W NT E I I V W E R P W E S IW E T I V R VE A E R P R R P E S T T S W TR IN E R A I W A R 7 EV E R R T E -3 P T N I N WWI GES 21 PA W E
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December 8 - 14, 2010
December 8 - 14, 2010
9 NO. 13
Arena Views Building an entertainment and sports arena in Jackson has advocates—and opponents.
COURTESY AT&T CENTER; FILE PHOTO; TOM RAMSEY; NATALIE A. COLLIER
Painting from Donna Ladd’s collection. Artist unknown.
THIS ISSUE: Safe Food
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The subject of food safety has found its way to Congress. Will it affect your table?
.............. Editor’s Note .................... Slowpoke ............................. Talk ...................... Editorial ........................ Stiggers .................... Kamikaze ............................ Zuga ...................... Opinion ...................... Opinion ............... Arts Preview .......................... Music ........... Music Listings ............................ Astro ......................... Puzzles ............................ Food ......... Fly Gift Guides .... Fly Shopping Page
steve kistulentz On a warm and cloudy day in November, professor Steve Kistulentz sits calmly at a table at Millsaps College. He smiles and tilts his head slightly as he remembers the events that brought him to Jackson. “The job at Millsaps College became available in a couple of ways that suggested it was part of a larger plan for me,” says Kistulentz, who received his doctorate in English from Florida State University in 2009. His graduate professor, a Millsaps alum, encouraged Kistulentz to apply for the position of assistant professor of English at Millsaps. Kistulentz, 43, always wanted to live in a city with a good family atmosphere and a liberal arts college. After discovering that Jackson has both, he applied for the position and started working at the college in August 2009. “I remembered thinking, if they offer me the job, this was going to be the place for us,” Kistulentz says. In addition to working as a professor, Kistulentz is also an award-winning author and creator of the Millsaps Visiting Writer Series. His book of poems, “The Luckless Age,” won the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, and is due for release Feb. 1. “Writing is deceptively easy,” says Kistulentz, who developed the series in 2009 to show students the work involved in literary writing. Its programs bring nationally known writers like novelists Richard Bausch, and poets Mary Biddinger and Erika Meitner to Jackson to discuss their writing process. The
writers meet with the students during the day, and that evening, the writers read their work. The public readings are typically on Wednesday nights. Kistulenz says that while Millsaps students are more-than capable of producing academic papers, many of them become frustrated at the time and effort it takes to complete a literary work. “Many people don’t understand the commitment that it takes for literary writing,” Kistulentz says. “Writing is a life choice and a career.” The Washington, D.C., native says he always knew he would be a writer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., his master’s degree in English from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and his masters of fine arts from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Before he went back to graduate school, he spent 15 years working on Capitol Hill where he lobbied for various industry groups. He says the political world taught him how to listen and observe others; manage his time and juggle responsibility. “These were very fundamental skills to my writing,” he says. Kistulentz is dedicated to mentoring writers, and believes writers learn from other writers. His advice? “You are always working, and it is your job to experience and to think about what you see,” he says. —Katrina Byrd
44 Family Secret When it comes to holiday dinner drama, nothing beats a roast and Yorkshire pudding.
50 Toasty Chic Just because the weather’s frightful doesn’t mean you can’t be warm and fashionable.
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Latasha Willis Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a graduate of Tougaloo College and the proud mother of one cat. Her JFP blog is “The Bricks That Others Throw.” She coordinated the preview listings.
Valerie Wells Valerie Wells is a freelance writer who lives in Hattiesburg. She writes for regional publications. Follow her on Twitter at sehoy13. She wrote the feature story about APAC.
ShaWanda Jacome Assistant to the Editor ShaWanda Jacome is learning to pray without ceasing, to trust in the Lord completely and to have hope and faith in his timing. She coordinated the listing photos and shopping guides.
Pamela Hosey Pamela Hosey is originally from West Point, Miss. She loves to write, read James Patterson novels and spend time with her family. She coordinated the museum gift guide.
Christopher Zuga Christopher Zuga is a freelance illustrator/graphic designer/fine artist (not necessarily in that order). When he is not hunched over a project, he prepares for the Zombie Apocalypse. He drew the cartoon, and wrote a dish and a music review.
Natalie A. Collier Natalie A. Collier is originally from Starkville and a graduate of Millsaps College. She lived in Chicago for a while, but is now back in Jackson. She’s not easy to impress. Try. She coordinated the arts, entertainment and preview features.
Meredith Norwood Originally from Hoover, Ala., Meredith Norwood works as an art director. She wants to travel the world and photograph everything. She photographed the museum gift guide.
December 8 - 14, 2010
Katrina Byrd is a graduate of Millsaps College. She’s a local writer who has received grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission and she is The Center Players Playwright in Residence for the 2010-2011 season. She wrote the Jacksonian.
by Lacey McLaughlin, News Editor
Will the Next Josh Hailey Stand Up?
remember the first time I saw Josh Hailey. I was covering the City of Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce banquet for the Madison County Journal in 2009. At this suburban hobnob where conformity is king, Hailey was clad in a colorful ensemble and his hair was in dread-locked pigtails. He was supporting Nicole Marquez as she took shaky steps to the podium to speak. Marquez had recently regained her ability to walk after falling from the roof of her sixth-floor New York City apartment building and came to thank the community for its support. I mistakenly made a snap judgment and labeled Hailey as just another eccentric hipster. But when I watched the way he interacted with people in the room, my impression quickly changed. Despite the fact that a few Ridgeland Chamber members stared wide-eyed, not knowing quite what to make of Jackson’s beloved artist, Hailey threw his arms around people’s shoulders and greeted everyone with a smile. Later, when I started getting plugged into Jackson, I realized that Hailey is an integral part of the community—adding a huge dose of fun to everything he touches. But it wasn’t until last week when I attended “I Love Mississippi” Jackson Retrospective—Hailey’s final exhibit before he departs for Los Angeles—that I really understood the scope of his impact on the Jackson arts scene. The show included an exhaustive amount of artwork—many works in collaboration with other local artists—local bands, improv performances, costumes, a hot-dog cook off, T-shirt-making stations, and other bells and whistles. But the show exemplified Jackson’s arts community and its fullest, most beautiful potential. As I looked at the Jackson skyline from the Arts Center of Mississippi’s balcony, I felt inspired and exhilarated. Even though Hailey’s dream of setting a large statue on fire outside the Arts Center didn’t pan out (apparently insurance is hard to find for burning large structures downtown), the exhibit was a culmination of the groundwork Hailey and other artists started almost a decade ago with high hopes and lots of passion. Over the past week, I’ve talked to several Jacksonians about what happens after Hailey leaves. I initially worried that his absence would create a large gap in the community. Melvin Priester Jr., who has worked with Hailey on several projects, likened him to the Ferris Bueller of Jackson—bringing people together and creating fun. Jackson artists Ginger Williams and William Goodman were two of the pioneers of Jackson’s artistic renaissance. Williams says that Hailey became part of her extended family and that the small group supported each other. In a world where competition is fierce—the art world can be cut throat— Jackson is a unique place where artists can grow and learn from each other. In the “I Love Mississippi” film Azod
Abedikichi created about the months leading up to the exhibit, Hailey explains the need to branch out and leave Jackson. He says he wishes he could make a living hanging out with his friends and making art. But until he can find a way to monetize that, he wants to expand his horizons and take time
In a world where competition is fierce—the art world can be cut throat—Jackson is a unique place where artists can grow and learn from each other. for discovery. In September, Hailey explained to me why he felt he had to leave Jackson. For the past several years, he has burned the candle at both ends, he said. Hailey’s work went beyond just creating art for his studio. He has hosted karaoke at Ole Tavern, worked with children at Jackson Public Schools and other organizations, produced a CD with his band J-TRAN, organized events and much, much more. A few people have expressed concern that without Hailey, Jackson’s art scene is going to take a turn for the worst. I disagree. Hailey and other artists have created so much momentum and inspiration for Jackson’s future. Abedikichi’s film shows a revolution. So many people came together over the past five months to help Hailey create and prepare for
the show. He transformed his house into a creative world where anyone was welcome, as long as they had a desire to express themselves. In preparing for the exhibit, Hailey says he has never pushed himself so far to do something he really cares about. Instead of seeing Hailey’s departure as bad for Jackson, I think we should view it as a passing of the torch and a new era for the city. This is an opportunity for more people to step up and create their own world of fun and creativity to share. Recently, the Jackson Community Design Center brought David Koren, executive producer of FIGMENT, a New York City collaborative and participatory arts organization, to Jackson. Koren’s organization hosts a community-based arts festival in New York each year that brings 25,000 visitors. Koren and the JCDC want to bring this festival to Jackson but need the support and interest of our community to make it happen. The JCDC is currently forming a steering committee and needs more people to help raise funds, contribute art and volunteer. This free community-based festival would change the landscape of Jackson and build an even stronger network of artists. But without people stepping up to the plate, it could fall apart. This is just one example, though; the possibilities are endless for inspiring creativity in our city. What else can you do? Host a house concert or a craft party, bring sidewalk chalk to kids in your neighborhood, buy local art, attend art exhibits and support local artists. We can all be Josh Hailey. For more information about FIGMENT, visit figmentproject.org or FIGMENT JXN on Facebook.
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Watkins Wants to Buy Metrocenter
Business owner David Neeley said he is looking forward to the Metrocenter getting new owners.
atkins Development LLC Vice President Jason Goree said the company, which already owns a closed anchor-store space in Metrocenter Mall, now wants to buy the entire structure. Watkins and the city of Jackson, which bought a different abandoned anchor store in the same mall last year, would prefer not to let the building complete foreclosure, even if it presented the possibility of buying the whole mall at a fire sale price. “It’s potentially cheaper to buy it from foreclosure, but that potentially opens the market to every buyer,” Goree said. “If we
felt the mall was going into foreclosure, we’d probably try to get it before it does, but we’re in constant communication with the owners of the mall and the banks, and we’re going to try to figure out what’s best for us and the city.” Metrocenter business owner David Neeley is looking forward to Metrocenter coming under new ownership next year. “I think anything that will bring more people in will be great, and (developer David Watkins) may have some better ideas,” said Neeley, president and owner of The Cookie Store, which has had space in the mall’s up-
by Adam Lynch per floor for about 30 years. “This is the only store in the franchise I own that isn’t making good money,” said Neeley, who works the store himself most weekdays to keep costs down. “Low business has everything to do with the amount of people who come through the mall. We need more people here.” Revenues at Metrocenter have been bleeding off for the last several decades as affluent Jacksonians and shoppers moved to the suburbs. Goree said that the mall’s current owner, Metrocenter Mall Ltd., is behind in its payments to Los Angeles’ First Credit Bank, adding that Hinds County Chancery Court had begun a foreclosure on the property this month, but said he expected Metrocenter to catch up on payments before the foreclosure proceeded further. Goree added that Watkins, who facilitated the recent renovation of the King Edward Hotel in downtown Jackson, did not want the building to go into foreclosure “because of the negative connotations” it brings upon the area and the city. “If we have to buy it at a higher price to stop the perception of it going bad, then we’d rather do that. We’re willing to pay a little higher price to stop the mall from looking even more negative,” Goree said. Watkins Development LLC intends to have site control of the entire structure within the next 12 months, meaning it could be making payments to the bank if the current METROCENTER, see page 8
IN/OUT IN Patrick Grogan Kanye Babalu Indie Films Downtown Roof Raising 1980s Riverdance DigiPets Yazoo Beer Dos Perros Cava “Burlesque”
OUT Josh Hailey Drake Dixie Mex Pix Capri Roof Razing 1990s Gregorian Chant ZuzuPets Red Bull Champagne “Spiderman the Musical”
separate “Why don’t they just call it interposition again, where the state can interpose its will based upon the 10th Amendment? Then, if the federal government keeps giving us trouble, we can simply form a separate state?” —Tougaloo Professor Stephen Rozman on U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker’s bill to undermine new federal healthcare reforms and EPA regulation based upon the 10th Amendment.
Wednesday, Dec. 1 Aleksandr Lukashenko, president of Belarus, says his country will abandon its stockpile of enriched uranium by 2012. … Dr. Caroline Meyers is named the new president of Jackson State University. Thursday, Dec. 2 Transformer Gallery, a Washington, D.C., art gallery, begins their round-theclock protest against censorship at the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian removed the video “A Fire in My Belly” by David Wojnarowicz after the Catholic League and Republican members of Congress complained that the image of ants crawling on a crucifix was sacrilegious and hate speech toward Christians. ... A logging truck strikes a train in Yazoo City, causing four of its empty cars to derail. Friday, Dec. 3 President Barack Obama makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, meeting with troops at Bagram Air Force Base and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. … Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador to the U.S., visits Jackson to discuss business and trade opportunities between Mississippi and India with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. Saturday, Dec. 4 Sixteen people are killed in seven bomb attacks in Baghdad. Five bombs are set off in Shiite neighborhoods while two target Iranian religious tourists visiting Shiite holy sites. … Approximately 5,000 Mississippians attend the grand opening of the Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson. Sunday, Dec. 5 More than 200 WikiLeaks mirror sites appear on the Internet. Several Internet companies ended services to WikiLeaks in the past week, saying its divulgence of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables is illegal. … The Bowl Championship Series announces Auburn and Oregon will face each other in the national championship game. Mississippi State will face Michigan in the Gator Bowl, and Southern Miss will play Louisville in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. Monday, Dec. 6 President Obama announces that Bush-era tax cuts will continue for two years, while benefits to long-term unemployed will continue and payroll taxes will be cut for all workers for one year. … David Waide, outgoing Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation president, says he will not seek election for a statewide office next year, ending rumors More news: jfpdaily.com.
news, culture & irreverence
Arts education has a significant positive impact on a child’s critical thinking and learning abilities, including observation, problem solving and flexible thinking, according to the Department of Education’s “Thinking Through Art” research in 2007.
