Preview: Sensoria Festival (Part 1-2)

IN 1993, Central Piedmont Community College started a literary festival that followed the path of its city, expanding and evolving into something new entirely. They would change the name from “Spring Literary Festival” to “Sensoria” in 2006, reflecting its new, multi-medium approach. History, culture, culinary arts, music, performing and visual arts, and of course, literature—these are the faces of the Sensoria Festival.

From April 10-18, the festival takes over the CPCC campus. Over the next week, the Revue blog will look at the event’s offerings. This first installment takes a look at what’s happening this weekend.

FRIDAY
* August Wilson’s Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Pease Auditorium, 8 p.m.
This play is part of what’s labeled “The Pittsburgh Cycle,” August Wilson’s collection of narratives mostly contained in a Pittsburgh district. In a boardinghouse in 1911, the story examines several sides of the African-American experience.
Another show on Saturday, 8 p.m.

* CPCC Opera Theatre Presents Battle of the Composers: VERDI vs. WAGNER
Dale F. Halton Theater, Overcash Building, 8 p.m.
Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed. David vs. Goliath. Giuseppe Verdi vs. Richard Wagner? OK, maybe, this isn’t one of the more famous bouts in history, but the grandiosity is here. This production pits two of the greatest Romantic opera composers against each other.
Another show on Saturday, 8 p.m.

SATURDAY
* Jewelry Making Workshop with Marlene True
AU Building Room 010, Central Campus, 8 a.m.
With repurposed objects, True shows workshoppers how to make their own accessories. True, the executive director at Columbia’s Pocosin Arts, is a nationally recognized jewelry designer and metalsmith.

* Slow Art Day
Overcash Building, Ross Gallery, 11 a.m.
Take a moment, or a few, to recognize Slow Art Day in Charlotte. The holiday encourages people to look at a single piece of art for 10 or more minutes and discuss it. A sculpture by Shaun Cassidy in the Ross Gallery is Sensoria’s suggestion.

SUNDAY
* AKA Doc Pomus Presented by the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival
Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 7 p.m.
Jerome Felder’s emergence as a blues songwriter is documented in this film, which was selected by the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival for this screening. Felder wrote pop treasures like “A Teenager in Love” and  “Viva Las Vegas.”

TUESDAY
* Delene Beeland Reading & Discussion and Signing, The Secret World of Red Wolves

Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 11 a.m.
In her book, Beeland explores the plight of the red wolves, an endangered animal that’s found in the eastern region of North Carolina. Hear an update on the cause from the science writer.

* Throw Back Tuesday: Songs from 1930's Cuba
Cato Campus Auditorium, 12 p.m.
This seminar-recital features music performed by Ethan Uslan, Daidree Tofano, and Johnny Vergara. They’ll play the style of Afrocubanismo, born out of the 1920s and ’30s.

* Noah Hutton, Documentary Filmmaker, on The Bluebrain Project
Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 2 p.m.
Henry Markram’s bold charge to build a human brain on IBM supercomputers has been documented by Hutton for 15 years. Hear him talk about the massive undertaking with this event.

* Edible Book Festival
Harris Campus, Harris I Atrium, 5 p.m.
The prompt for this mini-festival is this: “An edible book can look like a book, be inspired by a book, be a pun on a book’s title, look like a character, and more.” Bring your own creation, and take part in the best aspect of this event: eating the creations.

WEDNESDAY
* I'm Gonna Sing Out

Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 9:30 a.m.
Several mediums are represented in this program, reflecting on African-Americans in art. Musical genres include gospel, jazz, and funk.

* Behailu Academy Collaborative Art and Poetry Workshop
Cato Campus, Cato II Atrium, 11 a.m.
Check out the work of local middle-schoolers and high-schoolers, with visual art and the written word. Attendees can also take part with their own creativity in the workshop.

* Gold Mining in Charlotte
Elizabeth Classroom Building, Room 1106, 6 p.m.
This region hosted the first “gold rush” of the nation. Go back to the beginnings of the city and see how gold forged both its industry and diverse population.

* Irene Blair Honeycutt Distinguished Lecturer Chris Abani Reading and Discussion
Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 7 p.m.
The Nigeria-born novelist and poet has made waves in the literary community since he was 16, when he released of his first novel, Masters of the Board. It kicked off a string of imprisonments, as Abani was accused multiple times of attempting to overthrow the government. The third time, he was put on death row. Abani talks about his journey and his work at the festival.

THURSDAY
* Chris Brawley and Bridgit Connell – Finding the Divine in the Profane: a Discussion of Contemporary Comics

Levine Campus Auditorium, 9:30 a.m.
CPCC’s Brawley and Connell, the woman behind the comic Brother Nash, chat on the state of the comic book medium. Brawley authored Nature and the Numinous in Mythopoeic Fantasy Literature.

* Artist Lecture: Grant Baldwin
AU Building Room 101, 11 a.m.
Freelance photographer Grant Baldwin has been documenting the city and its people for more than a decade. Hear him talk about his work, which has appeared in numerous local and national publications.

* "Preserving Charlotte’s Past through Public Art in the CityLYNX Gold Line” by Kati Stegall
Pease Auditorium, 2 p.m.
New Orleans artist Nancy Gutkin O’Neil created windscreens for the CityLYNX Gold Line. Stegall talks about both the design process and implementation with this talk.

* Regional Superstars: A Reading and Discussion with Alan Michael Parker and Morri Creech
Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 2 p.m.
Celebrated authors Alan Michael Parker and Morri Creech, who both teach locally, share a reading and a discussion. Creech teaches at Queens University; Parker instructs students at Davidson College.

* Artist Lecture: Shaun Cassidy
Overcash Building, Tate Hall, 6 p.m.
Cassidy discusses his new series of sculptures found in CPCC’s Ross Gallery. You may have seen Cassidy’s work around town: His leaf sculptures are part of the track fencing on the LYNX Blue Line.

* Molly Guptill Manning Reading, Discussion & Book Signing
Sloan-Morgan Building, Bryant Hall, 7 p.m.
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II tells the story of 120 million books sent to soldiers in 1943. Manning will discuss her book, read an excerpt, and sign copies for attendees. The nonfiction tale has garnered favorable reviews from Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried, and Pulitzer-winner Megan Marshall.

* Remembering Joe Sample: The Official Tribute Concert
Halton Theatre, Overcash Building, 7:30 p.m.
With Sample’s son, Nicklas, on bass, this concert is a personal one, remembering the late jazz pianist. He’s joined by pianist Alex Bugnon and saxophonist Wilton Felder.

Categories: Arts + Culture, Revue