West African Drum and Dance, Women in Film, and Music, Music, Music!

Whatcom Community College’s dance department presents a free West African dance and drum workshop from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, in the Syre Auditorium, 237 W. Kellogg Road. All are welcome. No prior experience is necessary. Instructors are  Afua and Boka Kouyate. Afua Kouyate is a cultural leader in Seattle and has studied traditional West African dance from a variety of teachers over the past 30 years. Boka Kouyate is a djeli (or praise singer) from Guinea, West Africa, and grew up singing and playing music, and he has mastered multiple instruments. Together, they lead energizing and invigorating classes, with Afua teaching dance and Boka leading the music ensemble. Questions? Email Hannah Andersen, handersen@whatcom.edu

John Reischman, one of the country’s premier mandolin players, will perform in concert with his band, The Jaybirds, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the YWCA ballroom, 1226 N. Forest St. The group is famous for their polished, subtle, and thoughtful approach to bluegrass music. Patrick Sauber will be playing with the band (banjo? guitar? mandolin? who knows!), and Annie Staninec will be playing fiddle. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Bellingham YWCA.

Ron Rondello has been an active classical guitarist in Whatcom County since arriving in 1976. He’ll perform pieces from Spain and Latin America at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Chuckanut Center, 103 Chuckanut Drive North  (the former rose garden near Fairhaven Park). Ron received a B.A. in the performing arts in classical guitar from Western Washington University in 1980 and has performed and taught guitar extensively throughout the years. He is one of the founding members of the Northwest Classical Guitar Society that was formed in 1992 and has been an active member, performing there many times, and helping it to thrive ever since. Doors open at 7 p.m. Suggested donation is $5 to $10. Details: http://www.chuckanutcenter.org/.

Join the Red Wheelbarrow Writers for a rollicking read of their seventh annual Collective Novel at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Village Books 1200 11th St. To celebrate National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), 30 authors take a chapter a day to complete a novel full of plot twists, plot pratfalls, character perplexities, and genuine narrative energy. The Red Wheelbarrow Writers, whose name is inspired by the William Carlos Williams poem, is a loose affiliation of working writers who produce independently, and who join together to support, encourage, and sustain one another. The group was founded in 2010 by Cami Ostman, Laura Kalpakian and Susan Tive. Details: 360-671-2626, villagebooks.com, http://www.redwheelbarrowwriters.com/

Visions & Voices: Forgotten Films From Cinema’s Women Directors is a silent film series presented by CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival.
The “Visions & Voices” series samples a variety of full-length and short features from “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers,” a collection of historical films recently curated by Kino Lorber distribution company and the Library of Congress.
The four-part series will include a variety of features and short films ranging from slapstick comedies to melodramas and thrillers, all from female directors. The first of these will be “The Blot” from 1921 and “Suspense” from 1913, both by Lois Weber, to be shown at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Studio Theatre in the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St. Audience members will be invited to participate in a Q&A event after each film. Films for subsequent showings will be announced as they become available.
Other dates to keep in mind:
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2 p.m.: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.
Friday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m.: Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St., Lynden.
Friday, March 8, 7 p.m.: Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.
Tickets for each film are $10 for general admission or $5 for students with ID, on sale at Brown Paper Tickets for the December, February and March showings. Tickets for the Jan. 6 showing will be available through Mount Baker Theatre. CASCADIA, founded in 2015, is a non-profit film festival dedicated to showcasing the work of women directors; to promote Bellingham, Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest as a destination for filmmakers and film enthusiasts; to present an annual film festival showcasing exceptional films by women directors; and to provide educational opportunities relating to the viewing, making, and distribution of films. Details: www.cascadiafilmfest.org.