See “Urban Country” Thursday at Crossroad Film Festival. Image: XFF

by Sherry Lucas

Here’s your chance to take a breather before the onslaught of summer blockbuster season and the comic-book whiplash greeting you at your friendly neighborhood cineplex.

One word: Crossroads. This year marks the 19th annual Crossroads Film Festival. Think of that crossroads intersection as the junction of thought and motion. That’s the defining factor in each annual batch of provocative film fare that takes you off the beaten track and onto a side path of something special.

So many times, I’ve sat back in that cushy Crossroads seat and let such a film unfold, thrilling and chillin’ to stories from around the state, country and the world, and sharing the moment with fellow Mississippians and film buffs. So, you know, it’s a community thing, too. Plus, you get to ask the filmmakers ALL about that gem you just saw.

Catch a flick or four at Malco Grandview Thursday through Sunday, and flock to Hal & Mal’s patio for the Saturday night party. Just don’t miss the fun.

Elsewhere, art, music and more abound, so get that spring in your step and get out there to enjoy it.

Round up the little ones for Preschool Story Time, at 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

The Village Social Bend & Brew, 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Highland Village, is a free time for fit fun with Crossfit 601’s Sean Cupit, with a craft beer or popsicle from Deep South Pops as the reward.

Sweeten your midday with Soul Sounds, noon Thursday at St. James’ Episcopal Church, with “It Might as Well Be Spring,” a program featuring tenor Seth Walley, mezzo-soprano Ouida Holland and pianist Don Messer in popular music cabaret.

Sip, socialize and soak up the ambiance of Happy Hour at The Flamingo, 4 p.m. Thursday, with beer specials and special music.

Art blooms big with “Spring,” a Four Seasons of the Cedars Art Show featuring recent works by Susan Wellington, Wanda Lowery, Bennie Melton and Andrew McIntyre. The show opens with a free reception 5:30-8 p.m Thursday and continues on view 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday through May 18. A portion of art sale proceeds goes into continuing Cedars maintenance and restoration.

Work by Susan Wellington (seen here) joins Benny Melton, Andrew McIntyre and Wanda Lowery’s in a Cedars art show. Image: Susan Wellington

Color Me Raider 2018, 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Jackson Academy is a 5K run/walk that begins at the JA football field and finishes at Raider Park for a doubleheader baseball game against Oak Forest, with this fun to boot: color stations on the course, a 1-Mile run run for kids, kids’ fun zone, crawfish and concessions for sale and more. Registration is $40.

Black Bodies in Public Space,” with artist/photographer Nona Faustine, 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center’s lecture hall at Tougaloo College, is a discussion led by Mississippi Museum of Art art/civil rights curator La Tanya S. Autry and Faustine, in conjunction with the exhibition “Now: The Call and Look of Freedom.”

Learn more about autism at the Food for Thought program for parents, teacher and caregivers, 6:15 p.m. Thursday, “Autism (ASD): The Who, What, Where, How and Whys of Autism Spectrum Disorder,” at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Student Union, 2600 N. State St. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with the talk at 6:45 p.m., followed by a Q&A. Visit umc.edu/answers for more information.

The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi hosts a discussion, Consider This: #MeToo — Now What? 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at Hal & Mal’s, with experts from different fields in conversations centered around sexual harassment and personal and professional safeguards. Conversation and appetizers are provided, and a cash bar’s available.

The 19th annual Crossroads Film Festival Thursday through Saturday at Malco Grandview in Madison shares a slew — more than 140, ranging from two minutes to two hours — on the screens, in prize-worthy categories: youth, student, documentary, short documentary, feature, music video, experimental, short and animation. Get an all-access pass ($45 general/$35 seniors and XFF members), day passes ($20/$15); view individual film blocks for $6-$8. Find links at crossroadsfilmfestival.com, along with a schedule of the film blocks and the titles they hold. Among them: Afro-Centric Cinema; Mississippi Madam; Global Snapshots; Wonder Women.

Audience interaction with the filmmakers plays a major role at this weekend’s Crossroads Film Festival. Image: XFF

A Night for the Stars: Spring Speakeasy and Silent Auction,” 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Mantle, 622 Duling Ave., supports the students of McWillie Elementary School with a party-with-a-purpose fundraiser featuring live entertainment by Kerry Thomas, music by DJ Java, open bar, 4 Top catering and a silent auction. Roaring Twenties attire is optional but encouraged. Tickets are $20 on eventbrite.com.

Glide over to the Mississippi Coliseum, where six shows of Disney on Ice presents “Dream Big” Thursday through Sunday takes viewers on a journey of Disney tales and princesses, with artistic skating and acrobatics. Shows are 7 p.m. Thursday; 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Find tickets, $15-$60 and up, on ticketmaster.com, DisneyOnIce.com or the coliseum box office.

Belle finds adventure in Disney on Ice’s “Dream Big,” this weekend at the Mississippi Coliseum. Image: Disney on Ice

Friday greets the return of Food Truck Friday and the reopening of Smith Park in downtown Jackson, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. After a ribbon cutting with Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Gov. Phil Bryant, get a look at Phase 2 renovations of Smith Park and order up something yummy from the more than a dozen food trucks that’ll be lining the streets.

