The Rundown: Things to do Thursday, May 19 -Sunday, May 22

By Shawn Allison

Shawn Allison shares all the places you'll wanna be in the Queen City.
Shawn Allison shares all the places you’ll wanna be in the Queen City.

Peace & love Queen City Brothers & Sisters!  Once again, it’s time for your Weekend Rundown provided by yours truly, The Black Ferris Bueller!  Now it is scheduled to rain most of the weekend but do not let that hinder you from stepping outside the house to engage and enjoy some of the great treats lined up for this weekend.


Join the Charlotte Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. as they host the Spring edition of “Cufflinks & Cocktails.”  Head over to one of Charlotte’s best-hidden secrets, The Peculiar Rabbit – A Jackalopes Restaurant, for an evening of socializing, mingling and networking.  If you have never been to the restaurant, it has a very relaxed vibe with a delicious, eclectic menu.  Admission to attend is FREE and the dress code is business casual.  The event begins at 6 p.m.  The Peculiar Rabbit is located at 1212 Pecan Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.

Everyone put on that clean and crisp after hours outfit and head down to The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture for another fun, artsy edition of “Gantt After Dark!”  There will be live music from a special guest performer, samples from one of Charlotte’s best food trucks, Wingzza, a “Paint & Sip” class curated by artist Cathay Dawkins, local vendors and tons of fellowship!  Admission to Gantt After Dark is FREE, but if you choose to participate in “Paint & Sip with Cathay Dawkins”, the cost is $25.  Gantt After Dark begins at 6 p.m.  The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.

Slide over to UpStage NoDa this evening as one of Charlotte’s best cool down sessions, “Wine Up @ Upstage” returns with a bang!  Relax your minds as local wordsmith J.C. The Poet will serve as your host and spoken word feature, The Harvey Cummings Project will set the mood with their fine brand of live instrumentation and the lovely DJ SPK will keep the party rockin’ on the wheels of steel!  Admission is $10 and the doors open at 9 p.m.  UpStage is located at 3306 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.

FRIDAY, May  20

Everyone shift your noses and stomachs into 5th gear and head down to either Plaza-Midwood or South End because it’s time once again for “Food Truck Friday.”  Let your olfactory senses steer you to one or many of Charlotte’s colorful culinary chariots ready to fill you up with a delicious variety of eats!  Admission is FREE.  FTF will be behind Sycamore Brewing in South End (2161 Hawkins St.) and The Light Factory in Plaza-Midwood (1817 Central Ave.)  Both locations begin at 5 p.m.  #FoodTruckFriday  #SupportFoodTrucks

Come grab a hot, delicious meal and get an earful of melodic tunes at Freshwater’s Restaurant this evening in their “Jazzy Fridays” live music series.  This is one of my favorite restaurants in the Queen City—if you’ve never had the pleasure of savoring them before, please do your taste buds a favor and head down there and choose from a truly authentic and delicious menu.  The music begins at 5 p.m.  Freshwater’s is located at 516 N. Graham St. in Uptown.  #SupportBlackBusinesses

Are you in the mood to combine science with libations?  Then come out to Discovery Place for another unit of the wildly popular “Science on the Rocks” adult experimentation series.  Tonight, pack your sleeping bag, get your hiking boots and bug spray ready because it is time for Summer Camp.  Play like a kid and party like an adult as SOTR takes you back to camp with tent races, Nerf archery, spooky stories, friendship bracelets, liquid nitrogen marshmallows and much more.  Also, head over to the Discovery Place Theatre to enhance your experience with a premiere of the IMAX 3-D film, “National Parks Adventure.”   This immersive new film will take you soaring over red rock canyons, hurtling up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America’s most legendary outdoor playgrounds.  Advance tickets are $8 and can be purchased here:  The IMAX film is an additional $5.  This event is for people 21+ with proper and valid I.D.  The event begins at 5 p.m.  Discovery Place is located at 301 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.  #SOTR

Art enthusiasts across the city have made “Bechtler By Night” the premiere art event to look forward to the third Friday of every month.  This evening, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art will partner with Martha Connerton of Kinetic Works and Eco Fab Trash Couture to present “Danstallations,” a series of choreographed dances inspired by the bold designs found in the museum’s fourth-floor exhibition, “The House That Modernism Built.”  Each dance performance will occur periodically throughout the evening, and will be based on individual works like Alberto Giacometti’s Seated Woman, Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome or Harry Bertoia’s Sunburst.  Iconic music of the era will set the tone for each performance, with hits from Nancy Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, The 5th Dimension, John Cage and the Beatles all contributingThe event begins at 5 p.m.  The Bechtler is located at 420 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.

