The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Catholic Diocese of Charleston will present a new concert series beginning this year with a 7:30 p.m. Friday performance at the cathedral, 120 Broad St.

The Bishop’s Gala Concert Series 2015 will include an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and chorus, a Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols by the Cathedral choir, a performance of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols by the Cathedral’s women and girls’ choirs, performance of sacred music by the Charleston Renaissance Ensemble and various performances during Piccolo Spoleto music festival.

The inaugural concert will feature the Cathedral choir with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and chorus conducted by Dr. Robert Taylor performing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. The program also will include Mozart’s Sonata in C Major (K 278), one of the composer’s 17 church sonatas. Bishop Robert Gugliemone will be in attendance.

The series is organized by Daniel J. Sansone, director of music and liturgy. Tickets for the April 24 concert are $15, available from the Cathedral Center, 120 Broad St. For more information, call (843) 724-8395.

The Charleston Library Society continues its Wide Angle Lunch Series with a 12:30 p.m. talk on Thursday by John Reynolds titled “The Fight for Freedom.”

Reynolds grew up in Troy, Ala., and joined the civil rights movement in 1965, helping to register black residents to vote. Before long, he joined the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by Martin Luther King Jr.

His book, “The Fight for Freedom: A Memoir of My Years in the Civil Rights Movement,” was published in 2012. Reynolds is an ordained American Baptist minister and served as a pastor in Rhode Island for 12 years.

Tickets for the lecture are $25 for library members, $30 for nonmembers and can be purchased at www.charleston or by calling (843) 723-9912.

The Gibbes Museum of Art presents a discussion of the work of wildlife artist Walton Ford at 6 p.m. Thursday at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. The event is part of the museum’s Insider Art Series, launched in the fall of 2014 to provide patrons with opportunities to see and learn about art during the renovation of the Beaux Arts building at 135 Meeting St.

Ford’s satirical illustrations will be discussed by Judith Goldman, former curator of prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art and managing editor of ARTnews.

Tickets are $15 for museum members, $25 for nonmembers and can be purchased at or by calling (843) 722-2706, ext. 21. A reception will follow the presentation.

Lowcountry sweetgrass basket maker Mary Jackson is among four people to receive Winthrop University’s 12th annual Medal of Honor in the Arts. The ceremony on Friday also will recognize Fortune Feimster, a stand-up comedian from North Carolina; South Carolina Sen. Wes Hayes, a Rock Hill legislator and arts advocate; and Charlotte resident Si Kahn, a musician, civil rights and labor activist and community organizer.

The 8 p.m. event includes an evening of performances by faculty and students, and a reception in Johnson Hall to honor this year’s recipients.

Winthrop’s Medal of Honor in the Arts event has acknowledged individuals and groups since 2001 who have made a significant contribution to the arts, as well as those who have positively impacted the quality of the cultural life in communities across the Carolinas.

Jackson was born in 1945 in Mount Pleasant. She learned the art of making baskets at the age of 4 from her mother and grandmother. Her work is exhibited widely in shows, galleries, museums and public and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Jackson is a 2008 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and has been recognized with many other awards such as the Lifetime Achievement in Craft Arts award from the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the S.C. Arts Commission’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award in 2011.

She is a founding member of the Mount Pleasant Sweet Grass Basket Makers Association. She is a leader in efforts to protect threatened sweetgrass habitats, thus ensuring that there will be access to these resources for future generations of basket makers.

Tickets for the April 24 event are $50 and can be purchased online at A portion of the proceeds goes to a scholarship fund which helps support talented students who have an interest in pursuing careers in the visual arts, dance, music or theatre at Winthrop.

Adam Parker