By Sherry Lucas
Just because Valentine’s Day hits midweek, it doesn’t mean all those sparks will dissipate by week’s end.
Spark. That’s the word that comes to mind for the landscape of potential that’s draped across the coming days, whether it’s the spark of discovery for the heroine of “Silent Sky” at New Stage Theatre, the flickers of festive color in Saturday’s Chinese Spring Festival or the flashes of insight at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s bicentennial symposium. Or even, for me, the glow of nostalgia a symphony performance can bring when Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka” zooms me back a few decades when I saw Rudolf Nureyev dance the role in a Diaghilev revival on Broadway.
Take it to heart — the sparks just keep coming. There’s plenty to warm up to ahead.
Drop by the Mississippi Museum of Art, 11:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday for a gallery talk, “Civil Rights Close-Up: Mississippi’s Freedom Struggle,” as curator LaTanya Autry discusses prints by artists Bruce Davidson and Danny Lyon. The talk’s free and begins in the museum lobby.
Also Wednesday, History Is Lunch, noon to 1 p.m. in the community room of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, focuses on Emmett Till, as Devery S. Anderson presents “The Boy Who Never Died: The Saga of the Emmett Till Murder.” Attendance is free.
An Ash Wednesday service is 12:15 p.m. Wednesday at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church. Enter through the courtyard.
If you’re aiming to play sweethearts at the rodeo for Valentine’s Day, the Dixie National Rodeo lassoes its last show for 2018 with Wednesday night’s gallop around the arena at the Mississippi Coliseum. Brett Young brings the musical entertainment and cowboys, cowgirls and livestock handle the rest, starting at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, $17-$32-plus, visit ticketmaster.com or the coliseum box office.
Big House Books hosts a Book Packing Party, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at And Gallery 133 Millsaps Ave., to prep packages of books for prisoners.
“Silent Sky,” opening Wednesday night at New Stage Theatre, gives early 20th century female astronomers their due in Lauren Gunderson’s play about Henrietta Leavitt, who discovered a way to measure the stars. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday and Feb. Feb. 20-24, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 25. For tickets, $30 adults and $25 seniors/students, visit newstagetheatre.com or the box office or call 601-948-3531.
Museum After Hours, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mississippi Museum of Art, has JXN Stands in the spotlight. with an exhibition of portraits from #JXNStands, an ongoing project of the Center for Art & Public Exchange and OurGlass Media Group. Citizens become living monuments as they visually declare what they stand for.
Thursday, a Welcome to Wakanda party, 9 p.m. at Offbeat is an after-party and pop-up shop to toast the Marvel’s “Black Panther.” Catch the flick that’s all the rage in theaters and hang out afterward at Offbeat, with music provided by DJ Young Venom, jewelry by Xcessory Freex and Black Panther merchandise for sale, with aesthetics for the evening by The Flamingo.
The Black History Month Documentary Film Series continues at And Gallery Thursday. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the film’s at 8 p.m. It’s $5 at the door, and Thursday’s screening is “I Called Him Morgan,” about the relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife, Helen.
Friday marks the first day opening of La Brioche’s second location, at the Mississippi Museum of Art. It begins with lunch service at 11 a.m. on Friday, and Saturday starts their regular hours, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
The symposium “Bringing Forward the Past: Art, Identity, and the American South” at the Mississippi Museum of Art opens with Friday’s keynote address “Vision + Justice: Art and Activism in a Contested Democracy” by “The Rise” author Sarah Lewis, 5:30 p.m. with a reception following. It continues all day Saturday with panel discussions and gallery conversations and wraps up with a 7 p.m. standing-room-only concert by Rhiannon Giddens, a founding member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. The bicentennial symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required at msmuseumart.org. The concert, though free, is sold out but instructions to join a waitlist are available through the registration link.
A Tribute to the Tuff Gong, 8 p.m. Friday at Cooperation Jackson, 939 W. Capitol St., is a musical salute to legendary reggae artist Robert Nesta Marley aka Tuff Gong, with music inspired by Bob Marley and the Wailers, featuring DJ Kali “Dada” Akuno. There a $5 donation cover at the door. The event’s part of Revolutionary Resonance’s “Up South/Down South” series.
