Arts’ Watch: Fall arts calendar

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, September 3, 2022

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By Bill McCann


School is back in session, leaves are falling, and arts events are everywhere. Here are some to make certain get put on your family’s calendar of important events and classes.

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Leeds Center for the Arts is hosting SPARK Classes for those wanting to take the step from arts patron to the theatre or dance artist. Classes are available in Tap Dance, Hip Hop Dance, Introduction to Acting, and an Audition Workshop. Some classes are only for children, others only for teens and adults. Visit the Leeds website soon, so you don’t miss out on the opportunities that interest you.

Artists and their products—paintings, photographs, woodworking, ceramics, and more—will participate in the Daniel Boone Festival in College Park this weekend. While doing so, check out the crafts booths, meet the artists, and indulge your sweet (or salty) tooth. This is always a great way to end the summer.

The Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival is a three-day jazz festival hosted in Harrodsburg on September 10 at Old Ft. Harrod State Park and the following weekend at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. At both locations, jazz will be performed daily from noon to 10 pm.

At Old Fort Harrod, performers and groups include Paladin performing improvisational jazz, the Ron Jones Contemporary Jazz Quartet, OZmosis, a jazz fusion group, BiGG SuGG, and the JaZZ Funkers, which plays music rooted in the jazz of New Orleans, Memphis soul, and Chicago Blues. Admission is free, and food trucks will be available. More information is at

The two days of music at Shaker Village will feature performances by Adrian Crutchfield, The Sophia Goodman Group, Brooks Giles Jazz Combo, Blue Groove Jazz Quartet, Spherical Agenda, a jazz-rock fusion group, the Jamey Aebersold Quartet, The Walnut Street Ramblers, Ozland Dailey Jazztet, and jazz bands and groups representing Asbury University, Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State, and the University of Kentucky.

Admission to both Shaker Village and the Festival is free. This is an opportunity to visit the historic buildings and exhibits on the grounds and enjoy various jazz performers and groups. Food trucks will be available on both days. More information at

The Kentucky Book Festival, sponsored by Kentucky Humanities, will be held at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Lexington Green from October 27 -29. The event starts with a Literary Lunch featuring novelist Geraldine Brooks and author Emily Bingham. The cost of lunch and the book discussion is $60 per person but does include an autographed copy of Brooks’ novel “Horse.”

Other authors and speakers are as diverse as the reading interests of those who will be in attendance, including Kentucky authors Wendell Berry, Emily Bingham, Gwenda Bond, Ron Ellis, Heather Henson, Silas House, George Ella Lyon, Barbara Kingsolver, Bobbie Ann Mason, Jeremy Paden, Frank X Walker, and Crystal Wilkinson. For more information, visit

Current US poet laureate Ada Limon, resident of Lexington, will give a public reading at Transylvania on November 10 at 5:30 pm in Mitchell Fine Arts at 5:30 pm, with a Q&A and book signing to follow. Tickets are FREE but required. Further information, including a link to reserve tickets, is at

Things are hopping at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center in downtown Lexington. On Monday nights, folksinger Michael Jonathan hosts the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour. Recorded in front of a live audience, the show is heard worldwide.

Other upcoming events at the Lyric include Leo Kottke, part of the Troubadour Concert Series, on September 20; Naturally 7 Vocal Play Concert on October 23; saxophonist Jeanette Harris on October 28, and The Drifters on October 29.

The Drifters Rock & Soul at the Lyric concert marks the 12th anniversary of the Lyric’s reopening, so VIP ticket holders can also enjoy special seating, a pre-show dinner, and other benefits.

Tickets and additional information about these and other Lyric events are available at

Finally, time is of the essence, but artists who live within “a 45-mile radius: of Mt Sterling might want to submit a poster design for that city’s upcoming 2022 Court Days to be held October 14 through 17. The winning artist will see their design used on posters and for this year’s Court Days t-shirts. The Gateway Regional Arts Center runs the contest in Mt Sterling. Visit for complete rules and specific information that must be included in every entry.