February 12, 2017

Worcester Weekly: WPI-Clark showdown, Ukraine invasion + more, Feb. 12-18

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Sunday, Feb. 12 — Light ‘N’ Up the Winter Blues, workshop and exhibit, 12-2:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Nine Dot Gallery, 763 Main St.  Winter blues — who has the winter blues?! How soon we forget the unrelenting and record-setting weeks-long whiteout of 2014-15. Or the miserably interminable icy mix a couple years earlier. Those were blues-inducing days, to be sure. Would’ve inspired a Lightnin’ Hopkins song. But maybe your doldrums have descended for various other winter-related reasons.

Local Business Spotlight: Nine Dot Gallery

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Troung Vo

Wherever they came from, head on down to see our old friends at Nine Dot Gallery. It seems they have a cure in mind. Artist Cathy Weaver Taylor and herbalist Julia A. Tree-doe will lead a noon workshop that will help you “inspire and uplift” your home environment. Cost is $15/$10. A related exhibit featuring Weaver’s work, gallery owners John and Tommy Vo, and others opens at 6.

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Wednesday, Feb. 15 — Black Culture Movie Night presents “Hidden Colors,” 6-8 p.m., Saxe Room, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square  This acclaimed 2011 documentary professes to tell the “real” history of people of color around the world.

We have not been able to confirm the rumor that it includes an updated alternate ending featuring a pre-election Black Lives Matter powwow between President Trump and Frederick Douglass. Either way, the showing is being presented by Our Story Edutainment, pet project of Parlee Jones, a ubiquitous and impactful presence in the Worcester community.

Sun conversation with Parlee Jones, daily difference-maker

Fred Hurlbrink Jr. / Worcester Sun

Parlee Jones is the shelter advocate at Abby’s House. Well, that’s her day job; we don’t have room to list everything else here.

Free and open to the public and recommended for all ages, the film covers such controversial ground as the original image of Christ and the real reason American slavery ended.

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Thursday, Feb. 16 — Dark Humor and the African American Image, 7-8:30 p.m., Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons, Clark University, 950 Main St.  As part of the Higgins School of Humanities’ symposium, “What’s so Funny?” author-scholar and erstwhile dancer Tiffany E. Barber will “discuss how contemporary black artists … employ subversive humor to question the currency of cultural and racial stereotypes.” Barber draws from her experiences recently curating a “Dark Humor” exhibit of contemporary African-American artwork in Delaware. Free and open to the public.

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Friday, Feb. 17 — National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, 8 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St.  Never a bad idea to leave Ukraine for a while, if you ask us, but the orchestra chose a pretty plumb time to get outta Dodge, wouldn’t you say?! Never mind that the average January/February temperature in Kiev is about 25 shiver-inducing degrees, there’s plenty of artillery rattling into high gear to keep you warm in the eastern part of the country.

Ten weeks in the States? I’ll carry all the cellos! In a U.S. tour that began by riling up retirement villages across Florida, the ensemble, whose history dates back to 1918, is featuring the works of Verdi, Prokofiev and Dvorak. A free pre-concert lecture for all ticket-holders by Clark University music professor Dr. Benjamin Korstvedt takes place at 7 p.m. in Washburn Hall.

This is the orchestra’s only New England stop. Tickets are $49, $17.50 students, $7.50 youth.

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Saturday, Feb. 18 — WPI men’s basketball vs. Clark, 3 p.m., Harrington Auditorium, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 151 Salisbury St. [parking garage]  This is the final game for both the Engineers and Cougars before the NEWMAC conference tournament. Depending on how things shake out, it could either serve as a tuneup or showdown, as a number of teams jockey for playoff position behind nationally ranked Babson and MIT. The Cougars lean on a balanced offense that features four double-digit scorers led by junior John Pisacreta (12.9 points per game).

Pisacreta and WPI’s No. 2 scorer, senior Sean Doncaster (11.7 PPG, behind senior Ian Converse’s 14.1) are each in the top five in the league in free-throw percentage … for what that’s worth.

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Saturday, Feb. 18 — Auburn/Millbury boys hockey vs. Shrewsbury, 7 p.m., Horgan Skating Arena, 403 Oxford St. North, Auburn  Somewhat surprising that Auburn or Millbury high schools — each with significant sporting success in its history books — would need help fielding a full-size hockey team. But then, they might consider calling up the football teams, too, for this one. The Colonials, no slouches on the fields of play over the years, began the season with 14 straight wins on the backs of a nearly impenetrable defense that had allowed a mere 19 goals.

Shrewsbury junior goalie Pat Shaughnessy, also a top baseball player, sports a .921 save percentage and 1.30 goals against average. The offense? Not too shabby either, with Matt Ward (31 points) and Liam (28) and Anthony Quinlivan (23) all among the top scorers in Central Mass. Kory Fortier (20), Zach Davey (19) and Will Sjogren (18) are not far behind for the Rockets, who have struggled in the competitive Quinn Conference.

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