FunStuff: Charlottesville events September 27 and beyond

Map the dark or calligraphy?
We're never quite sure where Rosamond Casey's art is going to take us– whether it's a Rorschach game like Catch the Baby, or the creation of imaginary characters and their inner lives with Mapping the Dark: A Museum of Ambient Disorders. Whatever she's doing, the journey is worth taking, and her all new Mapping the Dark class offers a chance to go along for an eight-week Thursday night ride. Participants start with a sensory experience from the physical world and proceed to record it through writing, drawing, photography, sculpture, movement, and found elements, including sound, detritus, and written scraps. Or perhaps expression through the Art of Calligraphy is more your style. That eight-week, 9:30am until noon class also begins September 27, and both are in the Starnes classroom, room 17 in McGuffey.
September 27, McGuffey Art Center, 6:30 to 9pm, $200


Inside baseball for political junkies
Can't get enough of Election 2012? Fascinated by the moves the candidates– and their campaign strategists– make and how they handle blunders? Then you might want to spend your Thursday night taking in the now classic behind-the-scenes documentary on Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign from acclaimed filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, who embedded themselves in the Clinton camp. The War Room introduced the country to ragin' Cajun James Carville, Clinton's campaign manager, and Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, 20 years ago the director of communications. Calling the two Clintons "cagey generals," the Washington Post says, "The War Room fairly bristles with the frenetic energy, flat-out fun, and Southern-fried cunning that won the White House."
September 27, Jefferson Madison Central Library, 7pm, free 


Weigh in on the ouster
Still steaming from the failed coup d'etat at UVA this summer, and the Board of Visitors effort to sweep all that "unpleasantness" under the carpet? Apparently you're not alone. The still-unexplained actions that so roiled the community have also sparked local legislators to hold a bipartisan Joint Town Hall Thursday night at UVA Law School. Democratic state Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate David Toscano join Republican delegates Steve Landes and Jimmie Massie (from Henrico County) at a public hearing to discuss board governance and potential legislation for the 2013 General Assembly Session. Could be civic engagement at its best. Doors open at 5:30pm.
September 27, Caplin Auditorium, 6:30 to 9 pm, free


Block party, part 2
The Tom Tom Founders Festival kick-off block party in the spring was a smash, drawing around 2,500 people to McGuffey for music, food, and brews. Capitalizing on a good idea, Tom Tom founder Paul Beyer decided to do it again on Friday, using the same winning formula. The musical line-up includes the country rock of Pantherburn, the Irish-influenced folk of Chamomile & Whiskey, the Music Resource Center’s student Drum Team, and the Boys & Girls Club’s Dance Step Team. There's a street food fair and a beer garden featuring sponsors New Belgium Brewing and local craft-brewer, Wild Wolf. Even better, proceeds from drinking beer will support the Community Investment Collaborative, a local microfinance group, and the festival's Innovator in Residence.
September 28, McGuffey Art Center, 5 to 8pm, free


In 1965, Ralph Nader declared the rear-engine Chevrolet Corvair "unsafe at any speed." But what if, in some alternate reality, that were all a cruel conspiracy and that U.S. government testing found the car was really safe? When Benjy Bennett, a recent high school grad with Asperger's Syndrome, discovers that the car his father has just bought has been unfairly maligned, he becomes its defender, because like him, it's "not disabled, just different." For Benjy and his widowed dad, a wild ride ensues in Charlottesville resident Jonathan Rintels' first novel, Lifemobile. And yes, Rintels owns his own Corvair– one that's in much better shape than his book's cover art.
September 28, New Dominion Bookshop, 5:30pm, free


Music and camping
Fridays After Five may be over, but outdoors music is not quite calling it a season. The 2nd annual Misty Mountain Music Festival this weekend lines up a who's who of Charlottesville bands– Indecision, Eli Cook, Second Draw, and much, much more. Misty Mountain in Greenwood is family-friendly and RV-friendly and even has cabins– if you make your reservation quickly. Or just bring a tent.
September 28-29, Misty Mountain Camp Resort, 4:15pm Friday and 12:30pm Saturday, $30 advance


Take a kid mountain biking
It's a good idea to get out in the woods on a Saturday in early fall anyway– but this is a worldwide event– Take a Kid Mountain Biking– sponsored by the International Mountain Bicycling Association to promote... mountain biking, with kids. BYO child, mountain bike, helmet, and water. The local Charlottesville Albemarle Mountain Bike Club provides safety checks and a skills clinic, then it's time to hit the trails according to age and skill level. Chaperones are included, and it's a good opportunity to drive a few miles north of the Airport to check out one of Albemarle's newest parks, with over eight miles of trails.
September 29, Preddy Creek Trail Park, 1 to 4pm, free


