Simran Sethi And Protecting The Foods We Love, NC A&T's "The First Noel," And Harrod Blank

Simran Sethi And Protecting The Foods We Love, NC A&T's "The First Noel," And Harrod Blank

12:20pm Nov 13, 2015

Simran Sethi, Author of Bread Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

The food on your plate and the drink in your cup are trying to tell you a story. Simran Sethi wants to help you listen. Simran’s new book is Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love. The book explores cultural shifts in food and agriculture, specifically a loss of agricultural biodiversity. Sethi travels to 6 continents to find tastes that are disappearing. While educating her reader, Simran shows us that pleasure is in front of us at every meal. And better yet, our skills for appreciating the tastes before us can be honed.   

Simran Sethi is a journalist and educator. She’s been named the environmental messenger by Vanity Fair and a top 10 eco-hero by the U.K’s Independent. She’s an associate at the University of Melbourne’s Sustainable Society Institute in Australia and a recent visiting scholar at the Cocoa Research Center in St. Augustine, Trinidad.

Next month Simran will be reading at Scuppernong Books on December 19th at 3pm. Bethany spoke to Simran by phone. 

NC A&T Theatre Arts Program and The First Noel

After performing Black Nativity for 30 years, NC A&T Theatre Arts Program is starting a new holiday performing tradition. This holiday season, they're presenting The First Noel. The show follows three generations of a family affected by the tragic loss of a loved one. As they struggle to keep the family together an unexpected visit reveals some long-absent Christmas joy. The First Noel is the work of Lelund Thompson and Jason Michael Webb. Thompson received his BFA from NC A&T and his MFA from CASE/Cleveland Playhouse Actor Training Program where he was the first African-American to graduate from the program. He's now based in New York City where he works as an actor, writer, photographer and acting coach. Jason Webb is a two-time stellar award nominee and Dove award winner. Classically trained in piano, Webb is currently the Musical Director of the Broadway Revival of "The Color Purple." 

Their new project will premiere later in December at The Apollo Theatre in New York. But you can catch The First Noel before that when the NC A&T Theatre Arts Program collaborates with Thompson and Webb to bring this new musical to Triad audiences. The musical highlights soulful songs and Christmas carols that are re-imagined as dynamic new pieces. The show runs December 3rd through the 6th in the Paul Robeson Theatre on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. 
Harrod Blank

Garlic is as Good As Ten Mothers. The Blues According To Lightnin Hopkins. Gap Toothed Women. A Poem is a Naked Person. These are but a few titles of documentaries made by celebrated filmmaker Les Blank.

Les Blank was an independent filmmaker whose poetic work offered us a glimpse into the lives, culture, and music of small segments of society. His son Harrod Blank followed in his father’s footsteps, and Harrod is presenting six of his father’s films this weekend. Crossroads 13 at SECCA is a four-day retrospective of filmmaker Les Blank. The exhibition culminates with the film A Poem is a Naked Person, about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Leon Russell. Immediately following the documentary, Leon Russell is playing a concert. The concert is sold out, but tickets for the screenings, which kick off Saturday, November 14 are still available.

On Saturday, November 14, you can see screenings of The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sprout Wings and Fly. Co-directors Cece Conway and Alice Gerrard will be on hand for a Q&A. On Sunday November 15th the theme is food, with screenings of Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers and Yum, Yum, Yum! A Taste of Cajun and Creole Cooking. There will also be a cooking demonstration by Five Loaves Catering. Monday, November 16th it's How To Smell A Rose, an unreleased Les Blank film and Harrod’s film, Les Blank on Photography. Harrod will also meet with regional film students to discuss documentary filmmaking at 2 & 7 pm.

The series concludes on Tuesday, November 17, with a screening of A Poem Is a Naked Person followed by a special performance by Leon Russell. The Leon Russell concert is sold out, but tickets to the screenings are still available. 
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