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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Wednesday, June 1

"Adopt" a Non-Profit: The Back 2 School Alliance School Supply Drive

Starts at 9:00 AM

For this quarter (June through August 6), the Museum will be collecting items for The Back 2 School Alliance School Supply Drive. The Back 2 School Alliance (BTSA) is a group of volunteers and community partners dedicated to supporting students in need. Since 1999, they have been working with Bloomington District 87, Normal Unit 5, and Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to bring kids and community together by putting backpacks and school supplies into the hands of the children who need them mostFor more information about the Back 2 School Alliance, visit back2schoolalliance.org/.

Individuals who donate items from the Back 2 School Alliance’s School supply list below will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of tickets to the 2022 Evergreen Cemetery Walk! (Limited to one entry per person).

The donation bin to drop off your items will be located on the ground floor of the Museum. For more information or questions, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org or (309) 827-0428. Thank you in advance!

Items needed are:

Backpack- 13 inches to 18 inches in height

Zippered Binder- 1.5 inches or 2 inches

3-Ring Binder- 1.5 inches

Divider Tabs- 5 count per package

2-Pocket Folders

Index Cards- 3x5, lined

Loose Leaf Paper- wide ruled

Spiral Notebook- wide ruled, 70 count pages

Ruler- standard/metric 12 inches

Colored Pencils- 12 count

Markers- washable, thick, classic colors

#2 Pencils- 12 count

Black or Blue Pens- 10/12 count

Glue Sticks- washable

Crayons- 24 count

Highlighters

Fiskar Scissors (blunt and pointed tip)

Pink Erasers

Friday, June 3

Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening

Starts at 5:00 PM

The Museum is pleased to once again participate in the now fifth annual Cogs & Corsets festival. The Museum will be the site of history presentations, Tea Dueling, Vendors, and a variety of activities held on the Square. Area galleries will feature the work of local and visiting artists alike, and the streets will be bustling with costumed visitors, teapot and dirigible races, and more! We can’t wait to see you here! For registration, full schedule and more information, please visit www.cogsandcorsetsil.com.

Saturday, June 4

Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening

Starts at 9:00 AM

The Museum is pleased to once again participate in the now fifth annual Cogs & Corsets festival. The Museum will be the site of history presentations, Tea Dueling, Vendors, and a variety of activities held on the Square. Area galleries will feature the work of local and visiting artists alike, and the streets will be bustling with costumed visitors, teapot and dirigible races, and more! We can’t wait to see you here! For registration, full schedule and more information, please visit www.cogsandcorsetsil.com.

Saturday, June 4

Cogs and Corsets: Dine with the Dead

Starts at 11:00 AM
302 E. Miller Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

Back by popular demand! Enjoying a picnic in a cemetery was not always a taboo activity. Quite the contrary—a graveside lunch was a leisure activity for many. People often dined while visiting their dearly departed, and city residents regularly took advantage of cemeteries for strolls and carriage rides too.In the spirit (pun intended) of the age, enjoy a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery (one of Bloomington’s oldest cemeteries) and embark on a one-hour guided tour to learn about funerary customs of the Victorian-era, explore the types of monuments that populate the cemetery, and hear stories of some of the McLean County citizens who reside there. Candace Summers, Director of Community Education at the Museum, will facilitate the tour. Come experience how cemetery life is for the living!

Tuesday, June 7

Pop-Up Story Times with Bloomington Public Library

Starts at 10:00 AM

Join Bloomington Public Library every Tuesday in June at the Museum for music and movement, stories, and fun! These programs are free and open to the public.

This program is intended for children ages birth to 11 years and their caregivers. Registration is required and is limited to 20 families.

This program will take place in the Museum’s second floor courtroom at 10:00 a.m. Masks are recommended but are not required. Please note that parking may be limited.

During the registration window for this program, registration can be completed by calling 309.590.6155. or in person at the Children’s Services Desk at the Library.

Tuesday, June 7

Old Time Music jam session- every Tuesday evening

Starts at 5:00 PM

Join the Old Time Music group every Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Museum. A laid back and diverse group of musicians that try to get together once a week. The genre of music they play is called Oldtime, which is the music from the Appalachia region of the U.S. from before the time of radio and phonograph. People would play these “fiddle tunes” at house parties and square dances. Some of the tunes originally come from Scotland and Ireland. There are pockets of Oldtime players all over the U.S. and Canada. The music is mostly unwritten and learned and played by ear. They welcome any instrument to come and play, but the group is primarily composed of fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo. All are welcome to come and play with them or just come and listen!

For more information, please contact the Museum’s Marketing Department at marketing@mchistory.org or (309) 827-0428.

