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'Song of Democracy,' Rogue Valley virtual events: April 30

Courtesy photoMembers of the Siskiyou Singers perform "Life's NOT a Cabaret" on Zoom.
In Focus: Siskiyou Singers: ‘Song of Democracy’

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.

In Focus: ‘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.

Other virtual events and clubs

Oregon Fringe Festival

The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University will present the 2021 Oregon Fringe Festival through Saturday, May 1, with more than 50 virtual acts from more than 40 local, national and international artists and outdoor art installations located on the SOU campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. 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 on art installations is free. For further information and showtimes, see oregonfringefestival.org.

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.

Historic Jacksonville Virtual Tour

Three text-based virtual tours of Jacksonville’s historic past, “Walk Through Jacksonville History,” “Beekman Bank Nuggets,” and “Mrs. Beekman Invites You to Call,” can be viewed at historicjacksonville.org. New material is added weekly. For further information, call 541-245-3650 or email at info@historicjacksonville.org.

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.

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.

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.

Toast for Tails

The Southern Oregon Humane Society will hold its annual Toast for Tails fundraiser virtually this year, Monday through Saturday, May 10-15. Watch SoHumane Facebook Live videos showcasing adoptable animals, and tour the cat rooms and dog kennels. Links to YouTube videos will highlight the Saving Train, Adoption and Foster Programs. Also look for an online auction. The auction will open at noon Monday, May 10, and registration is free; donations will be accepted. All proceeds will go toward SoHumane’s programs. To register or preview auction packages, see sohumane.org/a-toast-for-tails. For further details or questions, email marcia@sohumae.org or call 541-779-3215.

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.

‘Stellar Graduates’

North Medford High School will present “North Medford High Stellar Graduates” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, via Zoom. This webinar will highlight former students who have excelled in astrophysics and rocket science, and is intended to provide current and future high school students with advice on how to navigate STEM college and career paths. For questions, email robert.black@medford.k12.or.us. To access the meeting, see medfordsd.zoom.us/j/97363587874.

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