The JFP’s Adam Perry talks about writing his first novel, “Boxing Gorillas.” p. 15
news, culture & irreverence
METROCENTER, from page 7
owner defaults. Complete ownership, Goree said, is more complicated and will require “baby steps,” but he added that site control will allow the company to move forward with development plans for the mall. There’s nothing simple about those development plans, however. Watkins wants to rent a portion of Metrocenter Mall to the Jackson Public Schools district as part of a “Metro Master Plan” that could include an arts plaza and performance space for the district and a complete renovation of the mall. The three- to seven-year plan includes development of housing around the mall, a hotel and entertainment venues. Watkins said he would charge JPS $1 million a year for leasing and renovations, but said the district stands to make about $500,000 in new revenue if it moves its administration into the
mall. The estimate comes from projected sales tax increases and savings from maintenance of the district’s current, aging buildings. “We’ve worked with the (Jackson Public Schools) staff, and we’ve gotten numbers from the staff ... to justify the cost savings,” Watkins said in August. “According to our calculations, the school district will save $198,634 a year on utilities, $325,000 on staffing annual savings, $462,386 on new taxes, just from (the development of the) Metrocenter, and save $224,400 on maintenance and insurance overhead, (and) janitorial services for a total of $1.2 million in savings. And that’s just what we’ve identified with our meager resources.” JPS Superintendent Lonnie Edwards originally approached the JPS board with the proposition in July, but has never officially
put the proposal before the school board for approval or disapproval. JPS board member George Schimmel said he is not sure about Watkins’ estimated savings. “I do not know for certain what those figures demonstrated,” Schimmel said. “If you make any projection of a future cost, it’s based upon assumptions like how much efficiency, maybe derived from a more compact layout of a central office, and other things. There are always assumptions. He continued: “Depending upon how you tilt those assumptions, you can tilt projections one way or another. I couldn’t’ get any (numbers from Watkins) that I could feel sufficiently certain about.” Schimmel said some board members are worried about where the district would get the money for up-front moving costs and
The Fuzzy Math of Arenas
December 8 - 14, 2010
ing that recirculates in the local economy, such as spending at locally owned businesses, and dollars that remain in the pockets of out-of-town owners, like many of the chain vendors inside arenas. Journalists Neil deMause and Joanna Cagan chronicled the vagaries of sports-stadium economics in their 2000 book, “Field of Schemes” (University of Nebraska Press, 2008, $20).
by Ward Schaefer property tax revenue from the arena, but $1.9 million of that would go toward tax-increment financing (known as a TIF) to fund infrastructure improvements supporting the private development. Supporters of a Jackson arena have also focused on the promise of encouraging private development with the construction of a publicly funded arena. But even in the case of acclaimed arena developments, private in-
COURTESY AT&T CENTER
alk of a proposed entertainment arena in downtown Jackson has been largely devoid of hard figures, by necessity. Arena supporters are still cobbling together the private money to pay for a feasibility study. As of Dec. 3, the downtown arena “steering committee” had raised $65,915 of the $80,000 it hopes to raise for the study before the end of the year. The study would inject some rough cost estimates into discussions of the proposal. In the meantime, those curious about the economics of an arena could look to Lincoln, Neb., which is building a new arena in a previously neglected portion of the city’s downtown. Voters in Lincoln approved issuing bonds for the 16,000-seat project May 11. The arguments in favor of the building are reminiscent of arena and stadium pushes across the country: The University of Nebraska’s existing arena is too old and too small, and Lincoln needs a new facility to attract big-name events and spur economic development. The city plans to finance half the $344 million bond debt with taxes on bars, restaurants, hotel rooms and rental cars. The remainder will come from arena revenue, private contributions from business groups and parking garages; $17 million will come from a tax-increment financing deal and the sale of some land to private developers. Proponents of the Lincoln arena have touted an economic-impact projection of $260 million per year, $216 million of which comes from estimated private development around the arena. But such figures are notoriously flexible. Estimates of a facility’s economic impact often include economic activity that simply moved to the arena—or neighboring businesses—from other parts of town. Similarly, economic-impact studies sometimes fail to distinguish between spend-
San Antonio’s AT&T Center has not delivered on promises of adjacent private development, according to urban policy professor Heywood Sanders.
“‘Economic impact’ is a favored statistic of consultants, because it dramatically inflates a project’s effect by including all money spent at or around a facility, whether or not it benefits the public,” they wrote. “If a team doubles its ticket prices, for example, that counts as double the economic activity, even if the resulting revenue goes directly into the owner’s pocket.” A more appropriate rubric would be a new facility’s “fiscal impact,” its direct contribution to the tax revenues of local government, deMause and Cagan argue. Lincoln city officials have touted some $3 million in estimated annual sales and
how quickly it could eliminate the financial drag of its existing office space downtown. “We’re not likely to sell the space that we (would) vacate right away,” he said. “That would require some maintenance cost until we manage to sell it.” Goree said Watkins would continue to try to work with the board. In the meantime, however, business owners with leases inside the mall will not be affected, regardless of who the owners are, he said. “Our sources told us that if the mall goes into foreclosure, the businesses inside it will continue, and if we own the building we certainly don’t plan on kicking anybody out,” Goree said. “We would try to work with those guys, because the worst thing we could do is disrupt something that’s working. The things that are working—let them work.” Comment at www.jfp.mus.
vestment has not always followed the public dollars. The New York Times and local leaders in Columbus, Ohio, have hailed the 18,500seat Nationwide Arena as the linchpin of the city’s downtown waterfront renaissance. However, that success has not reached other parts of the city’s downtown, according to a case study by the University of CaliforniaDavis MBA Consulting Center. “Although the area that became Columbus’ Arena District was successfully redeveloped, the positive effects did not spread to the remainder of downtown,” the study’s authors wrote. “Much of downtown was still
empty at night, and various neighborhoods of Columbus competed with each other and the suburbs for attention.” Ultimately, publicly funded arenas and stadiums carry with them not only the direct cost of property-tax breaks, bonds or sales-tax increases, they also bear the cost of diverting public money from other causes, deMause and Cagan argued. “If stadium-construction funds end up coming from the same civic coffers as other municipal projects’ funds do, and if massive stadium deals are being given the go-ahead nationwide, what isn’t getting funded instead?” they wrote. The arguments for arena building remind University of Texas-San Antonio public-policy professor Heywood Sanders of the case for convention centers. “It’s always the same story: If we do just one more thing, then that, somehow, is going to secure a grand, promising economic future for downtown,” Sanders said. Sanders made his reputation attacking—most notably in a 2005 Brookings Institution report—the rush for publicly funded convention centers, which underperform in an oversaturated market, he says. Arenas are similarly risky, he argues, noting that the private development promised to follow San Antonio’s AT&T Center, built in 2002 for $146.5 million in public money, “simply hasn’t happened.” “There’s nothing wrong with having a flashy place for a Beyoncé concert,” Sanders said. “But if your goal is to revitalize your downtown, part of the problem is that a big public investment—measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars, once done—is sunk. … It’s not the kind of thing where if it fails, you just shrug your shoulders and walk away from it. Far better to take a series of smaller, less expensive initiatives that enable you to test how the market and the local population behaves and see what works.”
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Traversing the Merit-Pay Thicket students and schools, which tracks growth in test scores from year to year. In addition to individual bonuses, the performance-pay system may give incentives to administrators, groups of teachers and even entire schools, Buckley said. Participating schools may be able to allocate their incentives in different ways. “We’ll encourage them to use the same model, but there may be some flexibility within it,” Buckley said. Proponents of performance or “merit” pay argue that, by offering much higher earnings, merit pay would raise the social status of the teaching profession. This, in turn, would attract more of the highly qualified candidates that currently flock to law, medicine and business instead of education. They also argue that merit pay would better align teacher incentives: Instead of the incentives encouraging teachers to stick around, pay scales would reward teachers whose students perform better. Critics of merit pay argue that paying teachers for higher standardized test scores— the most commonly used yardstick for teacher effectiveness—only rewards teachers for putting more effort into test preparation. “(Merit pay) will create an incentive for teachers to teach only what is on the tests of reading and math,” education historian Diane Ravitch wrote in a 2009 blog post on the Education Week Web site. “This will narrow the
curriculum to only the subjects tested.” Paying teacher more for higher test scores would encourage “teaching to the test,” “gaming the system,” and even “outright cheating,” Ravitch argued. So far, education research has not convincingly borne out the claims on either side. In a widely publicized Vanderbilt University study released in September, the Project on Incentives in Teaching, or POINT, found that merit pay alone did not make teachers more effective. Tracking 300 Nashville middleschool math teachers from 2007 to 2009, the researchers found that the prospect of teacher bonuses had no significant effect on student test scores. The POINT study did not address a central claim of merit-pay proponents, however—that the prospect of higher pay would attract and retain high-quality teachers. That possibility will be a focus of Mississippi’s initiative. While the opportunity to compete for higher pay will ideally draw teachers to New Direction schools, teachers already at those schools will receive training and professional development meant to make them better. “We want to increase the quality of the teacher who’s currently working in the district as well as recruit new teachers into the districts,” Buckley said. Mississippi Education Association President Kevin Gilbert noted the POINT study’s
U.S. Food Bill Spares Small Farmers Senate could take additional measures to save the bill, but that would require another vote— challenging for a packed lame-duck session. The Centers for Disease Control and FILE PHOTO
ike Steede, owner of Steede farms in Lucedale, Miss., took over the farm his family has operated for the past 150 years after he retired from teaching agriculture at the Mississippi State Extension Service last year. In May, he formed a Community Supported Agriculture program, which delivers in-season fruit and vegetables weekly to 36 members from his 40-acre farm. Steede has seen a demand for locally grown food. He said he was initially worried about the U.S. Food Modernization Safety Act the U.S. Senate passed last week, but now feels satisfied with provisions that exempt small farmers from tighter regulations. On Nov. 30, the U.S. Senate passed the bill that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to make mandatory food recalls, require producers to have plans to address safety risks, hold them accountable for contaminated products and require stricter food-safety testing. The House approved its version of the bill last year. Once the two measures are reconciled, Obama is expected to sign the bill. Last week, the bill hit a hurdle. The Senate version of the bill places new fees on food facilities. Under the Constitution, all legislation that increases revenue sources, like taxes and fees, must originate in the House. The
In the Food Modernization Safety Act’s current form, farmers making less than $500,000 in annual sales are exempt from stricter food-safety regulations.
Prevention reports that approximately 76 million people in the U.S. suffer from food-borne illnesses every year—300,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. Food-safety advocates pushed the bill after contaminated peanut butter products from a major food supplier killed nine people and poisoned 20,000 in 2008. Most salmonella outbreaks, the advocates say, originate in factory-farm environments.
