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Oregon Fringe Festival, local virtual events: April 23

Ashland-based percussionist Dean Kyle will perform during the Oregon Fringe Festival, held primarily virtually this year, Thursday through Saturday, April 29-May 1. Photo courtesy Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University.
In Focus: Oregon Fringe Festival

The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University will present the 2021 Oregon Fringe Festival Thursday, April 29, though Saturday, May 1, with more than 50 virtual acts from more than 40 local, national and international artists, plus live outdoor art and theatrical installations and performances located on the SOU campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, with an evening of performance and visual art exhibitions, including a dance by Alexandra Doyle and Lily Gelfand, and a percussion performance by Dean Kyle (Zoom link at oregonfringefestival.org/opening-celebration). Also look for a mixed-drink demonstration from Hearsay Restaurant, award presentations, a virtual meet-and-greet, and more. From real-time virtual performances to artist lectures and workshops, an extensive virtual gallery and outdoor art installations, viewers will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of creative work over the weekend. Admission to all virtual events or art installations is free. See oregonfringefestival.org for a full schedule.

Ashland Independent Film Festival

The 20th Ashland Independent Film Festival is presenting a hybrid “double feature” festival, featuring both virtual and in-person events. The virtual portion of the festival runs through Thursday, April 29, with nearly 100 new independent films, including 35 feature films. Rounding out the schedule will be Q-and-A sessions with filmmakers, virtual parties, mixers, and panels. In this year’s virtual segment, almost all feature films will play for 48 consecutive hours. Some content is offered for free. There are also 13 programs of shorts, eight of which are free to watch, and they will be available to view for the full duration of the online festival. The second part of the festival, which will run June 24-28, will include outdoor screenings, live music, art exhibits, performances and more, in Ashland and Medford. The ticket price for most films during the virtual festival is $10, with a few select films free to the public. Tickets are $12 per screening for the June outdoor festival. See ashlandfilm.org for complete festival information or call 541-488-3823. To purchase tickets, watch free programming and find members-only content, go to watch.eventive.org/aiff2021festival.

‘This is Who I Am’

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in conjunction with PlayCo and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co., will offer an encore screening of Amir Nizar Zuabi’s newest play “This is Who I Am,” through Sunday, April 25. Separated by continents, an estranged father and son reunite over Zoom. From their respective kitchens in Ramallah and New York City, they recreate a cherished family recipe and struggle to bridge the gap between them, one ingredient at a time. Directed by OSF Associate Artistic Director Evren Odcikin. Tickets are $15.99 per individual, $30.99 per household To purchase tickets and for further details see woollymammoth.net.

Anima Mundi Productions: ‘Heart of Humanity’ concert series

Anima Mundi Productions, an Ashland-based performing arts nonprofit dedicated to producing and presenting new musical works that address urgent societal challenges, will present a free series of four concert-length videos, launching one per month through August. The series, called “A Time For Life: A Spring Video Festival,” includes renowned performers such as Grammy-winning soprano Estelí Gomez, Portland-based professional choir Cappella Romana and the elite LA-based HEX Vocal Ensemble, performing both new and classical works on environmental themes, as well as the world premiere of a new oratorio about Oregonians’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each video will be released with a special ticketed launch event, and will remain online through the end of August. For further information and tickets, see humanitytickets.com.

Ashland Seniors Activities

A variety of virtual activities and services are available to adults 50 and older Mondays through Fridays through the Ashland Senior Center, 1699 Homes Ave. See ashlandseniorservices.org or call 541-488-5342 for full listings.

Community talk

Rob Schläpfer will lead a free online conversation, “Is it Really Racism?” at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 24, via Zoom. Explore ideas about disparity and discrimination, such as how Black males are disproportionately represented in our prison population. See saveamerica.live to join the Zoom conference. Email at rob@saveamerica.live for details.

