The Peoria Riverfront Museum reopens this Saturday, March 6 with new exhibitions featuring a new and expanded presentation of Preston Jackson’s “Bronzeville to Harlem: An American Story”. Also new is the “101 Treasures of the Peoria Riverfront Museum Collection,” which includes unreleased early publicity photographs of Richard Pryor by area photographer and Golden Voice Studio owner Jerry Milam. And the “Community: African American Experience During Migration,” exhibition spotlights the story of New Philadelphia and Black Illinois achievers including Peoria High School alumna Annie Malone, the first Black woman millionaire in the United States.
Jackson, an acclaimed Peoria-based artist, who is professor emeritus at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and recipient of the Order of Lincoln Medallion, the State of Illinois’ highest honor, redesigned his seminal work, “Bronzeville to Harlem,” to be a semi-permanent installation in the museum’s renovated Owens Gallery, formerly The Street Gallery.
“Magnificently timed as we reopen the museum with an exhibition of the museum‘s 101 greatest treasures, legendary artist Preston Jackson has promised to give his lifetime masterwork, ‘Bronzeville to Harlem: An American Story’ to the Peoria Riverfront Museum‘s permanent collection,” said museum president & CEO John Morris. “At the perfect moment in our society’s history, this act of extraordinary generosity by the artist, his family, and his many supporters represents the largest, most valuable, and important story-telling art installation ever given for the public inspiration in the history of Peoria.”
“Exhibited for the first time this expanded version of Preston Jackson’s ‘Bronzeville to Harlem: An American Story’ has for more than 25 years grown into a sprawling, vibrant cityscape. The neighborhoods referenced in the title flourished with northward moving African American populations in the first third of the 20th century during ‘The Great Migration,’” said museum chief curator, Bill Conger.
Opening alongside “Bronzeville to Harlem” is “101 Treasures of the Peoria Riverfront Museum Collection,” showcasing a selection spanning 57 years of collecting the most important artistic works, scientific objects, historic relics and achievement-related stories that define the museum’s permanent collection. On display are works by Auguste Rodin, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Sol Lewitt, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Pauline Palmer, Frederick Remington, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as historical artifacts from the Lincoln’s goblet to John Dillinger’s death mask, a Canyon Diablo meteorite and minerals and insects from the museum’s natural history collection.
“Community: African American Experience During Migration,” is a special exhibition on the shaping of America and in particular the Illinois communities of Brooklyn and New Philadelphia by freedom-seeking Black achievers, including former Peoria and Brooklyn resident Annie Malone who become America’s first Black woman millionaire.
The new exhibitions are designed with education in mind, including students and their families visiting with the museum’s Every Student Initiative Student+Family Fun Pass, that provides free museum visits to all Peoria Public Schools and East Peoria District 86 K-8 students. The pass provides free bus transportation to and from the museum, courtesy of CityLink. Pass holders can also view special Giant Screen Theater movies and earn a trip to “T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator,” debuting in Peoria May 29.
Entry to the exhibitions and Dome Planetarium is free for members and Every Student Initiative Student+Family Fun Pass holders, $11 adults, $10 seniors age 60+ and students with ID, and $9 youth ages 3-17. Giant Screen Theater experience is extra. For more information on the museum, exhibitions, Dome Planetarium and Giant Screen Theater, call 309.686.7000 or visit RiverfrontMuseum.org
Peoria Riverfront Museum
The only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum uses art, science, history and achievement to inspire confidence, lifelong learning, and talent. Since opening in 2012, the privately funded museum has provided more than one million experiences through major exhibitions, a permanent collection, interactive galleries, a dome planetarium, giant screen theater and educational programming including curricula-related student visits. The AAM-accredited, Smithsonian-affiliated private nonprofit museum is supported by more than 4,000 members and donors, and is housed in a county-owned LEED Gold-certified building on a campus overlooking the Illinois River.
Find Peoria area events information on our Calendar!
Looking for a special Valentine’s Day date this year for you & your sweetheart? There are many options in the Peoria area from super inexpensive and family oriented to a major romantic dinner. Check them out to see if one fits your situation.
Hy-Vee will be hosting a Daddy-Daughter Date Night on Tuesday, February 11 at their Sheridan Village location from 4 – 7 pm. Food will be provided by their Market Grille Express with a cost of $35 for a couple or $15 for additional guests. To reserve your spots, call 686-5920 and ask for Brian or Charlie.
Take your sweetheart to a five course Valentine’s Day Dinner at East Port Banquet Center (located at 703 Mariners Way in East Peoria) on Friday, February 14th beginning at 6 pm. Featuring an appetizer, soup, salad, filet mignon with bourbon sauce, breast of chicken with Tuscany cream sauce and steamed asparagus plus dessert, cost per couple is $90 or $110 with wine service included. Food provided by Barrack’s Hospitality Group. For reservations, call 309-692-3990. Register HERE to Win This Romantic Dinner Including Wine Service from ExplorePeoria.com!
The Untamed Chef (located at 7338 N. University in Peoria) is hosting a Valentine’s Meal from 6 – 8 pm on Friday, February 14th. It will feature an appetizer, salad bar, choice of entree – either an 8 oz. filet or stuffed halibut for $49.99 OR a stuffed chicken breast for $39.99 which both include garlic smashed potatoes and asian veggies plus dessert. Prices include both tax & gratuity. Space is limited, so call 231-0906 to make a reservation.
