The Rundown: Things to Do Thursday, January 11 – Monday, January 15

By Shawn D. Allison, II


Greetings everyone! I hope your new year has been off to a great start so far. As you all know, MLK Weekend is one of Charlotte’s busiest weekends during the year and what better way to celebrate it than with some fun, educational and inspiring events! I’ve found nearly 40 things to get into for everyone of all ages, but if you want to know where the true joy lies this weekend, peep my “Hot List” below!


  • THURSDAY — “Nothing Fake About It: Responsible Reporting in a New Media World at the Levine Museum of the New South
  • THURSDAY – The Menu Series – Vol. 1 at New Era Music House
  • FRIDAY-SATURDAY – Jazz Arts Initiative’s “The Jazz Room” Chad Lawson plays George Gershwin at The Stage Door Theater
  • FRIDAY – SSS Movement’s Roundtable & Potluck Discussion at Grier Heights Community Center
  • SATURDAY – 2018 Annual MLK Holiday Parade
  • SATURDAY – Liberate Your Palate “Brunch Cocktail Class” at Nest Restaurant & Lounge
  • SATURDAY – Elle Johnson Co. Launch Celebration + Pop Up at Advent Coworking
  • SATURDAY – Awesom Ent., Inc.’s Born Day Celebration for DJ SELF at STATS Restaurant & Bar
  • SATURDAY – The Queen’s Guard feat. Blanche J. at The Evening Muse
  • SUNDAY – MLK 2018 Birthday Celebration – “The Power of Children” at Beatties Ford Regional Library
  • SUNDAY – Classic Black Cinema Series screening of “Losing Ground” at The Gantt Center
  • SUNDAY – Diggers Delight Pop-Up Record Swap at Tip-Top Daily Market
  • SUNDAY – Bridging Musical Worlds at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
  • MONDAY – 2018 Annual MLK Day Celebration at The Gantt Center
  • MONDAY – The Males Place Fish Fry Fundraiser at West End Seafood Market
  • MONDAY – Behind the Bar presents “Soup & Sip Social” at Grace on Brevard


If you would like your event to be listed in “The Rundown” please send a detailed e-mail to me at:



Join local grassroots initiative Educate to Engage, LLC this evening at the West Boulevard Branch Library this evening for a discussion of the book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander. For tonight’s introductory session, you will engage in a social overview of the weekly book club meeting with dialogue and activities rooted in proper education. Admission is FREE to attend and the discussion begins at 6 p.m. The library is located at 2157 West Blvd.      #NoMoreBystanding



Join BriGGsing this Thursday at Legion Brewing Co. for the Thirsty Thursday Brewery Tour! You’ll get to see the inner workings of this Plaza-Midwood staple and see how their craft is crafted, learn the history and enjoy some fresh brews! This tour is also a great way to connect with the community and meet new and exciting people. Admission is FREE and the event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Legion Brewing Co. is located at 1906 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.



In today’s digital news scene, how do journalists maintain integrity while trying to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle? Explore today’s media landscape during the Levine Museum of the New South’s evening forum, “Nothing Fake About It: Responsible Reporting in a New Media World.” Esteemed local journalists will discuss the high stakes of responsible reporting. Panelists include: Steve Crump, Reporter, WBTV, Herb White, Editor-in-Chief, The Charlotte Post, Lisa Worf, Assistant News Director, WFAE, Erik Spanberg, Reporter, Charlotte Business Journal, Judith Barriga, Reporter, Hola Noticias and Ann Doss Helms, Reporter, The Charlotte Observer. Panelists will be moderated by Ann Caulkins, Publisher of The Charlotte Observer. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased here: The event will begin at 7 p.m. 200 E. 7th St. in Uptown.



For some true adult fun, head over to Petra’s this evening for another sound of “Potions & Pixels: Video Games, Board Games and Community.” This time around, in addition to all of your favorite video and board games from yesteryear, they invite you to step into the vivid world of virtual reality! Admission is only $5. Bring as many friends as you desire and have a good time! The games begin at 7 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.   #PotionsAndPixels



Get ready to blast off to planets and galaxies far away because it’s time for Abari Movie Night! For tonight’s feature, bring all your friends—human and extraterrestrial and view the spaced-out comedies “Men In Black” and “Mars Attacks!” Two great alien themed 90’s comedies that are sure to make you feel out of this world! There will also be the unveiling of a new pinball game and free pizza! Admission is FREE if you have an Abari membership. If not, membership is only $1—yes, only $1. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. Abari Game Bar is located at 1721 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.