Kiting west of the mountains
Here's another little-known park, this one on the other side of the Blue Ridge: Waynesboro's Coyner Springs, with more than 300 acres nestled up against the mountains. That will be the site of Fly n’ High Flags & Kites on Saturday, with kite making, flying, parachute races, face painting and hayrides. At noon, everyone can participate in the giant American flag ceremony, so called because it really is a giant flag. Bring a lawn chair to the park at 2091 Lyndhurst Road, and food will be available for purchase. Note to dog owners: this park has a leash-less dog park.
September 29, Coyner Springs Park, 10am to 3pm, free



Qu'est que c'est balalaika?
Funny you should ask. A balalaika is a triangle-shaped, Russian guitar-like instrument with three strings used in traditional folk music there and all over Eastern Europe. And that's not the only traditional Russian folk instrument we've never heard of. The Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra incorporates the domra, bayan and related wind and percussion instruments in its performances, one of which will take place on Sunday at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Here's a chance to hear virtuoso balalaika soloist Andrei Saveliev, pictured. Follow the performance with borscht and vodka.
September 30, Dickinson Building, 3pm, $15 


Tuesday night jazz
German-born jazz pianist/Indiana University music prof Monica Herzig invites you on a journey (which seems to be a recurring theme with this week's female artists). In fact, her latest recording is called Come with Me, and her sultry, soaring sound captures the melancholy, the joy, the complexity of life– everything you want to find in jazz. Herzig plays her own music (which won a Down Beat magazine award in 1994) along with jazz standards from Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael, and the not-so-standard in jazz, like Bob Dylan. Held in a hip downtown restaurant and sponsored by the Charlottesville Jazz Society as part of its new Arts/Educator series.
October 2, Escafé, 7 to 9pm, free

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Community Drum Circle at McGuffey Art Center on the second Saturday of each month (October 13). ^:30PM. on the first floor just inside the South end doors. Come on time because the doors must be closed at 6:45. Bring a drum or rent one for a nominal fee. Family friendly; kids welcome. Facilitaed by William "Whit" Whitten.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 7PM, I am hosting an introduction to 3d photography via the Charlottesville Photography Initiative. This even is free and open to the public, but to attend you must register:

We will demonstrate a range of techniques and equipment used to obtain images for 3d display. This can range from a standard single-lens camera (such as one you might have), to various types of stereo rigs and purpose-made 3d cameras, like the new Fuji W3 digital P+S 3d camera.

We will demonstrate several new (digital and film) and vintage media for showing your 3d photographs. Slide film shooters are especially invited - slide film is the ultimate 3d image acquisition and display medium!

Thanks for your interest. Feel free to contact me with questions via the CPI page.

100 Thousand Poets, Musicians & Artists for Change
C’ville Coffee at 1301 Harris St. Charlottesville, Va. is hosting a 100 Thousand Poets, Musicians and Artists for Change event on September 29th from 4-6 p.m. Local poets, writers, musicians and artists are invited to join with people around the world. Over 700 events in over 115 countries will promote social, political and environmental change. See more about world events at Bring a song, a poem, photographs or posters to join with other’s for affirmative change. If interested in participating, please contact Bob at .


'Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.'
- Turkish proverb

Don't miss the only Charlottesville appearance of BALKANIZE! for the foreseeable future!

BALKANIZE!, Central-Virginia's favorite Turko-Balkan folk music ensemble, will be performing unmistakably dance-able Balkan, Eastern European and Turkish dance songs at C'ville Coffee, 1301 Harris Street, in Charlottesville, on Sunday, September 30, 2012.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 8:30.

This show is our only scheduled performance in Charlottesville and will include songs from our newest CD "... For Your Are Made Of Stars."

Admission is $8, payable at the door.

We hope to see you there!

Oct 3, head to the Pigeon Hole on Elliewood Ave to experience the first Presidential Debate as the entertainment it actually is. In an evening sponsored by Gadfly, a Cville based arts/culture web magazine, the new pop punk band Synthetics will open for Mitt and Barack with a rousing set. Come enjoy the spectacle of American decline with a tofu salad sandwich and some good music!