Thumbs up to the donation of artifacts belonging to the late R. Buckminster Fuller, which returned to the Dome Home in Carbondale last week. Fuller's family donated 3,500 books that Fuller had in his personal library while he lived in the dome on Forest Street in the 1960s, along with a writing desk, a large woodcut that hung in the home, Eames chairs and two Chinese foo dogs. The R. Buckminster Fuller Dome Not-For-Profit has been working for years to restore the geodesic dome-shaped home to its original state when the famous professor, thinker and inventor lived there. This donation really ups the ante, turning the restored home into a true reflection of Fuller's life in Southern Illinois and his impact on our local community and the world. RBF Dome NFP volunteers will even be able to arrange the books the way they actually sat on the bookcase, thanks to a photo taken by the late Ben Gelman, a photographer, editor and columnist for The Southern, which showed exactly how Fuller arranged the volumes on the shelf. "This helps people connect his legacy to Southern Illinois and to SIU," said Benjamin Lowder, director of the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability at SIU Edwardsville and a RBF Dome NFP board member.
Thumbs up to prep sports returning to the region. Sporting events were canceled in Illinois nearly a year ago, when the coronavirus was beginning its spread in our community. Now that the region has reached Phase 4 of the state's coronavirus plan, prep sports are allowed to be played, with capacity limits for spectators and other safety guidelines in place. This week, The Southern's sports writers and correspondents were back inside gyms, witnessing the beginning to the most unusual basketball season in history. We're excited to be back at games, and glad for the student athletes who are getting time on the court. Let's remember to continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. If we keep the virus spread low, we'll continue to enjoy a greater sense of normalcy, and that includes seeing our local athletes compete.
Thumbs up to the city of Marion expanding its mural program. The city is seeking local artists to submit concepts for 10 additional murals in an effort to establish an official mural district downtown. The artists who are awarded projects will get $1,500 in funding. The city, along with Little Egypt Arts Association, applied for a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to install the murals, but officials told The Southern this week they're moving forward with the plan whether they get the money or not. Application packets are available at cityofmarionil.gov. We can't wait to see what concepts our talented local artists come up with to breathe more creative energy into Marion's downtown.
Thumbs up to the creativity of local business owners and artists, who continue to shine despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. Carbondale restaurant Keepers Quarters recently announced a revamped business model, which will see the restaurant add a deli counter that will serve meats cut to order, as well as to-go options. They'll also sell house-cured bacon, sauces, soups and fresh pasta, all for customers to take home. "We're going for the long game here," owner Doug Robinson told The Southern. Carbondale band Trophy Shop came up with an ingenious way to include a "live" audience when they shoot their new music video at PK's this month: They asked fans to pay $30 to create a cardboard cutout of themselves, which they'll set up as a crowd in the bar during filming of the video for their song "The Setup." And, the Stage Company is bringing local live theater to Southern Illinois homes through a livestream production of "The Revolutionists." Streams start on Friday, and performances are set for this weekend and next. For tickets, visit stagecompany.org. We are continually impressed by the creativity and resilience of Southern Illinois artists and entrepreneurs.