While the official countdown to autumn says we have a few days of summer yet to enjoy, a look at the entertainment calendar tells me that a new season is already upon us.
Area performance groups have announced their 2013/14 seasons; art galleries and museums have recently hung new shows, and — while the outdoor music at places like the Beachside Oasis has come to a close for this year — plenty of live music can still be found inside area taverns and other venues from now through spring time.
The Yardarm Bar & Grill, for example, continues its time-honored tradition of free live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 7 to 11 p.m. (go to www.yardarmbargrill.com for a schedule). And — for all you Celtic music fans out there — the Jeff Ward Band will come together at the Yardarm on Sunday, Sept. 22, for a special “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” show. This back-by-popular-demand show starts at 4 p.m., and if you’d like table seating/dinner during the show, reservations are suggested.
Don’t forget, too, to check out what’s happening in western Racine County. The Route 20 Outhouse (just west of Interstate 94) has a full line-up of bands and comedians scheduled — including Friday’s (Sept. 20) show by country band Tombeau Road (see Page 5). The Outhouse’s October calendar features five major shows, including acts like Mason Jennings (Oct. 3) and a multi-band bill of rockers Filter, Red, Otherwise and We As Human on Oct. 20 (www.route20outhouse.com).
Those are just two of the many Racine County venues that offer live music on a regular basis. For others, check the Journal Times’ calendar listings both in Out & About and at www.journaltimes.com.
If it’s visual art you’re after, this time of year also offers a variety of options. Both the Racine Art Museum’s Downtown and Wustum campuses have a lot going on as RAM celebrates its 10th anniversary (go to www.ramart.org). Smaller gallery spaces — including the Racine Arts Council’s ArtSpace on Sixth Street (www.racineartscouncil.org) — also offer new treats for the eyes.
One that’s a bit off the well-traveled path and worth a visit is the Spectrum Gallery, in the East Building of the DeKoven Center, 600 21st St. The show that opened there last weekend — “Greetings from The Haven Modern Motel” — features black and white silver gelatin photographs taken of the adobe-style motel during a 20-year period by local photographer Denise Zingg. Zingg photographed the Haven, located between Whitewater and Fort Atkinson, on trips back an forth to Madison. Some of them, she says, “give a feeling of isolation — some a feeling of being in a nightmare.” The show continues through Sept. 29.
For more, go to www.spectrumschoolandgallery.org.
Root River Festival
This weekend also offers a chance to continue enjoying the out-of-doors at a new event called the Root River Festival.
This free, public festival — held along the banks of the Root River in Island Park from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 21) — will celebrate the natural resources and cultural influences that have shaped Racine.
An interesting combination of community workshops, live music, horse and livestock shows, a petting zoo, arts, crafts, pony rides, magic show and other children’s activities, the festival is patterned after the tradition of historic Chautauqua traveling tent shows. Named for their original Lake Chautauqua, N.Y., location, Circuit Chautauqua events were popular cultural gatherings held in the early 1900s that provided opportunities for adult education, music, theater and other activities.
The Root River Festival — organized by the Root River Council in partnership with the Racine Heritage Museum, The BONK! Performance Series and the Racine Public Library — will also offer food and beverages for sale. For more information, go to http://rootrivercouncil.org/root-river-festival/ or check out its event page on Facebook.
Lee Roberts is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Journal Times. Scene & Heard appears periodically in Out & About. Lee can be reached at (262) 631-1755, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by mail at 212 Fourth St., Racine, WI 53403.