Jazz Arts Initiative has been on a hot streak this year with some acclaimed performances in its specialized and intimate concert series, “The Jazz Room.”  Tonight bear witness as one of Charlotte’s most heralded musicians, bassist Tim Singh along with The QC Latin Jazz Orchestra channels a special instrumental tribute to The King of Latin Jazz—the late & great, Tito Puente.  If you dig Latin jazz or have little to no knowledge of the audible glory, I highly suggest that you attend this!  There will be two performances this evening:  6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.  Tickets: or call (704)-372-1000.  Both performances will be held at The Stage Door Theatre @ Blumenthal Performing Arts Center located on the corner of E. 5th St. and N. College St. in Uptown.  #JAI

This evening, get your body ready for a high energy dance workshop and dance after-party  Join new Charlotte resident and the outrageously beautiful Solange Ah as she proudly presents an Afro-Cuban/Afro-House Dance Workshop.  Come and learn Afro Cuban inspired movements from Timba, Rumba and Congo.  This is a great opportunity to learn some fun and simple choreography while burning tons of calories!  The doors open at 6 p.m.  This workshop will occur on Friday, 5/20 and on Friday 5/27.  Tickets :  After the workshop, you are invited to stick around for the “Kizomba Charlotte May Dance Party” for a night of dancing to all flavors of Kizomba music–Kizomba, Ghetto Zouk, Tarraxinha, and much more.  Admission is $10 and there will be a complimentary Kizomba dance lesson.  The party begins at 9 p.m.  Both events will be held at Abundant Life Creative Expressions which is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.

Slide out to BluNotes this evening and get ready to get lifted with Charlotte jazz fusion legends, Airstream.  As one of the leading live performers in the Queen City in the 80s and 90s, Airstream’s sense of style was punctuated by original compositions of guitarist Andre Ferreri, keyboardist Mark Stallings, Dave Vergato on bass and Terry Lindsay on the rhythm section.  Get inspired by the straight-ahead and fusion grooves that awaits you at BluNotes on Jazz Friday!   Two shows this evening:  7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  Admission is $4 per show.   BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.

If your ears have a desire to be engorged with some lucid, liquid and lush lyricism this evening, come out to The McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square for the SlamCharlotte Poetry Slam.  SlamCharlotte is an artistic organization that promotes poetic growth, performance enhancement techniques while working to increase fellowship between artists and the community through slam competitions.  Whether you are a connoisseur, creative or just curious come out to hear from and mingle with some truly talented individuals.  The slam will be held at 8 p.m. and admission is $10.  The McGlohon Theatre is located at 345 N. College St. in Uptown.

Slide over to The McColl Center for Art + Innovation this evening for the last film screening of their acclaimed New Frequencies series.  The featured presentation come from underground film legend, George Kuchar, who proudly presents the series of short films aptly entitled, “THE SINS OF GEORGE KUCHAR.” This program showcases a selection of his rarely screened short films, which mix outrageously campy situations, subversive humor, and inventive visuals.  Tickets can be purchased here:  The showcase begins at 8 p.m.  The McColl Center is located at 720 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.

Join Jazz N’ Soul Music for their 3rd Friday Session as they host the local vocal brick house, D’Yenna Dukes & Soul Exposed.  Do you want The Funk?  She has it!  Do you want to feel the Boom and the Bip?  She’ll give it to you!  With years of entertainment experience including sharing stages with the legendary funk group, Zapp & Roger and performing for the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, D’Yenna Dukes is an excellent and talented fixture in soul music!  And in addition to her own original music, she covers powerhouse vocalists such as Chaka Khan, Teena Marie and Evelyn “Champagne” King.  This Soul Siren does it all!  Tickets are on sale at:  The show begins at 9 p.m. and it’ll be held at The Tavern.  The address is 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown.  #JazzNSoul

