Go, See, Do | ‘Ovation! USD 497 Talent Show,’ author talk with Chigozie Obioma

photo by: Journal-World File and Contributed Photos

Left to right: "Ovation" talent show, author Chigozie Obioma, Kaw Valley Eagles Day.

Update, 8:40 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2019: Kaw Valley Eagles Day has been canceled because of inclement weather. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake said in an email to the Journal-World that no alternate date has been set yet.

This weekend, the talents of local middle and high school students will be on display for all to see — and on one of Lawrence’s biggest stages, too.

“Ovation! USD 497 Talent Show” will take the Lied Center stage on Sunday for the third consecutive year, said Dena Johnston, executive director of the Lawrence Schools Foundation.

“The acts are getting bigger and better,” Johnston said.

photo by: File photo

Student performers share the stage together during the first-ever Ovation! talent show Jan. 22, 2017 at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. The show featuring the talents of local high school and middle school students returns for the third year 7 p.m. Sunday.

The event originally began when Graham Edmonds, a former Lawrence High School student, was an intern at the Lied Center, Johnston said. Edmonds wanted to bring students from across the school district to share their talents on the Lied Center stage. While “Ovation” was originally a school project for Edmonds, the Lied Center and the foundation teamed up to keep the event alive after Edmonds graduated from LHS and left Lawrence, Johnston said.

“It’s a great way for us to partner as well as share Graham’s vision of how we can collaborate, and (it) brings students together across the district,” she said.

This year’s event includes 13 performances and involves more than 90 students. Johnston said some acts include a local rock band, ballet and dance performances and several solo musical performances.

The show begins 7 p.m. Sunday at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and students. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lawrence Schools Foundation.

Here’s what else you can go, see and do in the next week:

Author Talk: Chigozie Obioma

photo by: Contributed photo

Chigozie Obioma

Award-winning Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma will be making an appearance in Lawrence on Monday.

Obioma’s first novel, “The Fishermen,” was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, a major literary award, and he is the winner of other awards, including an NAACP Image award. His newest book “An Orchestra of Minorities,” tells the story of Chinonso, a young farmer, who falls in love with the daughter of a prominent family and gives up everything to be with her, but in doing so takes a long journey far from home, according to the event listing on the Raven Book Store’s website.

“Spanning continents and cosmic spaces, and told by a narrator who has lived for hundreds of years, the novel is a contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey,” the event listing says. “Written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about destiny and determination.”

Obioma will speak 7 p.m. Monday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. Admission to the event is free. The Raven is co-sponsoring the event and will have copies of Obioma’s book on sale.

Kaw Valley Eagles Day

photo by: Associated Press

A juvenile and an adult bald eagle spar over a fish along the Kansas River near Lawrence on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.

On Saturday morning, the Jayhawk Audobon Society is giving residents a chance to see America’s national bird.

The society will host the 23rd annual Kaw Valley Eagles Day at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Billy Mills Middle School, 2734 Louisiana St.

Mike Watkins, a local biologist who tracks eagles for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will give presentations on the history of bald eagles in Kansas during the event. Other presentations will include the showing of live bald and golden eagles and other animals.

Those who attend will learn a lot about the bald eagles that have nested in Clinton Lake and will be taken out to that area to see them soar through the air, weather permitting. The event is free and open to the public.


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