"Swing Into Spring!": Columbus State University 18-piece Jazz Ensemble will perform its final concert of the season — featuring the music of Count Basie, Thad Jones, Doc Severinsen and Neil Slater. 7:30 p.m. at RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall, 900 Broadway. Free. 706-649-7277. music.columbusstate.edu.
Amy Webb to speak: As a part of the “Building Common Ground” lecture series, Webb — a bestselling author and noted “guru” to companies worldwide — will speak at Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road. 6 p.m. 706-243-2669. www.cvlga.org/commonground.
Servant Leadership Forum: A talk with Muscogee Superintendent David Lewis. Drinks will be provided. Pastoral Institute’s Community Room, 1515 20th St. Free. Noon-1 p.m. 706-649-6507, ext. 1204 or email email@example.com to reserve a seat.
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The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Columbus chapter will be hosting its first ever poetry slam this Friday -- and it’s titled, appropriately, S.L.A.M.S., for “students living amidst mental stigmas.”
The event was organized by Laura Book, who is the Georgia delegate for this year’s Miss American Beauties Plus Pageant. Book’s platform his mental health; peotry is also close to her. “I write poetry as a hobby, it’s a way for me to conceptualize my emotions,” Book said. “... I’m very enthusiastic about poetryslams specifically, because I’ve seen so many great writers get up there and just get into it.”
Submissions will approach the broad topic of mental illness through a personal lens. “It’s not just a way of expressing your own story, but reaching out to people who can relate,” Book said.
The S.L.A.M.S. starts at 7:30 p.m. in the RiverCenter’s Studio Theater. Tickets are $10. All proceeds go toward NAMI Columbus. 706-320-3755. www.NAMICols.org.
No Shame Theater: Sign up at 10 p.m. to take the stage at 10:30 p.m. Fridays to present original work, including sketch comedy, poetry, music and more. Can't be longer than five minutes; can't break anything. Must be 18 years old to perform or to watch. Springer Opera House, 1022 First Ave. $5.
Country for a Cure: Come support Relay for Life and the Serenity Foundation with this concert, featuring Drew Ellis, Kaleb King and more. At Front Porch of the South, 7607 Veterans Parkway. 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 (kids 10 and under are free). 706-366-0607.
Columbus Lions: The Columbus Lions host the Albany Panthers. 7 p.m. Columbus Civic Center, 400 Fourth St. $10-$45. 706-653-4460. columbuscivicenter.org.
Egg hunt: Glow-in-the-dark egg hunt, relay games, moon bounce, food and glow-in-the-dark beverages will surely keep your family entertained! Don’t forget to bring your flashlight. 6-8:30 p.m. Fort Mitchell Clinic, 2 Gilmore Road. Free with concessions being sold. To pre-register, email firstname.lastname@example.org by April 9. 334-664-0464, ext. 325.
Twilight 5K: All proceeds from this race will benefit the Muscogee County DFCS. Run begins at 8 p.m. Cascade Hills Church, 727 54th Street. $25 before Monday, $35 after that. (706) 327-5743. cascadehills.com.
Spring dance: Hosted by the Moonlight Ballroom Dance Club. LaFayette Christian School Gym, 1904 Hamilton Road. There will be a beginner swing lesson at 7:30 p.m.; the dance is 8-10:30 p.m. Dress is smart casual. Visitor couples are welcome. $20/couple. 706-881-2734. Movie Under the Stars: The first movie in this three-week series is “Despicable Me 2.” Bring your lawn chairs and blankets but leave your animals at home. 8-10 p.m. Wetherby Field, off Custer Road on the south side of Highway 27/280 near the Sand Hill Access Control Point. Free. 706-545-7978. benningmwr.com.
Cole Swindell: This up-and-coming country music star will perform. Other performers include special guests Outshyne, Cole Taylor, Ben Wells and Kaleb King. 7 p.m. Phenix City Amphitheater, 508 Dillingham St. $20. Promoters are expecting a sell-out. 334-291-4719. phenixcityal.us.
Kaleidoscope: Approximately 230 music students will play an exciting 70-minute, full spectrum performance featuring large instrumental, vocal ensembles and much more. 7:30 p.m. RiverCenter’s Bill Heard Theatre, 900 Broadway. $20. 706-649-7225. email@example.com.
