Weekend's music, events, food to appeal to all tastes

July 18, 1996|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF

Artscape '96 kicks off this weekend with its usual array of art and crafts for sale, literary events, music, comedy and, of course, food.

New this year are performers at the Gordon Plaza Comedy Stage at the University of Baltimore, who will brave the crowd in search of laughs.

Literary events will also take the spotlight.

The 1996 Artscape Literary Award for Poetry went to Chezia Thompson-Cager for "Power Objects." She teaches in the Department of Literature and Language at the Maryland Institute, College of Art and will read at the University of Baltimore Law Center at 8 p.m. Friday.

"I felt that 'Power Objects' ... repeatedly showed real poetic caliber," said poet Josephine Jacobsen, who chose the winning poems. "It is colorful and holds together. There are sudden sections of excellence. 'Power Objects' has real force."

Sun movie critic and novelist Stephen Hunter chose "Stomp and Other Stories" by Elizabeth Mary Larson for the Literary Arts Award for Short Stories. Larson, who has taught English at Howard University and elsewhere, received the 1995 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Poetry. She'll read Friday at 8: 30 p.m. at the law center.

The judge for the Literary Arts Award for One-Act Play was writer Gloria Naylor, who selected "Prospect for Freedom: Frederick Douglass and John Brown" by Robert D. Madison. Madison has taught at the U.S. Naval Academy's English department since 1983.

"This is a masterful use of historical documents to create monologues and dialogues that flow with both power and pathos. ... Riveting from beginning to end," Naylor said.

The play will be performed Saturday and Sunday at 4: 30 p.m. in Decker Auditorium.

Readings by others are scheduled throughout the weekend.

For some, the highlight of Artscape is the music. This year, the big-name stars include contemporary jazz man Cyrus Chestnut, who performs at 7 p.m. Friday on the Fox Stage. That same night at 8: 15 on the Decker Stage, the Robert Cray Band plays the blues.

A local act that shouldn't be missed is Sandra Spears, first-place winner of the 1996 Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. Spears performs Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Fox Stage.

Kid Creole & the Coconuts presents its calypso, salsa and be-bop sounds Saturday at 2: 15 p.m. on the Decker Stage.

Also on Saturday, look out for the legendary Etta James, who is performing with the Roots Band at 8: 15 p.m. on the Decker Stage.

Sunday brings the Blind Boys of Alabama, featuring Clarence Fountain, and their special brand of gospel, rhythm and blues at 2: 15 p.m. on the Decker Stage.

Baltimore becomes a hotbed for cool international sounds during the weekend.

Hear South African pop from Johnny Clegg, featuring Juluka (see accompanying story), who will perform at 5: 15 p.m. Saturday on the Decker Stage. Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapeno Band will turn up the heat with Latin, salsa and tejano sounds Saturday at 7: 15 p.m. on the Fox Stage.

Naturally, there is nearly every other kind of music under the sun, from alternative rock to country to Celtic. Ditto on the food and drink selections, including participation by four Baltimore microbreweries.

Artscape goes on rain or shine. And no pets are allowed.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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