Opponents of the original bill cited the high costs involved for small organic farmers running operations with low overhead and small margins. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker both voted against the House bill. In a statement, Wicker said that modernizing food safety should not “unduly burden food producers and add to the national debt.” But Montana Sen. John Tester added an amendment that exempted small, lowrisk food processers from the bill. The provision applies to farms that sell more than half their goods directly to consumers—in venues like farmers’ markets—and make less than $500,000 in annual sales. Food distributors will have to pay fees for federal inspections. Steede is working with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture by hosting workshops for produce farmers who want to form CSA’s or get retailers to buy their product. He says he keeps paperwork on all pesticides used and ensures sanitary conditions for harvesting produce in line with state guidelines. Because his operation is small, he has a relationship with most of his customers. “The chain of command is pretty short. I grow it, and they eat it,” he says. “If there is a problem, they know where I am at.” Steede says that there are no strict requirements for farmers selling produce on
Teachers at one Jackson elementary school are part of a new experiment in paying based on performance.
implication that merit pay alone wouldn’t improve test scores but said that he was open to MDE’s experiment. He added that he hoped to see the state involve teachers in the development of its performance-pay system. “If you bring us teachers in on the front end, the receptiveness to what happens is a lot smoother,” Gilbert said. Even if New Direction proves a success, it is unclear whether MDE could afford to expand its experiment statewide. The pilot program takes advantage of federal funds to supplement teacher salaries. A permanent, universal change to the state’s pay scale for teachers would require more money—from private or government sources—or a reorganization of the pay scale that gives less to the lowest-performing. Base teacher pay in the state is currently $30,900 for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience.
by Lacey McLaughlin their own or local markets. “To sell at farmer’s markets, there are no regulations at this time,” he says. “As long you are growing the product and selling to the public there are no regulations, (to) my knowledge, that you have to abide by. When you start selling to retailers, grocery stores will have regulations that they request or require you to abide by.” The majority of Steede’s customers are families with small children who are concerned about processed foods causing obesity, and who want to support local farmers, he said. “People are more concerned about their food supply now than ever before,” he said. “We are seeing food prices going up. The number of farms is going down. We have fewer people today feeding America than ever before.” Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association Education Director Grady Griffin has also been working with the state Department of Agriculture to help small farmers sell their products to restaurant. He says the trend is simply following consumer demand. “People are trying to source more local ingredients because that is what the consumers are asking for,” he says. “As the consumers gets more educated about where they food is coming from, we have to respond to their requests. It has become more prevalent than it was a few 11 years ago.” jacksonfreepress.com
ver the next five years, Oak Park Elementary School will be on the vanguard of a nationwide experiment in school reform. The south Jackson school is one of 10 in Mississippi chosen to participate in a pilot program that will change the way the teachers are paid. The Mississippi Department of Education is starting the program, called New Direction, with a $10.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund. The grant is part of a larger federal effort to spur innovation in school systems, including in the rigid pay scales that most states and districts use. In Mississippi, as in most states, teachers’ salaries are based on two things: their years of experience and their advanced degrees or certifications. New Direction will change that system for 10 schools, creating a “performance-based compensation system” based in part on student test scores. MDE has two stated goals for the program: First, it hopes to improve student achievement. Its second, related goal is to attract and retain effective teachers. The department has until July 1 of next year to develop the new pay and evaluation system. Deputy State Superintendent Daphne Buckley said that the system will rely on the regular evaluations teachers already receive along with the state’s assessment system for
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by Chris Zuga
Alabama, Apes and Adam Perry
What are the origins of the book? Well, it’s not like I’m trying to write the Great American Novel. It’s pulp. … I’m a child of the “Star Wars” generation. I like stuff that moves. ... It (reads) like a movie because, honestly, I’m a pretty big reader, but I’m a much bigger movie buff. I grew up on “Indiana Jones” and all that kind of stuff, and that has filtered into how I write, because I don’t want to sit there and get bogged down. … I kept hammering at it and hammering at it, and I knew I finally had done right when Josh Gordon (a friend and former creative-writing instructor), who was editing it, called me back, and the first words out of his mouth were “F*ck you.” I was like, “Yes. Yes! I’ve done it, I’ve finished it.” Who is publishing “Boxing Gorillas”? It’s (self-published through) lulu. com. I did the standard thing: sent out query letter after query letter, you know, got rejection after rejection. I didn’t stand for it as long as other people. (Laughs) I got my handful and figured, man, I could sit here for the next
and told him I needed a roommate. He said: “Sure, I’ll be there. Let me call you back after the lunch rush.” So we moved that weekend. A friend of mine found us an apartment literally right across the street from the beach, dirt cheap, 500 bucks a month or something split between us. We went down there and raised hell, got stupid.
WILLIAM PATRICK BUTLER
recently had a chance to sit down with Adam Perry, account and distribution manager for the Jackson Free Press, to talk about his first novel, “Boxing Gorillas.” The story is a wellpaced and fun read that deftly blends elements of suspense, comedy and action into an engaging romp through Alabama, highlighting the oddball characters the South seems to nurture. A misfit’s journey from Hattiesburg to Gulf Shores at the behest of his best friend sets the ball rolling, and from the start things go from bad to screwy to downright life-threatening. The story is told with Perry’s crisp prose and his character’s pervasive laidback world view. Trust me when I tell you: It’s a page-turner.
Adam Perry, erstwhile musician and JFP account representative, has published his first novel, “Boxing Gorillas.”
five years collecting a notebook full of rejection letters, or I could just do this myself. Plus, (publishers) wanted me to do all the marketing for it, anyway. And don’t think I’m not going to shop the heck out of it, still. I am assuming that “Boxing Gorillas” has certain semi-autobiographical aspects to it? The first 30 or 40 pages of the book are straight from my playbook at that point in my life. I moved (to Gulf Shores, Ala.) right after college in ’98. I was supposed to move down there with a friend of mine who played in a band with me at the time. He calls me on Wednesday—we’re supposed to move on Friday—and says, “Man, I can’t do it.” So I called a buddy of mine, Jeff Gunner, he was working at Sal & Phil’s,
So how many of these characters are based on people you knew? All of them. Some of them are direct relations to the people they’re based on; some of them are mish-mashes of three or four people. Mason’s best friend in the book, David, looks like one of my friends, and he reacts like two other ones, and both of David’s kind of extremes are … one guy’s one extreme, and one guy is the other extreme. That’s kind of how I put him together. But Lou is based right on someone—the look, the car, the Elvis thing—and he’s also just like a total dumbass. (Laughs) Jack is based on somebody. Mason is a lot of me and a lot of other people, and it’s no surprise that he falls in with these people; these are his people, his tribe. The book leaves the door wide open for a sequel. Any plans for these characters in the future? I’ve got three sequels mapped, completely mapped. I’ve got two or three different scenarios, and I’m just trying to see which one of them is going to play better over the long haul. I’ve just got to throw it on the page and see how it lays. At this point it’s all just buckshot. I’m spit-balling everything at the page now and just seeing, you know? Adam Perry’s debut novel, “Boxing Gorillas” (paperback, $22.44; PDF download, $10), was released Dec. 7 and will be available through boxinggorillas. com, lulu.com, or visit the book’s Facebook page.
A Mostly Nice List of Mostly Offbeat Holiday Films by C. Zuga
“Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas” (1977)—Jim Henson had the Christmas season covered with “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” but this little tale is perhaps the most overlooked gem in Henson’s treasure trove. The tale of an otter mother and son and his jug band buddies as they all struggle to make some spending money for Christmas debuted in 1977. I remember watching this with my younger siblings and enjoying it immensely, especially the bands’ rival at the talent show: the intimidating Alice Cooper-styled Riverbottom Nightmare Band. The special is filled with memorable songs that are uplifting and sweet without being saccharine. This was also the first time Henson filmed his creations in wide-angle and full-character shots; previously Muppets were almost exclusively shot from the waist-up. If you haven’t seen it in years, or if you have children who have never seen it, this is the perfect time to settle in at the edge of Frogtown for a bittersweet modern holiday classic. “Die Hard” 1 and 2 (1988 and 1990)—Say what you will about Bruce Willis and this franchise, but they take place during the Christmas season—both of them. Willis’ John McClane just wants to be nice and spend the holiday mending his relationship with his family. You have to forgive him when he goes a little “Yippee Ki Yay” on the not-so-nice band of “terrorists” in the first movie. You’d think that would be the worst Christmas ever. But wait, another Christmas rolls around, another flight to bring the family together, and as a special gift there is a group of mercenaries led by the great character-actor William Sadler, trying to free an extradited drug lord flying in to the same airport. Holiday mayhem ensues with McClane outnumbered, outgunned and improvising to save the wife and kids, bring down the bad guys and save Christmas, yet again. Maybe next year a quiet holiday at home is the way to go. Honorable mentions: “Scrooged,” “Bad Santa,” “The Ice Harvest,” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
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Be Honest About Tax Cuts
.S. Sen. Roger Wicker defended his vote against two Senate measures on Dec. 4 that would have preserved soon-to-expire tax cuts for individuals reporting less than $200,000 in personal income and for families and business owners making less than $250,000 in taxable income (after expenses). He also voted against extending the tax-cut threshold to $1 million. “We need to promote a pro-growth environment for businesses that allows job creators to expand and hire. The most important thing we can do right now to help the economy and the millions of people struggling to make ends meet is prevent tax hikes from hitting Americans and small businesses,” Wicker stated. The problem with his statement is that he was voting against extending tax cuts for middle-class individuals and small businesses because the measure did not also extend Bush tax cuts for the top 3 percent of U.S. earners. Republicans are spreading very misleading language about their attempt to, supposedly, help small businesses by extending tax cuts for the wealthy. Small business owners know it is difficult for the little guy to make $250,000 a year in profits after expenses come out; thus, we would benefit from the middle-class tax cut that Wicker and friends opposed unless millionaires got their break, too. The GOP warnings about small businesses needing the wealthy tax break cynically rely on the fact that the wealthiest report some of their income as individual business income (such as from speaking fees). But the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the vast majority of the über-rich make most of their money another way, meaning they are anything but mom-and-pop businesses. It did not matter that the millionaires got a tax cut on everything they would have made below $1 million in the second measure. The GOP said last week that the wealthy need tax cuts on the entirety of their income—all of it—and that they were willing to let tax cuts expire if they did not get it. Republicans, including Wicker and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, threatened to let unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans expire this month, despite unemployment creeping up to 9.8 percent—unless they got their tax cuts for people making more than $1 million a year. Merry Christmas, all. And it’s not like tax cuts for their wealthy friends are likely to stimulate business. Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said that the extension of the tax cuts through 2012 would only reduce the unemployment rate by between 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points and that extending unemployment benefits would better stimulate the economy. These tricks on behalf of millionaires need to stop. If tax cuts for the wealthy are truly their top priority, they should at least be honest about it. But remember, those tax cuts for the rich helped us get in this mess in the first place.
December 8 - 14, 2010
urse Tootie McBride: “Woe are the poor, broke, jobless and those individuals who will lose their unemployment benefits this holiday season. Some coldhearted politicians and uncaring corporations have thrown so many people out in the cold and to the curb. The warm possibility of change has become the bone-chilling reality of callousness. Even though the cold-heartedness of people brings a chill to my soul, I will do my best to remain warm and sympathetic to the needs of others. “So I decided to develop the McBride Family and Ghetto Science Team’s Holiday Task Force for the Newly Disenfranchised. This task force’s purpose is to ensure that all businesses and services in the Ghetto Science Community meet the needs of individuals affected by job layoffs, discontinued unemployment benefits, home foreclosure, etc. So far, the response to the objectives of the task force has been positive. “Already, Bubba Robinski’s Soy Protein Sausage Biscuits and Qweem-OWheat’s Meals on Wheels Foundation have joined forces to provide daily, holiday-season hot breakfasts for the homeless, senior citizens, school children and job trainees. “Rev. Cletus and his bus-driving deacons will provide extended transportation services for individuals who need a ride to their part-time, holiday season jobs at Y’all Mart. “Aunt Tee Tee and Brother Hustle will use some grant money from the Ghetto Stimulus Fund to provide career-minded individuals free computerliteracy training and refurbished laptops. “Now this is what good will to all people is about.”
It’s About People
et’s be honest. This town needs an enema. There are some leadership voids that indicate it’s time for our city to turn a page— or three. Frankly, we’ve done a questionable job of nurturing new talent and new political leaders and, thus, have made ourselves vulnerable to complacency. We need new blood. We need fresh ideas and fresh faces on the local, county and state level. We’re probably well behind the curve of other blossoming cities like ours, but our seemingly gripping fear of change prevents us from stepping out of our comfort zone. Before you dismiss this as an ageist rant (which it’s not), just look at the stats. I’m sure if you compared median ages you might find that we have one of the oldest city councils and boards of supervisors in the nation. Experience notwithstanding, we have new technology, a new generation of voters and new dynamics that a really effective public servant must be able to grasp. If the proverbial torch is not passed in politics and business, our city will continue to shrink until we become like Flint, Mich.: a shell. Our neighbors are most certainly being proactive. Jackson needs to learn to embrace its renaissance residents: the non-traditional; the non-conventional persons among us who can do several things. What makes a good politician or business person to you? To me, it’s folks like Che Smith, aka Rhymefest, a world-renowned MC with several albums under his belt. He’s running for alderman in the city of Chicago and has a great chance of winning. He is an educated, engaged man who, through music, has a great connection to the people he
may serve, a man who, because of his tattered past, probably has a better connection to his constituency than any career politician. Or look at world-champion boxer Manny Pacquiao. His Sarangani province in the Philippines elected him congressman by a landslide earlier this year. Even more recently, Wyclef Jean flirted with the idea of running for the presidency of Haiti. He, too, would have probably won by a huge margin. If those guys were in Jackson, they’d be ridiculed because “hip-hop artists” and boxers are dumb and would make a mockery of an office. (Sarcasm off.) Jackson, politics and good business are about people. It’s about having the trust and respect of those you serve. It’s about knowing the trials that your constituents go through daily. It’s definitely not the circus act that we see peddled before us every day in the news. Folks, I’ve had businessmen and politicians tell me Facebook and Twitter “aren’t that important.” I’ve had someone, albeit lovingly, tell me that it was disrespectful to take notes on my phone instead of using a pen and notepad. (Who still carries paper?) We’ve just had our powers-thatbe tell a cadre of Jackson warriors that an arena “isn’t that important” at this juncture. And the hits just keep on coming. We have become comfortable with what our perception of an elected official is supposed to be. We’ve become comfortable with being stagnant. Maybe innovation requires too much work. Beats me. But truth be told, we can’t create a “new” Jackson with the same old faces. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.
