Out & About

Pan African Festival and more on the horizon

By Larry Fennelly -- Telegraph columnist

Opening next weekend is the Tubman Museum's first Pan African Festival since the handsome new 49,000-square-foot home opened on Cherry Street, so it's only fitting that this year's event -- happening April 22-24 -- will be held inside the new facility and on Cherry Street Plaza out in front.

This is also the 20th anniversary of the festival, and April 22's black-tie banquet will honor Chi Ezekwueche, founder of both the festival and the annual "All That Jazz" fundraiser.

The April 23 events will feature art, crafts, performances, a film festival and tours of the new facility, the largest of its type in the country. Among the performers April 24 will be the gospel sounds of the 150-voice Pan African Festival Mass Choir.

The event sure to draw a crowd this weekend is Macon Arts Alliance's "Fired Works," featuring 65 artists and more than 6,000 pieces of pottery in Central City Park. Following tonight's preview party, this spectacular exhibition runs through April 24. Among the special events will be the "Wheel Turning Workshop."

THEATER SURGES

Summer is coming, and while the line-ups for 2016-2017 are rolling in, before the current "season" wraps up, there's always a surge of events. This weekend we'll see the final performances of "Young Frankenstein" at Theatre Macon, while opening at Mercer University's Tattnall Square Center for the Arts is "An Evening of Original Works." Also at the Douglass Theatre on Friday night only is a show titled "Attending Church," while at the Backlot Players in Forsyth is "A Musical Celebration." Coming next weekend at Middle Georgia State University is "Betty the Yeti," directed by Sydney Chalfa.

MCDUFFIE HONORED

The top musical news item last weekend was the award presented to Susan McDuffie, the pianist and organist who spends so much of her life promoting others that we often overlook what a monumental presence she herself is in the world of music.

It was more than fitting that the 2015 McDuffie Center for Strings Award went to the mother of the man who bestows it. Is there anyone who has worked longer and harder for Macon music?

The other big news comes from the Macon Pops, whose planned collaborations with Middle Georgia State University and Mercer University will reach out to college-age listeners. Is it any wonder this outfit keeps growing and growing?

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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