Brain Books Discussion Group

The adult reading group will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month via Zoom. On Tuesday, April 27, the book to be discussed will be “What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading” by Leah Price. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Teen Trivia

Teens can join in a live game of general knowledge trivia using Zoom and the Kahoot platform at 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month (April 28). Log into the Zoom meeting to see the questions and respond on the Kahoot app or website. You don’t need an account to play, just the app and the game PIN, which we will be provided during the Zoom meeting. This quiz will contain 70 questions on a variety of subjects, and the winner will get to choose a free book. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Pollinator presentation

Vesper Meadow and Pollinator Project Rogue Valley will team up to present “Becoming a Bumble Blitz’er!” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, via Facebook Live and Zoom. Speaker Kristi Mergenthaler of Southern Oregon Land Conservancy will give an introduction on local bumble bees, and Brian Dykstra, scientist and naturalist with Humboldt State University, will follow up with a talk on pollination biology and botany, and introduce different native bees that are encountered in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Admission is free. For further information or to access the meetings, find Pollinator Project Rogue Valley on Facebook, see pollinatorprojectroguevalley.org or call 458-214-0508.

Mighty Medford Improvers

The local comedy improvisational group will host a free improvisational comedy practice from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays (April 22), via Zoom. All levels of experience are welcome. Sessions are facilitated by Thomas Hartmann, who trained with Second City Chicago. For more information and to attend, email forinfoman44@gmail.com.

Queer Coffee House

The social group for LGBTQ+ communities and their allies meets from 10 a.m. to noon the first Saturday (May 1) of each month via Zoom. Ashland Librarian Elanna Erhardt will facilitate group introductions. Bring a list of your recent favorite books, movies, and/or podcasts, and share what projects or crafts you’re working on. To register, see jcls.libcal.com. For further information, email at EErhardt@jcls.org.

Siskiyou Singers

The choir, directed by Mark Reppert, will present “Song of Democracy,” a free virtual concert premiering Saturday, May 1, on the choir’s website, siskiyousingers.org. The program reflects on both the resilience and the fragility of the great American experiment. The centerpiece of the program will be “Song of Democracy,” a 13-minute choral work featuring the poetry of Walt Whitman set to music by the 20th-century American composer Howard Hanson. The piece will be performed with full virtual orchestra. Other selections include “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” arranged by Rosephanye Powell, and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” The virtual performance also features the world premiere of “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers,” commissioned from Rogue Valley composer I’lana Cotton in honor of Reppert’s 10th anniversary with the choir. For further information, see siskiyousingers.org or call 541-482-5290.

Books at Noon

This readers’ group discusses various books and offer suggestions for new reads at noon the first Tuesday (May 4) of each month, via Zoom. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-535-7090.

Local history lecture – Early Blacks in Southern Oregon

The Jacksonville Community Center will host Zachary Stocks of Oregon Black Pioneers, who will present “Southern Oregon History: Its People and Places — Early Blacks in Southern Oregon” at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, via Zoom. Before Portland, Jacksonville was the heart of Oregon’s Black community. Despite a 150-year presence in the area, the contributions of Blacks in Southern Oregon are seldom told. Stocks will highlight some of the region’s early Black residents, their work and the racism they encountered. Admission is $5 donation; registration is required. For further information and to register, see jacksonvillecommunitycenter.org/eventer. Register by 10 a.m. Sunday, May 2, to receive the Zoom access information. This program is the first of a 4-part series, “Southern Oregon History: Its People and Places”; participants do not need to attend all of the programs in the series to participate. For questions, call 541-702-2585.

Eagle Point Friends Book Club

Discuss suggested books with this reader’s group at 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month, via Zoom. The book to be discussed on Tuesday, May 4, will be “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes. To register and reserve a copy of the book of the month, see jcls.libcal.com or call 541-826-3313.

Windows in Time — local history lecture

As part of the “Windows in Time” lecture series, Ashland author Sue DeMarinis will present “Scandals from the Oregon Railways, 1884-1923” at noon Wednesday, May 5, via Zoom. The 1880s arrival of the railroad to Southern Oregon brought many lifestyle changes and advantages to our small, then isolated communities. DeMarinis, has dug deeper to expose the scandals that also linked the rails to little-known history. Collaborating information from county documents, historic newspapers and ancestry records, DeMarinis has uncovered mostly forgotten historical events and characters that shaped the foundation of the Rogue Valley. Admission is free, registration is required. To register, see jcls.libcal.com/event/7382625 or call 541-774-8679. The program will be recorded for later viewing on JCLS’ YouTube channel.

Butterfly presentation

Linda Kappen, southwest Oregon local lepidopterist, will give a free presentation, “Butterfly Diversity and Identification: Northern Cascade-Siskiyous,” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 6, via Zoom. Kappen will feature 75 species that are found in the northern Cascade-Siskiyou region of southwest Oregon. Participates will be eligible to become volunteers for the regional long-term monitoring effort to survey butterfly diversity with the “Cascade-Siskiyou Butterfly Monitoring Network.” To register, see vespermeadow.org/events or email at jeanine@vespermeadow.org.