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TSA: Terrorists Screw America
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he Transportation Security Administration implemented new policies that, in essence, give strippers more rights in their places of employment than airline passengers in an airport. With most TSA checkpoints, you go through a metal detector while your carry-on luggage goes on a X-ray-equipped conveyor belt. If you happen to set off the metal detector after going through the detector twice, you are now at a dubious fork in the road. You can choose (A) the “enhanced pat down,” (which can include touching along the thigh near your groin and breasts) or (B) a backscatter X-ray device that snaps an image of your body sans clothes. It’s sort of like a twisted version of those “Choose-YourOwn Adventure” books—the “ChooseYour-Own Molestation” flight plan. If you refuse the backscatter machine, it’s the enhanced pat down for you. If you refuse that, you’re eligible for an up-to $11,000 civil penalty for violating the federal law, the precise amount of which is determined by the circumstances and the TSA’s discretion. Laws protect strippers by preventing their clients from actively touching them; however, TSA employees now have a mandate to grope you. It’s blatant disregard for privacy and human decency. As Americans, we’re supposed to trust our government. My problem is believing that the TSA staff is as loyal to the government as we’re supposed to believe they are. I’ve read and heard stories about TSA agents copying and spreading backscatter images among themselves and others. Take the case of TSA agent Rolando Negrin, who allegedly started a fight with coworkers after they allegedly spread a backscatter image of him naked (including his family jewels) around the workplace. Because TSA agents use the device, they have to go through it as well, much like police are required to be maced before being licensed to use mace themselves. These agents can’t even trust their colleagues. Technology website Gizmodo published 100 backscatter images of unsuspecting Americans (granted, faces and more sensitive portions were blurred) after it reported that the U.S. Court of Marshals in Orlando, Fla., had saved about 35,000 of such images. A simple Freedom of Information Act request later, and Gizmodo had broken the government and TSA’s promise that such images would never be made public. Then Houston, Texas-based journalist Steve Simon decided it was newsworthy to show his young daughter undergoing an “enhanced pat down” while kicking, screaming and crying, all at the hands of a tenacious female TSA agent. I could never fathom let-
ting someone touch my child like this, even in the name of national security, nor would I film this process for news fodder, and bring it to my company for broadcast. What about the case where two female TSA agents asked a flight attendant, a cancer survivor, to remove her prosthetic breast? Then there’s the man whose urostomy bag (a bag that stores urine) loosed and his urine spilled on his body, even though he claims to have told the TSA agents responsible for the pat down beforehand of his condition. TSA Chief John Pistole apologized to this man, something he should do to every American who has been the subject of an enhanced pat down or the pornoscanner. These cases, some documented with footage and others not, go on and on. Check Youtube if you don’t believe me. Children, wheelchair users, the elderly, and the rest of us are subject to groping, poking and prodding in the name of national security. What’s happening here is the terrorists are winning; if extremists hate us for our freedoms, as many a legislator has said in the past, do they like us now that we have fewer and fewer civil liberties? What if the TSA halted these policies? What if we went about flying the old-fashioned way, without the nude photo shoot or unwelcome fondling? Would airline terrorists suddenly proliferate? Would we see all our skylines crumble? Not likely. What the TSA’s “enhanced pat downs” and backscatter machines provide is a facade of security. The average airline patron is likely relieved at seeing people having every square inch of their bodies rubbed down. The Jackson-Evers International Airport uses the TSA’s services (though federal law doesn’t require it to do so; it can use one of five federally approved alternative companies). While it doesn’t have a backscatter machine, security personnel use enhanced pat downs for passengers who fail to pass through metal detectors twice. It’s a fine line we draw in the name of national security. How far is too far? After all, neither a pornoscanner nor a TSA gropefest is going to locate the ounce of C4 a terrorist might swallow or stick up his bum. I’ll drive or take the train until these measures are repealed. I encourage everyone to write his or her state and national representatives and at least sound off on this issue. We can have legitimate bipartisan support for repeal at the national level. Face it, unless you’re one of the elite, you’re going to have to choose your path with the TSA’s Choose-Your-Own-Molestation flight plan.
CORRECTIONS: In “Donations for Exemptions?” (Volume 9, Issue 12), we printed an incorrect total for 2008 cam-
paign contributions to Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg. The correct total was $64,950, according to candidate reports, of which $4,900 came from short-term lenders. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error. In last week’s cover story, “Rush to Judgment,” co-author Donna Ladd wrote that “the officer” rather than “the boy” pointed to non-existent evidence. She apologizes for the error.
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Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
Impact: Shining Bright by Valerie Wells
A 2009 Power APAC graduate’s (Caitlin O’Brien) one-color relief selfportrait was part of a Jackson Public Schools showcase.
December 8 - 14, 2010
grades four through 12. Most of the students who start in fourth grade stay with the same instructors until graduation, giving them an opportunity to master their art. JPS students compete for a chance to attend Power APAC. Every year the staff and faculty hold auditions for kids who can sing, dance, paint or act. Slots are limited, and not everyone who applies gets in. It gets tougher as the kids get older. Students already in the program have to prove they still belong. Even so, few slots open up for high-school students. Dance, music, theater and visual arts are offered at varying levels for all students; an eighth-grade student can work on the same level as a senior. ‘Shining Star’ Sandra Polanski, chairwoman of the music department, comes in before 7 a.m. each day to prepare for piano and music-theory classes, and to provide students with extra help in the morning. She has taught at Power APAC since its inception in 1982. “Erase your sharp sign,” she says, bending over one student’s shoulder and piano keyboard. With her up-do, Polanski, wearing cream pants, a golden-brown lacy jacket and a simple seashell necklace, could go straight to the symphony or the grocery store with ease and grace. “What do we need here and here?” she asks a student. The young girl pencils a mark. “F-sharp. And this is correct.” Polanski is pleased. She walks from student to student, checking work and answering questions as the students quietly pad on their keyboards. The sounds are so soft that all 20 key-
boards in the classroom can play ,and Polanski never has to raise her voice. “Leave it blank if you don’t need it. Don’t use it,” she says, and then straightens her back for emphasis. “It’s very mechanical. It’s cut and dry.” As students come in for the first class of the day, they pile backpacks in front of the class and grab a music book. Some pick up Bach, some pick up folk tunes, others have basic beginner’s books. Even though the first bell hasn’t rung, yet, the students are quiet, polite and immediately go to work. Polanski passes back the practice plans students had turned in the day before. She graded their detailed plan of what pieces they were practicing, how long they intended to practice, how much time they would devote to improvisation and what they think their weak
points are. This is a weekly assignment, and it is a detailed worksheet with many blanks to fill in. Several students look intently on their returned plans. When the bell rings, Polanski has her students stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and remain standing for some warm-up exercises. “If you have your hands in your pockets, you can’t do any physical activity at all,” she tells them. She leads the class through head rolls, upper body stretches, squats and bends. “I hear knees snapping,” she says. “Now, let’s walk in place.” She places one graceful hand on her upper abdomen. “Remember; this is your center of rhythm.” An announcement comes over the school intercom: The elementary school will celebrate its recent Star ranking, the highest the state JERT-RUTHA CRAWFORD
s a boy in a school uniform gets off the bus on tree-lined Riverside Drive early one fall morning, faculty and staff inside the Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex School prepare for a busy day. The boy carries a large white cello case behind him on his way to the front door. The cello case is bigger than he is. From behind, he looks like a walking cello case. He stops when he reaches the first low step outside the school and shifts the weight. He continues in the door, balancing the load just fine. It’s 7 a.m., and middle-school students taking music, dance, acting and visual arts classes file in the front door where performing arts coordinator and assistant principal Marlynn Martin greets them. She oversees the daily logistics operation at Power APAC. In the morning, buses bring in 45 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders for two periods of focused fine-arts study. In the middle of the day, two classes of elementary-school students come for the ACCESS program; they spend time during the year learning a little about all the fine arts offered at APAC. Then in the afternoon, high-school students come for specialized classes in their chosen field. And throughout the day, academically talented fourth and fifth graders have a normal school day. Keeping everyone moving and where they need to be takes a constant and steady hand. “This is the only school like this in the state,” Martin says, smiling at a student passing in the wide hall. It is an unusual public school. While Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven is a residential high school, Power APAC is an arts 18 school for Jackson Public Schools students in
Marlynn Martin serves as the performing arts coordinator and assistant principal at the Star-ranked Power APAC, an unusual public school in Jackson.
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ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Friday, Dec. 10th - Thursday, Dec. 16th Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader 3-D PG
APAC dance students go through at least two pairs of dance shoes each academic year.
citals at Millsaps College, and exhibit in galleries and museums. While Polanski has been with the school the longest, many of the other fine-arts teachers have been there a long time as well. Elizabeth Sullivan, chairwoman of the dance department, has been with the school 18 years. Dorian Myers, 32, has taught theater at Power APAC for nine years, her entire career. Most evenings, the teachers are either performing or working on their own art in addition to preparing for class. A group of them stand near the front door to guide the middle-school students back to the buses to begin their academic day, and they talk about plans for the evening. One is rehearsing with the symphony; another is working on a play. â€œIâ€™m having a one-woman show in my living room,â€? Myers says. On that jovial note, the teachers break up and go back to their rooms. Shawn Morgan, a vocal music teacher, spends her evenings rehearsing students for various productions. She is enthusiastic and optimistic until someone mentions possible similarities to the TV show â€œGlee.â€? â€œI donâ€™t have time to watch television,â€? she says with a stern look. Down the hall, in the auditorium, voices drift out in the hallway. The doors are closed, and about 20 students sit quietly in the audience. On stage, four girls belt out a familiar tune, pointing at each other and strutting, trying to out-sass each other. â€œR-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.â€? Itâ€™s the kind of moment that makes visitors smile. This happened the first time Nancy Smylie, a teacherâ€™s assistant, visited Power APAC as a substitute teacher last year. She loved the energy of the teachers and the wellbehaved students. â€œThis year, I have been blessed to have a position with the school. To be able to come to this atmosphere five days a week is a huge blessing,â€? she says. â€œThis is not a job. It is a privilege and a gift.â€? One moment she remembers vividly was walking outside during recess on a warm fall day. She found a young man playing his cello under the shade of an oak tree. She stood and listened to him play, enchanted with the moment. â€œI mean, where else do you see that?â€? she asks.
â€˜Grapevineâ€™ Elizabeth Sullivanâ€™s 2 p.m. ballet class is about to begin. As the teens from Murrah High School enter, they stop to watch a video of Power APAC students in a modern dance performance at Millsaps last year. Long arms on a dozen girls sway and grow longer as they glide forward then back. â€œWe did that yesterday,â€? a student points out. â€œI chassĂŠd across the floor.â€? He then exaggerates the move, smiling at himself in the walls of mirrors. â€œStop acting a fool,â€? another student says. â€œDrama class is down the hall.â€? A tall girl takes new pointe shoes out of a box and shows them to Sullivan. A new pair can cost $40 to $80, plus $20 for toe pads. The ribbon is another $4 or so. The girl, wearing leotards and tights, sits on a tall stool and quietly sews the ribbons into the sides of her new shoes. Sheâ€™ll wear out at least two pairs this year. If she has another growth spurt, sheâ€™ll need still another pair for her growing feet. Her long, dark hair hangs down as she concentrates on her stitches in the expensive shoes. Dance is divided into eight levels at Power APAC, and three different types of dance class: ballet, jazz and modern. Sullivan has seen the same students grow and improve as dancers for years. Last year, two of her students received scholarships to the summer intensive program at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, Calif. Christiana Jefferson, 15, was one of them. Jefferson is in ninth grade and in level 7 of the dance program. Sheâ€™s been studying dance at Power APAC since she was in fifth grade. She badly wanted to attend in fourth grade but on the day of the audition, she was sick and couldnâ€™t go. She missed her chance that year. Luckily, a rare spot opened for her the next year, and she made that audition. As a fifth grader, she was a level 1 student. Jefferson prefers modern dance. â€œModern is really free. Itâ€™s movement where itâ€™s not about technique. Without forethought, you use your space intuitively; you make shapes,â€? she says. â€œYou donâ€™t want to look silly. You want to incorporate some technique.â€? She explains thatâ€™s why ballet class is so importantâ€”â€œitâ€™s the foundationâ€?â€”and looks at Sullivan, who nods and smiles. APAC, see page 20
Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (non 3-D) PG The Tourist PG13 The Warriorâ€™s Way R Tangled 3-D
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COURTESY NANCY SMYLIE
gives individual schools. The students will perform for the PTA at an upcoming meeting. The voice over the intercom says the song they will sing is â€œby a really old group, Earth Wind and Fire.â€? As the song â€œShining Starâ€? begins over the intercom, students in Polanskiâ€™s class look at each other with wide eyes and slight grins. Someone giggles, then suppresses it. â€œYouâ€™re a shining star No matter who you are Shining bright to see What you could truly be.â€? Polanski puts a hand on her hip. â€œDo you hear the bass?â€? she asks. â€œWhat key are they in?â€? After the announcement, the class works on guided practice. Polanski walks from student to student, occasionally singing out â€œ... and two and three and fourâ€? and makes notes as she travels. â€œI see some people have worked over their fingernails. Thank you very much. Look at yours. They need to be clean, and they need to be trim,â€? she says. At the end of one row of pianos, a tall eighth graderâ€™s fingers speed along the keyboard, his long fingers doing the grapevine but never tripping. A smaller boy sitting a few seats up slowly works the scales. Polanski comes to the smaller boy and tells him sitting correctly will improve his playing. â€œUse your weight and lean forward,â€? she says, gently lifting his arms so his hands are immediately above the keys, and his fingers come down on them from above, rather than his slumped palms and fingers that weakly tap at keys. â€œSome of you are still missing notes in your repertoire,â€? she says. The students will play their repertoire for a mid-term grade. They perform for their classmates and Polanski will grade them. This class is their last chance for guided practice with her. â€œThat note is a signal to you to play in a certain place,â€? she says. During the second term, these students will compose an original piece of music. A compilation of the works will go on a CD that the PTA will sell. This yearâ€™s theme is â€œTogether we can.â€? Polanskiâ€™s next class is music theory. Students work with pencil and paper as much as keyboards in this class. Intervals, augmented and diminished, take center stage. Angela Powell, 13, gets the system of going from smallest to largest. â€œIt was kind of confusing, but then I found a pattern,â€? she says. Some of her classmates are still confused, while other students are working at advanced levels. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of discipline in this,â€? Polanski says. She instructs her students to be careful about cleft signs and leaving out the staff. â€œThe more you master this,â€? she says, â€œthe less time you need to read directions.â€?
