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Leila Case: Arts alive and abundant this weekend

All areas of the arts — theater, dance and music — are alive in Americus, especially this weekend with a variety of activities to attend. This is a great opportunity for a wonderful weekend of the cultural arts.
Americus-Sumter Arts Council’s fourth annual Jazz Night is set from 6-9 p.m. today at The Center for the Arts, 326 W. Forsyth St. — and from what I hear this is not to be missed for the agenda sounds like loads of fun.
Jazz selections will be presented by Mark McLaughlin and the Georgia Southwestern State University Jazz Ensemble, a buffet of tasty hors d’oeuvres is planned along with a cash bar, a raffle as well as glass blowing and ceramics demonstrations by local, talented glass artists and potters, and a silent auction.
Yasmin Hasnain, arts council vice president and one of the event planners, says among the silent auction items are: a beautiful art piece of intricate design by Keith Petersen; a painting donated by local artist Cate Bailey; a night at the Plains Inn; a night at the Windsor Hotel; a certificate for two to dine at The Station; Med-Spa products; a manicure and pedicure donated by Cuttin’ Up; serving pieces – a platter and bowl — donated by Gotta Have It; Wolf Creek Winery gave two bottles of wine, and there is so much more.
Jazz Night is going to be outstanding and I hope to see you there this evening.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t caught one of the Sumter Players’ performances of “Shrek the Musical” that opened at the historic Rylander Theatre Thursday, you still have time. In fact, you can stop by Jazz Night and then run on up the hill to the theater for the 8 p.m. performance today or wait until tomorrow for the 2:30 p.m. matinee. Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.rylander.org.
March is a busy month at the Rylander. At 7 p.m. next Friday, March 17, the Friends of the Rylander will bring you “Dino-Light,” an entertainment for the entire family, featuring finalists and break-out stars of “America’s Got Talent.” In this performance, a famous scientist with magical powers brings a friendly dinosaur to life. Intriguing, isn’t it?
The follow week, March 23, “Fancy Nancy, the Musical” will be performed live on stage. Then after catching their breath for a few weeks, the Friends present its annual fundraising Gala — High Society on April 7. The event will feature the GSW Jazz Ensemble performing during a cocktail hour and delicious food catered by Cousins Catering. Immediately following, the 1956 classic film “High Society” will be on the silver screen. There will be fun photo ops throughout the lobby so make sure you are camera ready. Tickets are $25, and seating is reserved.
Meanwhile do you have a child or grandchild who is a rising fifth- or sixth-grader interested in learning more about Sumter County history? Then Sumter Historic Trust’s second annual History Day Camp is offering that opportunity from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 19-23 at the Lee Council House. Kim Christmas, chair, says campers will engage in meaningful activities daily to encourage learning about Sumter County history from Native Americans and pioneer settlers to Jimmy Carter’s presidency and beyond. Instructor is Brian Parkinson, Ph.D., GSW history professor. Last year’s event was phenomenal, so if you have a child that is the right age, please check the Trust’s website www.sumterhistory.org and click on History Camp for updates.
Former resident, Grace Durham who was visiting last week from Edinburg, Scotland, where she has lived for the past 30 years, was guest of honor at a dinner party at the home of Randy and Nancy Jones. Among the guests were classmates and other friends Dan and Mary Robinson Torbert, Jane Merritt Myers, Marilyn Moyd Jacobs, Linda Bailey Bartlett, Bill McGowan, Henry and Jerry Kinnebrew Crisp, Dr. Gatewood Dudley, Dee Manry Hardin, Everett Byrd, Rick and Genie Powell and former state Sen. George Hooks, who in a very formal presentation gave Grace a signed Georgia state flag, which, of course, thrilled her. Hooks was the lead person on the state flag redesign. Grace says she plans to fly the Georgia state flag from the balcony of her home in Edinburgh on the Fourth of July along with the American flag, but she’ll display it indoors year-round.
We enjoyed riding out into the countryside to Joni Woolf’s charming home for brunch last Sunday, where myriads of early blooming spring plants and trees were beginning to open and the surrounding grassy landscape turning green. Among the guests were Janice Brice, Terry Holland, Jeff Logan, all of Macon, and Grace Durham and Dr. Gatewood Dudley. Welcome to new Americus residents Johnny and Kay Heath, who moved here recently from Dawson. Celebrating birthdays this week are Beth Alston and Carol Norton.

-Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.