MONTICELLO - The Monarch Events Center has announced plans for the summer.

“Our first event is May 25th at 6:30 p.m.,” says business co-owner Sarah Probst Miller. “I know May is crazy, but Tango and Tapas is an event where all the planning has been done for you. Just show up. Relax. Enjoy!”

The first event features a Tango band and a Tango performance by Joe Grohens and Carlota Bullard. Joe and Carlota have taught tango throughout Central Illinois for more than twenty years. They have put hundreds of tango dancers on the dance floor.

To accompany, Pan and Cake Catering has planned a delicious tapas menu and a cash bar with house sangria, full bar, and mocktails. Pan and Cake is proud to be a woman-owned and chef-led catering company. “You will not go away hungry,” says Shawnae Cook, Pan and Cake founder.

Musical consultant, Ingrid Kammin, will be the world tour guide. Kammin, soprano, received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Literature and a Master’s in Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ingrid has studied extensively in Europe at Il Corso Estivo per giovani cantiti in Urbania, Italy and at La Sorbonne in Paris, France, where she received a certificate in Language and Culture. Kammin is an active performer, voice teacher, arts advocate, and researcher of contemporary music, opera, and musical theater.

Why now? “Well, we love being a place that people can rent for special events, but we also wanted to try a series of ticketed events that pull the community together,” Probst Miller explains. “Our family loves music, singing, and performing; and we love to eat; and we love to travel! We thought a combo of these loves could be a great mixer for the surrounding community.”

“For over a hundred years, this building has brought people together. We love hearing stories about the people who were married here or went to church here for most of their life. I think the building wants to bring people together again,” she says.

Monarch Events Center, the former United Methodist Church was built in 1911. Probst Miller’s husband and co-owner, Matt Miller, spent close to 2 years renovating the space in 2016-17. Miller received a PACA Heritage Award for his renovation work and commitment to preserving history.

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“For this first event, we want to be sure that all are welcome and comfortable whether you have an interest in dancing or not. The tango band will play. Joe and Carlota will perform and then you can either watch people learn a few steps or join in. We really want it to be a fun, judgement free zone!” encourages Probst Miller.

“Still have some concerns about the last dancing part and you just want to watch people learn the tango? We’ve got you covered. The full cash bar with special house-made cocktail (both red wine sangria and a special Non-Alcoholic sangria mocktail) will remain open!

Other events

“On June 15th, we are planning Jazz and Jambalaya; in July, we will Picnic in Paris, and August brings Italy and Opera to the venue.”

“Our family has been so deeply blessed by the music education program here in Monticello. In thanksgiving, we plan to donate 10% of all ticket sales for the next four events to the Monticello Music Boosters.”

“All we need is you!” says Probst Miller. “If the tour goes well, we sure hope to continue! A once a month ‘date-night’ opportunity here locally….” And yes, the building is still an event center and rentable for weddings and other gatherings. “That hasn’t changed,” explains Probst Miller.

“So come join us for a world for food, music, and fun!” Probst Miller encourages.

To purchase tickets, go to