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Arts & Culture
Each Thursday, WFAE checks in with a local arts and entertainment reporter about things to do in Charlotte during the upcoming weekend.

Weekend In Entertainment: Live Jazz, Arts Galore And Earth Day Fun In The Sun

Balancing Act
Mitchell Kearney/Photo by Mitchell Kearney
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There are many different ways to make music using "Balancing Act," a public art installation in First Ward Park

If you're short on plans this weekend around the Charlotte area, we've got you covered. Some socially distant happenings include a live jazz concert in uptown, a mural demonstration, a new exhibit on pandemic-era art and an Earth Day weekend festival out in the sun.

Helping WFAE "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn preview this weekend in entertainment is Dashiell Coleman, a writer of the WFAE arts and entertainment newsletter Tapestry.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi, Dash.

Dashiell Coleman: Hi, Gwen, how are you?

Glenn: I’m good. Let’s get back to saxophonist and Charlottean Adrian Crutchfield. Tell us about him and the upcoming, live concert.

Coleman: Adrian Crutchfield is a Charlotte native. He’s a Northwest School of the Arts graduate who got his first saxophone from Kenny G, of all people, when he was just 4 years old. He’s known for his high-energy shows that merge jazz, pop and hip-hop sounds. He’s performed a lot of acclaimed acts, including Cee-Lo Green, Lionel Ritchie and even the legendary Prince — and this concert is going to feature a tribute to Prince.

Glenn: What time?

Coleman: The show starts at 7:30, and joining Crutchfield on stage Saturday will be Grammy-winning singer and trombonist Saunders Sermons and Ke’Andra Davis, an R&B and soul singer who’s from Fort Lawn, South Carolina.

Glenn: Staying uptown, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture has an event on Saturday with Ricky Singh. He is one of the artists of the Black Lives Matter mural that, for a time, graced Tryon Street. Dash, tell us about the mural he will do at the Gantt.

Coleman: Right, so Ricky Singh is a well-known, graffiti-based muralist here in town. He was also key in starting the Beatties Ford Strong public art movement in the wake of last year’s mass shooting in the area. He’s also a founder of the Charlotte Lab charter school.

On Saturday, Singh will be spray-painting a three-piece work of art in front of the Gantt Center in uptown. It’s going to be inspired by the voices of young people and, in general, youth activism in Charlotte. He’s also going to be talking about his creative process and what it’s been like creating social justice murals in Charlotte. It’s free to watch, and Singh will be out there from 1 to 3 p.m.

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Mint Museum
These three pieces of art are among the many being featured in the Mint Museum's upcoming "Silent Streets" exhibit. At top left: Paul Chan; die Seuche (epidemic); 2020; ink on paper. Bottom left: Lalo Alcaraz; La Cucaracha; April 2020; comic strip. Right: Beverly McIver; Blinding Light; 2020; oil on canvas.

Glenn: OK, and at the Mint Museum, the “Silent Streets” exhibit opens this weekend. Dash, you wrote a story on this for WFAE’s Tapestry, and you spoke to Greensboro’s Antoine Williams. He had this to say about his inspiration for his mural.

Antoine Williams (recording): “I think with this show what’s interesting is that I’m responding to what’s happening in the moment but also after this moment how we then look back.”

Coleman: Antoine Williams is one of three North Carolina artists commissioned by the Mint Museum to create works of art in isolation in 2020 to kind of reflect on the year. Now, this is a project that started when everybody sort of had to go home. Obviously, COVID lasted a lot longer, and it was not the only event last year that was big news, so topics that artists are covering here range from not just the pandemic but other big issues like the fight against systemic racism.

Glenn: Public art has been popping up all around Charlotte, including a musical balancing board (in First Ward Park).

Coleman: This is really cool. Gwen, there are these three colorful disks that kind of look like frisbees or tops, and you can just stand on them. They wobble if you get on them, and they make noise. … Different tones will play based on how the disks move. But if you can manage to balance one, it plays this nice little melody — and the other two disks chime in.

Glenn: That sounds like fun.

Coleman: Yeah, definitely.

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Anne Springs Close Greenway
An Earth Day weekend celebration at Anne Springs Close Greenway features a recycled art show, among other outdoor activities this weekend.

Glenn: Now in nearby Fort Mill, there’s an Earth Day Weekend Celebration scheduled. Tell us about it.

Coleman: Sure, it’s happening all weekend long at Anne Springs Close Greenway south of Charlotte. You know, Earth Day’s not until next Thursday, but they’re celebrating early. It’s this big, 2,100-acre space with trails and streams. There’s a recycled art show, nature lessons, horse events and activities like hiking and kayaking.

Glenn: OK, a little something for everybody. Dash, the Cine Casual Film Series is back, virtually this year. For those who don’t know, it features award-winning Latin American films selected for the Charlotte area. The first film in the series, available Saturday at 1 p.m. online, is the Guatemalan film, “Temblores” — English translation, “Tremors.”

Coleman: So, “Temblores” is about a 40-year-old man named Pablo who’s an evangelical Christian with two kids. Pablo falls in love with another man, and his world starts to unravel. This film will be available to stream for 10 hours starting Saturday afternoon, and there’s also going to be a pre-recorded Q&A with Daniel Valdez, who’s with the Hispanic Federation and Charlotte Pride.

Tremors (Temblores) (2019) | Trailer | Juan Pablo Olyslager | Diane Bathen | Mauricio Armas Zebadúa

Glenn: There’s also a murder mystery event that’s going on at Camp North End. Tell us about that.

Coleman: This is something Theatre Charlotte is putting on. It’s called Covered Tracks. They’re billing it as an “outdoor murder mystery,” and members of the audience get to play along. It’s at Camp North End on Friday and Saturday, but it moves to the Duke Mansion on Sunday.

Glenn: Murder mysteries are always fun. And there’s also a Taste, Sip & Stroll Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Shoppes at University Place, leading up to the fifth annual Wine Fest, which will be socially distanced at the Armored Cow this year on Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.. Also the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra ends its 2021 virtual concert season Sunday at 3 p.m. on Facebook live. Dashiell Coleman, co-writer of WFAE’s Tapestry entertainment newsletter, thanks for joining us for Weekend In Entertainment.

Coleman: My pleasure, Gwen. And people can sign up for Tapestry at wfae.org/newsletters. We put out a new one out every week.

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