Enjoy a unique multisensory experience this evening and head out to New Era Music House for the first installment of “The Menu Series!” Hip Hop Culture and fine cuisines collide as musician and master chef Swisha Lee presents an evening full of all sorts of cool creations guaranteed to give your soul and stomach some much needed joy! He’s a purveyor of musical bars and created some masterful concoctions behind the bar at some Uptown establishments with many more talents to his credit! Tonight, Swisha Lee will also debut some new tunes from his latest work, “The Closed Sessions EP.” Admission is $5 per person. The event will begin at 9 p.m. New Era Music House is located at 5814 Old Concord Rd.





Bring the family out to the Microsoft Store at South Park Mall for a special MLK Dream Artwork – Fresh Paint session this evening. In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., students will learn to create and share their own digital art with the Fresh Paint app for Windows 10, and then create their own artwork inspired by MLK’s timeless “I Have A Dream” speech. They’ll explore the basics of Fresh Paint, using life like oil and watercolors, pastels, and more to craft their own creations. At the end of the workshop, participants will have the chance to use their new skills to create artwork that expresses what “I have a dream” means to them. Admission is FREE to attend but please be sure to RSVP here: All ages are welcome. The event will begin at 6 p.m. South Park Mall is located at 4400 Sharon Rd.



The Deltas of Charlotte Foundation (DOCF) is proud to host its 15th Annual Legacy of Black Women Film Showcase. This year, the DOCF will showcase a variety of films from both local and national independent filmmakers that are written, produced, directed and/or feature Black women. This event will host a small marketplace with local vendors and refreshments at a pre-film reception. Also, a portion of the proceeds will go towards college scholarships. Tickets can be purchased here: This event has a rating advisory of NC-17. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at The McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. 345 N. College St. in Uptown.



Jazz Arts Initiative (JAI) is back for 2018 with a fresh new lineup of performances for their acclaimed monthly hangout, “The Jazz Room!” This weekend, come experience a special tribute by renowned pianist Chad Lawson to one of America’s most favorite composers, the late, great George Gershwin. Gershwin’s compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924), “An American in Paris” (1928) as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess” (1935). Pianist and composer Chad Lawson’s career has explored a variety of musical genres that has had him topping the charts since the early 2010s. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Lawson, a Steinway artist and composer, has been featured on several television and radio programs. Tickets can be purchased here: There will be four performances this weekend: Friday (1/12) at 6 and 8 p.m. and Saturday (1/13) at 7 and 9:15 p.m. The Jazz Room will be held at The Stage Door Theater located at the intersection of E. 5th St. and N. College St. in Uptown.



The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra is back to kick off the new year with a special edition of Charlotte Symphony Pops! This weekend, come feel the cinematic and thematic energy as the orchestra plays tribute to the great John Williams! From “Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones”, “Schindler’s List”, “Jaws”, “Jurassic Park” and more, relive your favorite movie scores with a mighty and magical performance! Tickets can be purchased here: There will be two performances this weekend: Friday (1/12) and Saturday (1/13) both starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.



My good friends of the Single, Saved & Serious Movement invite you out to the Grier Heights Community Center as they host their first SSS Talk – Roundtable Discussion & Potluck of 2018! SSS goes back to its roots and main focus–roundtable discussions about topics important to today’s singles. The goal is helping singles navigate a harsh world with these conversations. Open and honest, but always backed by God’s Word, these talks cover issues in today’s dating scene, so that the single woman or man of God is fully equipped to walk in confidence, faith and love. Admission is FREE. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Grier Heights Community Center is located at 3100 Leroy St.   #SSSMoves



The weekend has arrived and now it’s time to relax as Buck Long & Friends proudly presents an evening with Willie Walker & Conversation Piece! Come experience one of Charlotte’s finest instrumental collectives filled with rousing melodies and pulsating grooves guaranteed to make you feel good! There will be drink and meal specials available to enhance your experience. Admission is $10 per person. Doors open at 8 and the band strikes at 9 p.m. The show will be held at ROC’s Jazz Bar. 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. near Uptown.



Need another jazzy option for your Friday night? Come out to The Morehead Tavern and get ready to experience to smooth sounds of The Eric Brice Group! This quintet of musicians is ready to deliver a smooth, yet rousing selection of Jazz, Blues and Soul covers that’ll make you forget all about your troubles. Don’t miss this show! Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the door or here: The show starts at 8 p.m. The Morehead Tavern is located at 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown.





Everyone line the streets and bundle up with each other with some warm love, peace and harmony because it’s time for the 2018 Annual MLK Holiday Parade! Come out for this colorful spectacle featuring over 100 community organizations, floats, dance routines, band performances, giveaways and lots more! The parade will start at 10 a.m. and will move through N. Tryon St. & 9th St. all the way down to S. Tryon St. & Stonewall St.



The good people of Liberate Your Palate invite you to up the ante of your cocktail experience as they host their first-ever Brunch Cocktail Class! You’ve had a few tastes of evening dishes with your drinks before, now get ready as craft instructor Sean Dean teaches you how to wow your guests with a special lineup of brunch-inspired cocktails! You’ll cover some classics with a twist and the freshest scratch-made Bloody Mary you’ve ever tasted with no pre-made mixers in sight! This class will also cover techniques such as liquor infusions and house pickled garnishes and will feature some brunch-themed light bites provided by Chef Jamarr. Tickets are $65 each and will include three full-sized cocktails. Tickets can be purchased here: The workshop will begin at 12 noon at the all-new Nest Restaurant & Lounge. 505 E. 6th St. in Uptown.



Young ladies, head over to Hygge Coworking – West and join FLY Math Club as they host their FLY Math Saturday Club For Girls this afternoon! Girls ages 10-13 need a supportive and collaborative learning environment where they can build their math confidence. FLY Math Club empowers girls to take academic risks by increasing their self-efficacy and cultivating a growth mindset through experiential learning projects during out of school time. The Saturday Club is a nine-month program where students participate in workshops, plan and execute service-learning projects, and attend learning expeditions. For additional details and registration, please visit this link: The event will begin at 1 p.m. Hygge Coworking – West is located at 2128 Remount Rd., Suite “B”.



This afternoon, join Hands On Charlotte for their annual MLK Call To Service Projects. Each year, Hands On Charlotte honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by organizing service projects for hundreds of volunteers around the holiday that bears his name. These projects not only deliver valuable assistance to nonprofit organizations, schools and other service providers, but also allow participants to kick off the new year by reflecting on the meaning of Dr. King’s life of service. For registration and location options for volunteering, please visit this link:



Join Little Brown Girl Publishing at Pinkston’s Art Gallery for an intimate “Still Unbothered” Paint & Sip event! As the second fraction in the “Unbothered” series, LBG Publishing has partnered with the Pinkston sisters for a very special afternoon of wine and watercolors. Your art supplies, wine and venue location will be provided upon ticket purchase(s). Tickets can be purchased here: The event will begin at 2:30 p.m.



Black Business Owners of Charlotte invite you out to LaWans’ Soul Food Restaurant for their “Legacy-Builder” Vision Board Workshop this evening. This is a great opportunity for your extended family to help you establish a clear vision for your life and capture it on canvas. Supplies and complimentary wine will also be provided. Your vision board materials include: a 16 x 20 flat canvas, glue, varnish and magazines. You are also welcome to bring additional supplies and a wine of your choice. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased through an invoice, Cash App: $BBOCLT or at the door. The event will begin at 5 p.m. LaWans’ is located at 7520 S. Tryon St. #BBOCLT



Elle VJ took 2017 by storm and tonight, come be part of her newest venture as she kicks off 2018 with the Elle Johnson Co. Launch Celebration & Pop-Up! Spend your evening with some stylish individuals as you witness the grand opening of Elle’s brand of botanical-based skin care line and some shopping featuring a host of local vendors and merchants. Admission is FREE but please be sure to RSVP here: The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Advent Coworking. 933 Louise Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.   #ElleVJ



Awesom Entertainment, Inc. is back in full force for 2018 and tonight, they invite you out to STATS Restaurant & Bar for an energy-filled evening with Love & Hip Hop’s very own DJ SELF and his special Born Day Celebration! You’ve seen the show, you’ve seen his skills and now, come see him live as he spins the hottest music of today and yesteryear with some surprises in between! Tickets can be purchased here: For special bottles and tables, please call: (980)-215-2861. Doors open at 9 p.m. STATS Restaurant & Bar is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the Northlake Area.