Dinner with Entertainment:
Catch Love, Sex & The IRS at the Barn III Dinner Theatre in Goodfield on Valentine’s Day or during its run Thursdays- Sundays through March 8. Featuring the Barn’s buffet dinner plus the show, on Thursdays through Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm and on Sundays, doors open at 12 pm. Now offering a full cash bar, tickets are $48 and are available by calling 309-965-2545 or visit www.thebarniii.com
Howlin’ on Water Dueling Pianos at The Waterhouse (located at 316 SW Washington St. in Peoria) is happening on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th beginning at 6:30 pm each night. Featuring a two entree buffet dinner, tickets are $40 for dinner and the show or $20 for the show only and are available at https://mkt.com/waterhousepeoria
Enjoy “My Funny Valentine with Judy Page and Friends” at the Betty Jayne Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts (located at 1327 East Kelly Ave. in Peoria Heights) on Friday, February 14th beginning at 6 pm. Featuring dinner, live music, dancing and dessert Judy Page is joined by musicians Mike Nellas (bass), Derel Monteith (keyboard), Jason Brannon (drums) and Dave Parkinson (sax). Songs will include At Last, Fly Me to the Moon, Save Your Love For Me, Embraceable You and more. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening with complimentary champagne at dinner plus a rose for sweetheart. Tickets are $50 per person and are available online at www.thebettyjayne.com
Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center (located at 305 SW Water Street in downtown Peoria) will feature Dorann & the Soul Mystics on Friday, February 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Admission is $8 for members, $12 for non-members, $7 for student & senior members and $11 for student & senior non-members. With admission to Live at the Five Spot, you’ll receive a coupon for 15% off all Rhythm Kitchen entrees (which is located on the first floor of the same building) for full entrees only (drinks, appetizers and desserts are excluded). You can eat your food from the Rhythm Kitchen with unopened drinks you’ve brought with you during Live at the Five Spot or enjoy your meal afterwards in the restaurant. After the concert, enjoy drink specials at the Rhythm Kitchen while listening to PS Jazz Duo from 7 – 10 pm.
The Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dancing event at the Kickapoo Creek Winery on Friday, February 14 from 6 – 9 pm will include a four course dinner with dessert, Latin dancing and a bottle of wine (when you buy two dinners). Don’t worry if you’re a beginner, they’ll provide an instructor to learn the dances. Cost is $60 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 309-495-9463 or online at https://kickapoocreekwinery.com
It doesn’t get much more romantic than Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet which you can see at Corn Stock Theatre (located in upper Bradley Park) on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th beginning at 7:30 pm or Sunday, February 16th beginning at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $14 for adults & $10 for students through high school and are available at the Corn Stock box office, by calling 309-676-2196 or online at www.CornStockTheatre.com
Watch the classic romantic film, Casablanca, in the Giant Screen Theater at the Riverfront Museum on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 at at 7:30 pm each night. This wartime adventure of romance and intrigue features Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Tickets are $8.50 for member adults, $7.50 for member senior citizens, $6.50 for member children and $10.50 for adults, $9.50 for senior citizens and $8.50 for children and are available online at http://www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org
“Romance” will be the theme of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra Concert on Saturday, February 15th at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm. Featuring The BraziLionaires as well as the annual After Party with Nathan Taylor & Friends, tickets range in price from $10 – $85 and are available by calling 309-671-1096 or online at https://peoriasymphony.org
The Riverfront Museum will present Romance Under the Stars in their Dome Planetarium on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th beginning at 8 pm each night. Featuring a romantic tour of the Cosmos exploring the current night sky and its romantic constellations plus you’ll visit some of the most breathtaking places in the Universe while enjoying a glass of wine and a small bag of chocolates. For ages 21 and over, cost is $15 for members or $20 for the public. Tickets are available by calling 309-686-7000 or online at www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org
Get a look at the complicated, beautiful and sometimes bizarre courtship rituals of the animal kingdom with Romance at the Zoo at the Peoria Zoo on Saturday on Saturday, February 15th beginning at 2 pm. coffee and light refreshments will be served. Cost is $15 per person for ages 18 and up. Registration is required and may be done by calling 309-681-3559. For more information, visit https://peoriaparks.org
Lindsay Glazer: Love’s a B Comedy Show will be presented at the Broadway Lounge (located at 316 SW Washington Street in downtown Peoria) at 6:45 pm & 9:30 pm. Also featuring Charley McMullen and Holly Lynnea, a full bar and appetizer menu will be avaialble. Tickets are $20 for general admission seating and are avaialble at http://LindsayGlazer.com
Axe the Ex at Gone Axe Throwing (located at 1001 SW Washington St. in Peoria): This is dedicated to single folks who maybe had a not-so good break-up recently and who still have an “ax to grind” with their ex (sorry – I had to use that term here!). It runs from 4 – 10 pm on Friday, February 14th and you are asked to bring a momento to throw at (no pictures apparently) or you can buy a heart to write your ex’s name on with your donation going to a charity. There will be drink specials available along with other food that’s normally available. Sessions normally last 1.5 hours. Cost is $30 and you should probably reserve your spot and can be done online at http://www.goneaxethrowing.com