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Thursday, March 11

Zoom Lunch and Learn: Bloomington-Normal Innovation Alliance: Partnering for Our Digital Future Lunch & Learn

Starts at 12:10 PM

Join the Museum and Illinois Wesleyan University for the seventh Zoom Lunch and Learn of this season. This session will feature Jamie Mathy, Council Member City of Bloomington, and Kevin McCarthy, Council Member Town of Normal, who will discuss digital transformation, which has been on the agenda of organizations and governments for years. Right now is a crucial time for leaders to plan for and implement it. Amongst senior executives, there’s widespread recognition that the role of digital technology is shifting - from driving marginal efficiency to being a catalyst of innovation. This means that in the coming years, a number of decisions must be made to embrace innovation, bolstering local economies with smart development & policies rooted in connectivity, mobility, equity, and sustainability.

To register for this Zoom webinar, please visit http://bit.ly/MCMHMarLunch.Questions? Please contact the Marketing Department at marketing@mchistory.org. Grab your lunch and join us from where ever you may be! You won’t want to miss this fascinating program.

Friday, March 12

12 Months of Covid-19: A Remembrance

Starts at 5:00 PM

One year ago, on Friday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m., as it became clear that it was only a matter of time before the pandemic arrived in our community, the Museum closed to the public. The first COVID­19 case in the county was announced by the McLean County Health Department on March 19, and the first death in the county was reported on March 22. Since then, at least 165 McLean County residents have lost their lives to the virus, and over 14,270 have had the virus. This has been a challenging time for many, most of all for those who have lost relatives and close friends to the virus, and those who continue to suffer long-­term health consequences. Museum staff and board send their condolences to those who have lost someone to COVID­19, and acknowledge the shared trauma our communities have faced in the last 12 months.

To mark the anniversary of the arrival of the pandemic in McLean County, the Museum is partnering with Not In Our Town, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Heartland Community College, and local leaders and artists to present a brief ceremony on Friday, March 12 at 5:00 p.m. Join us virtually through our Facebook page to honor the memory of McLean County residents who have lost their lives, and reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on our community over the past year.

Program Schedules is as follows:

Introduction by Museum

Poem reading by Kathleen Kirk

Mollie Ward with the Interfaith Alliance and Carle BroMenn Medical Center

Kendall Miles singing “God Bless America”

Marianne Manko with the McLean County Health Department

Acknowledgement of the McLean County residents lost to COVID-19 with moment of silence

BCAI School of Arts performance to “I Am Light” by India.Arie


We will also be collecting nonperishable food items at the event for the Immigration Project to help families in need in McLean County.

For more information or for questions, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org.

Saturday, March 13

Breaking Bread in McLean County - Johnny Cakes to Paddy Cakes: Irish Cookery

Starts at 1:00 PM

The Museum, in partnership with BN Welcoming (a coalition of the Immigration Project, Not In Our Town/Not In Our Schools, and West Bloomington Revitalization Project together creating a supportive environment for immigrants to McLean County), and Design Streak at Illinois State University, will present a 10-part program series exploring stories of migration, immigration, adaptation, assimilation, appropriation, preservation, contribution, and sustentation in McLean County. Breaking Bread in McLean County will highlight the shared and disparate experiences of local migrant communities from the Kickapoo to the Congolese, seeking to disrupt the historical chronology in order to promote a deeper understanding of the ways McLean County has traditionally treated its migrant communities.

Join Greg Koos, local historian and Executive Director Emeritus of the McLean County Museum of History, as he explores the Irish-American experience in McLean County.

Programs will last approximately 1 hr with time reserved for Q&A.

To register for this Zoom webinar, go to bit.ly/breakbread2

Tuesday, March 23

Zoom Webinar- Pitfalls and Promise: Memorializing McLean County's Past

Starts at 6:30 PM

Please join the Museum for a virtual program as we take measure of how McLean County has chosen to remember the past in the form of historic markers, monuments, plaques, statuary, and the like. On Tuesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m., Museum Librarian Bill Kemp will share a lavishly illustrated program that includes historic and contemporary images. This program–at turns light-hearted and serious–will delve deep into this fraught issue with case studies of sites both well-known and forgotten. Kemp will tell us all about the Kickapoo statue in LeRoy with connections to 19th century spiritualism; the repeatedly misguided attempts to memorialize Abraham Lincoln’s “Lost Speech;” and why there’s a marker in downtown Bloomington celebrating the site of the nation’s first brick street when that’s clearly not true! Be prepared for many more equally fascinating stories in this one-hour talk.

To register for this free Zoom webinar, please follow this link https://bit.ly/3bYCP5N. Questions or more information, please email education@mchistory.org.

Tuesday, March 30

Zoom Webinar: Artists, Advocates, Acrobats, & More! Women Who Made McLean County History.

Starts at 7:00 PM

Making history has always come naturally to women, and the women of McLean County are no exception. Yet, the stories of these historic women often go untold. On Tuesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m., join Candace Summers, Director of Community Education, for a program that will highlight 20 McLean County women, from all walks of life, who shaped our history. From the first woman Illinois State Senator, Florence Fifer Bohrer; to the “Queen of the Flying Trapeze,” Antoinette Concello; and Civil Rights activist Sister Mary Antona Ebo, this illustrated program will explore their lives and recognize their lasting contributions to our community and our world.

To register for this free Zoom webinar, please follow this link https://bit.ly/3it8FZz. Questions or more information, please email education@mchistory.org.