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posted: 7/11/2012 11:19 AM

Batavia grad forms all-male singing group

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Two Batavians are taking their talents on the road.

Talented TJ Breen, who graduated from Batavia High School in 2008, has joined up with 10 fellow singers from Indiana University to start "Gentleman's Rule," an all male group that plans to tour this fall. Check out the group's video at

Matt Flannigan, a 2006 grad of Batavia High School, has headed off to Sierra Leone in Africa to lend his talents to the Peace Corps for two years.

Flannigan, who has a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Iowa, will be taking his scientific knowledge into a rural area to help the poor.

Arts update: Steve Burrichter, president of STAGE, told me that the first group of bricks have been laid in the Batavia Fine Arts Centre courtyard. There will be another installation later this year. Bricks range in price from $50 to $250. Information is available at the STAGE website, While you are at the website, check out the BHS 2012-13 theater season which includes the popular musical "Nine to Five" scheduled for this fall.

Eat, learn, create: Credit must go to those leading the way at Water Street Studios for finding ways to increase the studio's usage. There is Friday night entertainment, a writers group, and now a community potluck.

On Saturday, July 21, as a tie-in with the exhibit "Indulge," the studio will host a potluck open to members and the community. An RSVP is required and there will be a movie about the slow food movement as well.

According to Water Street Studios, the exhibit, inspired by food, is curated by Anni Holm, who works as the Art Coordinator at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, and has been a teaching artist with CAPE (Chicago Arts Partnership in Education) since 2009.

Originally from Denmark, she immigrated to the Chicago area and received a BFA in photography from Columbia College in 2004. Holm is an internationally exhibited artist, who has curated a variety of exhibitions in the Chicago area.

"To some extent the intention with the 'Indulge' exhibition, was to provide gallery visitors with a selection of art, revolving around the many aspects in the food industry today," Holm said. "The work in 'Indulge' resembles that of a supermarket in that it has been conceived from all over the U.S., as well as abroad."

This weekend: Don't forget to head on down for Windmill City Fest -- good food, good music and plenty of fun. The festival runs Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15. See for details.

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