South African actor Anton Krueger to serve virtual residency at School of Theatre and Dance

South African actor Anton Krueger to serve virtual residency at School of Theatre and Dance

South African actor, playwright, director and scholar Anton Krueger will be serving a virtual residency in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance with free events on Thursday, January 21 through Saturday, January 23.

Krueger is a writer and scholar specializing in South African performance modalities. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on subjects ranging from indigenous dance to Zef. His book, Experiments in Freedom: Issues of Identity in New South African Drama (2010) won the Rhodes Vice Chancellor’s Book Award and Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space (2016, co-edited with Megan Lewis) won the Hiddingh-Currie Award.

Free Events

January 21 – 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. – Zoom Workshop
“Playful Mindfulness: Improvisation and Spontaneous Creativity”

January 22 – 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. – Participatory Online Performance
“The Voice in Your Head” written and performed by Anton Krueger
Limited to 15 participants – contact Dr. Gibson Cima, NIU Head of Theatre Studies for a link.

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
“Current Trends in South African Theatre” with Renos Spanoudes

January 23 – 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Participatory Online Performance
“The Voice in Your Head”
Limited to 15 participants – contact Dr. Gibson Cima, NIU Head of Theatre Studies for a link. 

12:35 to 1:00 p.m. – Post-show discussion with Anton Krueger

For more information and links to these events, contact Dr. Gibson Cima, Head of Theatre Studies.

Audition for STIGMA: a collection of scenes and monologues with etudes and dances

Audition for STIGMA: a collection of scenes and monologues with etudes and dances

Sabrina Helton, a senior in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance is working on her senior project, a performance piece centered around the theme of suicide prevention. She is inviting other students to audition to participate in the project, STIGMA: A collection of scenes and monologues with etudes and dances. 

Audition Information
Google Form Filled out By:  Jan 15th

  • :30 second Etude or Dance recorded (About Mental Health or Suicide Awareness.)
  • Sixteen bars of a song recorded
  • Dancers do not have to sing if they wish not to

(Etude and Song will be uploaded through videos on a Google form.)

If this doesn’t not work or there are problems or you need more time then Friday, please email Sabrina.

Show Process will be:

  • January – April, once a week.
  • Performance end of April or second week of May.
  • Sunday evening (Can be subject to change.)
  • Additional Rehearsal will depend on filming and schedules.
Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing available Jan. 10-12

Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing available Jan. 10-12

NIU, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the DeKalb County Health Department are partnering to offer our community free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, through Tuesday, Jan. 12.  Employees and students who are not in the NIU Surveillance Testing program are strongly encouraged to participate to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Simple nasal swabs will be used, and participants will be called with results within 4-7 days.

Testing will take place in the Convocation Center parking lot at 1525 W. Lincoln Hwy. Participants must be in cars, and should enter from Lincoln Highway.

Johns Fund provides annual support to NIU Art Museum

Johns Fund provides annual support to NIU Art Museum

The DeKalb County Community Foundation and the NIU Art Museum are thrilled to announce the Friends of NIU Art Museum Endowment Fund. This new Designated Fund provides annual financial support to the NIU Art Museum to further their mission of serving campus and community by balancing traditional and contemporary art to explore connections through visual culture. The Fund was created by long-time NIU supporters and local philanthropists, Jerry and Annette Johns.

“We are grateful to longtime friends of the museum, Annette and Jerry Johns, who generously thought to start this endowment fund,” said Josephine Burke, director of the NIU Art Museum. “Their foresight and valuing of cultural assets within the community will help to ensure our ability to continue to serve the greater DeKalb community now and in the future. This vital fund helps to support the museum’s exhibitions, programs and the preservation of its permanent collection.”

Since 2002, Jerry and Annette Johns have shared their passion for education, the arts, and the community they love through establishing several endowed Funds with the Community Foundation.

Annette’s diverse background and interests include studying and teaching in the areas of education (elementary and college level), reading, philosophy, and theatre arts. She has served as part of the Kishwaukee Symphony Associates, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Food Pantry and Church Council, and as a docent with the Ellwood House.

Jerry, along with Annette, grew up in Michigan and received his Bachelor’s degree in education, a Master’s degree in elementary education, and a Ph.D. in education with a specialization in reading. He has served on the Board of Directors for a variety of local nonprofit organizations and has served through his church and campus ministry.

Jerry and Annette’s personal and professional interests are clearly reflected in the Funds that they directly spearheaded at the Foundation. “We feel very strongly about supporting local organizations that enrich all our lives,” they said. “The DeKalb County Community Foundation helps you put your money where your heart is.” The Funds they established include: Aikins Theatre Arts Award Fund, Ellwood House Museum Fund, Jerry and Annette Johns CommunityWorks Fund, Jerry and Annette Johns Future Teachers Scholarship Fund, Jerry L. Johns NIU Literacy Clinic Endowment Fund, Johns Family Donor Advised Fund, and the Friends of NIU Art Museum Endowment Fund.

Donations to any Fund at the Community Foundation, including the Friends of NIU Art Museum Endowment Fund, can be made online, or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, Ill. 60178. For questions or additional information on how to start your own fund at the Community Foundation, please contact Executive Director Dan Templin at (815) 748-5383 or

Narrative art exhibition suite opens at NIU Art Museum Jan. 12

Narrative art exhibition suite opens at NIU Art Museum Jan. 12

The Northern Illinois University Art Museum opens three exhibitions that consider narrative artwork and imagery Tuesday, January 12.