Book it over to Lemuria Friday at 5 p.m. for the signing of Mark C. Stevens’ “Cooking with Spices.” Flavor your world with the info in those pages! Book it back over there Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for Children’s Storytime (for elementary-aged kids). And Tuesday, there’s a signing and reading of “Madison Park: A Place of Hope” by Eric L. Motley about the Alabama community founded by freed slaves that nurtured his self-determination and hope.
Roxy Roca delivers Texas-infused powerhouse Southern soul and funk with big-state verve, hooky guitar riffs, Taye Cannon’s crooning and more, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Duling Hall. It’s $10 at ardenland.net and at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The Saturday morning Coffee Basics Class and Cupping, 11 a.m. at Cups in Fondren, continues the four-week series with hands-on instruction covering the French press and Aeropress brewing — grinding, extraction and demystifying included. Register at frenchpress.brownpapertickets.com; it’s $25.
If your sips trend more to the wine end, check out 32 Winds Wine Tasting, 4 p.m. Sunday at Bravo to explore six wines from the award-winning winery. It’s $60, with limited seating; firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
Celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival Extravaganza, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Jackson at the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Free kids’ activities and Asian-inspired entertainment will come to the outdoor stage plus Asian foods from local vendors and traditional arts, crafts and souvenirs for sale on the grounds. To mark the Year of the Dog, there’s a Canine Contest & Pet Parade at 12:30 p.m. (southwest corner of Pascagoula and West streets), plus lion dancers and a dragon in a traditional New Year parade at 1:30 p.m.
The combination of tasty treats — culinary plus musical — equals a twin pull to Cathead Distillery on Saturday, 1-7 p.m. for BBQ & Blues. The Mississippi Bacon Association — Hogs for the Cause (proceeds go to the mission of raising money for families of kids fighting pediatric brain cancer), and live music from Big Al & The Allstars. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.
Brent Cobb & Them’s “Ain’t a Road Too Long” tour makes its Duling Hall stop Saturday night, bringing the music that’s likened the singer-songwriter to a “redneck Paul Simon.” Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show, and Savannah Conley opens. Tickets are $12 advance (ardenland.net), $15 at the door.
The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s fourth Bravo concert of the season, “Love’s Folly,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Thalia Mara Hall, showcases Erik Satie’s gossamer “Gymnopedie No. 1 and No. 3,” Richard Wagner’s climactic “Prelude and Love Death from Tristan and Isolde” and Igor Stravinsky’s colorful, beloved “Petrouchka.” Tickets are $25 and up at msorchestra.com and 601-960-1565.
Significant Saturdays with Lesley Collins and dj cereal milk, 10 a.m. Saturday at Offbeat is a free, family-friendly creative opportunity with an art activity with Collins, music and a laidback vibe.
Ignite the Night: Mississippi Music, 7-11 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, is a chance for the adults to play after-hours at this fun spot, with an adults-only fundraising gala that brings the museum to life with food, music and activities to amuse. Dress is snappy casual and the mood is imaginative. Get ready to rock, roll, dance and enjoy! Tickets are $1i00 each; visit mschildrensmuseum.org. The following Monday, the spotlight’s back on the small set with Magic Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a special Food Lab program at 3:30 p.m.
The “Welcome to Mississippi, America” release party, 7 p.m. Saturday at The Flamingo, celebrates the vinyl compilation of insights and contributions from some of the state’s finest recording artists and comedians — including Clouds & Crayons, Sika, J and more — on the topic of state and national politics. Profits from record sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood Southeast and Mississippi NAACP. The record will cost $25; pre-order at elegant-trainwreck.com.
Monday, pull on your dancing shoes and get into a ‘90s Groove Hip Hop and R&B-themed dance class at Salsa Mississippi Club & Studio, 7:30-8:30 p.m. It’s $10, open for ages 10 through adult and designed for beginner and intermediate levels so don’t be shy and let the sparks fly.
Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional events, see our online events calendar here. Reach Sherry at email@example.com.