"Ride for a Reason": This Ride-a-Thon supports the Ronald McDonald House and House of Heroes. At the Max Fitness Airport Location, 3885 Miller Road. 9 a.m.-noon. Call 706-569-7753 to reserve your bike.
Celebrity Classic 5K/10K: With over 350 participants last year, this event has helped raise funds for the John B. Amos Cancer Center. 8 a.m. National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way. Early registration $20 and race-day registration is $25. 706-366-4416 or 706-660-6204. columbusregional.com.
Furry 5K: Runners and animal lovers run/walk with their dogs to raise money for the homeless shelter pets of PAWS Humane! 9 a.m. Cooper Creek Park, 4816 Milgen Road. Early registration $30 (includes T-shirt) and race-day registration is $35. 706-565-0035, ext.214. pawshumane.org.
Lynn Haven Wildlife Garden Club: Mary Lisby will present “Earth’s Treasure: Georgia and Beyond,” discussing gem stones, natural stones, polished stones for making jewelry. Sycamore Room of Oxbow Meadows Environmental Center, 3535 South Lumpkin Road. 10 a.m. Free.
Frogtown Hollow Jam: Bring your lawn chair and blankets for the seventh year of this two-day music festival that will feature TractorHead, Southern Ashe, Little River Band and Packway Handle on Friday; and Second Hand Ego, Big Saxy & The Chemistry Project, Back N Black and local favorite Peggy Jenkins & The Bizness (and many more) on Saturday. Frogtown will take over Woodruff Park for the weekend, featuring musicians as well as arts and crafts vendors, inflatables and more. This year’s proceeds benefit the Contact Disability Resource Center. Friday: 6 p.m.-midnight. Saturday: noon-midnight. 1000 Bay Ave. $20, kids under 12 get in free. No coolers; food, beer and wine will be available to buy. Pets OK. 706-289-7510. frogtownhollowjam.com.
"Down the Dirt Path": Down the Dirt Path is a modern telling of the “Prodigal Son,” written by Jessica Stephens and Leslie Cardwell. The show follows Gideon — when he chooses new relationships and experiences, his family at home struggles with how to respond to his absence. 7:30 p.m. at the Family Theatre, 2100 Hamilton Road. Also April 17-26. Tickets are $12/$10 (seniors/military)/$8 (students). 706-366-7196. www.familytheatre.org.
Music workshop: Catherine Childree will conduct this workshop, focused on “Offering Your Best Gift To God!” 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday at the Northside Worship Center, 1901 Whittlesey Road. Free and open to the public. www.northsideworshipcenter.org.
Spring Fling: Celebrate the beginning of spring with rides, concessions, games and more. Noon-midnight, April 4-13. Columbus Civic Center parking lot, 400 Fourth Street. Admission is free, but rides and concession prices vary. 706-653-4460. columbusciviccenter.org.
Best Ranger: This annual three-day competition determines “the best two-man team from the entire United States Armed Forces.” Several events are open to the public, but the schedule varies every day. Ranger Training Brigade, 10850 Schneider Road. Times vary. For more information, call the Public Affairs Office at 706-545-3512 or 706-545-2211.
"Let There Be Art!"
The Columbus Museum’s annual fundraiser “Let There Be Art!” is taking its circus theme very seriously.
The festivities kick off with a “Cirque D’Art” premiere party Friday night, followed by a “Late Night Under the Big Lights” after that; as well as a “Big Top Brunch” on Sunday and a “Center Ring Luncheon” on Tuesday with the man who helped plan it all, Bob Vardaman.
Vardaman is a Columbus native. He grew up taking art classes at the museum, and his touch is all over this year’s “Let There Be Art!”
“I take on the event and create pieces that are unique to the event but also act as decor enhancement (and) generate income,” he said.
The art show and sale will open Saturday morning, with art from the east coast, the South and Europe. It closes Thursday.
This year’s circus-themed party will feature a strong man, aerialists and topiary elephants.
But Vardaman, who will also give a lecture and signing Tuesday, said he doesn’t plan “your typical circus party.”
“They incorporate a little bit more of the Cirque du Soleil approach,” he said, “sort of the old-timey midway-type circus.”
The evening’s centerpieces will be for sale — as will the tableclothes.
“I love to see the looks on the guests as they enter, because they’re unaware of what’s going to happen,” Vardaman said.