Short Stories

Hoist ’em!

And no, we don’t mean pints of frosties (though the thought is tempting), but sails . . . and without having to venture far. Thanks to the Lake Townsend Yacht Club and Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department, you can release your inner mariner with sailing lessons. Held at Lake Townsend Marina (6332 Townsend Road, Browns Summit), you’ll learn knot tying, boat rigging, wind direction and more before you take to the waters. Weeklong sessions for adult beginners started in May, assuming the torrential spring rains didn’t wash aspiring sailors ashore. Another is scheduled this month from June 5–10, as are a couple of Junior Beginner classes (June 12–16; June 19–23). More are scheduled throughout July and August. Info: greensboro-nc.gov. To register: laketownsendyachtclub.com.

You Are What You Eat

And ya gotta eat your spinach, baby! Fortunately, the Guilford County Cooperative Extension is here to help. Last month it launched its series of  free “shop and cook” classes at 9 a.m. at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market (501 Yanceyville Street), with a session on meal planning as an avenue to good health. Classes scheduled for June and July will cover low-sodium cooking options, canning and preserving. Look for more later in the fall. Info: (336) 373-2402 or gsofarmersmarket.org.

Tea’d Off

Steep yourself in history at “Tea Time,” an interactive event at the High Point Museum (1859 East Lexington Avenue) demonstrating the importance of tea in colonial culture. On June 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and June 18 from 1 to 4 p.m., you can sample imported teas, including Chinese tea and infusions from herbs grown in most colonial gardens. While you’re deciding between one lump or two, learn the reasons why colonials valued tea and why they would ultimately boycott it. Maybe their opposition had something to do with Tea Act of 1733? The thinly disguised bailout of the British East India Company was a factor in the American Revolution . . . decidedly not a tempest in a teapot. Info: (336) 885-1859 or highpointmuseum.org.

A Frond Farewell

It’s summer, aka porch season, and as every Southerner knows, you can’t enjoy your wraparound without some hanging baskets of ferns. And forget their momentary bad rap as accouterments of yuppie bars in the 1980s: The shade-loving monilophytes, as they’re sometimes called, go back millions of years and have anywhere from 9,000 to 15,000 different species. Learn more on June 8 at 6 p.m. at “The Fascinating World of Ferns,” a lecture by Lisa Lofland Gould at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, (215 South Main Street, Kernersville). To reserve: (336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

Fenn-ciful

How you see it is one thing, how you paint it is another. Much like the French Impressionists, N.C. artist Richard Fennell has, for 40 years, explored various ways to depict how we perceive things. Be among the first to see the scope of his work at The Edge of Perception: A Richard Fennell Retrospective, which includes early sculptures, still lifes, interiors, landscapes and portraits, at an opening reception at 6 p.m. on June 16 at GreenHill (200 North Davie Street). The exhibition runs through August 20 and includes an artist’s talk and demonstration on August 16. Info: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org.

A Place in the Sun

For its thirteenth annual celebration, the Greensboro Summer Solstice Festival is, according to founder and head faerie Susan Sassmann, “raising the bar of artistic expression.” And in order to do so, there will be a $5 admission fee this year (kids under 12 free, no dogs). The event is held at the Lindley Park Arboretum from 2–10 p.m. Saturday, June 17.

Thirteen bands will be spread across three stages and run the gamut from blues, jazz and contemporary to Latin, reggae and gypsy. Twenty-five food trucks will be on hand, as well as 100 local vendors of all descriptions, and two Joymongers beer gardens.

Highlights include the Parasol Parade, led by a Dixieland band and the Paperand Puppet Intervention, Pixie Glen kids area, a drum circle, face- and bodypainting, mermaids in the fountain, hoopers, and the grand finale fire-spinning show by the Imagine Circus.

Costumes are encouraged. Fun is mandatory. Info: greensborosummersolstice.org

June-y Tunes

Call it nostalgia, call it a yearning for a simpler time — think: Mayberry feverishly trying to organize a Sunday evening band concert — or call it a slice of Americana, but there is something that touches our collective soul about an early evening, summertime musical event on the lawn. Thirty-eight years ago, Greensboro tapped into that sentiment by organizing a Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series. Likewise, the Eastern Music Festival has always held a portion of its events outdoors. And last year, the Levitt AMP Music Series carried that tradition a step further, with its 10-concert series at Barber Park.

All three series get underway in June. MUSEP kicks off June 4 at Blandwood Mansion with the Wally West Little Big Band at 6 p.m. For the full schedule go to musep.info.

As if it were scripted, in its first event Saturday, June 3, the Levitt AMP series’ featured artist is none other than Vanessa Ferguson, Greensboro’s own finalist on The Voice. Also on the bill are Nishah DiMeo and R’Mone Entonio. All events are on Saturday this season, running through August 5. The full slate may be found at artsgreensboro.org.

EMF launches its 56th season Wednesday, June 28, with a concert titled “The Glory of Brass — Baroque and Beyond.” While it is not outdoors, the First Presbyterian Church is so acoustically perfect, you’ll think you’re under the stars. Go to easternmusicfestival.org for details.

Ogi Sez

Now, I’m no Richard Rodgers, but I can tell you that June is, in fact, bustin’ out all over, especially on the musical carousel of Greensboro. So, let’s give it a whirl, shall we?

• June 1, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens: They were one of the smashes at last year’s National Folk Festival, and now IBMA Entertainer of the Year (the biggie) award-winners Balsam Range return to the Triad, this time to Kernersville. They’ve taken the bluegrass world by storm and you really need to find out why.

• June 6 & 8, Carolina Theatre: I’m breaking the rules here, or at least bending them, by double-dipping a venue. But, when I tell you why, I think you’ll forgive me. Two days apart, the Carolina is hosting two of my favorite performers in the whole wide world. Joe Jackson (6/6), in my book, launched the swing revival of the mid-90s, and Greensboro’s own mega-star, Rhiannon Giddens, launched the current rejuvenation of old time and string band music.

• June 11, LISTEN Speakeasy at Hush: A self-described, “leftneck,” who once wrote a song titled “Liberal With a Gun,” Grant Peeples is why the terms “alt-country” and “East Nashville” were invented. One of the most clever and provocative lyricists around, he’ll have you laughing and crying — at the same time.

• June 12, Greensboro Coliseum: If you watched Journey’s performance last month at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert, you surely realized that they haven’t lost a thing with Steve Perry’s departure because of vocal cord polyps. They were once the hottest act on the arena rock circuit, but this ain’t hair-band hooey. This is timeless.

• June 25, The Crown: Mark this one down if you’re a Miles Davis freak. The cream-of-the-crop Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra is doing a whole show of Miles compositions. This will blow the doors off.

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