Radio Rehab Carolinas is back to rock the house this Friday night and you are invited out to Hattie’s Tap & Tavern to the late and great Prince in “Diamonds & Pearls:  A Night of Gems and Musical Genius.”  Rock your purple and remember the goodness and pureness of His Royal Badness as DJ That Guy Smitty digs deep into his vault to jam to give you some more of that #EarholeGoodness which he always provides.  And stick around for a live tribute band who will jam the night away playing nothing but the best who is and was–Prince.  The event begins at 9 p.m. and admission is FREE before 11 p.m.  Hattie’s Tap & Tavern is located at 2918 The Plaza Rd. in the Plaza-Midwood District.  #RadioRehab  #LongLivePrince


Parents, gather the kids and their friends up and head down to ImaginOn for the premier of the museums’s new summer exhibit, “The Adventures of Mr. Potato Head!”  This much-loved and multi-generational character will lead young visitors and parents on a number of fun and educational adventures.  From trips to outer space to underwater exploration, each activity will provide children with engaging learning experiences.  The exotic and fanciful exhibit, targeted to children ages 3 – 8, is designed to develop school readiness and academic skills for young children, focusing on literacy, problem solving, mathematics, science and social studies. It is based on developmental milestones set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and national academic standards.  The exhibit also includes bilingual signage (English/Spanish) that helps adults understand how children learn through play.  Admission to the exhibit is FREE and it opens at 9 a.m.  ImaginOn is located at 300 E. 7th St. in Uptown.

Everyone wake up, wipe that eye crust away, get those joints limber and head down to Dupp & Swat as TC Lifestyle Fitness and Kelley Carboni-Woods hosts an “Introduction to Yoga & Meditation.”  Come and join them and others to explore how yoga & meditation develop strong, healthy bodies and peaceful minds.  This class is designed with all fitness levels in mind, in an intimate group setting.  There will also be a yoga fundamentals handout, a relaxation kit and other cool giveaways!  Admission is $20 and tickets can be purchased here:  The course begins at 9:30 a.m.  Dupp & Swat is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.  #duppandswat

Ladies, the weather is heating up and that means it’s time to add some fire to your summer wardrobe.  Bring yourselves and your girlfriends out to the Zuvaa Summer Pop-Up Tour which will hit Charlotte for this entire weekend!  If you are unfamiliar with Zuvaa, they are an online marketplace catering to women of color with modern, state-of-the-art and vibrant African-inspired designs and garments.  Admission to the event is FREE but please be sure to RSVP here:  The pop-up will be on Saturday 5/21 starting at 10 a.m. and on Sunday 5/22 starting at 12 noon.  The address of the pop-up is 11025 Carolina Place Pkwy in Pineville.  #Zuvaa

Start your morning off at The NoDa Eclectic Marketplace!  This FREE event hosts vendors of locally produced works of art, jewelry, body products, clothing, housewares, pet products and more!  The marketplace is open at 10 a.m. and will be behind The Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastery and NoDa Company Store.  514 E. 36th St. in the NoDa District.

Today, Uptown Charlotte comes to life with color, vigor and art!  Join The Levine Center for the Arts and other enthusiasts for the #LongLiveArts Community Festival.  This FREE and family-oriented festival is chock-full of sights, sounds, action, music and love!  The Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum and The Knight Theater all combine to provide a multi-sensory art experience unlike anything this city has ever seen before!  From drum circles, to paint classes, street performances, jazz vocal stylings, instrumentals and more, this is sure to be quite a cultural phenomenon to bridge the gap between communities in Charlotte.  The event begins at 10 a.m. and will take place at The Levine Center for the Arts.  The address is 550 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.  #LongLiveArts

Moxie Society is back once again with their much-raved about “I Love The 90s Brunch & Day Party.”  Gather your friends, colleagues, older cousins and come on down to Sports One Bar & Lounge for some great fun!  The brunch menu is really delicious and diverse and you cannot go wrong with a $5 mimosa, either.  And what is a day party without music?  Very bland.  So to cater to your vibration-less earholes, DJ CK will be spinning the best of 90s Hip Hop and R&B.  Admission is FREE but please be sure to reserve your table at:  The fun begins at 11 a.m.  Sports One is located at 521 N. College St. in Uptown.  #MoxieSociety  #SportsOneCLT  #SaturdayBrunch  #TheArtOfTheDayParty

Ladies, let your hair be free and come out to The Levine Museum of the New South for the International Natural Hair Meet Up Day!  International Natural Hair Meetup Day (INHMD) is an annual one-day event whose purpose is to allow an opportunity for women worldwide to meet in their own communities while networking, sharing, and virtually meeting other women participating in same day meetups across the country and other continents!  Natural hair meetups are events designed to inform, share, inspire, and aid individuals in their natural hair journey.  This event is sponsored by Liquid Gold Hair Products and will be hosted by Beaute Mark Beauty Supply.  There will be lots of free giveaways, styling and care demonstrations, a panel discussion and much more!  Tickets can be purchased here:  The event begins at 12 noon.  The Levine Museum of the New South is located at 200 E. 7th St. in Uptown.