Nizzo Entertainment sets your Saturday night on fire as they proudly present DJ Poizon Ivy spinning live! If you’re unaware of this lovely and mega-talented young lady, she’s the official in-game DJ for the Dallas Mavericks! Come and rip the dance floor as she blends her hottest mixes along with Raleigh turntablist DJ Jayfah and Charlotte mixmasters Steve Nizzo and DJ Quee! Tickets can be purchased here: The party starts at 10 p.m. at Bakadi Lounge. 4205 Monroe Rd.



Charlotte, are you ready for some serious soul? Then slide over to The Evening Muse and get ready for a special live performance from The Queen’s Guard feat. Blanche J.! Just imagine a musical setting with a fine-tuned rhythm section with a fierce and fine goddess possessing vocalisms that are as rich as the greats of our time—that’s what you can expect. This is one of my favorite groups in the QC and if you’ve never heard them before, do yourselves a favor and experience them! Tickets can be purchased here: Doors open at 10 and the show starts at 10:30 p.m. The Evening Muse is located at 3227 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.





Come one, come all down to the Beatties Ford Library Branch for the MLK Birthday Celebration 2018 — “The Power of Children!” Get ready for a day of live entertainment, cool arts and crafts, friendship, fellowship and a birthday cake honoring one of humanity’s greatest dignitaries! This year, we will be celebrating the children and youth of the Civil Rights Movement to remind our present-day sprouts that they must use their power to build a kinder world! Your hosts for this glorious celebration is the lovely QC SuperMom and yours truly – The Black Ferris Bueller! Admission is FREE to attend and the festivities will begin at 1 p.m. The library branch is located at 2412 Beatties Ford Rd.   #QCSuperMom



If you love music like I love music, spin yourselves over to Tip Top Daily Market for another rotation of the Diggers Delight Pop-Up Record Swap! Whether you’re fiending for some Funk, Jazz, Soul or some totally outer-worldly sonic frequencies, local cultural enthusiasts and activists Flock & UNTAMD are ready to rock the spot and deal out some dynamite dopeness! Also, be sure to check out the crates from Premium Sound with more musical madness for your minds and grab a bite to eat from a fresh batch pastries from Pepperbox Doughnuts. Admission is FREE to attend and the event starts at 2 p.m. Tip Top Daily Market is located at 2902 The Plaza Rd. in the Plaza-Midwood District. #DiggersDelight



This afternoon, join Mr. Felix Curtis for the first installment of Classic Black Cinema Series for 2018! For today’s feature, come view the 1982 film “Losing Ground.” It’s the story of an unsympathetic educator and her capriciously artistic husband who embark on a long road trip to find some stable ground who also find interest in other people. “Losing Ground” is the great work of director Kathleen Collins who is one of the first Black women to direct a full-length feature film. The film screening is FREE with museum admission. The screening will begin promptly at 2 p.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.     #CBCS



Black Star Line Brewery and Three Spirits Brewery have combined concoctions this afternoon to bring you the MLK Jazz Brunch! Enjoy some delicious food, a live DJ and community and a special collaborative brew to add flavor to your experience! Admission is FREE to attend and the event will begin at 2 p.m. Three Spirits Brewery is located at 5046 Old Pineville Rd.



This afternoon, take a short drive down to Belmont and come out for the Community Jazz Series Concert! Elements of Empowerment, Inc. and Belmont-Abbey College have collaborated to bring you this festive soundscape full of music and fellowship. For your featured act, come and hear the soulful sounds of The David Pankey Trio. Elements of Empowerment’s mission is to foster cultural awareness, acceptance, and preservation by educating, enriching, and empowering communities through artistic cultural programs, presentations and events. Each show will feature two 45-minute sets, with a brief intermission, followed by a reception. Admission is $10. Donations and ticket purchases can be made here: The event will begin at 4 p.m. and will be held at Haid Theater at Belmont-Abbey College. 100 Belmont-Mt. Holly Rd.



This evening, treat your ears to some good vibes as A Sign of the Times, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, My Sister’s House and the UNCC School of Arts & Design proudly present to you “Bridging Musical Worlds.” Bring the family out and hear songs of inspiration dedicated to the life, works and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased here: The concert will begin at 5 p.m. and will be held at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. 3400 Beatties Ford Rd.



Charlotte Nightlife Entertainment is ready to lay down the funk on your Sunday evening with the “Charlotte Go-Go Invasion 2018!” Charlotte’s Premier Go-Go Band, Uptown Swagga and the all-female Go-Go crew Dymond Lyfe, team up for a colorful collision of sound that’ll make you want to get up and move your body like you don’t have to go to work tomorrow—when in fact, you don’t! Also, be sure to stick around as Charlotte’s own DJ C.K. lays down a hot soundtrack for you to further dance to! Tickets can be purchased here: Showtime is at 7 p.m. and will be held at STATS Restaurant & Bar. 3425 David Cox Rd. in the Northlake Area.





Everyone, and I mean everyone gather at The Gantt Center this morning as Food Lion presents the 2018 Annual MLK Day Celebration! Come and commemorate a great man, his message and motives with a day full of panel discussions, film screenings, spoken word, live music, guided tours, scavenger hunts, fellowship and more! Admission is FREE all day long and the festivities will begin at 9 a.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.



The mighty men and youth of The Males Place are back to serve the community once again as they host their Fish Fry Fundraiser this morning! Come and place your order of a hot and fresh plate on MLK Day to ultimately benefit their upcoming trip to Ghana in West Africa in Summer 2018. Your meal will consist of two pieces of fish, beans, coleslaw and bread. To place your orders, please scroll to the bottom of the website for fundraiser order information:  Donations can also be given on the website as well. For additional information, please contact Baba Reggie Singleton at (704)-713-3824 or email:  The pick-up will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West End Fresh Seafood Market. 2206 Beatties Ford Rd.   #TheMalesPlace



The Levine Museum of the New South invites you out for a day full of art, honor and education as they host the 2018 Dr. MLK Legacy Celebration! The day includes performances by the McCrorey YMCA Senior African Drummers, Davidic Praise Dancers, “Family Connections with Angie Cee,” children’s story time, arts and crafts, and much more. Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome. The museum will open at 10 a.m. 200 E. 7th St. in Uptown.



Celebrate MLK Day in style and in flavor as Behind the Bar invites you to Soup & Sip Social! This is the first installment of the all-new “Cocktails For A Cause” socials which will for each month of 2018. Enjoy some specially-crafted cocktails from Behind the Bar, eclectic cuisine from Chef Greg Collier, artistic creation and curation from Jonathan Cooper and some funky spoken word from Quentin Talley. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased here: The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Grace on Brevard. 219 S. Brevard St. in Uptown.



Join the good people over at Wine & Design for their Martin Luther King, Jr. Paint Class this evening! Bring all your friends out as artist LaDara McKinnon guides your minds and hands along to create your very own MLK portrait on this joyous day. This class is also listed as BYOB—you are free to bring any bottle of beer, wine and/or snacks to enjoy while you paint. Tickets can be purchased here: The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wine & Design is located at 14119 East Blvd. in the Dilworth Neighborhood.



1/20 – AfroPop Charlotte Vol. 18

1/20 – 24 Million Tour feat. DJ Misbehaviour

1/26 – 2018 PRIDE Awards & 25th Anniversary Celebration

1/26 – Su Casa: The January Edition

1/27 – Genealogy Workshops

2/3 – Off The Wall: Annual J-Dilla Tribute

2/16 – The Blackest Weekend Ever “Black Panther” Premiere Party

2/26 – 3/3 – 2018 CIAA Tournament

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”   -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Enjoy your weekend everyone! Peace.


Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.  


#WeekendWarrior #TheBlackFerrisBueller #CommunityFirst