Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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Millikin University Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Alex Miller is directing a production of "Macbeth" this spring as part of the "Shakespeare Corrected" program at the Decatur Correctional Center. It is the fourth show from the program that began in 2011.

Inspired by the "Shakespeare Behind Bars" program that started in Kentucky, Miller brought "Shakespeare Corrected" to the Decatur Correctional Center to help make a positive difference for the inmates. The program has staged productions of "Othello" in 2012, "The Tempest" in 2013, and "The Taming of the Shrew" in 2014.

The program helps the inmates find their abilities as actors and teaches them things about themselves. Performances of "Macbeth" are scheduled to begin in late April.

Click here to read more about the impact of the "Shakespeare Corrected" program from WILL Illinois Public Media.

Millikin University art students were awarded top honors at the 15th Annual Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference held Feb. 20-21 in Lisle, Ill. Each year, the Self Employment in the Arts Conference solicits submissions from participating colleges and universities for the annual SEA Juried Art Show. Millikin students received three of the six awards from this year's show.

The SEA Juried Art Show featured 79 submissions from 28 college artists representing 11 institutions. This year's Competition Juror was BettyAnn Mocek, professor of art at Concordia University in Chicago. Mocek teaches Drawing, Printmaking, Two-Dimensional Basic Studio and Advanced Internships and Independent Studies in various media. She is also the gallery director of Concordia's Ferguson Art Gallery where she has curated over 90 exhibitions during her tenure.

Stuart Ball, a senior studio art major from Carmel, Ind., was awarded Best of Show for his work, and Jessica Brooks, a junior studio art major from Decatur, Ill., received a Juror's Choice Award and the People's Choice Award.

"The SEA Conference is a great experience for any budding artist," said Brooks. "Each year I learn more about what my future might hold through the experience of others on a similar path. The conference also provides many chances for connections with other artists or people in the art world. Being able to exhibit your work is a great experience for students to see what a 'real' art show might be like in their future. This is the perfect trial run for future ventures in the art world."

Stuart Ball added, "How someone presents artwork is key. After framing and matting my art, it gave my work a stronger more professional quality. This recognition has given me confidence in myself and has pushed me to pursue graduate school in the future."

In addition to exhibiting artwork, students attended sessions and panel discussions on topics including: Financial Literacy, Utilizing Social Media, Steps to Starting an Artistic Business and Networking.

"For the art student, the significance of not only having artwork accepted into a juried competition, but then winning an award signals an important aspect of professional success and also represents significance in that the student has succeeded in engaging with the third-party stakeholder, one of the hallmarks of Performance Learning," said Lyle Salmi, chair of Millikin University's Art Department. "The fact that Millikin art students regularly do so also suggests that they are being prepared for a life of personal meaning and professional success."

Millikin University was well-represented at the SEA Conference with 20 students and eight faculty members in attendance. Students from Blue Connection, Millikin's student-run art gallery, and Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre, a student-run theatre company on Millikin's campus presented.

Blue Connection student presenters included: Basia Brown, a senior human services major from Chicago, Nicole Edgecombe, a junior art therapy major from Decatur, Ill., and Angie Fassett, a senior art major from Bloomington, Ill.

Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre student presenters included: Tyler Hixson, a senior theatre major from Monticello, Ill., Matija Ilic, a first-year international student from Cuprija, Serbia, Dana Jones, a senior theatre major from Chicago, and Blanca Hernandez, a senior theatre major from Chicago.

Millikin University's Arts and Entrepreneurship Program is designed to help artists gain the knowledge needed to be successful entrepreneurs. Through the Arts and Entrepreneurship Program, students are actively learning what it takes to start, run, and maintain their own business venture through opportunity recognition and capitalizing on those opportunities. Click here for more information on Millikin University's Arts and Entrepreneurship Program.

SEA is a program geared towards helping emerging visual, performing, literary, and media artists gain the resources and connections they need to be successful self-employed artists. Programming includes conferences, workshops, panel discussions, webinars, competitions and more. For more information on Self Employment in the Arts, visit
Blue Connection, Millikin University's student-run art gallery, located at 117 N. Water St. in Decatur, will highlight the unique and exploratory artwork of Millikin alumnus Michael Shultz '14 on Friday, March 6, 2015, from 5 – 7:30 p.m. The exhibit is Blue Connection's March After 5 Live event.

Michael Shultz is an artist who currently resides in St. Louis, Mo. He graduated from Millikin University in 2014 earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing. His newest series of work, "Throes," uses self-portraiture to examine what it means to be alone. The images grapple with paint both as a subject and an object, emphasizing its characteristics as a creative medium while asking, "Why paint at all?" He explores this concept by executing a complete work during a specific moment in time, whether that be a fit of anxiety or a lazy Sunday.

This past year, Shultz was the first Millikin student to be accepted into the Escapist Mentorship Program. Founded and run by Houston-based contemporary artist John Ross Palmer, the program is dedicated to helping artists achieve professional success. Last fall, Shultz participated in "The Evening of Escapism," an exhibit curated in Palmer's signature space that he uses as a studio, gallery and home.

Shultz currently works in photography post-production and hosts quarterly avant-garde exhibits in his apartment in St. Louis, the next of which is later this month. Shultz's work has been exhibited nationally and purchased by collectors throughout the United States.

For more information on Michael Shultz, visit

The March After 5 Live event is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Focused on arts and specialty businesses, Blue Connection is used by students in Millikin's Arts and Entrepreneurship Program to grow their businesses. Millikin's Arts and Entrepreneurship Program provides performance-based business opportunities for students to exercise self-employment. The program utilizes student-run ventures to provide students live practice in developing, launching and growing a business.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection visit or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.
Millikin chemistry students combine fun, science

Millikin University will be hosting a number of events during March to celebrate Women's History Month. The theme for this year is "In Her Shoes: Stories of Women in our Community."

Women's History Month traces its beginning to the first International Women's Day in 1911. Congress passed a resolution recognizing Women's History Week in 1981, which was extended to an entire month in 1987 to recognize the diverse and historic accomplishments of women that have shaped events throughout history.

Events highlighting Millikin's celebration of Women's History Month include:

Wednesday, March 4
"In Her Shoes" Kick-Off Event
6 p.m., Lower Richards Treat University Center

Millikin faculty and staff will share stories of their favorite pair of shoes and how the shoes have been important to them over time. Audience members will be given a shoe to "redecorate" and have displayed throughout the month in display cases in Lower Richards Treat University Center. Shoes will then be auctioned off at the end of the month to raise proceeds for Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center.

Thursday, March 19
My Journey: Warden Shelith Hansbro
6 p.m., Lower Richards Treat University Center

Shelith Hansbro, warden of the Decatur Correctional Center, will share her story of becoming warden and various experiences throughout her life.

Saturday, March 28
Sigma Lambda Gamma: Bras for a Cause
4 – 7 p.m., Lower Richards Treat University Center

Come and decorate a bra in honor of various women who have been affected by Breast Cancer.

Monday, March 30
"The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler
7 p.m., Lower Richards Treat University Center

Watch this dynamic and funny performance by Millikin students, faculty and staff. The event will raise awareness of "women issues," domestic violence, relationships and accounts of coming of age. The event will include a silent auction with all proceeds going to support Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center.

For more information on Millikin's celebration of Women's History Month, contact Millikin University's Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement at 217.424.6335 or by e-mail at
Disney immersion class inspires Millikin students
Wrestling returns to Millikin University
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL