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January serves up Empty Bowls, ‘Fascinating Rhythms’ and some blues

event preview by Brittany Ransom
bransom@thecitywire.com

Good food, good music and a little local history are among the many things to enjoy this January in the Fort Smith area – and beyond.

• Empty Bowls
Warm up with a delicious bowl of soup and help support the Community Services Clearinghouse's Meals for Kids Program at the fifth annual Empty Bowls Dinner on Jan. 23.

Upon arrival, guests will pick out a handcrafted ceramic bowl, made by Van Buren High School students and local artists, and enjoy delicious soup and bread from their special dish. Hosted by Van Buren High School Art Students, Empty Bowls is part of a global effort to raise awareness and funds for food insecurity. Following the meal, bowls will be washed so they may be taken home as "a reminder of the empty bowls throughout our community and the world."

Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Van Buren High School Commons Area. Guests will also have the chance to bid on additional  ceramics and crafts in the silent auction. All proceeds will support Meals for Kids, which sends food home over the weekend in the backpacks of more than 2,500 area children.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. For tickets or more information, contact Kara Holland at 479-430-6683 or by email at kara.holland@vbsd.us.

• Fascinating Rhythms
Classical music fans will delight as the Fort Smith Symphony showcases the legendary work of Mozart and Beethoven at its "Fascinating Rhythms" Concert on Jan. 25.

The evening will open with Mozart's riveting overture to the opera "The Marriage of Figaro," followed by his  beautiful composition, "Concerto for Horn and Orchestra No. 4, K. 495 in Eb Major." The piece will feature renowned musician Alex Shuhan, who serves as the Principle Horn for the Fort Smith Symphony, as well as the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra. The show will conclude with a performance of Beethoven's " Symphony No. 2, op. 36 in D Major."

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith.

Tickets range from $35-$40 for adults, and $15-$20 students. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 479-452-7575.


• CAE Excursion to Crystal Bridges
The Center for Art and Education will charter a day trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to view the ongoing exhibit "The Artists' Eye: Georgia O'Keeffe and the Alfred Stieglitz Collection," on Jan. 25.

A bus will depart from CAE in Van Buren at promptly 11:15 a.m. Upon arrival, guests will have the opportunity to view the O'Keeffe and Stieglitz exhibit, as well as two new collections, "At First Sight: Collecting the American Watercolor," and "Edward Hopper: Journey to Blackwell's Island."

Tickets are $50 and include transportation to and from the museum on a chartered bus, admission to Crystal Bridges, time at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade, and complimentary snacks and beverages on the bus. The bus will return to CAE at 6 p.m.

Registration is required to attend. To purchase tickets, contact Owen Shackleford at 479-474-7767 or by email at owen@art-ed.org.

• Clayton Conversations: "Historic Fort Smith in Pictures"
The Clayton House will present "Historic Fort Smith in Pictures," as part of its monthly "Clayton Conversations" series on Jan. 26.

The presentation will feature Dr. Kevin Jones, a professor at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, who will share vintage photographs of Fort Smith spanning from the 1800s to the 1970s. Jones will also tell tales and tidbits from his books, "Fort Smith: Images of America," and  "Fort Smith: Postcard History Series."

Music and refreshments will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 2 p.m.
The presentation will be held at The Clayton House, located at 514 N. 6th St., in Fort Smith's Historic Belle Grove District. Admission is a suggested donation of $5. For more information or to RSVP, call 479-783-3000.

• Building the Region: A Century of Local Architecture
The Fort Smith Museum of History will host an opening reception for its upcoming exhibit, "Building the Region: A Century of Local Architecture," on Jan. 30.

Included in the exhibit are drawings and sketches by noted Fort Smith architects, Alonzo Klingensmith and Chester Nelson, whose structures include Goddard Methodist Church, the Booneville Sanatorium and national award winning structure Fentress Mortuary.

Also featured are drawings of the "Million Dollar Free Bridge," which was constructed from 1919 to 1922, and an 1899 sketch for an elevator whose building location continues to baffle researchers.

The reception will begin at 5 p.m., with a program by local architect Bob Laser at 6 p.m.  The reception is free and open to the public with a paid museum admission. Cost is $5 for adults,  $2 for children and free for ages six and under.

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The exhibit will be on display at the museum through May 31. For more information about the exhibit, call 479-783-7841.

• The Blue Lion presents the Chris Cameron Blues Band
The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown (formerly Second Street Live!) will welcome the popular Chris Cameron Blues Band for a special one-night performance on Jan. 31.

Cameron, a Fort Smith native, swept the 1997 International Blues Challenge in Memphis at the impressive age of 18, where he earned the Albert King Award for Most Promising International Blues Guitarists. Since then, he has established a remarkable career in the music industry, making albums and performing with legends such as Bonnie Raitt and Tab Benoit.

Doors will open at  7 p.m., with seating being on a first come, first serve basis. For ticket information, contact the University Box Office at 479-788-7300.

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