Past Event

New Harmonies: Celebrating Illinois' Roots Music

Join us for the opening of the New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music exhibit.

Nationally acclaimed folk musician and songwriter Chris Vallillo who makes the people and places of “unmetropolitan” America come to life in song, will perform at the opening New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music. Vallillo will be joined onstage by musician and historian Clark “Bucky” Halker, producer of the Illinois Humanities Council’s CD series, Folksongs of Illinois , as they take a musical tour of Illinois. From prairie land to river ways, from immigrant sounds to labor hymns, and from European folk traditions to African American blues and gospel, Illinois has been, and continues to be, a connective highway of the people’s music.

The New Harmonies exhibition is provided by the Smithsonian Institute Museum on Main Street Program and the Illinois Humanities Council, examines the on-going cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth. The exhibition provides a fascinating, inspiring, and toe-tapping listen to the American story of multi-cultural exchange and offers communities an opportunity to celebrate their music traditions as they come to understand the origins of various roots music genres including; blues, country and western, gospel, jazz and folk.

New Harmonies will display daily between 10:00am and 4:00pm, November 17, 2007 – January 5, 2008.

The Mendota Museum & Historical Society will be sponsoring a number of programs leading up to and continuing through the time that the exhibition is in Mendota. The Society is also looking for items to share with the public which relate to the roots of music. Call 815.539.3373, if you have items you wish to share.

For more information, please contact Shirley Pierson at 815.539.3373 or visit