Food Truck Friday welcomes the reopening of Smith Park. Image: Greater Jackson Arts Council

Lucy J. Allen, who served the Mississippi Department of Archives & History Two Mississippi Museums as project director for construction of the museums in downtown Jackson, will present the 2018 Rabbi Perry Nussbaum Lecture on Friday at 1 p.m. at Millsaps College. Pamela Junior, director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and Rachel Myers, director of the Museum of Mississippi History, will join Allen in presenting From Vision to Decision: A Truth Telling Journey of Two Mississippi Museums.” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 215 of the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex.

The Black Jacket Symphony recreates the Eagles’ “Hotel California” album, in its entirety, as a live performance for a unique concert experience in true symphonic fashion, 8 p.m. Friday at Thalia Mara Hall. In the laid-back second set, an incredible light display joins the fun, with a selection of the Eagles’ greatest hits and all the fun of a rock’n’roll show. Tickets are $25-$35 at ardenland.net and ticketfly.com.

Black Jacket Symphony peforms Friday night at Thalia Mara Hall. Image: ardenland

Live at The Flamingo Friday, hear NF//GS, pink palaces, Eric Joyce and The Empty House, starting at 8 p.m.; it’s $5.

The ‘80s Flashback Benefit, 7 p.m. Friday at Duling Hall, with The Band U.S. delivering top ‘80s tunes, delivers a good time for a good cause. Don your best ‘80s attire to show your support; food and drinks will be available. Tickets are $65. Proceeds will go to the OMS Life Foundation and Batson Children’s Hospital. Find tickets at ticketfly.com.

Don your best ‘80s attire to show your support at Friday’s 80’s Flashback Benefit.

Mike Dillon Band, 10 p.m. Friday (9 p.m. door) at Martin’s, explores the connection between New Orleans street beats, ska, funk, hardcore and jazz.

Stretch your spring arms and imagination at Know to Grow, 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, in the Literacy Garden, for hands-on gardening fun and a garden-related story.

The Mississippi Children’s Museum hosts Know to Grow Saturday. Image: Mississippi Children’s Museum

Saturday night at Martin’s, check out singer-bassist-songwriter Danielle Nicole’s blues-steeped music; it’s $10 on tickefly.com.

The Village Social, 7 p.m. Friday at Highland Village, makes a trivia night of all things Mississippi. Team up and get primed, with prizes awarded for the smartest and most spirited. Find more trivia fun at The Pig & Pint in Fondren, 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The Fondren Urban Ultra, a 12-hour timed road race for runners and relay teams follows a certified 3.1-mile (5K) loop through Fondren, starting at 7 a.m. Saturday at Fondren Church, 3327 Old Canton Road. Each loop starts/finishes at Fondren Church — run one lap or 20, just check in each lap. There will be aid stations and a spot to stash nutrition, coolers, etc. It’s $65 individual racers and $55/person for relayers. Register at ultrasignup.com through midnight Wednesday.

CU at the Zoo at the Jackson Zoo, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. has been rescheduled for April 28 due to the possibility of severe weather Saturday. The event is a celebration of Youth Savings Month with local credit unions, an inflatable obstacle course, face painting and more. The first 2,500 guests in the park will be admitted free of charge, and it’s $5 entry after that.

Hear Anse Rigby with Codetta South, 8 p.m. Saturday at The Flamingo. Doors open at 7 p.m., entry is $10.

Jujutsu Vibes, Anime, Chill: Mitchiko and Hatchin Edition, 8 p.m. Saturday at Offbeat, 151 Wesley Ave., features all women producers doing beat sets, video games, giveaways and more. There’s a $5 cover and a $10 bottle fee.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) brings “On the Road: A Voice from the Field”’ to Jackson, 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Matt West, deputy head of mission who’s worked with MSF for seven years, leads a free, hour-long conversation about the challenges of bringing lifesaving medical care to areas with the greatest needs. Learn firsthand about MSF’s programs around the globe. A reception follows at 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free, but please register at eventbrite.com.

The Gallery Guild lecture, 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Mississippi Museum of Art, by Andrew Walker from the Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, focuses on the regional importance of George Caleb Bingham’s river paintings, illuminating a key highlight of the current “Picturing Mississippi” Bicentennial exhibition. The lecture is open to the public.

George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1877-78. oil on canvas. Collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection. 1992.15. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

Expand your taste-scape at Monday’s signing of “Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen” by Taqueria del Sol’s Eddie Hernandez and Susan Puckett, 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books.

Kick back with Dinner, Drinks & Jazz with Raphael Semmes and Friends, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hal & Mal’s — perfect for anyone with an appetite for good music, good food and good company.

Montage Dance presents “The Legends,” 7 p.m. Tuesday at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Hinds Community College campus in Raymond, to the music of Michael Jackson, Elvis, Tupac, Frank Sinatra and more.

The romantic comedy “Shakespeare in Love,” in the hands of New Stage Theatre, taps local stage favorites as well as a pair of imports for this “comedy about the greatest love story almost never told,” Tuesday through April 29. It’s based on the acclaimed, Oscar-winning (seven total) film, “Shakespeare in Love,” about the struggling young playwright tormented by writer’s block, and the lovely young woman with a passion for drama and poetry. Mistaken identities, backstage antics and more ensue. It’s recommended for ages 14 and older. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. For tickets, $30 adults/$25 seniors and students, call 601-948-3531 or visit newstagetheatre.com or the New Stage box office.

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 sherry@finditinfondren.com.

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