The Thalea String Quartet

The Thalea String Quartet performs at the Newberry Opera House on March 27.

Wednesday 20

As part of an ongoing effort to do more than the big orchestra concerts, ballets, touring musicals and other events that fill its large main hall, the Koger Center will host Mark Rapp for Live in the Lobby. This inaugural concert in the series finds the ambitious and malleable trumpeter leading his namesake quartet through a set paying tribute to pianist and composer Marian McPartland. Good on the center for trying be more of a resource for the local arts community. $20 tickets for the 7 p.m. event include a variety of small plates by Horseshoe Catering. There will also be a cash bar. Head to for more. — Jordan Lawrence

Thursday 21

This year’s Indie Grits festival is still a week away, but you can get an early look at one contribution to this year’s Rural Project, which will highlight rural communities and rural-based artists. Cedric Umoja’s Spells for the Freeman / Liberation of Land Through Breath exhibition presents a body of work that, per the artist statement, “speaks towards the commodification of land. It specifically addresses the evaporation of Black spaces, namely the slow yet obvious demise of the Black community, as it has always been central to Black culture.” The themed art projects that have accompanied the last few Indie Grits haven’t shied from prickly topics. It seems this year’s will be no exception. The exhibition opens tonight at Indie Grits Labs with a reception that also features live music from Jah Free; it’s free and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. More info available at— Jordan Lawrence

The combination of the nicely-appointed Stormwater Studios next to Lewis Clark and One Eared Cow Glass has given rise to the concept of the nascent Huger Arts District, a hip and happening shift down to the Vista for arts and culture, and Third Thursday is their own monthly series. This month, Two Hats and a Pony Tail, aka singer/songwriter Lang Owen and poets Tim Conroy and Al Black, perform. Festivities run 5 to 8 p.m. Head to to find out more. — Kyle Petersen

Like bluegrass? Like barbecue? Like bidding on things? Well, then, has the Historic Columbia Foundation got the event for you. The nonprofit dedicated to preserving Columbia’s historic and cultural heritage hosts its annual Bluegrass, Bidding and BBQ fundraiser tonight; included in the ticket price — $50 for the general public, but $40 for Historic Columbia members and $30 for members of Historic Columbia’s Palladium Society — is live bluegrass from Willie Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass, barbecue from Bone-In Barbeque, specialty cocktails, and a variety of auction items you can bid on. The shindig starts at 7 p.m. at the Robert Mills House & Gardens; visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

Friday 22

It’s the last weekend to see the Village Square Theatre in Lexington’s production of The Miracle Worker, the touching, Tony-winning 1960 play about the teacher who taught future activist and author Helen Keller how to communicate. If you want your heartstrings pulled with a touch of historical awareness while supporting community theater, this is your ticket. Tonight’s performance starts at 7:30 p.m., and the play runs through Sunday. Tickets range from $14 to $18. Find out more at — Kyle Petersen

Boldness isn’t uncommon for the Columbia City Ballet. But its most adventurous program might be the annual Body & Movement Explored, which showcases a mixed repertoire of work, allowing multiple choreographers the chance to explore contemporary and modern dance movements with the company’s dancers. It also affords the chance for you to see those dancers in a more intimate setting than usual at the CMFA Arts Space. The second of this year’s two performances is tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $25. More info available at— Jordan Lawrence

Saturday 23

Hosted by the Fuse Artist Alliance, The Qween Session celebrates women in krump — the vigorous (and vigorously free) street dance style characterized by hyperkinetic energy and tight, aggressive body movements (chest pops, arm jabs, stomps). Though there’s a callout session on Friday and a series of workshops on Sunday, the main event in tonight, in which 16 women engage in a winner-take-all krump battle. The krumping starts at 6 p.m. at Tapp’s Arts Center’s Skyline Room; tickets are $7. Yaasss, qween: Visit for more information.— Patrick Wall

Yes, it’s loosely cornbread-themed, with a cook-off and a cornbread eating contest, but the South Carolina Cornbread Festival is first and foremost a community festival. And this year, it’s moved out of Eau Claire and closer to the center of the city, setting up at the corner of Main and Elmwood. The festival features a kids playground, a cornhole tournament, craft vendors, food trucks and, of course, cornbread. Admission is free, and the event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More info available at — Eva Moore

Sunday 24

Whether for good or ill, there’s been a lot of discussion in the last few years about Columbia’s waterways, which is probably why the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department put together the One City, Two Canals & Three Rivers walking tour. The free-to-the-public walking tour will cover the evaluation of the Columbia Canal following 2015’s flood and go into detail about construction of the Saluda Riverwalk. Those wishing to take part should meet at Riverfront Park beside the Red Schoolhouse at 1 p.m. and bring hiking-style supplies, including bottled water, sunscreen, binoculars, etc. Go to for more info. — Vincent Harris

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the eye’s curvature that causes blurred vision. How this relates to Astigmatism, a pop-up art show at Hunter-Gatherer Production Brewery at the Curtiss-Wright Hangar, well, we’re not sure. But it’s put on by the Full Disclosure arts initiative and the Cola Collective creatives group and features the works of young local artists. There’s probably a vision gag in there somewhere. Moody rock band Marley Erin performs a set, too, and disk jockey crew Party of Some curates a DJ set. Doors open at 4 p.m.; admission is free. Visit for more information. — Patrick Wall

Monday 25

Tasting Notes (get it?) is the annual wine and food celebration that raises money for the South Carolina Philharmonic and has made a name for itself for presenting a huge variety of high-end wines for sampling, purchasing and bidding on along with choice selections of food, beer and cigars. The silent auction features some of that wine, along with a variety of art, trips and other items. Music provided by the Reggie Sullivan Quartet. The benefit is at the South Carolina State Museum and runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $100 and are available at— Kyle Petersen

Tuesday 26

The March performance by the University of South Carolina Symphony is notable for featuring the student winners of the 2018-2019 Concerto-Aria Competition, a prestigious honor granted to just a few musicians in the School of Music each year, and for featuring, among other pieces, Stravinsky’s iconic orchestral work for ballet The Firebird Suite, a landmark composition of 20th century music. As always, conductor Scott Weiss will give a pre-concert talk in the lobby at 6:45 p.m. prior to the symphony’s 7:30 p.m. start time at the Koger Center. Tickets are $30 (multiple discounts available) and can be purchased at — Kyle Petersen

Not all craft beers should be paired with chocolate, but beers that are made by a brewer with a culinary-forward mindset like the ones from Moody Tongue Brewing should. The food-focused brews are ripe for the flavor combinations that will be presented at Craft & Draft with Evolution Through Chocolate beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $16 for four chocolates paired with beers, and move fast — these events tend to sell out quickly. Find out more at— April Blake

Wednesday 27

All you need to do is Google a picture of the Thalea String Quartet to figure out that it ain’t your grandad’s classical music ensemble, but in case you need more proof than violist Luis Bellorín’s Groucho Marx-style handlebar mustache and skyscraper hair, check the resume. The quartet has collaborated with jazz-fusion weirdos BADBADNOTGOOD, the avant-garde Kronos Quartet, the Joe Goode Performance Group theater troupe and many more, all in an effort to provide new outlets for classical music. It should be an adventurous night at the Newberry Opera House. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets run from $20 to $40. for more info. — Vincent Harris

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation on our Free Times Facebook page.