“Austenland” is part of the Austen Film Series at Welty Garden. Image: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

By Sherry Lucas

One year I gave my sister the DVD of “Pride and Prejudice” for her birthday — this would be the six-episode BBC miniseries with Colin Firth as the dishy Mr. Darcy that went on to inspire the “Bridget Jones” novels.

We mapped out several nights to zoom through it on my telly, watching together to amplify our giggles and swoons and such. This just happened to coincide with the NFL playoffs, but we were happily ensconced in my living room instead, watching interceptions, fumbles, handoffs and touchdowns of the romantic championships sort.

All of that’s to say that Friday’s final installment of the 2018 Austen in the Welty Garden Film Series caught my eye. “Austenland” is the rare one I haven’t seen, so I’m eager to spend the evening with like-minded folks. You know, just to amplify our giggles and swoons and such.

Tons more is going on all over town, so grab a jacket if you need it and some fun while you’re at it.

Author Kiese Laymon returns to Jackson to discuss and sign his memoir, “Heavy,” with a trio of events on Wednesday. Laymon visits Tougaloo College for a podcast recording at The Bennie G. Thompson Center at 10 a.m.; at the Margaret Walker Center, Ayer Hall, at Jackson State University at 3 p.m.; and at Millsaps College, at the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Center for a 5 p.m. signing and 5:30 p.m. reading. All events are free.

Join Silas’ “The Last Cherry Blossom: Beer Release & Listening Party, 7-10 p.m. Wednesday at Lucky Town Brewing Company. It’s a chance to hear the new album for its official Friday release on streaming platforms, and taste Cherry Blossom Beer, too.

The 10th annual HeARTworks art show, 5 p.m. Thursday at The Cedars, benefits Stewpot Community Services with a showcase and sale of the creative output that comes from the nonprofit art program that serves participants who are homeless and face other challenges. The event is free and open to the public.

Party in the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art Thursday, as urban gospel/Christian hip-hop artist Miz Tiffany performs, 6-7:30 p.m., with even more music from DJ David Watkins. it’s free and family-friendly.

Also at the Mississippi Museum of Art for Third Thursday, check out the Inktober themed pop-up exhibition and join pumpkin painting and ink drawing activities in the Aart Garden, 5:30 p.m.-until. Stick around for the 8 p.m. screening of “Frankenweenie.” It’s free with food and beverages available for purchase (including sweet or savory empanadas from La Brioche).

The Mississippi Museum of Art celebrates Inktober and more Thursday. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

Blues by Starlight, 7-10 p.m. Thursday at the Renaissance at Colony Park, benefits Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi with an evening filled with offerings from local restaurants, caterers, mixologists and distributors sprinkled throughout the shopping center’s corridors and courtyards, plus music under the stars, from Hunter Gibson & the Gators, and T-Baby & Soul Connect. Find tickets, $100, at eventbrite.com.

Pumpkin Adventure continues at the Mississippi Museum of Agriculture and Forestry, 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday through Saturday (adjusted hours 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Family Day on Saturday) to and Oct. 24-26. It’s $7 for ages 2 and up, and a hayride, milk and cookies, a take-home pumpkin and more.

Pumpkin Adventures continue at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum. Image: Ag Museum

Black Jacket Symphony presents Journey’s “Escape,” 8 p.m. Thursday at Thalia Mara Hall. The unique concert experience recreates the classic album, live, with handpicked musicians in the first set, and comes back with a selection of Journey’s greatest hits in the more laid-back second set (with a light display to boot!). Tickets are $25-$35 on ticketfly.com.

Black Jacket Symphony performs Thursday at Thalia Mara Hall. Image: ardenland

The 2018 Purple Dress Run, 6 p.m. Thursday at The District at Eastover, supports Catholic Charities’ domestic violence prevention programs. Register here.

Enjoy live music outdoors at the District Green Live, 6 p.m. Thursday, at the District at Eastover.

