Two outstanding culture-promoting groups hosted homegrown events this past week. On Thursday, the American College of the Building Arts raised awareness and introduced its first class of students at a bluegrass and barbecue supper on the lawn of McCleod Plantation. Donors, master craftsmen, and students mingled alongside one another at this laid-back gathering — the first fall fête where coats were in tall order. The aroma of a roasted pig with all the fixins’ wafted across the brisk evening sky while twinkling lights danced from the trees. Bales of hay provided comfortable lounges and the Marshgrass Mamas sang their hearts out. Musical sounds also dominated the Avery Research Center’s McKinley Washington Auditorium on Sunday night where the Poetic Jazz Society of Charleston presented Jazzmatazz with the Quentin Baxter Jazz Ensemble. Hosted by Harold Singletary, this fusion of music, poetry, spoken word, and visual art was a real treat. Be sure to catch the last Jazzmatazz of 2005 on December 11, when guest artists will include Sunn and former City Scene queen Ayoka Lucas. While you are there, be sure to check out the evocative We Were There pictorial exhibit featuring African American veterans, on display until December 20.

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