APAC, from page 19
Jefferson gets up at 6:15 a.m. every school day. Her first class is AP biology at 8:15 a.m, followed by more AP classes. She had a tuna sandwich and some grapes and strawberries for lunch today. When she gets out of dance class at 3:30 p.m. she’s headed straight home. “I’m going to take a nap and rest my body,” she says. After her nap, she’ll do her AP homework and go to bed around 10 p.m. Then she’ll get up and do it all again. Jefferson is already planning for college. She wants to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. She says she heard through the grapevine the instructors are great. “I want to do something formal with real instructors who have a degree,” she says. That’s been her experience at Power APAC, and she says she knows that’s important. Professionally, she’d like to dance with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Danielle Sims, 16, also went to Idyllwild last summer. The 11th grader is in level 8 of the dance program, the highest level. She’s been dancing with Power APAC since she was in the fourth grade. “I love it. They’ve trained me up to be a beautiful dancer,” she says, right before her modern dance class begins. “It’s a release from the day and school work.” Besides studying and dancing, Sims works 15 to 20 hours a week at Steak Escape in Northpark Mall. She also is a cheerleader. Time management was one of her earliest lessons. “It takes a lot of maturity,” she says. “I
started dancing when I was 3. Being able to balance your schedule is important.” Some of her Murrah classmates don’t realize the work and dedication studying dance takes, she says. Some of them assume she’s taking fun, easy classes at Power APAC. “We get a grade in here,” she says, arching her eyebrows. An instructor assesses every move she makes at the barre or on the floor. Like other students at Power APAC, Sims already has college plans cooking. “UCLA has an awesome program,” she says. Sims wants to major in dance and minor in nursing so she can learn about dance-related injuries. One day, she would like to open her own chain of dance studios. “I want to come back here and establish it,” she says. She thinks a lot of dance classes in the Jackson area focus on drill teams and don’t offer enough structure. In the middle of the floor, she stands with her classmates in second position, slowly rising on her toes, lifting her arms to window and the sky. Just outside the modern-dance class, music students arrange stands and chairs then move them again. It’s a warm fall afternoon, and they try to decide if they want the shade or the sun. They rearrange the chairs. Just behind them, visual arts students are standing outside their classroom trailers. Some are holding drawings and paintings and others are shooting photographs. “Try to focus,” their instructor, Martha Hamburg, directs. “Try again. You want to just focus.”
RahLeeCoh Ishakarah, an APAC graduate and current student at the Memphis School of Art, did this tryptich self-portrait in pencil for her graduation portfolio.
Hamburg is guiding her high-school students who are compiling their portfolios. They will submit a digital portfolio for consideration for college credit. It’s another AP class, as demanding and particular as the academic advanced-placement courses. Students include 12 works showing their breadth of work and another 12 focusing on their area of concentration. Hamburg wants them to get an early start on the portfolios, which are due at the end of the year. “If we just waited until then, it would be a disaster. Twenty-four pieces in a year
is a lot,” Hamburg says. She advises Joshua Hairston, 17, to stay in the shade and not to use flash for even lighting while documenting his classmates’ work. Later today, Hamburg will teach a darkroom technique class, covering blackand-white toning. Meanwhile, the musicians have arranged their chairs and stands comfortably facing each other under an oak tree. They are the strings. They each practice different tunes on their violins. One of them strums a cello as a few leaves dance in the breeze.
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
December 8 - 14, 2010
t’s the most wonderful time of the year in Jackson: Christmas in the City with Soul. Holiday cheer is happening here, and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau is your source for all the holiday fun & frolic. We know all Jingle Bell the fun holiday events filled with everything from Jackson soul-warming Christmas caroling to great holiday shopping, seasonal musical performances to oldfashioned, ethnic-decorated trees. Start a Christmas tradition. Gather your family or friends and explore many events, restaurants, and shopping locations in Jackson, Mississippi, and celebrate Jingle Bell Jackson-style. Visit Mississippi’s Greek Revival Governor’s Mansion, circa 1841, through a hosted holiday tour Dec. 3–21. Make merry memories at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science from hands-on crafts to interactive Creature Features with live animals. The Jackson Zoo has a Christmas Tree Tour around the World December 6– 27. During the entire month of December, the Annual Christmas Tree Festival will take place at the Arts Center in downtown Jackson, a colorful showcase of various civic, social, and religious organizations’ creatively decorated Christmas trees. Or catch the Sounds of the Season at the Old Capitol Museum. For a complete listing of over 45 holiday events, go to www.visitjackson.com and click on Jingle Bell Jackson. Catch the Christmas spirit through a theatrical or performing arts event. From Carols by Candlelight at First Baptist Church Jackson, December 10–12, to Ballet Magnificat’s A Christmas Dream at Thalia Mara Hall, December 17–19, a wide variety of performances is guaranteed to let your soul celebrate the holidays in the Capital City. Want to shop ’til you literally drop? Well, we have a complete Shopping Sampler at www.visitjackson.com with endless shopping venue possibilities. Let us show you the hot retail spots and intimate specialty stores to definitely stop by for that perfect Christmas gift. Buy something made by a local craftsman or a unique Jackson gift available at any of our museums and attractions’ stores. And of course, we all know that holidays are a great reason to feast. Choose from over 200 unique restaurants in Jackson with an available listing in our Jackson Dining Guide, also available at www.visitjackson.com. So, happy shopping, dining, caroling, crafting, ballet watching, Santa visiting, history reliving, and parading, there is something for everyone during the holidays in the City with Soul. Visit www. visitjackson.com, and let the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau show you how to celebrate Christmas with soul.
Events at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). • Holiday Blues and Southern Soul Festival Dec. 25, 7 p.m. Performers include The Manhattans, Mel Waiters, Bobby Rush, Ms. Jody, T.K. Soul, Wilson Meadows and Vic Allen. $44.50 and up; call 601-960-2321. • New Year’s Eve Gala Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy music by The Krackerjacks, dinner, a Champagne toast and breakfast, dancing and party favors. Proceeds benefit the Make-AWish Foundation. $150, $275 couple; call 601-966-9474. Events at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive). • Mississippi Puppetry Guild’s “The Nutcracker Suite” Dec. 8-10, Dancers with life-size puppets interact with a narrator. Performances are at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. $7, $5 per person in groups of 10 or more; call 601-977-9840. • Mississippi Community Symphonic Band Christmas Concert Dec. 18, 7 p.m. The performance includes a special appearance by the Mississippi Swing band. Free; call 601605-2786. Saint Joseph Community Orchestra Christmas Concert Dec. 12, 3 p.m., at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams St., Vicksburg) in the auditorium. The program includes a performance by the Alcorn State University Choir. Free, donations welcome; call 601-631-2997.
Wonderland of Lights through Dec. 31, at Freedom Ridge Park (235 W. School St., Ridgeland). Celebrate the holiday season by viewing Christmas lights and participating in familyfriendly activities. Call 800-468-6078. Winter Holidays Exhibit through Dec. 23, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Enjoy the 1940’s train town of Possum Ridge and the historic Christmas trees and vintage toys. Hours are noon–4 p.m. Mondays; 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesday–Friday; and 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturdays. Tours for school groups are available by reservation. Free; call 601-576-6800.
Camera (5058 Interstate 55 N.). $15 for six photos; call 601-969-1631. Holiday Kids Event Dec. 11, 11 a.m., at Borders (100 Dogwood Blvd., Flowood). Kids ages 3 to 8 are invited to celebrate the holidays with stories, songs, games and more. Free; call 601919-0462.
refreshments and shopping for handmade gifts. Free admission; call 601-856-7546. “A Christmas Dream” Dec. 17-19, at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). Ballet Magnificat! presents its 25th annual production to the music of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” Show times are 7 p.m. Dec. 17, 3 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19. $10-$30; call 601-9771001. Blue Bengal Athletic Association Christmas Party Dec. 17, 8 p.m., at E & E House of Jazz and Blues (1028 Pecan Park Circle). The fundraiser for the JSU organization includes food and music by WMPR. BYOB. $10; call 769-251-9079. Treasures on the Trace Dec. 18, 1 p.m., at Brandon Hall Plantation (mile marker 8.5 on the Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez). Local artists showcase and sell their work. Enjoy Christmas music on the grand piano and holiday treats such as eggnog and hot chocolate. $15; call 601-304-1040.
Parents & Kids Magazine Christmas Fest Dec. 9-11, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive). Children, parents and grandparents can enjoy a relaxing time together by strolling through a path of twinkling lights while sipping hot apple cider, listening to Christmas carols sung by local choirs and viewing the Parade of Christmas Trees decorated with ornaments made by area school children. The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. nightly. $1, $5 for a family; call 601-366-0901. “The Spirit of the Season” Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m., at Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex (1120 Riverside Drive), a program with the Power APAC vocal music department. Free; call 601-960-5387.
“What Kind of Christmas Is This?” Dec. 18, 7 p.m., at Jackson State University, Rose E. McCoy Auditorium (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The play is about a close-knit family dealing with tragedy during the holidays. $15; call 601-954-4211. Christmas Musical Dec. 19, 10 a.m., at The Church Triumphant (731 S. Pear Orchard Rd., Suite 43). The annual event includes singing, drama and dance. Pastor Tonya Ware will give her annual rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” Free; call 601-977-0007. Longtime volunteer and winter holiday tour guide David Morgan talks to students about three eras—antebellum,Victorian, and the Great Depression—represented by different Christmas trees at the William F.Winter Archives and History Building, Dec. 6 to 23.
Carols by Candlelight Dec. 10, 7 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Jackson (431 N. State St.). The First Baptist Jackson Sanctuary Choir, Orchestra and Drama Department will perform. Special guests include Steve Amerson, John Maxwell and Ballet Mississippi. Tickets are free; doors open at 6 p.m. for ticket holders. Tickets are valid until 6:15 p.m., at which time doors are open to non-ticket holders. Order online at www.fbcj.org, or call 601-949-1926 for information on mail-in requests. Free; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Holiday Saturday Shopping Day Dec. 11, 10 a.m., at The Mustard Seed Gift Shop (1085 Luckney Road). Shop for special holiday gifts handmade by Mustard Seed residents. Call 601992-3556. Pet Photos with Santa Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m., at Mississippi Animal Rescue League (5221 Greenway Drive Ext.). Photos are taken in the Holiday Lobby, and prints can be picked up at Deville
An Irish Christmas: Songs and Music from West Cork Dec. 11, 7 p.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church (4000 Ridgewood Road). Jim Flanagan and Legacy perform. The show is a mix of Irish holiday songs and stories along with occasional sets of holiday-themed tunes. $10 in advance, $12 at the door; visit celticfestms.org. “Gifts of the Season” Dec. 11-12, 7 p.m., at St. Joseph Catholic School (308 New Mannsdale Road, Madison), in the Fine Arts Center. The program involves more than 200 band, choir, drama, and dance students. Artwork from students on display; refreshments served during intermission. $7, Fine Arts Support Team members free; call 601-898-4800. Late Night Shopping at the Gallery Dec. 14, 5-8 p.m., at Mississippi Craft Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland). Stop by for Christmas music,
Christmas Cantata Dec. 19, 11 a.m., at Cade Chapel M.B. Church (1000 W. Ridgeway St.). Program features a 75-voice choir, a 36-piece string, wind and percussion orchestra, sign language interpretation, dance and drama. Free; 601-366-5463.
Lessons and Carols Dec. 19, 4 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church (1390 N. State St.). The church choir performs Christmas carols. Free; call 601-973-9139. Joy Gift Service Dec. 19, 5 p.m., at Fondren Presbyterian Church (3220 Old Canton Road). Fondren’s children and youth are featured in the program. A reception follows. Free; call 601982-3232. Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion through Dec. 21 at the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion (300 E. Capitol St.). The historic section of the mansion features traditional holiday decorations using seasonal greenery. Guided tours are offered Tuesday-Friday, 9:30-11 a.m. on the half-hour. Reservations must be made in advance for groups of 10 or more. Free; call 601-359-6421.
