John T. Edge is among the MIAL winners featured at Lemuria Books Saturday. Image: Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters

by Sherry Lucas

The Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters (MIAL) Awards Weekend is at hand, and, as always, the winners offer a roundup of the most compelling creative output in the previous year by those with significant ties to the state — as well as individuals and achievements deserving special recognition.

This is the immediate list of what you need to catch up on — read, hear, see and appreciate — on the Mississippi arts and letters front. Leading up to Saturday’s awards banquet, a string of open-to-the-public events — an art exhibit, studio tour and afternoon of signings and readings — will bring you up to speed.

The winners list includes: Robert Ivy and Andy Young (lifetime achievement); “The Mississippi Encyclopedia” (special achievement); Charlie Buckley (visual arts); Jack Spencer (photography); Molly McCully Brown (poetry); Michael Knight (fiction); John T. Edge (nonfiction); Shannon McNally (music composition, contemporary); James Sclater (music competition, classical).

Scope out their creations, and scout out more opportunities for more cool fun in the days ahead.

Sharpen your trivia chops, 6 p.m. Wednesday at Sneaky Beans.

Sister Act” sings, sways and sets off peals of laughter at New Stage Theatre, where the musical adaptation of the Whoopi Goldberg hit sold out its initial run and has been held over for an additional week, through June 17. Find out more about showtimes and tickets at, 601-948-3533 or the New Stage box office.

The musical comedy “Sister Act” starts Tuesday at New Stage Theatre. Image: James Patterson

Buffalo Peak Outfitters hosts the Get Out More Tour, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with Backpacker magazine ambassador and outdoor expert Randy Propster in an interactive, 90-minute seminar to educate and inspire. Desserts, beverages and a chance to win free gear are additional perks.

Thursday, join the signing and reading of “Empire of Light” by Michael Bible at Lemuria Books.

Jackson Sex Ed Trivia, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Flamingo and hosted by Planned Parenthood Southeast’s young leaders and education department, is an inclusive, fun and sex-positive trivia night. It’s free to play; teams are up to six players.

The District at Eastover hosts a performance by No Strings for the District Green Live, starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, so load up the lawn chairs and the kids and enjoy the outdoors at dusk, tunes included

Cathead Jam 2018, Friday and Saturday at the Cathead Distillery, celebrates eight years of Cathead Vodka with a two-day music jam that’ll kick your summer off in a most spirited way. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, and Elliot Root, Black Pistol Fire and Moon Taxi deliver the tunes, starting at 6 p.m.

Drop back by Cathead Distillery and continue the Jam, spreading it on even thicker Saturday, when gates open at 2 p.m. for a fun lineup of music from 2:30 p.m.-on that includes The Busty Petites, Luthi, Leftover Salmon, Hard Working Americans and JJ Grey & Mofro. Find more info and ticket links at and

Leftover Salmon plays Cathead Jam Saturday. Image: ardenland

Dream Night, 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Jackson Zoo, is a private evening for children with special needs and their families. Register here by noon on Friday.

The Village Social, 7 p.m. Friday at Highland Village, offers a chance to round up the teams for a Trivia Night that pays tribute to Walt Disney, parks to films, music to villains and I’m sure princesses fit in there somewhere, too. This is an ages 18 and older event.

The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) Awards Weekend means plenty of chances to hobnob with this year’s winners and revel in the creative output of our state’s treasures. First up is Friday’s reception for photographer Jack Spencer and visual artist Charlie Buckley, 5-7:30 p.m. at Fischer Galleries, 736 S. President St.

Saturday morning, a 10-11 a.m. tour of Pearl River Glass Studio, 142 Millsaps Ave., that’s part of the MIAL Awards Weekend is also open to the public. Get an inside look at this anchor of Midtown’s arts district. Pearl River Glass Studio founder Andrew Cary Young is one of two winners this year of the MIAL Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award.

A Pearl River Glass Studio tour with founder/MIAL winner Andy Young is Saturday. Image: Pearl River Glass Studio

Then at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Lemuria, readings and book signings by MIAL award winners highlight “The Mississippi Encyclopedia” (special achievement award), Michael Knight (fiction award for “Eveningland’), John T. Edge (nonfiction award, for “The Potlikker Papers”) and Molly McCully Brown (poetry award for “The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded”).

The Writer’s Circle, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday at Kundi Compound, features poet and author Amanda Furdge. Admission is free.

Zoo Camp starts Monday, proceeding at one-week intervals with the final week starting July 16. Find the age ranges and all the other details you need to add some wild fun to your summer at Space is limited, so register soon.

The Bacon Brothers — Michael (an Emmy-winning composer) and Kevin (yes, the award-winning actor)— span rock, soul, folk and Americana in their musical output and take the stage at Duling Hall Tuesday night to share it with the crowd. Tickets are $45 advance (, $50 day of show and $100 VIP meet & greet. Farewell Angelina opens.

The Bacon Brothers play Duling Hall Tuesday night. Image: J. Fasano

The Mississippi Library Commission welcomes an exhibit of paintings by Alexander Bostic and photographs by James Patterson and by Dominic Lippillo, with “A Perspective of People” reception, 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, at its office building at 3881 Eastwood Drive. The exhibit is the second in a partnering showcase with the Mississippi Arts Commission to highlight artists in MAC’s annual visual artist fellowship grant program.

James Patterson’s portrait of Jesmyn Ward is among art works in an exhibit at the Mississippi Library Commission. Image: James Patterson

Dinner, Drinks and Jazz with Raphael Semmes puts a cool twist in your Tuesday night. Find it, and the best catfish po-boy I’ve ever tasted, at Hal & Mal’s.

Now’s the time to sign up for Creative Craft Camp and Summer Classes coming up at the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland. The Blacksmith Class with Lyle Wynn is coming up quick, as is Pottery with Will Booth. Email or call 601-856-7546 for details.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a curated sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional events, see our online events calendar here. Reach Sherry at

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