Silhouette Stages will hold auditions from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 at Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, for its production of Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, being performed in March. To schedule an audition and more information, e-mail Mo Dutterer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hadassah of Howard County presents "An Evening with Dr. Brad Sachs" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, at the Jewish Federation of Howard County, 10630 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Lecture titled, "Pulling Anchor, Setting Sail: Raising and Launching Independent Children," explores strategies parents can use to promote their children's self-reliance and self-respect. Sachs is a psychologist and the author of numerous books. Information: 410-531-5357.
Ride home program
The "Guaranteed Ride Home" program is coming to Howard County. Program, funded by the Maryland Department of Transportation, guarantees a free ride home to commuters who regularly travel to work by mass transit, van pool, car pool, bicycle or walking. Program offers a free ride up to four times a year in a taxi or rental car, depending on location. To be eligible, commuters must register in advance and renew their registration annually. Registration and information: 800-745-7433 or commuterconnections.org.
•"Images of Freedom" The Columbia Association is hosting its annual Images of Freedom poster contest in honor of Black History Month for Howard County middle and high school students. Participants are to interpret the theme, "Images of Freedom." Five entries will be selected for display on the sides of Howard County Transit buses throughout February. Entries should be mailed or delivered to Images of Freedom poster contest, Attention Kelly Cooper, Columbia Association, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia 21044. Each entry must include name, age, school, home address, e-mail and phone number on a separate piece of paper. Deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 5. Information: 410-715-3104.
•Women's History Month Howard County's Commission for Women invites student, public, private and home-schooled grades six to 12 to participate in its annual essay contest honoring Women's History Month in March. Theme is "Our History is Our Strength." Essays should be sent to email@example.com or mailed to the Commission for Women Student Essay contest, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 300, Columbia 21046. Deadline is Jan. 18. Information: 410-313-6400.
Through Dec. 5, metered parking in Ellicott City will be free. There are four metered parking areas in downtown Ellicott City and they offer more than 140 spaces. Notices of the free parking will be posted at the entrance of all four locations. Parking on Main Street, which is not metered, is still limited to two hours.
Registration is under way for the Howard County Arts Council's visual and performing arts winter programs at the Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road in Ellicott City. The council offers classes and workshops for children, teens and adults. Classes begin Jan. 25 and continue through March 26. For a brochure and information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.
Council seeks new members
The Howard County Council seeks candidates to serve a term, which will end Dec. 31, 2015, on the Board of Appeals. Board members serve overlapping five-year terms and must be registered voters and residents of the county. For an application, those interested should send a letter of interest and resume to Council Administrator, Howard County Council, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City 21043. Deadline is Dec. 6.
HCC top community college
Howard Community College has been named as one of the top-rated community colleges in the nation as part of the Center for Digital Education's sixth annual Digital Community Colleges Survey. HCC was recognized as a leader in using technology to provide exceptional services to students, educators and administrators.
The Columbia Jewish Congregation presents its annual film series beginning Jan. 22 with "A Matter of Size." All screenings will be at the Columbia Jewish Congregation, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Room 200. Tickets are $30 for the four-film series, $24 for three, or $17 for two showings. Single tickets will also be available at the door for $9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; screenings begin at 8 p.m. Refreshments and post-film discussion included. Information: 410-381-4809, 410-997-0694 or SBloch@comcast.net.