SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EBERT PROJECT
After the unveiling of the sculpture at Ebert Fest this month Dan Craft (Pantagraph) said
"while we're handing out bouquets, another bunch to our own Beyond Normal Films group here in town, whose membership came up with well over $7,000 at short notice as a donation toward Harney's sculpture.
BNF Special Project #1: Roger Ebert Memorial Sculpture
Beyond Normal Films helped in the fundraising for a sculpture honoring Roger Ebert. The BNF Board raised over $10,000 to support this effort due to the exceptional generosity of its members and the community. This was the first of BNF's special projects and the impetus for the BNF Board's mission to expand our support for film to the larger Bloomington-Normal community.. This project provided a wonderful gesture to honor a Central Illinois native who has given much to our enjoyment of cinema, Roger Ebert.
Since the total cost of the piece is well over $120,000, the BNF check -- acknowledged at the April 2017 unveiling at the Ebert Fest -- stands as one of the key contributions. BNF has received its own maquette of the Rick Harney sculpture and it is displayed currently in the foyer of the Normal Theater.
Some background: The greater Champaign-Urbana community raised funds for the statue's construction, an effort headed by husband and wife team Scott and Donna Anderson, the latter of whom works as a travel agent for Ebertfest. The sculpture was built by Bloomington-Normal artist Rick Harney. The sculpture was unveiled at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign during Ebertfest 2014, April 23-26 and the official dedication was July 3, 2014. More info is available at www.ebertsculpture.org.