Triad dwellers face tough decisions this weekend as Greensboro kicks off the 76th North Carolina Folk Festival and Winston-Salem hosts the 14th Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors. You could see it as a competition between two cities or a personal crisis of preference but, really, both offer something for just about everyone and offer a full weekends of programming so we can have our cake and eat it too.
So explore a little. Listen in on a panel you normally wouldn’t or dance in the streets before dark. Geek out, whether to an author’s lecture or a percussive technique demonstration. Because it’s hard to knock the Triad’s entertainment scene on a weekend like this.
Carole Boston Weatherford @ Reynolda House Museum of American Art (W-S), 5 p.m.
The NYT bestselling children’s literature author reads aloud from her picture-book biography, Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression, and engages the audience in discussion. Enjoy music and hands-on activities while learning about the exhibition Dorothea Lange’s America, which opens Sept. 14. Donations to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina are welcome. Learn more at reynoldahouse.org/calendar.
The Bicycle: Art Meets Form opening reception @ Theatre Art Galleries (HP), 5:30 p.m.
TAG exhibits 73 juried pieces reflecting some aspect of bicycles or cycling by 57 artists across the globe. The Upstairs Gallery will specialize in vintage bicycles and the Kaleidoscope Gallery will feature work from Guilford County art teachers. Learn more at tagart.org.
Donalja James & Fredd Reyes @ International Civil Rights Museum (GSO), 6 p.m.
The museum showcases local guitarist and soloist Fredd Reyes and Alto Ego’s Donalja James. Enjoy light refreshments as they perform live. Find the event on Facebook.
Radical ’zine workshop @ Elsewhere (GSO), 6 p.m.
This First Friday proffers an opportunity to co-create a mixed-media, independent magazine alongside former Elsewhere intern Coco Spencer after she leads a discussion about intersectional feminism. Learn more at goelsewhere.org/events.
Semper’s Kinetic World of Art reception @ Center for Visual Artists (GSO), 6 p.m.
Internationally-renowned sculpture artist Felix Semper shows a solo exhibition through Sept. 21. He is known for stretchable paper sculptures that integrate everyday objects like books and vinyl records and wood. Learn more at felixsemper.com and find the event on Facebook.
Rhiannon Giddens @ NC Folk Fest (GSO), 6 p.m.
Beloved local Rhiannon Giddens curates an evening of jazz, spoken word and tap dance on the stage at the intersection of Commerce Place and Bellemeade Street, eventually performing herself. Her programming continues throughout the free, 3-day outdoor festival celebrating cultural roots. Hundreds of musicians, dancers and craftspeople will perform and offer demonstrations. Learn more at ncfolkfestival.com.
Sahara Reggae Band @ GreenHill (GSO), 6:30 p.m.
The vivacious reggae band provides a colorful backdrop to the museum’s First Friday merriment. Note the cash bar and free access to awesome artwork. Find the event on Facebook.
Wally West Jazz Trio @ Preyer Brewing Company (GSO), 8 p.m.
Wally West on saxophone, Matt Reid on piano and Ginnae Koon on bass want you to drink local beer, listen to them do their thing and probably to tip everyone involved. Why not do that? Find the event on Facebook.
‘Viva Italia!’ concert @ UNCSA (W-S), 7:30 p.m.
The Piedmont Wind Symphony opens its 29th season with Italian music, including opera and symphony, with works by Verdi, Persichetti, Puccini and Respighi at the Stevens Center. Learn more at piedmontwindsymphony.com.
Abigail Dowd Duo @ Joymongers Barrel Hall (W-S), 8 p.m.
Abigail Dowd is a down-to-earth dream. Don’t miss this guitar-wielding folk artist with Jason Duff on bass and percussion. Find the event on Facebook.
Cactus Black @ Monstercade (W-S), 9 p.m.
Do you like local bands who posture so hard you begin to doubt their self-awareness or worry that we are collectively slipping toward a late-capitalist dystopia in which all forms of sincerity are debased under pressure to achieve peak detached, hip branding? If so, you’re in luck! Arcadia’s late-night joint presents a three-band lineup (Cactus Black, the Sammies and GSO) of “taxidermy rockers,” “hardscrabble dabblers” and “airport code enthusiasts” who offer the following associational nouns to describe their sounds: new haircuts; whiskey beards; karate kicks; porch chops. Your guess is as good as mine but it’s Monstercade, so the concert will probably rock. Find the event on Facebook.
The Jellyman’s Daughter @ Muddy Creek Café & Music Hall (W-S), 2 p.m.
Sweet mandolin and honeyed cello drive along the Scottish duo’s vocal harmonies at the crossroads of bluegrass, post-rock, folk and soul. Learn more at muddycreekcafeandmusichall.com.
Orquesta Akokán @ SECCA (W-S), 5 p.m.
The Cuban orchestra hailing from Havana will be the first international musicians to grace the SECCA stage in the years-long Crossroads series. Their sound complements the main gallery’s continuing exhibition, Cubans: Post Truth, Pleasure and Pain. Food trucks visit the tucked away contemporary art museum for the evening and attendees find Foothills Brewing brews available for purchase. Music begins at 7 p.m. Learn more at secca.org.
And Then There Were None @ Triad Stage (GSO), 7:30 p.m.
Agatha Christie’s infamous murder mystery novel animates the Pyrle Theatre through Oct. 7. Learn more at triadstage.org.