Events at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). Call 601-4324500. • Country Christmas through Dec. 10. Festivities include a play starring the Pearl River Redneck, Rudolph and Santa, Christmas quilts on display in the Heritage Center, teacakes and hot chocolate, a tour of the 4-H Museum and a chance to milk Cloverbelle the cow. Hours are 9 a.m.-noon daily. $6, $3 children ages 518, $2 children ages 3-4. • Country Christmas in the Evening Dec. 9-11. See the museum in lights, watch a play starring the Pearl River Redneck, Rudolph and Santa, view the Christmas quilt display in the Heritage Center, enjoy a free breakfast sampler and cider, take a hay ride through Small Town Mississippi and enjoy at the model train display. $5, $4 seniors, $3 children ages 5-18, $1 children ages 3-4.
Sounds of the Season through Dec. 18, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Enjoy local choirs in the rotunda Dec. 11, 17 and 18 at noon. Free; call 601-576-6800.
THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY
Events at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). $8, $7.20 seniors, $5 children ages 2-12, members/babies free; call 601-352-2580. • Global Tree Display Dec. 10-31. Take a memorable journey traveling through South America, Asia, Africa and India while embracing each holiday tree’s unique culture. • Santa at the Zoo Dec. 18, noon. Children can enjoy crafts, animal encounters and a chance to meet Santa and Zany the Zebra.
HOLIDAYS MUSTARD SEED
Refreshments will be served. Free admission; call 601-454-5777. Festival of Christmas Trees through Dec. 31, at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). See a showcase of various civic, social and religious organizations’ creatively decorated Christmas trees, which are judged on creativity. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekdays, 10 a.m.5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free; call 601-960-1557.
At The Mustard Seed, Seedsters paint the ceramics sold in the center’s on-site gift store.These unique pieces make wonderful holiday gifts.
“Christmas in Canton” Victorian Christmas Festival through Dec. 23, at Historic Canton Square. Come celebrate he joy of the season in the glow of hundreds of thousands of sparkling white lights. Free with $3 per museum admission and $1 per ride; call 800-844-3369. Bright Lights, Fondren Nights through Dec. 25. Fondren residents are asked to decorate their homes and yards for the holidays. Members of the Fondren Neighborhood Association will award prizes for the best decorations. Visit ourfondren.com. 21st Annual Community Kwanzaa 2010 Dec. 26, 6 p.m., at Medgar Evers Community Center (3159 Edwards Ave.). The program will be held from 6-9 p.m. nightly. The event includes panels, entertainment, presentations and literature.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Jan. 15, 10 a.m., at Freedom Corner (Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Medgar Evers Blvd.). The annual parade features bands, performers and local celebrities. This year’s theme is “Dr. King’s Dream: The Truth Marches On!” Call 601960-1090. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Celebration Jan. 16, 2 p.m., at Old Strangers Home Missionary Baptist Church (Garner Ave,). Several local acts will perform in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. Free; call 601-960-1090. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Jan. 17. Activities include a wreath-laying ceremony at Freedom Corner (Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Medgar Evers Blvd.) at 9 a.m., a birthday bash at Jackson City Hall (200 S. President St.) at noon and an awards banquet at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.) at 6:30 p.m. Call 601-960-1090. To see or add more holiday listings of your own, visit jfpevents.com.
Canton’s City of Lights by Julia Hulitt
CITY OF CANTON
Experience the Victorian Christmas Festival on the Canton Square until Dec. 23.
December 8 - 14, 2010
hristmas in Canton is an annual, month-long Victorian-style extravaganza. Make time to visit the “City of Lights,” to get into the holiday spirit with a ride on the carousel, an antique car or a buggy ride. The event, which lasts through Thursday, Dec. 23, features attractions for all ages. During the holidays, Canton becomes a tourist destination spot for people from all over the country and the world. Townspeople and merchants deck the historic Courthouse Square with an array of more than 200,000 beautiful and enchanting lights.
One of the special crowd pleasers for the past 13 years is the Canton Animation Museum, which started with 22 antique window decorations and grew to 135 life-sized animated figures representing Canton’s history along with whimsical fantasy scenes from children’s stories. Other attractions include the railroad museum, the log cabin and the nighttime Christmas parade guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone. For more info about the “City of Lights,” go to www.cantontourism.com or contact the Canton Welcome Center at 800-844-3369.
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Bluesman Pinetop Perkins will be honored at the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts Feb. 24.
Events at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). • The Premier Bridal Show Weddings & Celebrations Jan. 10, noon. See Mississippi’s top wedding professionals. The event includes door prizes, a New York-style fashion show and samples. $22 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601-957-1050. • Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership Annual Meeting Jan. 26, 11:30 a.m. The keynote speaker is retired NCAA basketball coach Don Meyer. $50, $450 table; call 601-948-7575. • Joint National Conference Feb. 19-22. Tougaloo College and the International Museum of Muslim Cultures via the National Endowment host the conference for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures Initiative. Topics include “Islamic West Africa’s Legacy of Literacy and Music to America and the World” and “Slavery and Its Legacy.” Visit jfpevents.com for a schedule and a list of speakers. Call 601-960-0440. Events at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). • Mississippi State Kennel Club Magnolia Christmas Classic Dec. 16-19. The Brandon Kennel Club of Mississippi and the Mississippi State Kennel Club join together to hold four all-
COPS Meetings. These monthly meetings are designed to help resolve community issues or problems, from crime to potholes. • Jackson Police Department, Precinct 1 (810 Cooper Road) on first Thursdays at 6 p.m. Call 601-960-0001. • Jackson Police Department, Precinct 2 (711 W. Capitol St.) on second Thursdays at 6 p.m. Call 601-960-0002. • Jackson Police Department, Precinct 3 (3925 W. Northside Drive) on third Thursdays at 6 p.m. Call 601-960-0003. • Redeemer Church (640 E. Northside Drive) on fourth Thursdays at 6 p.m. for Precinct 4. Call 601-960-0004. Events at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Free; call 601-576-6920. • Statehood Day Dec. 10, noon. Celebrate Mississippi’s 193rd birthday with an address by former governor William F. Winter. A reception will follow. • Telling Tales through Dec. 18. The series for elementary children features stories and crafts. The program is Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. The Cat in the Hat makes an appearance Dec. 17. • Secession Revisited Jan. 7, 10 a.m. Commemorate Mississippi’s Civil War Sesquicentennial where it all began. Historians Tim Smith and George Rable analyze the 150th anniversary of Mississippi’s decision to leave the Union, setting the state toward civil war. • Pieces of the Past: Casualties of War Jan. 25April 10. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, this rotating artifact exhibit features a prosthetic leg and amputation tools. • “Black History: Road to the Vote” Feb. 8-24. This program, offered to school groups, provides a glimpse of African American history in Mississippi and their struggle for voting rights. Sessions are at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reservations are required. “History Is Lunch,” noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring a lunch; coffee/water provided. Free; call 601-576-6850. • Jan. 5, vintage rocker Andy Anderson talks about his new book, “Memoirs of the Original Rolling Stones.” • Jan. 12, MDAH historic preservationist Jennifer Baughn shows images and discusses Mississippi’s Rosenwald schools and “equal-
ization period” schools. • March 2, Historian William Parrish talks about responses of southern governors to civilians during the Civil War. Events at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). • For My People Awards Luncheon Jan. 14, 11:45 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Free; call 601-979-2735. • 42nd Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation Jan. 18, 7 p.m. in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium. Free; call 601-979-2735. • Jackson State University Alumni Association Membership Drive through Feb. 27. The Jackson-Hinds chapter is currently seeking new members to join the association. $25 membership; e-mail email@example.com. • Summer Camp Open Enrollment through May 31. Kids Kollege is now accepting applications for the Classic Summer Camp and the CDF Freedom Schools Summer Program, which take place in June and July. Participants can take educational classes in math, science and reading as well as recreational courses in sports, dance and art. Children ages 5-17 are eligible. Call the office for fees at 601-979-1142.
Events at the Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). • Youth Cartoon Basketball League Registration through Dec. 10. The City of Jackson Department of Parks and Recreation is currently conducting registration for the upcoming season. Youth ages 6-14 may participate. The deadline for registration is Dec. 10. The league divisions are divided into four separate age divisions, and games begin Jan. 7. Registration requirements include a copy of a birth certificate and a photograph. $10 registration fee; call 601960-0471. • Affordable Care Act Community Forum Dec. 14, 6 p.m., in the UMC Conference Center. Keynote speaker Anton Gunn of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a detailed look into what the Affordable Care Act is and how it affects communities. Includes a question-and-answer session. Please RSVP. Free; call 601-353-0845. • Health Awareness Day 2011 Jan. 20, 10 a.m. The day is geared towards promoting healthy living and providing disease prevention. Activities include health screenings, workshops, seminars and other preventative health activities. Free; call 601-376-2397 or 601-982-8467, ext. 26.
COMMUNITY, see page 26
Lace, Cake and Gowns by ShaWanda Jacome
lanning a wedding can be a daunt- “One of the main reasons that we particiing task. I know. I’ve been there. My pate in this showcase is brides are all sizes, husband and I ended up scratch- and my main focus is to make sure that ing the big wedding, the plus-size bride and instead, took 20 in the audience has family and friends to the opportunity to the beach in Santa actually see what a Barbara. bridal gown ‘size 8’ If your heart is will actually look set on a big ceremony like on (her),” Robcomplete with a prininson says. cess gown, five-tiered For the 2011 wedding cake and a fashion show, Jacklive band at the recepson fashion designer tion, then you’d best Gail Ambeau will plan on attending the showcase her designs, 13th Annual Touch which feature kneeof Class Bridal Expo length dresses. Many & Show. brides today opt to Phyllis Robinson, change out of their owner of E & E Mod- Model Phyllis “Peaches” Robinson traditional long gown els of Jackson, has par- strikes a pose in a gown for plus-sized after the ceremony ticipated in the event brides at last year’s Mississippi Bridal and pictures, and Show & Expo. for more than five don a shorter dress years. “[It] showcases for the reception. the talent and entrepreneurship of the citiIn 2010, more than 3,000 people atzens of the city of Jackson,” she says. “The tended the event, including 400 registered founders of the Mississippi Bridal Expo cre- brides-to-be from Mississippi, Georgia, ated an excellent idea for the bride to be, al- Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and Alabama. lowing her to be able to plan her wedding The 13th Annual Touch of Class Bridal in a one-shop location. Because they have Expo and Show is at the Mississippi Trade everyone under one roof from photogra- Mart (1200 Mississippi Street) Jan. 16 from phers, event planners, music, catering … 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature live fash(planning) can be done on that day.” ion shows, entertainment, door prizes, food E & E Models specializes in plus- sampling and workshops. Call 601-988size models for the Jackson metro area. 1142 for more info. COURTESY MISSISSIPPI BRIDAL SHOW & EXPO
Events at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). $8, $7.20 seniors, $5 children ages 2-12, members/babies free; call 601-352-2580. • “Wild About the Zoo” Teacher Workshop Jan. 26, 9 a.m. The theme is “Project WILD.” The workshop provides hands-on activities that enhance learning. Teachers of all subject and grade levels, scout leaders, camp leaders and youth leaders may participate. The registration deadline is Jan. 19. Bring a sack lunch. $15, $10 0.6 CEU credits; call 601-354-7303. • Jackson Zoo Job Fair Feb. 19 and Feb. 26, noon, at Livingston Park (150 Livingston Park Drive), in the Community Center (the green building located to the west of the zoo admission gate). The Zoo will be hiring seasonal and part-time positions. All applicants must be at least 17 years old. Please bring a valid form of identification. • Story Time Tuesday March 1, 10 a.m. A local celebrity comes to the zoo to read an animal story. Afterwards, the kids get to do a related craft project or have an animal encounter. • Mojo’s Second Birthday Celebration March 6, 9 a.m. The staff will present the zoo’s youngest chimpanzee with a special surprise.
breed conformation shows, four obedience trials and four rally trials featuring the state’s top dogs. Donations go to a local charity and a scholarship program. $2 suggested donation; call 601573-8133. • A Touch of Class Bridal Show and Expo Jan. 16, 11 a.m. The event, sponsored by Mississippi Bridal Show & Expo, includes food, entertainment, a fashion show and workshops. Vendor booths are available. $20; call 601-988-1142.
COURTESY MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION
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from page 25
• After-School Enhancement Program through May 27. The City of Jackson Department of Parks and Recreation’s program takes place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Youth ages 7-12 may participate. Activities include studying and learning during homework sessions, listening to guest speakers, and participating in arts and crafts. Immunization compliance is required. Parents and guardians must provide transportation and food each day. Registration continues until all slots are filled. Free; call 601-960-0471.
