College of Education / University Library

Youth Literature Festival

School Visits

A fun day for the entire family!

Champaign-Urbana and surrounding area families and community members are invited to celebrate youth literature at the Festival's Community Day Celebration, a free event, open to the public. Author readings, book signings, puppet shows, live music, art displays, and a variety of hands-on activities for children will all be part of the fun!

The I Hotel and Conference Center
1900 S. First Street
Champaign, IL, 61820

Community Day Schedule

View, download, and print the 2019 Community Day schedule PDF.

Girls holding portaits over their faces

Girls holding portaits down

Dan Wild will be at the 2019 Youth Literature Festival.

Dan Wild is a published illustrator, award winning designer, and caricaturist with 15 years of experience in the fields of advertising, marketing and commercial art. Come to the Youth Literature Festival on Saturday, March 30th, Dan Wild would love to do your caricature!

For more information about the Dan Wild, visit the website.

Community Day Entertainment

Banks Bridgewater Lewis (BBL) Fine Arts Academy Performance

BBL Fine Arts Academy Performance

This group started in 2005 as "Mo' Betta Music After School Academy," a faith-based collaboration between two community leaders from Bethel A.M.E. Church, Salem Baptist Church, and several University of Illinois programming units.

Now, Banks Bridgewater Lewis Fine Arts Academy (BBL Fine Arts Academy). The name change reflects a vision for an expanded arts academy that is inclusive of drama, dance, and visual arts. The names also honors members of the community who have supported this group from the early stages: Carrie Banks, Erma Bridgewater, and Rosalind Lewis.

The objective is to offer jazz and popular music enrichment activities that encourage school age, low-income students in upper elementary through high school of all races, genders, and economic statuses to strive for excellence so they can participate and compete in their local school bands and choirs.

For more information about the BBL Fine Arts Academy, visit their website.

Centro LCV Capoeira

Centro LCV Capoeira

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art developed by Africans in Brazil during the period of slavery. Unique fighting styles from various regions of Africa merged in Brazil and became Capoeira. Because the enslaved people were not allowed to openly practice combat techniques, they concealed the fight as a dance or game by incorporating musical instruments and call and response songs. In Urbana-Champaign, this cultural experience can be found at the Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande Study Group led by Denis Chiaramonte. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Chiaramonte has more than 25 years of experience training with a series of esteemed Brazilian masters.

For more information about the Centro LCV Capoeira, visit their website.

Papashoy Klezmer Band

Papashoy Klezmer Band

Papashoy (corn) plays old-time Jewish klezmer music in the style of the village bands of Yiddish Eastern Europe’s own corn country. Bring your dancing shoes for their assortment of lively tunes and your hankies for some sweet, sad melodies. Surprises at every turn! Members are Frances Harris and Amanda Ramey (fiddles), Rob Sweedler (accordion), Rob Krumm (guitar), Charlie Harris (bass), and Cody Jensen (mandolin, xylophone).

For more information about the Papashoy Klezmer Band, visit their Facebook group.

Edison Middle School Jazz Band

Edison Middle School Jazz Band

The music program at Edison Middle School has over 180 student participants. There are three concert bands, one concert honor band, three jazz combos, orchestra, and choir. The EMS Jazz Ensemble has participated in many festivals including the New Trier Jazz Festival, IGSMA district festival, and the Purdue Jazz Festival. Edison has performed in numerous locations, including the Krannert Center and the Champaign Public Library.

For more information about the Edison Middle School Jazz Band, visit their website.

Portable Poppets Playhouse

Portable Poppets Playhouse

Elizabeth Goldsmith-Conley is a puppeteer with a long career in education. She has taught at all levels from nursery school through college and has worked with both gifted and struggling students in inner city schools as well in exclusive private schools. She is a talented performer who has used her special expertise in reading and literacy to enrich her performances and workshops.

Elizabeth Goldsmith-Conley’s Portable Poppets Playhouse will present The Three Wishes, an amusing update of a classic folktale. Come see the show to find out why Hedwig has sausages hanging from her nose and what Ludwig plans to do with his axe.

For more information about the Portable Poppets Playhouse, visit their website.

Kim Sheahan, Storyteller

Kim Sheahan Sheahan has been a central Illinois educator since 1991, incorporating oral traditions into her multicultural programs at the University of Illinois' Spurlock Museum. She is a storyteller for about ten years and has performed folktales and one-woman shows at storytelling festivals, school assemblies, city-wide celebrations, personal parties, and gatherings of all kinds ever since.

Her enthusiasm is both unmistakable and contagious. Come to the Youth Literature Festival and let Kim Sheahan share the joy and power of the tale with you!

For more information about the Kim Sheahan, visit the website.

THANK YOU to all our Activity Room Partners!

Students sitting around a table talking about the IDEA store

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in the Youth Literature Festival, please contact Vivian Dixon at or call (217) 300-3191. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your accessibility needs.

Community Day: I Hotel Map

I Hotel Map