Join Fernweh Festival at Snug Harbor as they turn up the heat with “FUTURE + SOUL + HOUSE:  A New FUNK-SHUN.”  What is a FUNK-SHUN, you ask?   It is simply good music and not that  watered down junk.  What makes it dope is that it’s built for the underground.  Music, pop up vendors, dancing and good vibrations happening all around!   Tickets can be purchased at:  The blood gets flowing at 12 noon.  Snug Harbor is located at 1228 Gordon St. in the Plaza-Midwood District.

The good people of Our Family Dinner returns to The Queen City for another afternoon of food, fellowship and fun with the “We Are One” networking social.  Our Family Dinner is a community-based tradition that hosts young adults over family inspired citywide and neighborhood-based dinners to build community in major cities all over the world.  And this afternoon, this is your opportunity to party with a purpose!  Tickets can be purchased at:  The event begins at 3 p.m. and will be held at Dogwood Southern Table & Bar.  The address is 4905 Ashley Park Ln. which is located in the South Park Area.  #OurFamilyDinner  #WeAreOne

Head out to Stumptown Park in Matthews for the 4th Annual Charlotte Food Fight.  Some of the city’s most favorited food trucks compete in this family-friendly competition complete with judges, live music and craft brews from D9.  You’ll be able to vote for your favorite truck after you sample food from the long list of contestants this year too!  100% of the proceeds from this event go to sponsor Relay for Life of Charlotte.  Admission to enter is FREE and the event begins at 3 p.m.  Stumptown Park is located at 200 S. Trade St. in Historic Downtown Matthews.

Attention all cigar aficionados!  You are cordially invited to the grand opening of Tailored Smoke Cigar Lounge at The Epicentre!  Kick back and relax with your friends, enjoy your fine-rolled stogies and fine wine, try some delicious food catered by Blackfinn Ameripub and groove to the sounds of DJ Rell One.  Admission is FREE and the party starts at 4 p.m.  The address is 210 E. Trade. St. in Uptown.

Join The Sol Kitchen for “WE LOVE SAT*UR*DAYS”  at ‘Stache House Bar & Lounge.  Unwind after running errands or attending previous events and let DJ Shaun Nyce aka “The Blend King” put your being at ease with some classic Hip Hop, R&B, House, Soul and more!  And be sure to grab some delicious drinks from the bar!  The event begins at 4 p.m. and admission is FREE before 5 p.m.  ‘Stache House is located at 1520 South Blvd. Suite #120 in Historic South End.

Join local education and enrichment initiative, Hip Hop University (HHU), as they host, “HHU Industry Insider:  The Management Edition.”  Get the inside scoop about the inner workings of the music industry from a management perspective by connecting with experienced “Industry Insiders” (Kike “The Ox” Cruz, Cieba Chavez, & Narria Rice) whom have all worked alongside notable names in contemporary Hip Hop and R&B.    Hip-Hop University’s mission and purpose is to provide mentoring and tutoring to assist youths in succeeding not just academically, but to soar into the future and uplift their homes, schools, community and future professions.  Tickets are sold and registration can be made here:  The event will be held at Hygge Coworking at 4:30 p.m.  Hygge Coworking is located at 809 W. Hill St. on the outskirts of Uptown.

Bring a lawn chair, blankets and your friends out to Romare Bearden Park late this afternoon for another edition of “Bearden Music Series.”  Unwind and relax as you all will hear the smooth and mellow sounds of The Terence Young Jazz Experience.  This event is FREE to attend and if you’ve never heard them perform before, you are in for a very special treat!  The event begins at 6 p.m.  Romare Bearden Park is located at 300 S. Church St. in Uptown.

Get your spirits lifted at Statesville Avenue Presbyterian Church this evening with “Music For the Soul!”  This is a colorful and choral presentation of soul-stirring musical selections by African-American composers and arrangers.  Works by John Amos, Glen Burleigh, Stacy Gibbs, Charles Gilchrist, Aldolphus Hailstork, Joseph Joubert, Wendell Whalam and Diane White will be performed by the Charlotte Contemporary Ensemble under the guidance of Frank E. Williams.  Admission is $10 and all ages are invited to attend.  The show begins at 7 p.m.  Statesville Avenue Presbyterian Church is located at 3435 Nevin Rd. in the Derita Area.