Events at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). • The Stories Behind Southern Food Jan. 11, 7 p.m., in Ford Academic Complex. Amy Evans Streeter, oral historian for Southern Foodways Alliance, will show two short documentaries: “Smokes and Ears” about Jackson’s Big Apple Inn on Farish Street, and “Rolling Tamales on M.L.K.,” and talk about her trips to pig lots in Cajun Country and oyster skiffs in Apalachicola Bay. The program is part of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series. $10; call 601-974-1130. • Quattro Mani Feb. 15, 7 p.m., in Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). The piano duo Alice Rybak and Susan Grace perform contemporary music. The program is part of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series. $10; call 601-974-1130. Events at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (1152 Lakeland Drive). Call 601982-8264. • Medgar Evers/Ella Baker Lecture Series Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. The topic is “The Future of the SWAC: Facing the Threat of Consolidated HBCUs.” Panelists include W.C. Gordon and Roscoe Nance. Free; call 601-979-2735. • Women in Sports Day Feb. 9, 10 a.m. School groups will participate in aerobics and be tested for flexibility, body mass index, endurance and strength. Well-known female sports figures and others will speak on the positive influence and strong impact sports played in their lives. • Black History Week Feb. 10, 10 a.m. School groups hear from former professional athletes and coaches who have continued to make contributions in their community since their playing and coaching days. Among the speakers are Walter Reed, W.C. Gorden, Eddie Payton, Leon Seals, Ben Williams and many more. • Cellular South Howell Trophy and Gillom Trophy Presentation March 7, 5:30 p.m. The Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball and the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball are presented to deserving players. The reception is at 5:30 p.m., and the ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. $75, $25 skybox.
Events at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Free; call 601-932-2562. • Pearl Peanuts Afterschool Program through May 25. On Wednesdays at 4 p.m., children in grades K-6 will enjoy stories, crafts, snacks and special activities such as cooking, gardening and puppetry. Free; call 601-932-2562. • Weekly Storytime ongoing. Each Tuesday, Baby Bookworms Storytime for children ages birth-36 THE PREMIER BRIDAL SHOW
DO YOUR LOVED ONES LOVE US? HOLIDAY GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE!
The Old Capitol Inn gives a preview of the tablescape they can create for a wedding reception. Get a jump on your wedding plans at the Premier Bridal Show Sunday, Jan. 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Center.
months is at 9:30 a.m., and Preschool Storytime for children ages 3-6 is at 10:30 a.m. The event includes stories, rhymes and music, and a puppet show on the last Tuesday of the month. • Wii Play ongoing. Come play various Wii games with your family from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. every Saturday. Free; call 601-932-2562. Events at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams St., Vicksburg). • Vicksburg High School Madrigals Dinner Dec.10, 7 p.m. in the auditorium. $25; call 601-831-1807. • “To Vicksburg, With Love” Feb. 9, noon. The Valentine’s concert and luncheon is sponsored by Pi Alpha Kappa Sorority. Reservations required. $10; call 601-631-2997.
JFP SPONSORED EVENTS Radio JFP on WLEZ ongoing, at WLEZ 100.1 FM and wlezfm.com. Join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer every Thursday, noon-1 p.m., when they discuss vital issues and play local music. Listen to podcasts of all shows at jfpradio.com. Call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. Josh Hailey: “I Love Mississippi” Jackson Retrospective through Jan. 11, at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Hailey’s final show in Jackson, showcasing his photographic work over the past six years. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free; call 601-960-1557. Mississippi HeARTS Against AIDS Feb. 12, at Hal & Mal’s, 6 p.m. The live and silent auction is the biggest fundraiser for the organization each year and features well-known local visual and performing artists throughout the night. Mississippi Happening ongoing. The live monthly broadcast is hosted by Guaqueta Productions and features a special musical guest. Download free podcasts at mississippihappening.com.
• Mardi Gras Ball March 5, 8 p.m., in the Southern Cultural Heritage Auditorium. The event includes a cocktail buffet, cash bar and live music. Proceeds benefit the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. $35 in advance, $40 at the door; call 601-636-5010. • Mississippi River Master Naturalist Program ongoing. The Mississippi River Field Institute of the National Audubon Society program educates and engages people in the conservation of the Mississippi River. This flexible program is open to anyone ages 18 and up and covers a broad range of naturalist education topics including the hydrology, ecology, habitats, plants, insects, fishes and birds of the Mississippi River. The course of study can be completed in as few as 10 weeks or as long as one year depending on the participant’s schedule. The cost covers membership in the National Audubon Society and books for the course. The program can be taken for college or CEU credits through several regional colleges. Additional costs will apply. $350; call 601-661-6189. Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest through Dec. 10. Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages students in grades 9-12 to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Schools must submit a registration form by Dec. 10. All registered schools receive a training kit to help prepare their student contestants. Three regional contests will take place in February, the state finals are March 10 and the national finals are April 27-29 in Washington, D.C. Call 601-823-0642. Mother/Daughter Brunch Dec. 11, 9:30 a.m., at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.), at Baptist for Women. Drs. Erica Ory and Barbie Sullivan help prepare your adolescent daughter for what’s ahead. Hart Wylie discusses self-image, relationships, communication and emotions. $5; call 601-948-6262 or 800-948-6262. Magnolia Ballroom Dancers Association Dance Dec. 11 and Jan. 8, 8 p.m., at Madison Square Center for the Arts (2103 Main St., Madiosn). A deejay provides ballroom and Latin music for dancing, and mixers will be held. Water and soft drinks provided. The dress code is hard-soled shoes and no blue jeans. $10 members, $15 guests; call 601-506-4591. Forever Friday Dec. 17, 10 p.m., at Electric Building (308 E. Pearl St.). Enjoy music by DJ Phingaprint and performances by Poet of Truth, K.T., Pyinfamous, Zee-Dub and others. $10 before 10 p.m.; call 601-454-8313. Youth Hip Hop Summit Reconvening Dec. 18, 10 a.m., at Roberts Walthall Hotel (225 E. Capitol St.). The ACLU of Mississippi brings youth, parents and allies together to review the 2010 summit, discuss moving forward with a statewide agenda and add youth voices to plan the June 2011 summit. The Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Coalition will meet after the reconvening. Please RSVP. Call 601-354-3408. Thelma Sanders Scholarship Dance Dec. 26, 8 p.m., at Regency Hotel (400 Greymont Ave.). The Jackson chapter of the Tougaloo College National Alumni Association is the host. Derrick Burt and Friends will provide entertainment. $30, $325 tables; call 601-924-5746 or 601-856-2431. Restaurant Rave Call for Contestants through Dec. 31, at Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau (111 E. Capitol St., Suite 102). Write a rave review in 100 words or less about your favorite Jackson restaurant, submit it by Dec. 31, and you could win a dinner for four. The winning restaurant review will be featured on visitjackson.com
Quattro Mani (Alice Rybak and Susan Grace) performs at Millsaps College’s Arts and Lecture Series program Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
and the Bureau’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. E-mail your review to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “RAVE” in the subject line. Include your full name, telephone number and e-mail address. Entries can also be submitted through visitjackson. com by clicking on the “Want Free Food?” banner on the home page. Call 601-960-1891. Jackson State of the Arts 2011 Jan. 3, 6 p.m., at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). The open forum is for all greater Jackson arts scene participants: teachers, musicians, granting organization members, gallery owners, etc. Free; call 601-497-7454. Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade Show Jan. 13-14, at Natchez Convention Center (211 Main St., Natchez). The event provides growers and backyard gardeners with a unique opportunity to hear about the latest trends in the industry from the experts, visit with exhibitors from companies offering products and services necessary for fruit and vegetable production, and network with other growers. Register before Dec. 15 and receive a discount. $65 one day, $90 two days; call 662-325-2701. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Day Jan. 14. Events include a literary contest at Margaret Walker Alexander Library (2525 Robinson Road) at 9 a.m., a commemorative program in the rotunda of the Mississippi Sate Capitol (400 High St.) at noon and a talent show and competition at Lanier High School (833 Maple St.) at 6 p.m. Call 601-960-1090. Women & Applied Politics Seminar Jan. 15, 8 a.m., at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.), in Room 113. The Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women and the John C. Stennis Institute of Government host a seminar to encourage women to become involved in the political process. Registration required. Call 601-201-7142. Catholic Day at the Capitol Jan. 26, 9 a.m., at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). Catholics from across the state gather and walk from the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle (123 N. West St.) to the Capitol. Participants will meet with legislators and tour the building. Catholic Charities is the sponsor. Free; call 601-355-8634. Art and Antique Walk Feb. 5 and March 5, 5 p.m., at Historic Canton Square. Take a stroll back in time to enjoy the square, local artisans, craftsmen and musicians. Free; call 800-844-3369. Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Show Feb. 10-16, at Mississippi State Fairgrounds (1207 Mississippi St.). The 46th annual event includes rodeo clowns, bullfighters, barrel racers, bull doggers and ropers competing in various events. The entertainment lineup will be announced later. Tickets are $16 and up; call 601-961-4000. Black Hearts Ball Feb. 11, 9 p.m., at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Con-
“Lena Horne: Her Influences, Her Life & Her Legacy” Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m., at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). This event is a retrospective of Lena Horne’s life, discussing her influences, her career, her civil rights work and the artists she influenced. The subsequent two-week art exhibit spotlights elementary, middle and high school students’ work and art from local professionals. A poetry, essay and poster contest for school-age children and youth is included. Entries for the contest and exhibit will be accepted until Jan. 30. Call 601-238-3303. Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration Feb. 24-27, at historic Jefferson College (100 Old
FARMERS’ MARKETS Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St.) through Dec. 18. Shop for fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables from Mississippi farmers, specialty foods, and crafts from local artisans, including the Greater Belhaven Market vendors. The market is open every Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m.2 p.m. Call 601-354-6573. Old Fannin Road Farmers’ Market (1307 Old Fannin Road, Brandon) through Dec 24. Homegrown produce is for sale Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and noon-6 p.m. Sunday until Christmas Eve. Call 601-919-1690. Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity Project’s Farmers’ Market (2548 Livingston Road) ongoing. Buy from a wide selection of fresh produce provided by participating local farmers. Market hours are noon-6 p.m. on Fridays, and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Free admission; call 601-987-6783.
North St., Washington). The theme is “Fields of Dreams: Sports in the South.” The event includes lectures, film screenings, the unveiling of a portrait of Richard Wright, music by the Alcorn State University Concert Band, writing workshops and tours of historic Melrose, William Johnson House and Jefferson College. $25 luncheon, $135 gala, $10 band concert; call 866-296-6522. Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts Feb. 24, 1 p.m., at Mississippi Arts Commission (Woolfolk Building, 501 N. West St., Suite 1101A). The awards program is a celebration of Mississippi artists and arts organizations sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission and Gov. Haley Barbour. Honorees include Gwen Magee and Pinetop Perkins. Free; call 601-359-6031. Medical Mall Moment Report ongoing, at WOAD 1300 AM. Find out about the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation’s current activities every second Friday of the month at 8:30 a.m. Call-ins
to 601-995-1400 are welcome. Send your questions and comments in advance to zsummers@ jacksonmedicalmall.org or call the office for more information. The broadcast is also available on jacksonmedicalmall.org. Call 601-982-8467. Cancer Rehab Classes ongoing, at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.) in the Activity Room of the Hederman Cancer Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. The class helps cancer patients enhance cardiovascular strength, endurance, their immune system and bone density. It helps to increase overall strength and stamina, decrease fatigue and weight loss, and improve digestion. Registration is required. Free; call 601948-6262 or 800-948-6262. WORK PLAY ongoing, at Last Call (3716 Interstate 55 N.). The networking event is held every Monday from 6-10 p.m. and includes cocktails, music, board games and video games. Business casual attire is preferred. Free admission; call 601421-7516 or 601-713-2700. LGBT Support Group for Youth/Young Adults ongoing, at A Brave New Day (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St., Suite 204). Rise Above for Youth welcomes youth and young adults ages 14-24 to connect with others in the community and to share experiences and resources. Meetings are the last Thursday of each month. Free; call 601-922-4968. You Have the Mic ongoing, at Afrika Book Cafe (404 Mitchell Ave.). The open political forum for discussing Jackson’s current issues is hosted by Othor Cain and Mista Main of Hot 97.7 FM on Mondays from 6-8 p.m. E-mail afrikabookcafe@ gmail.com. Ask for More Arts Call for Artists ongoing. Ask for More Arts is currently seeking artists to work with children in grades K-5 in the Jackson Public Schools district. Parents for Public Schools of Jackson is the convening partner. Call 601-969-6015. Mississippi Music Foundation Money Match Program ongoing. The program is for artists living in Mississippi who are seeking to record and release an original CD. MMF will match up to 50 percent of funds raised by an artist to complete one song or group of songs. All genres are accepted, but all groups or artists must apply, and acceptance is not guaranteed. Call 662-429-2939. Jackson Arts Collective Monthly Meeting ongoing, at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Every first Monday, the Collective Steering Committee meets to discuss business of the previous month and listen to local artist proposals for Collective sponsorship of events that fall in line with their mission. Open to the public. Call 601-497-7454.
Wednesday, December 8th
(Blues) 8-11, $10 Cover Thursday, December 9th
(Dixieland Jazz) 8-11, No Cover Friday, December 10th
(Funk) 9-1 $10 Cover Saturday, December 11th
(Latin Jazz) 9-1, $10 Cover
Closed during Happy Hour for a private party Thursday, December 16th
SWING DE PARIS
(Gypsy Jazz) 8-11, No Cover
New Vibrations Network Gathering ongoing, at Unitarian Universalist Church (4866 N. State St.). The mixer is held every second Thursday from 6:30-8 p.m. Bring business cards and brochures to share with others. E-mail newvibrations2003@ hotmail.com.
