Dec. 5, 2008

Things to Do: Week of Dec. 5

Songs of the season

Sage Chapel's annual Christmas Vespers will be held Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. The candlelit lessons and carols service will be sung by the Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club, with traditional readings by members of the Cornell community. Features Scott Tucker, director and Annette Richards, university organist, with audience participation on Christmas hymns.

A bit of this, a bit of that

Zig Zag, a dance theater concert with eight works choreographed by Cornell students, debuts at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 4-6. The program includes two live improvisational pieces, two solos in mixed styles, duets and larger group works. Music ranges from a Piazolla tango to a piece by André 3000 from the group Outkast. Live piano, violin and drums will accompany the dances. Shows are at 8 p.m. in the Class of '56 Dance Theatre. A post-show discussion will follow each performance. Tickets: 607-254-ARTS (2787).

'American Teen'

The documentary "American Teen," showing Dec. 5-7 at Cornell Cinema, Willard Straight Hall Theatre, follows five high school seniors in a small Indiana town through romances, revelations and excruciating social clashes. The indie girl doesn't fit into her conservative town, the jock needs a free ride to get to college, the geek is in love, and the princess brandishes her tiara with heartless abandon. Academy Award-nominated director Nanette Burstein's depiction of teenage angst is a modern-day "Breakfast Club" that rings true for high school graduates of every generation.

AlternaGifts

Cornell's CRESP Center for Transformative Action is among the 31 groups sponsoring the Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair, Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 315 North Cayuga Street. Gifts, which start at $5, pay for items or services that will be delivered by local charitable organizations. Shoppers may choose from gifts such as a hot, healthy meal for school child who may otherwise go without, materials for affordable housing, support for community discussions on racism, shelter for abandoned pets and many gifts that support at-risk youth and families in the community. See: ithacaaltgiftfair.org.

Jazzy evening

Guest saxophonist and flautist Steve Wilson joins the Cornell University Jazz Ensemble I and Jazz Ensemble II under the direction of Miles Brown, Saturday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Wilson has performed with the American Jazz Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band and the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, and he has toured with Lionel Hampton.

Art for all

The Johnson Museum hosts Art-Full Family, Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon; and its annual Holiday Party on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2--5 p.m. Saturday's event includes a first-come, first-served workshop for families on learning to look at art, a riddle-based scavenger hunt and art making. Registration: 255-6464. Free for museum members; $5 per family for nonmembers. Sunday's event includes live performances by the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, Fingerlakes Flutes, VOICES Multicultural Chorus and the Cayuga Brass Quintet; refreshments; art activities; and a guest of honor direct from the North Pole. Free and open to all (bring donations to benefit Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard). A shuttle from Cornell's "A" lot will run from 1:30 to 5:15 p.m.

The Music of Istanbul 
A concert representing the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities contributed to the city's rich musical life, will be held Dec. 6 at 2:30 p.m. Guest performers will include Armenian violinist Harold Hagopian and Turkish instrumentalists. Free and open to all.

Agribusiness conference

Cornell's annual Agribusiness Economic Outlook Conference will be held Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall. Highlights: an economic prognosis for the upcoming year; how the state is bolstering connections between local food producers and consumers; how companies can save energy; and value-added milk products and demand growth for local products. Contact Linda Putnam 607-255-8429, ldp2@cornell.edu.

L'art moderne

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art has an exhibition of contemporary prints and drawings through Jan. 4. Among the recent acquisitions featured is an ink drawing by Buffalo native Laylah Ali, part of her ongoing "Typology" series, in which she examines the many ways identity is manifested via issues of race, class, gender and power. Also on view: four large-scale etchings by Amy Sillman.