Short Stories

Talent Show

You can thank Nancy Guttman for having a good eye and the good sense to recognize that the breadth and depth of artistic talent in Greensboro’s Jewish community deserved more public attention. Hence, Artists in Our Midst on December 10th at Temple Emanuel (1129 Jefferson Road). From 7 to 10 p.m. you can enjoy dessert and beverages to the tinkling strains of a jazz piano (and moms and dads: a babysitter will watch your little ones, gratis), while you feast your eyes on works rendered in clay, oils, glass, fiber and more.  They are the creations of such prominent figures as Jay Rothberg, Gary Fisher, Noe Katz, Laura Pollak and Alexis Lavine and Beatrice Shaw. You can take any of it with you, if you wish; the works are available for purchase. Don’t think of your spree as an indulgence as much as vital support for local artists. Info: (336) 292-5716 or www.facebook.com/templeemanuelartistsinourmidst.

Counting Crows . . .

. . . and cardinals, jays, nuthatches and all manner of winged creatures. Be a part of the longest-running citizen science survey in the world: The Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which er, took flight across North America on Christmas Day of 1900. Established to assess declining bird populations, the annual count, which takes place between mid-December and early January, serves as a kind of census for birds. The Piedmont Bird Club will coordinate the bird count for Guilford County on December 17th.  So don warm gear and bring a pair of binoculars to assure that our fine-feathered friends won’t fly away. Info:
piedmontbirdclub.org.

The Greensboro Review Turns 50

In 1965 the UNCG English Department started its M.F.A. Writing Program, which was greeted with scorn, recalls Fred Chappell, one of the founders: “How many Pulitzers have your little crew picked up so far? . . . Hemingway would never have taken an M.F.A. degree.”

A year later the students wanted a journal in which to publish their work, and The Greensboro Review was born. In addition to discovering generations of new writers, the journal has produced some of the most talented student editors around: Claudia Emerson won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and this year Greensboro’s own Kelly Link was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

A half-century after its humble beginnings, when Review editor Jim Clark is asked how many Pulitzers his crew has won, he answers, “Only one . . . but we’re just getting started.”

Copies of the 50th Anniversary Issue are available at Scuppernong Books (304 South Elm Street).

Candyland

On December 17th at the Terrace of the Greensboro Coliseum, be a part of the Greatest Gingeration by competing in or admiring the confectionary constructions at the Panera Bread Gingerbread House Competition. If you’re not busy raising the roof with your teammates (each team consisting of up to six people, ages 12 and up) schmooze with Santa, nibble on cookies with cocoa or punch,
mug for the photo booth camera, enjoy crafts music until the judging begins. Proceeds from spectator admission ($10 at the door) and registration fees benefit earlier.org and critical breast cancer research. To register by 6 p.m. December 16th: (336) 286-6620 or
greensborocoliseum.com.

Moments of Clara-tea

Make a dream come true for your child while helping out a good cause by having Tea With Clara, the annual fundraiser for Greensboro Ballet at Carolina Theatre (310 South Greene Street) on December 17th and 18th In addition to sipping on a nice cuppa and munching on sweets, you’ll get to meet the heroine of The Nutcracker, learn the Lullaby Dance, meet other members of the cast and take home a box of treats. And don’t forget your camera! This is one occasion worthy of a photo opp. Reserve early. Tickets: (336) 333-2506 or carolinatheatre.com.

Fa-la-la-la Folly

Meaning, Körners’ Folly, one of three destinations at A Kernersville Yuletide, a self-guided tour of downtown K’ville on December 10th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wander through the quaint Victorian manse at 413 South Main Street (admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 8 to 18), and marvel at its unusual rooms and halls bedecked with garlands and Christmas trees. At the Kernersville Moravian Church down the street (No. 504), you’ll learn all about tradecrafts such as candle making, tinsmithing, basket weaving and quilting — to the accompaniment of live organ music — and don’t forget to grab some sugarcake while you’re there. Then wind down with a cup of hot cider at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden Gift Shop (215 South Main) and find a sprig of this or a pot of that for the gardeners on your Christmas list. Info: cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

Auld Lang Syne

Bid Old Man 2016 farewell and greet Baby 2017 with some sweet sounds at a New Year’s celebration, courtesy of the O.Henry Hotel — with no cover charge. In the Social Lobby of the O.Henry Hotel (624 Green Valley Road) you’ll have your choice of two performances: Early birds who want to celebrate in time to go home and slip into their jammies can hear Dave Fox and Jessica Mashburn from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Night Owls can come out for Randy Craven and Sheila Duell from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Reserve dinner at the Green Valley Grill — or stay for brunch on January 1. Info: (336) 854-2000 or ohenryhotel.com.

Lunch and Listen

What a waste of a lunch hour! Holiday shopping amid the
frenzied throngs, standing in line to mail packages. . . But for High Point residents, there’s a way to unwind at midday — by listening to some live, seasonal music. From 12:10 to 1 p.m. the High Point Baptist Church (405 North Main Street) hosts brief concerts on most Wednesdays in December — Linda Brown and Caroline Kolbert on the 7th, the Honors Vocal Ensemble from Southwest High School on the 14th, and UNCG School of Music’s Holiday Brass ensemble on the 21st. After each performance, sate yourself on a lunch of hot soup and a sandwich for a mere $6 and then return to work refreshed — and full of the Yuletide spirit. Info: fbchighpoint.org.

Ogi Says

Just because it’s December doesn’t mean your holiday agenda doesn’t have to include everything Christmas. A couple of items on my own sked are, in fact, Christmas-related, but they all promise to get you in the spirit, one way or another.

• December 2, Carolina Theatre: The C of CSN and sometimes Y has parted ways with his old mates and is in the midst of a solo tour. This show will offer a rare chance to get up close and personal with David Crosby in a way that would’ve been heretofore impossible. This may be one where you’ll want to save your ticket stub.

• December 3, Muddy Creek Music Hall: If you haven’t made it over to Winston-Salem to this outstanding venue yet, now’s your chance. Lonesome River Band regrouped around everybody’s favorite banjo player, Sammy Shelor, several years ago, and is, once again, among the elite groups in all of bluegrass. I’ve traveled farther than this to see them.

• December 4, Blind Tiger: What started off as a group of talented ladies getting together last year at the behest of Sheila Klinefelter to record a CD and play a couple of gigs has now turned into an ongoing project. The Gate City Divas are eight of the area’s top-shelf vocalists and songwriters whose bold sound belongs on a big stage, literally and figuratively.

• December 11, Greensboro Coliseum: For many, the date that the Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to town marks the official kickoff of the holiday season. They’re a little late this year, but well worth the wait. Trust me, a Christmas show like no other.

• December 18, The Crown: Wait, I take that back. While TSO is astounding, Piedmont Songbag’s Umpteenth Annual Christmas Show is really, really like no other. The venue has changed this year, but the zany, irreverent, bawdy take on Christmas from the brilliant-yet-twisted mind of Don Morgan remains intact.

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