Short Stories

Venture Capitol

Here’s something Greensboro residents — and in fact every North Carolinian — would agree is worth a road trip to Raleigh: a shindig to help preserve our state’s capitol. Since 1840, the Greek Revival monument with the iconic domed rotunda has been home to N.C.’s seat of government. But the er, state-ly lady with National Historic Landmark status needs constant primping. Thanks to the North Carolina Capitol Foundation, she has, since 1976, seen windows and lighting repaired, statues and paintings restored, desks, chairs and lighting refurbished, and received 60,000 schoolchildren (and more than 100,000 across the state, county and globe) every year. So why not help keep the People’s House of North Carolina presentable, by presenting yourself at the “Shuckin’ and Shaggin’” oyster roast at 7 p.m. on September 16? Held on the capitol’s grounds (1 East Edenton Street, Raleigh), the affair is a casual one, with shagging demos, music by the Embers, tasty food and beverages and a silent auction. Tickets: ncstatecapitol.org.

Wingin’ It

Who isn’t charmed at the sight of tiny, ruby-throated visitors hovering over red flowers and feeders, while beating their wings at an astonishing fifty times per second? Known for their ability to fly extremely long distances (and backward), hummingbirds never fail to fascinate — and in some cultures have become the symbol of joy and playfulness. On September 8th at noon, find out how to attract them to your yard at “Gardening for Hummingbirds,” a Lunch and Learn at Ciener Botanical Garden (215 South Main Street, Kernersville), courtesy of Audubon North Carolina’s Bird Friendly Community Coordinator Kim Brand. To register:
(336) 996-7888 or cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

Toque-n of Affection

Burners are on, pans are sizzlin,’ spatulas are raised. Yes, it’s that time again: Men Can Cook takes place at on September 24 at 6 p.m. at the Coliseum Special Events Center (1921 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro). Line up to sample hors d’oeuvres, meats, sweets, sides and more from various chefs — some amateur, some professional, all of them fellas who have a desire to dish it out while serving the community. The event, which also features a silent auction, benefits the Women’s Resource Center, whose mission is to promote the self-reliance of women by meeting unmet needs, holding educational programs and workshops. Tickets: (336) 2a75-6090 or
womenscentergso.org.

Love, Not War

Opposing views of war erupt in the bedroom when an idealistic young Bulgarian woman (Raina) hides a Swiss mercenary and war skeptic (Buchstil) during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian war, the backdrop for George Bernard Shaw’s popular comedy, Arms and the Man. Deemed Shaw’s wittiest by author George Orwell fifty years after the play’s debut, Arms was Shaw’s first commercial success. We wish Triad Stage similar success when it launches its 2016–17 season with a revival of Arms and the Man September 11–October 1 at the Pyrle Theatre (232 South Elm Street, Greensboro). Tickets: (336) 274-0067 or triadstage.org.

A Time to Read

Winston-Salem’s BookMarks Festival of Books and Authors has outdone itself again. Expanding from three days to four, the event kicks off on Thursday September 8th at
7 p.m. with a keynote opening event with Azar Nafasi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books at Hanesbrands Theatre (209 North Spruce Street, Winston-Salem), continues on Friday the 9th with three “Eat & Greets” at various locations around town, before the free festival on Saturday the 10th in front of the Rhodes Center for the Arts. The roster of scribes on hand includes Annie Barrows, John Hart, Terry McMillan, Simon Goodman, Davis Miller and on and on. Capping off the weekend is an address from the master of the legal thriller, John Grisham. And that’s just the beginning. BookMarks is currently scouting locations for an independent bookstore, which it hopes to open in 2017, another way to spread education, outreach . . . and a love of books. Tickets and info: (800) 838-3006 or bookmarksnc.org.

The Feminine Mystique

Remove the slogans and taglines, and a hundred years of advertising images paint a different story than intended. Falk Visiting Artist Hank Willis Thomas does just that in Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915–2015, opening at Weatherspoon Art Museum (500 Tate Street, Greensboro) on September 3. Revealing how corporate ad campaigns have marketed products to women and created a perception of women’s social roles, the exhibition addresses larger themes of virtue, beauty, power and desire. The exhibition will be on view until December 11.  Info: (336) 334-5770 or
weatherspoon.uncg.edu.        

The Way of All Flesh

The art of bodypainting has been an accepted art form throughout most of the world for at least a half-century, but only in the last decade has America gotten in on the act. Much of that overdue interest is due to Reidsville couple Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco, who from 2011–2014 captured an unprecedented five world titles in five categories. They have since made the leap from competitors to presenters at The North American Bodypainting Championship, which for years called Atlanta home — until this year. Starting September 24, the event’s main competition comes to the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center, with ancillary events, such as live painting, a film festival and an awards gala taking place for the remaining five days at the Carolina Theatre, Revolution Mill and the Millennium Center in Winston-Salem. It is expected to draw as many as sixty artists from five continents and twenty countries, including current and past world champions, who will compete for a share of the total purse of $15,000. Proceeds go to benefit the Chelko Foundation, which seeks to empower women through art. Tickets: livingartamerica.com. —Ogi O.

Swords and Ploughshares

“War! What is it good for?” Before you answer “absolutely nuthin’” and say it again, think again. Armed conflict has been a muse for countless works of art, literature and, as the lyric of this anti-bellum Motown hit suggests, music. Examining the role of conflict in culture, and giving nod to the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I is the interdisciplinary initiative, “Imagining War and Peace” for the 2016–17 academic year. It includes a broad scope of courses on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, medieval love and war, and Trojan war narratives, concerts, lectures and films, from Platoon to The King of Hearts and much more. For a complete listing of events and information on a mobile app and social media tie-ins, go to http://warandpeace.uncg.edu

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