SCOTT ALBERT JOHNSON
Youth Women’s Cycling Group ongoing, in Ridgeland. Get fit while participating in a fun, recreational environment Saturdays at 10 a.m. The club is for young girls ages 13-17. Free; call 601559-5577.
CARY HUDSON & PINEY WOODS PLAYBOYS
Ridgeland Rendezvous ongoing. View artwork by Southern artists and enjoy food, fun and atmosphere at Ridgeland’s galleries, restaurants and shopping centers every third Thursday from 5-8 p.m. Visit visitridgeland.com. See or add more events at jfpevents.com.
Friday, December 17th (Blues) 9-1 $10 Cover
Saturday, December 18th
(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover
119 S. President Street 601.352.2322 www.Underground119.com
COURTESY MILLSAPS COLLEGE
gress St.). If your heart is black and you hate pink hearts, join MissiHIPPY for the annual event. Dress in your favorite Gothic costume (Victorian, Edwardian, Steampunk, Ero-Lolli, Raks Gothique, etc.) and enjoy all that is dark and creepy. Win a prize for the best devilish pin-up look. Artists are welcome to sell creepy artwork. $5; visit myspace. com/missihippy.
STAGE AND SCREEN
Sing along to your favorite ABBA songs like “Dancing Queen” at the North American tour of the “Mamma Mia!” at Thalia Mara Hall Feb. 15 and 16.
Events at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). Call 601-948-3533. • “The 39 Steps” Jan. 25-Feb. 6. Written by Alfred Hitchcock and adapted by Peter Parlow, the comedy play is about a man on the run after being accused of murdering a spy. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25-29 and Feb. 2–5, and 2 p.m. Jan. 30 and Feb. 6. $25, $22 students/seniors. • “Twelfth Night” Feb. 7-16. One of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, the play ponders love lost and found. Show times are 7:30 p.m. nightly except for a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. $15, $7 students.
December 8 - 14, 2010
Events at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Call 601-960-1552. • Art House Cinema Downtown. The Mississippi Film Institute sponsors films including “Boxing Gym” and “Howl” Dec. 10-11; “Lovely Still”
Events at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). • Jackson Jewish Film Festival Jan. 22-25. Films include “Ajami” Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.; “Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story” Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.; “The Secrets” Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.; and “For My Father” Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Sponsors include Beth Israel Congregation, the Millsaps College Jewish Culture Organization, Jewish Cinema South and the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. $12, $5 students, $40 festival pass, $150 patron pass; call 601-956-6215. • Ten-Minute Play Festival Feb. 11 and 12. Each play will be directed by students and alumni. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. both nights. $5; call 601974-1422. Events at Belhaven University (1500 Peachtree St.). Call 601-965-7044. • Dance Ministry Ensemble Concert Feb. 11-12, in the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. The dance presentation aims to bring inspiration and encouragement to the soul. Doors open at 7 p.m.; performance begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Free for children and Belhaven faculty/ staff/students. $10, $5 seniors/students. • “The Three Sisters” Feb. 17-26, in the Blackbox Theatre. John Maxwell directs this production of Anton Chekhov’s tragicomedy. An opening night reception follows the Feb. 17 performance. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 23-25, and 2 p.m. Feb. 19 and Feb. 26. Free for Belhaven faculty/staff/students and immediate families. $10, $5 seniors/students/children. • Senior Dance Concerts March 2-5, in the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. Graduating
BFA students present original senior projects exhibiting the culmination of their dance studies. Free for children, Belhaven faculty/staff/students. $10 suggested donation, $5 seniors/students. • “The Light in the Piazza” March 3, 7:30 p.m., in the Blackbox Theatre. A musical based on the novella by Belhaven graduate Elizabeth Spencer is tale of romance, and asks the question: Do the eyes of God or the eyes of man provide the value judgment of a human being who is mentally challenged? Shows are at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Reserved tickets are available. Free.
Scrooge Hits the Stage by Jesse Crow
he ghosts of Christmas past, present and future will visit New Stage Theatre during the annual production of the heartwarming Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” “A Christmas Carol” tells the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge changes from a grump with a heart of coal to someone filled with kindness and compassion— what the holiday season is all about. The show runs Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-15 and 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 2, 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. Santa Claus will come down South a little early thing year, making an appearance at the theatre after a 10 a.m. showing on Dec. 15. New Stage Theatre is located at 1100 Carlisle St. For more information or tickets, call 601-948-3538. COURTESY NEW STAGE THEATRE
Events at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). • Riverdance Jan. 7-8. The Irish dance troupe will perform live. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. $27.50-$58.50; call 800-745-3000. • Cirque Dreams Illumination Jan. 19-20. Marvel as 27 world-class artists illuminate objects, balance on wires, leap structures and redefine flight with entertaining variety, comedy and extraordinary occurrences that reinvent everyday life. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets available through Ticketmaster. $27.35-$70.95; call 601-981-1847. • “Mamma Mia!” Feb. 15-16. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years ago. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets available through Ticketmaster. $27.35-$70.95; call 601-981-1847.
and “Micmacs” Dec. 17-18; and “Nora’s Will” and “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” Dec. 24-25. Show times are 7 and 9 p.m. $9 per film; visit msfilm.org. • Opera Films. The Mississippi Opera and the Mississippi Film Institute presents Verdi’s “Falstaff” Dec. 19; Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” Jan. 2; Verdi’s “La Traviata” Jan. 23; Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette” Feb. 6; and Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” on Feb. 20. All show times are 2 p.m. $16; call 601-960-2300. • Ballet Films. The Mississippi Film Institute sponsors showings of “The Nutcracker” Dec. 26; “Swan Lake” Jan. 16; “Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes” Jan. 30; and “Giselle” Feb. 27. $16; call 601-960-2300. • “The Alien Who Stole Christmas” Sky Show through Dec. 31. An alien kidnaps St. Nicholas. Show times are 1 p.m. weekdays and 2 p.m. Saturday. $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors, $3 children. • “Season of Light” Sky Show through Dec. 31. Explore the origins of the Star of Bethlehem, winter traditions and celebrations around the world. Show times are 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and Dec. 12 and Dec. 26. $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors, $3 children. • “Hurricane on the Bayou” Mega-HD Cinema through Dec. 31. Watch and listen to a story, shared through the eyes of four Louisiana musicians, that explores the beauty and fragility of the Louisiana wetlands, the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, and the tremendous efforts being made to bring back the city of New Orleans and the bayou to build a grand new future. Show times are 2 p.m. weekdays, and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (Dec. 12 and 26 only). $6.50 adults, $5.50 seniors, $4 children.
• “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure” MegaHD Cinema ongoing. Paleontologists explore sea habitats in search of new fossils and evidence of prehistoric reptiles. Show times are Monday-Friday 10 a.m and noon; Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 2 and 4 p.m. $6.50 adults, $5.50 seniors, $4 children. • “Space Storm” Sky Show ongoing. Investigate what happens on Earth and in space as the Sun hurls matter and energy toward Earth. Show times are 8:30 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors, $3 children. • “The Case of the Disappearing Planet” Sky Show ongoing, at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Explore the solar system with Skye Watcher and discover what happened to the ex-planet Pluto. The show is on Saturdays at 1 p.m. $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors, $3 children.
Joy Kate Lawson plays Tiny Tim, and Jay Unger portrays Scrooge in last year’s New Stage Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol.”
Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes Dec. 9-12, at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). Disney characters such as Tinkerbell, Snow White and Ariel come to life in the musical. Show times vary. $15 and up; call 601-3530603 or 800-745-3000.
A Night of One Acts Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., at Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex (1120 Riverside Drive). The middle school students present the comedies “Final Dress Rehearsal” and “This is a Test!” $5; call 601-960-5387. “AM in the PM: An Evening of Radio Drama” Feb. 25-27, at Mississippi College (200 Capitol St., Clinton), in the Aven Fine Arts Building. Tune in to Aven Little Theater for old-time radio drama with “Casablanca” and “Fibber McGee & Molly.” Then, enjoy modern radio drama by Dr. Tim Nicholas with “You’re on the Air: The Carl Thibodeaux Show” and “Johnny’s Ghost.” Shows are at 7 p.m. Feb. 24-26 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 27. $7; call 601924-3453. “The Princess and the Pea” March 5, 2 p.m., at Jackson Academy (4908 Ridgewood Road). The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet performs the classic tale in the Performing Arts Center. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Come to a children’s tea party after the program. $18-$25; call 601-853-4508.
Puppeteers Keri Horn and Peter Zapletal bring Sahara Zoo to life Feb. 10 and 11 at the Mississippi Schools for the Blind and Deaf.
Kendall Messick Film Screening Dec. 10, 7 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). In conjunction with the Oraien Catledge exhibit, see the Messick films “Corapeake” and “The Projectionist” in the Yates Community Room. Messick will be on hand to sign copies of his book “The Projectionist.” A cash bar opens 30 minutes before the screening. Free admission, $40 book; call 601960-1515. Puppet Praise Festival Dec. 11, 5 p.m., at LOVE Community Center Building (3171 Robinson Road). Performers include the Turning Point Mission Center puppetry team, local mimes and inspirational dancers. Free; call 601-372-1080. Events at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Call 601-982-2217. • “A Christmas Memory” Dec. 18-19, 2 p.m. Fondren Theatre Workshop and Chimneyville Readers Theatre present Truman Capote’s holiday story. Free; donations welcome. • “Unshelved” Jan. 6-9, at The Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace (719 N. Congress St.). Fondren Theatre Workshop presents the Beth Kander play. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6-8 and 2 p.m. Jan. 9. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Mississippi Alzheimer’s Association. $10; call 601-982-2217. “Cheaper by the Dozen” Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m., at Black Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon). Lydie Vick directs the play about a large blended family. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9-12 and 2 p.m. Feb. 13. $12, $10 seniors/students with ID, discounts on Sunday; call 601-825-1293. Sahara Zoo: A Collection of African Folk Tales Feb. 10-11, at Mississippi Schools For The Blind
Jackson Comedy Night ongoing, at Dreamz Jxn (426 W. Capitol St.). Stand-up comedians perform every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. $7; call 601317-0769.
Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future.
Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201
Events at Vicksburg Theatre Guild/Parkside Playhouse (101 Iowa Blvd., Vicksburg). Call 601-636-0471. • “Tuesdays with Morrie” Dec. 10-12. The oneact play is about the interaction between a student and his favorite professor, Morrie, who is dying. Ian Tubman is the director. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12. $5. • “First Night” Dec. 31-Jan. 9. Closing time at a video store on New Year’s Eve: The clerk is reunited with his dream girl, who left school after eighth grade to become a nun. Shows are on Dec. 31-Jan.2 and Jan. 7-9. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. $12, $10 seniors 55 and older, $7 students, $5 kids 12 and under. • “I Remember Mama” Feb. 18-27. The comedy play is adapted from Kathryn Forbes’ book, “Mama’s Bank Account.” Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 19, 25 and 26, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 and 27. $12, $10 seniors 55 and older, $7 students, $5 kids 12 and under.
Jay Leno Dec. 11, 8 p.m., at Pearl River Resort (Highway 16, Choctaw), at the Silver Star Convention Center. The comedian and late-night talk show host performs. $35, $50; call 866-44-PEARL. Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m., at Mississippi State University (2 Hardy Blvd., Starkville), in Bettersworth Auditorium, Lee Hall. The repertoire is comprised of classical, neoclassical and contemporary ballet and encompasses modern dance and Afro-Caribbean techniques. $15, $12 seniors and MSU/Faculty/staff, $8 children 3-12; call 662-325-2930. Southern Circuit Film Tour, at B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (400 Second St., Indianola), in the Introductory Theater. Films include “Do No Harm” Feb. 19 and “Jump at the Sun” March 19. $3; call 662-887-9539.
“Honk Jr.” Dec. 10-12, at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane). The musical comedy is based on the story “The Ugly Duckling.” Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12. $15, $10 seniors/students/military; call 601-664-0930.
and Deaf (1252 Eastover Drive). Presented by the Mississippi Puppetry Guild, the puppet show is a production of Puppet Arts Theatre. Shows are at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. $7, $5 groups of 10 or more; call 601-977-9840.
Events at Belhaven University Center for the Arts Concert Hall (835 Riverside Drive). Call 601-9657044. • Tunes, Tutus and Turning Wheels Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy an integrated evening of arts, showcasing local artists with and without disabilities, including dancers, musicians, choreographers and visual artists. $10 suggested donation, $5 seniors/ students. • Collaborative Arts Concert March 8, 7:30 p.m. Faculty and students from the departments of creative writing, dance, graphic design, music, theatre and visual arts collaborate on an evening of innovative and exploratory arts. Free. “The Christmas Peril” Dinner Theatre. Tom Lestrade wrote this comedy play about havoc at Santa’s workshop. A three-course meal is included. Call 601-668-2214. • Dec. 13, 7 p.m., at Petra Cafe (104 W. Leake St., Clinton). $38.50. Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m., at Yogi on the Lake/Jellystone Campground (143 Campground Road, Pelahatchie). $32.50.
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
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