Check out the cool creation of the Wolfe Studio’s flock of talented studio artists and friends, at the 2018 Wolfe Studio Autumn Art Show, 4 p.m. Friday. The show of paintings, prints, ceramics and more will remain on display through October.

Friday night’s showing of “Austenland” wraps up the 2018 Austen in the Welty Garden Film Series, with a screening in the garden at Eudora Welty House (or across the street in the Student Center at Belhaven University in case of rain). The grounds open at 5 p.m., the program starts at 6 p.m. and the movie starts about 6:30 p.m. It’s free; blankets, chairs and coolers are welcome. In the film, a “Pride and Prejudice”-obsessed woman travels to a Jane Austen-themed park. The film’s free.

Michael Franti & Spearhead’s “Stay Human” tour hits Duling Hall for a 7:30 p.m. Friday show with the energetic live show from the music pioneer and activist that reaches a global fanbase. Dustin Thomas and Victoria Canal open. It’s $40 advance ( ), $45 at the door.

Michael Franti & Spearhead perform Friday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

Eric Stracener & The Frustrations’ “Levee” release party, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Barrelhouse, is a chance to hear it live, from Stracener, Will Kimbrough, Jimbo Harwell, Denny Burkes, Steve Deaton and honorary Frustration, Sherry Cothren. CDs will be for sale.

October beckons and Brian Burke is ready with riddles at The Village Social: Oktoberfest Trivia. It’s 7:30 p.m. Friday at Highland Village. This is a 21 and up event.

Saturday night, Making Music for James, 7:30 p.m. Saturday (7 p.m. door) at Blaylock/Patterson Studio at 3017 N. State St., shares the so-cool music of Lee Barber and Bruce Golden. Prints of James Patterson’s work will be for sale, and event proceeds will go to Patterson. The suggested cover is $5.

VergeJXN2.0, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday at The Hatch in Midtown offers up a completely different arts and crafts fair — this one’s interactive! Come get your sense of wonder nudged and your imagination charged with an all-ages participation in art. It’s free. A kids zone, food trucks, live music and beer are part of the fun.

“Summer Alchemy,” an opening reception for 242 Creative, celebrates a first year in business with works from its summer project hanging at Offbeat, 6 p.m. Saturday,

Jackson Academy’s fall production, “Fiddler on the Roof,” has performances at 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday, featuring Upper School students in the cast and crew. Find tickets here.

The Jax-Zen Fall Fest, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Jax Zen Float, 155 Wesley Ave., includes music, art, yoga, massage, plant-based food and more.

The Native Sons live acoustic show with Paul Thorn and Steve Azar bring their indelible story songs home to roost, 7 p.m. Sunday at Duling Hall. It’s $40 at ardenland.net or at the door.

Paul Thorn performs Sunday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

R&B/soul singer Maxwell’s 50 Intimate Nights Tour tucks into Jackson’s Thalia Mara Hall Sunday with a 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $26.50-$93.50 on ticketfly.com.

New Stage Theatre presents “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Tuesday through Nov. 4, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Find tickets at the New Stage box office, newstagetheatre.com and 601-948-3531. Related programming includes New Stage Dialogues: The Impact of the Diary of Anne Frank,’ 7 p.m. Monday at Beth Israel Congregation, with scenes and discussions of the drama, and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in the Hewes Room at New Stage. Both events are free and open to the public.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” starts Tuesday at New Stage Theatre with Elizabeth Thiel in the title role. Image: Cameron Pitre and New Stage Theatre

Join Ideas on Tap, 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday at Hal & Mal’s, as the Mississippi Humanities Council tackles the topic “Why Don’t We Vote” with knowledgeable panelists, audience engagement and snacks, and drinks available for purchase.

Alternative rock band Collective Soul brings its edgy and bold sound to Brandon at City Hall Live with a Tuesday night show, 8 p.m. The Stir starts off. Tickets are $15 to $53-plus on ticketmaster.com.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 35 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a curated sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional Fondren events, see our online calendar here. Reach Sherry at sherry@finditinfondren.com.

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