery

Housed in the Metro Transit Center is the Metro Centre Arts Gallery, which opened in 2009. Headed by the Community Arts Council, the gallery's space is available to local artists or groups who are members in good standing with the council. All participants have the option to sell their work at the gallery, and past exhibits include paintings, photography, cibachrome prints and mixed media. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Know Your Jazz

Jazz musician Orbert Davis grew up in Momence, Ill., and as a child he travelled to Chicago once a week for trumpet lessons. Later, he decided to stay in Chicago to receive his bachelor's degree in trumpet performance from DePaul University in Chicago and his master's in Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University.

Obert Davis and his partner Mark Ingram own and operate Orbark Productions, which has worked with clients such as Atlantic and Capitol, CBS, MCA and the Warner Brothers record companies. Davis' extensive résumé includes consultations with Sam Mendes; a critically acclaimed documentary Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts; a number of CD releases; and Davis founded the Jazz Alive program and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic that focus on teaching life and academic skills through music and art. The philharmonic runs through seven elementary schools in Chicago in hopes to create jazz bands at an elementary school level. Davis is also an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Listen Up

The Friends of the Blues Radio Show is broadcast from WKCC's studio at Kankakee Community College. Join DJs Shuffle Shoes and Sky Dobro while they play blues musicians such as Stevie Pay Vaughn, Allman Brothers Band and Fruteland Jackson, to name a few. The show is public and commercial free and airs Saturday night from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Classic Appeal

Meadowview Theatre in Kankakee has been airing movies since 1967, and its interior was designed by Hans Teichert of Chicago, a renowned artist known for his unusual creations. The Paramount Theatre, which first debuted in Kankakee in 1931 has premiered such classics as Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz, as well as hits such as the like Twilight saga: New Moon and Avatar. The theater has proudly kept its original art deco motif that includes a cobalt blue ceiling and intricate geometric designs in green, red, gold and silver. The Paramount is graced with five screens, and two are equipped with digital 3D capabilities.

Compelling History

The Kankakee County Museum presents rotating exhibits that chronicle Kankakee County's experiences during some of the greatest events of the 20th century. Exhibits contain significant artifacts and archival materials, which are supported with large numbers of period photographic images, all depicting Kankakee natives.


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