Tuesday, June 14

Pop-Up Stories with Bloomington Public Library

Starts at 10:00 AM

Join Bloomington Public Library every Tuesday in June at the Museum for music and movement, stories, and fun! These programs are free and open to the public.

This program is intended for children ages birth to 11 years and their caregivers. Registration is required and is limited to 20 families.

This program will take place in the Museum’s second floor courtroom at 10:00 a.m. Masks are recommended but are not required. Please note that parking may be limited.

During the registration window for this program, registration can be completed by calling 309.590.6155. or in person at the Children’s Services Desk at the Library.

Wednesday, June 15

History Makers Gala

Starts at 5:30 PM

Each year, the History Makers Gala recognizes long-standing residents whose outstanding, life-long contributions of time and talents have helped to make McLean County a better place to live. The Gala dinner will feature live entertainment that celebrates the honorees and their service to the community. The 2022 History Makers Gala and the Annual Meeting of the McLean County Historical Society will take place on the evening of June 15th at the Brown Ballroom at Illinois State University. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the program beginning at 6:15 p.m.

Tickets for the 2022 History Makers Gala are now on sale! Reservations can be made by clicking here, at the Museum in downtown Bloomington, or by calling (309) 827-0428. Tickets
are $60 for the general public and $50 for Museum members. Proceeds support the Museum’s free educational programs in the community.

Saturday, June 18

Pop-Up Lego Construction with Bloomington Public Library

Starts at 10:00 AM

Join Bloomington Public Library for a Pop-Up Lego Construction build at 9:00 a.m. This program is free and open to the public.

Children ages 5-11 years are encouraged to build creative and independent projects using a wide variety of Lego bricks and books that will be provided. Also, STEM challenges will be presented throughout the program to inspire creative thinking.

This program will take place in the second floor courtroom at the Museum. (Note: Blocks will be provided. Please leave your own blocks at home. This program is not suitable for groups. Masks are recommended but not required. Museum entry is FREE during Farmers’ Market hours on Saturdays. Parking will be limited.)

During the registration window for this program, registration can be completed in person at the Library’s Children’s Services Desk, or by calling 309.590.6155.

Tuesday, June 21

Pop-Up Story Times with Bloomington Public Library

Starts at 10:00 AM

During the Month of June, the Museum is excited to host the Bloomington Public Library for a series of pop-up story times and children’s activities. 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. To register for the BPL led programs, visit bloomingtonlibrary.org/events/month/2022/06 or bit.ly/3PuknUb

To find out more out more about the exciting expansion of our neighboring local library, go to bloomingtonlibrary.org/building-project.

Friday, June 24

Viral Silence: Six Words Concert

Starts at 7:00 PM

Six Words is a concert-length composition by Edward Breitweiser inspired by local Covid-19 experiences and in collaboration with McLean County non-profits and youth organizations.

This in-person and live-stream public performance at the McLean County Museum of History features music and words by area residents who shared their personal stories with the project. Live-stream will begin at 7pm on the Experimental Sound Studio’s YouTube Channel.

This event is FREE, though due to the pandemic, reservations are requested: https://nonopera.ticketleap.com/vs/.

Viral Silence: Community Portraits in Response to Covid-19, is a statewide collaborative community commissioning and virtual touring program that captures local experiences and responses to Covid-19. This second year of programming partners three new artists and Illinois communities: JoVia Armstrong, composer and sound artist, with Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church; Eddie Breitweiser with pt.fwd and the McLean County Museum of History; and X, an indigenous futurist, who will create a geolocated augmented reality soundscape app. 

Using archival research, community dialogue, and collaborative music-making, Six Words engages directly with Central Illinois residents to reflect on our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Six Words takes place at the McLean County Museum of History’s “COVID-19: The McLean County Experience” as a starting point to ask local residents about their pandemic experiences, and to preserve them for future generations. Breitweiser is collaborating with local non-profits and youth organizations—including the McLean County Museum of History and pt.fwd—to create a communal space for telling and hearing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bloomington-Normal area. These diverse experiences are shared in a concert-length public performance at the Museum of History, featuring music and words by area residents who contributed to the project.

Questions or for more information, please contact the Museum’s Education Department at education@mchistory.org or (309) 827-0428.

Tuesday, June 28

Pop-Up Story Times with Bloomington Public Library

Starts at 10:00 AM

Join Bloomington Public Library every Tuesday in June at the Museum for music and movement, stories, and fun! These programs are free and open to the public.

This program is intended for children ages birth to 11 years and their caregivers. Registration is required and is limited to 20 families.

This program will take place in the Museum’s second floor courtroom at 10:00 a.m. Masks are recommended but are not required. Please note that parking may be limited.

During the registration window for this program, registration can be completed by calling 309.590.6155. or in person at the Children’s Services Desk at the Library.