The exhibitions examine artworks’ ability to chronicle or present narrative themes that relay a series of events, subjects, or use storytelling through images. The exhibitions feature: the memorial tribute to local figurative artist Ellen Roth Deutsch and her expressive stories of self and other women; Chicago author and illustrator Landis Blair’s darkly humorous tales with absurdly gleeful imagery; and a curated national group exhibition of works referencing motifs found in oral traditions, fairy tales, fables, myths and legends. From the Mind of Ellen Roth Deutsch; Mirth and Mayhem: Landis Blair Selections of Drawings and Books; and Storied References all open January 12 and run through February 26 with a series of public virtual events presented online.

From the Mind of Ellen Roth Deutsch features Deutsch’s work from several decades in which she revisits various complex themes through symbolic characters and metaphorical imagery. Deutsch tackles experiences of sexual abuse, depression, illness and death through imagery that caricatures, digs in and dramatizes. Notable museums and galleries including the Newberry Library, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, State of Illinois Gallery in Chicago and the National Museum of Women in the Arts have exhibited Deutsch’s work.

Mirth and Mayhem: Landis Blair Selections of Drawings and Books contains illustrations from books by Landis Blair, whose stories contain elements of taboo, nihilism and whimsy. Blair’s black and white imagery evokes inspiration from Edward Gorey and often includes dark and absurd humor, lulling the reader through rhyming descriptions of vignette scenes. On view are illustrations from The Envious Siblings and Other Morbid Nursery RhymesThe Progressive Problem and The Regressive SolutionA Toasted Passion; and Whetting Engines.

Whetting Engines

Landis Blair, Whetting Engines, 2019, Sastergoodment Press, Chicago. Drawing, 2018, (6 x 8 in.), Pen and ink.

Storied References is a group exhibition curated by invitation and from a national call for entry featuring artwork that grapples with the harsh truths of contemporary reality while employing familiar narrative motifs found in oral traditions, fairy tales, fables, myths and legends. As humans we have always sought to understand ourselves and the world around us through the stories we tell each other. Artists translate verbal and literary narratives into visual language, sometimes retelling stories from a new perspective: mashing them up, stripping them down or retelling them through the lens of feminism, cultural or personal experience.

Storied References features artists: Kamal Al Mansour, Aodan, Michael Barnes, Brandin Barón, Sarah Bielski, K. Johnson Bowles, Kathy Bruce, Patricia Constantine, Ross Everett, Richard Gessert, Ronald Gonzalez, Heidi Jensen, Andrew Ellis Johnson, B. Lynch, Firoz Mahmud, Sarah Martin, Joseph Miller, Kel Mur, B. Quinn, Amy Schissel, Aaron Sizemore, Jason Tannen, Rhonda Urdang, Lauren Woods.

These exhibitions contain mature content and may not be suited for all audiences. We recommend visitors contact the Museum before organizing visits with children or sensitive audiences.

Virtual Programs and Events

Thursday, February 4,
Hatched Stories Landis Blair Artist Talk
6:30 p.m., Virtual Event – Register online

Sunday, February 7, 2021
Gallery View
A glimpse into From the Mind and other work by Ellen Roth Deutsch
2:00 p.m., Virtual Event – Register online

Ellen Roth Deutsch

Ellen Roth Deutsch, Will the Leopard Return?, 2008. (24.5 x 25 in.), Colored pencil, ink, collage – also referred to as The House of Ellen’s Mind.

Register for all virtual events online at Additional programs will be added throughout the exhibition’s run. Please continue to check our events page regularly or sign-up for email notifications at

COVID-19 Visitor Information

Programming and gallery hours are subject to changes or cancelations during COVID-19. Feeling sick or unwell? We ask anyone feeling unwell to postpone their visit for another time. Visitors are welcome on campus, but we ask that you take the same precautions we ask our students, faculty and staff to protect yourself and others. Face masks are required whenever inside campus buildings; gallery capacity is currently limited to 6 people per gallery; timed entry can be scheduled online for your convenience and safety; physical distancing is encouraged, please maintain 6 feet of distance from others; limited gallery hours remain in effect.

About the NIU Art Museum

Serving Campus and Community by Balancing Traditional and Contemporary Art to Explore the Connections Made through Visual Culture. Part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts‘ vibrant and active arts community on campus, the Northern Illinois University Art Museum is a resource for the NIU campus, local community and beyond.The NIU Art Museum is located on the first floor, west end of Altgeld Hall, at the corner of College Avenue and Castle Drives on the main campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Parking is available in the Visitor Pay Lot located at 200 Carroll Ave.

Limited metered and accessible parking spaces are available in front of Lowden Hall with accessible aisles and route to Altgeld. Campus parking is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. weeknights. To request disability-related accommodations for museum programs, please contact the museum at least one week in advance. Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. NIU is an EO/AA institution.

The exhibitions and programs of the NIU Art Museum are sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Friends of the NIU Art Museum; the NIU Arts and Culture Fee; and the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Season Presenting Sponsor Shaw Media.

Art History Professor Sinclair Bell wins prestigious NEH Fellowship to study Race in Antiquity

Art History Professor Sinclair Bell wins prestigious NEH Fellowship to study Race in Antiquity

National Endowment for Humanities grantsThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $32.8 million in grants to support 213 humanities projects in 44 states, including a research Fellowship for Sinclair Bell, Professor of Art History at Northern Illinois University, to research the visual and material evidence of race and ethnicity in the Roman Empire (c. 100 BCE-200 CE). (more…)