At BluNotes this evening, come gear your ears to the stage and get ready for another edition of BluNote’s Saturday Blues & Grooves.  Your musical guest for the evening are local acts John Shaughnessy, Omari and bandleader Joseph Mahfoud.  These three gentleman have all made rounds playing their selected instruments in their own distinguished manner, and tonight they collaborate on stage fueling the atmosphere with some deep, down-home Blues.  Two shows this evening:  7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  The admission is $4 per show.  And while you’re enjoying the music, please be sure to enjoy some down-home cuisine from the kitchen along with great drink specials!  BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.

Head over to The Tavern and get your groove on with one of Charlotte’s baddest ensembles, The Groove Masters Band as they host a party for the release of their new album, “Keeping The Groove Alive!”  Do not miss this brilliant group of musicians who always rocks the house wherever they perform.  And while you listen to them jam, please feel free to grab something tasty to eat and drink.  Admission is $10. Tickets:  The party begins at 9 p.m. and will be held at The Tavern.  The address is 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown.

Rounding out your Saturday, come out to Heist Brewery for “The Saturday Night Heist:  The Ol’ Skool Retreat!”  Reminisce and relive your favorite Golden Era Hip Hop tunes, Rare Grooves/R&B/Funk/Soul joints as DJ Chance and DJ BesKep rock the wheels of steel for you all night long!  The admission is having positivity and love in your heart or just FREE if you want to be frank.  The trip down memory lane begins at 9 p.m.  Heist Brewery is located at 2909 N. Davidson St.

SUNDAY, May 22

Classical music and spoken word collide unsually, but beautifully this afternoon as The Charlotte Civic Orchestra proudly presents, “Images-N-Sound:  Slam Poetry & Beethoven.”  Join three of Charlotte’s fiercest lyricists, Sidekick, Bluz and Ed Mabrey, as they weave a tapestry of words alongside, around and through the lush arrangements of a live orchestra.  They will perform their selected and original poems as part of the premiere of Dean Kluesner’s new work, “The Voice Says.”  And the esteemed Dr. Geoffrey Whitehead will also conduct the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6.  Tickets:  The concert begins at 3:30 p.m. and will be held at Renovatus Church.  The address is 1209 Little Rock Rd.

The M.A.R.S. (Main Attraction Recreational Sports) Co-Ed Kickball season is complete and a new team has claimed the championship.  And now that competition is over, everyone is invited out for the M.A.R.S. Annual Kickball Fun Game!  This game will be open to family and friends and is strictly geared towards having fun.  All ages, skill levels are welcome to join in for an afternoon of fun and the admission is FREE!  The event begins at 5 p.m. and will be at Park Road Park on Field #1.  The address is 6220 Park Rd. in the South Park Area.  #MARS  #Funletics

Ladies, I have something else for you this weekend!  Head over to Dupp & Swat as co-owner and creative, Davita Galloway hosts the second round of GIRL GANG!  You all are invited to come and develop working relationships with other women, acquire tips to sharpen personal and business acumen, and of course to simply have a great time!  The theme of this segment is the “Dish Over Dinner Edition,” and you will be provided a 3-course dinner, media maven Gossip Viv will spill some tea over hot entertainment industry topics and give you some tips on becoming a sought-after blogger.  GIRL GANG is an initiative that includes workshops, seminars, outings, group activities and functions to help the element of sisterhood flourish.  Tickets:  Be sure to dress in your cute and dainty attire and be at Dupp & Swat at 7 p.m.  Dupp & Swat is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.  #duppandswat  #GirlGang

If you desire to cap your weekend off in style, cruise over to Red@28th for “Soulful Sundays.”  Join host and creative, Les Bless for an evening full of art, sound and class.  Your entertainment for the evening is the lovely vocalist D’Yenna Dukes & Friends, spoken word from A Poet Named Superman, tables turned  by DJ Strategy and a live painting from @Ink_Gawd.  Doors open at 7 p.m. and the band strikes at 8 p.m.  Red@28th is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.

Everyone have a GREAT weekend and spread some love to a stranger!  God Bless!

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