Gardening presentation

Certified Master Gardener John Kobal will present “Gardening Success in Raised Beds,” at noon Saturday, May 8, via Zoom. Kobal will discuss how to build and place raised beds, soil types and amendments, critter control, extending the vegetable growing season, and cover crops. For further details or to register, see jcls.org and click on Programs & Events and then JCLS Calendar or call 541-774-8679.

Medford Teen Advisory Group

Motivated teens in grades 7 to 12 can meet virtually to brainstorm ideas, discuss books and movies, make crafts, and make the decisions on programming and displays and more at 4:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month (May 11), via Zoom. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Medford Library Book Chat

Discuss selected books with others in this reading group at 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month, via Zoom. The book to be discussed on Tuesday, May 11, will be “A Man Called Ove,” by Frederick Backman. To register and reserve a copy of the book of the month, see jcls.libcal.com or call 541-535-7090.

Teen Random Fandom

Teens are invited to meet to take a deep dive into a variety of pop culture topics at 12:30 p.m. the third Saturday of each month, via Zoom. On Saturday, May 15, share a fandom that you love, then join in for games, discussion and silliness. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Virtual Native Plants Garden Tour

Master Gardener Sherri Morgan will host a virtual tour of 13 Jackson County gardens beginning Saturday, May 15, on the Jackson County Master Gardener’s website, jacksoncountymga.org/native-plants-garden-tour. Morgan will present a diverse look at native plant gardens ranging from permaculture to eco-restoration. You’ll spot Oregon sunshine, red-flowering currant, California lilac and hundreds of other species. Viewing the presentation is free; donations will be accepted. For questions, email at shemor484@gmail.com.

Tween Book Club

This readers club for tweens will meet at 3 p.m. the third Saturday of each month, via Zoom. On Saturday, May 15, the book to be discussed will be “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Local History Lecture — Jews of Pioneer Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Community Center will host historian Carolyn Kingsnorth, who will present “Southern Oregon History: Its People and Places — The Jews of Pioneer Jacksonville” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 20, via Zoom. In the mid-1800s, the promise of gold and free land lured fortune seekers and settlers to the newly formed Oregon Territory. They were soon followed by merchants who amassed their own wealth selling supplies to the miners and farmers. The majority of these merchants were German-speaking Jews who were first-generation European immigrants. Kingsworth will discuss how these individuals helped turn Jacksonville into the commercial, governmental and social hub of Southern Oregon. Admission is $5 donation; registration is required. For further information and to register, see jacksonvillecommunitycenter.org/eventer. Register by 10 a.m. Sunday, May 16, to receive the Zoom access information. This program is part of the 4-program series, “Southern Oregon History: Its People and Places;” participants do not need to attend all of the programs in the series to participate. For questions, call 541-702-2585.

Gold Hill Book Club

The Gold Hill Library Book Club for adults 18 and older will meet at 3 p.m. the third Friday of each month, via Zoom. On Friday, May 21, the book to be discussed will be “The Parisian” by Isabella Hammad. Books are available for pickup one month before the meeting date. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-855-1994.

Brain Books Discussion Group

The adult reading group will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. the fwourth Tuesday of each month via Zoom. On Tuesday, May 25, the book to be discussed will be “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All” by Michael Shellenberger. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Teen Trivia

Teens can join in a live game of general knowledge trivia using Zoom and the Kahoot platform at 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month (May 26). Log into the Zoom meeting to see the questions and respond on the Kahoot app or website. You don’t need an account to play, just the app and the game PIN, which we will be provided during the Zoom meeting. This quiz will contain 70 questions on a variety of subjects, and the winner will get to choose a free book. To register, see jcls.libcal.com or for more info call 541-774-8679.

Ashland World Music Festival

The annual Ashland World Music Festival is scheduled to take place Friday through Monday, May 28-31. This year, the festival will feature virtual performances and curated “soundwalks,” which combine the experience of sound compositions with a walk in the outdoors. Look for musical performances by the Nell & Jim Band, Son Huitzilín, Sakumuna, the Kevin Carr Duo, Las Horas, and many others, as well as a virtual storytelling event centered on stories of home. For further details and updates, see rogueworldmusic.org/awmf