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The Art of Improvisation is Blue Connection's September After 5 Live event in collaboration with KirkOut and Carriage House Press. The event will uplift and charm all involved including musicians, artists, and spectators alike. Music will fill the gallery as four fine arts students experience jazz music provided by the Millikin faculty jazz ensemble and create improvisational prints in response to the energy and atmosphere. The September After 5 Live event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6 from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Blue Connection in downtown Decatur.

Instructor of Entrepreneurship and Blue Connection Manager Julienne Shields says that the experience "provides Millikin fine arts students an opportunity to practice their art composition by reacting to the ambience of music and moment. Community spectators will not only observe the creative process, but they will also add to the experience for the art students by being a part of the energy."

The event was developed by Lyle Salmi, associate professor of art and chair of the art department at Millikin University. According to Salmi, the event will serve as "a rich experience for community members who enjoy music, art, education and free-flow creative processes."

Millikin jazz ensemble members performing include Steve Widenhofer, Randy Reyman, Perry Rask, Brian Justison, Dave Burdick and Ryan Martini. Widenhofer added, "The faculty ensemble is looking forward to performing in the gallery and welcoming students and faculty back for the school year."

The September After 5 Live event also marks the first event of the academic year for the Arts & Entrepreneurship (A&E) students who are running the Blue Connection retail art gallery for the Fall semester. Shields added, "I look forward to a transitional year with Blue Connection. Our emphasis will be on the process of transforming the engagement the community has with Blue Connection and on the strengths the millennial generation will be leveraging as emerging entrepreneurs."

Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship program provides performance-based business opportunities for students to exercise self-employment. Blue Connection utilizes student-run ventures to provide students live practice in developing, launching, and growing a business.

KirkOut is an informal lecture-recital series offering the audience an experience that combines informative dialogue with great creative exchanges. These events are made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Carriage House Press is Decatur's only fine art printmaking studio, and is available for rental by interested artists. The facilities allow printmaking students the opportunity to work alongside visiting artists in a professional printmaking studio. Students also have the opportunity to assist in all aspects of the studio including conducting printmaking workshops, working on special projects and scheduling various events. Carriage House Press is committed to the free expression and exchange of ideas.

The September After 5 Live event, Art of Improvisation, will be held Friday, Sept. 6 from 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Blue Connection, located at 117 N. Water St. in downtown Decatur. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by Lock, Stock, and Barrel. The event is free and open to the public.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection visit www.millikin.edu/blueconnection or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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