Arts for SMARTS supports education

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

l SMARTS will help groom the next generation of artists and art patrons on Friday by giving people a chance to bid for works by local and regional artists.

Students Motivated by the ARTS will have its fourth Art for SMARTS fundraiser from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Ohio One Building in downtown Youngstown.

Attendees can bid on more than 100 artworks donated to the school, including paintings, photography, 3D pieces, jewelry and other media.

Other attractions include entertainment by the SMARTS House Band with bandleader Vinny Vivacqua, a live art demonstration by SMARTS artist-in-residence Eric Alleman, a bourbon tasting, blackout poetry, a photo booth, light refreshments and a cash bar.

I was able to attend last year. It was a fun time, and my wife and I left with some great art.

General admission is $15. VIP tickets are $30, which includes early entry at 5:30 p.m. and a first look at the work available. Tickets will be available at the door and can be purchased in advance at www.smartsartschool.org/afs19.

l Folks pay hundreds of dollars to get their photos taken at pop culture conventions with Jason Momoa, best known as Aquaman in the DC Universe and Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones.” Search for the photos online; they’re hilarious.

Now there’s a chance to get paid to be his co-star.

Momoa will star in the Netflix film “Sweet November,” which will be shot in Pittsburgh starting next month, and an open casting call for extras and background performers is scheduled this weekend.

Extras are needed to portray Pittsburgh baseball fans, Pittsburgh pedestrians and city folk, blue collar workers, shoppers, upscale gala attendees, subway passengers, law enforcement (stadium security, TSA, FBI, cops), hospital staff, airline passengers, flight attendants, first responders, suited business types, press / media and other fictional characters, according to the press release.

All ages and ethnicities are needed, no experience is necessary, and all positions are paid.

An open call runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh. For more information, go to www.movieex traspittsburgh.com.

l Before the Isley Brothers perform Saturday at the State Theatre with The O’Jays, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Ron and Ernie Isley will make an appearance at the hall on Friday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the group’s song “Shout.”

The brothers will take part in an interview at noon Friday in the hall’s main lobby, where they will talk about the song’s legacy, their current tour and their memories of being inducted into the hall in 1992.

The lecture is free without purchasing Hall admission.

Of course, the one person who may be most responsible for the song’s enduring popularity won’t be there. That’s DeWayne Jessie, the actor who played the frontman of Otis Day and the Knights in “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” His rendition in the toga party scene is the one my generation knows best.

l Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University, where four people were killed and nine others wounded when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a protest demonstration.

Several exhibitions have opened on campus leading up to the anniversary. The latest one focuses on one of the four people killed, 20-year-old student Jeffrey Miller, who is the one lying on the ground in the most famous photograph from that day.

“Our Brother Jeff” at the May 4 Visitors Center includes items on loan from Miller’s family, and it is the fourth and final exhibition in a series created to focus not just on the deaths of the students, but on the lives they lived and the people they were.

It will remain on display through Feb. 29, 2020.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at agray@tribtoday .com


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