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FESTIVAL — Fine art explodes across the peninsula

Art collectors both amateur and seasoned will be busy this weekend, as CFADA’s annual visual arts festival kicks off on Friday night with a de facto art walk. Galleries across the peninsula will hold opening receptions for their hottest shows of the year that night, and the festival continues the next day with plein air painting demonstrations in Washington Park and a high school art competition, then a gala and auction at the Harbour Club to benefit the art programs at Charleston’s public high schools. The event finishes up on Sunday with a brunch at High Cotton. A host of other downtown galleries will be unveiling their newest shows on Friday, too; the Eva Carter Gallery (132 East Bay St.), in particular, offers up something a little different — a spectacular display of abstract art from six contemporary painters: Carter, William Halsey, Brian Rutenberg, Michael Tyzack, Corrie McCallum, and Gene Speer.
FRIDAY

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SPORTS — Take in the sunrise over the harbor … on foot

Even though the bridge(s) over the Cooper may be bigger and longer, the pavement pounders who participate in the James Island Connector run each year know that size isn’t everything. The view offered on the Connector is possibly the finest in the downtown area, and the October race date usually makes for fine runnin’ weather — not too hot, not too cool. The proceeds from the race go to the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation (GKF), a nonprofit that provides scholarships to students with special needs and serves as a resource for their families and educators. Registered runners can pay $10 (and the general public can pay $15) to attend a casual “Italian feast” at the race packet pickup at the Stern Center Garden (71 George St.) at 6 p.m. on Friday night, where GKF will provide live music, a wine tasting, food from area restaurants, and a pep talk from honorary race chair and nationally-known speaker David DeNotaris.
SATURDAY

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FESTIVAL — Bluegrass, ponies, and turkey legs on Johns Island

The Harvest Fest, held out on Johns Island, is a throwback to a time when fall festivals were an annual family event, complete with pony rides, jams and jellies, hayrides, a craft show, and the intriguing “chainsaw art demo.” While lassoing wooden sawhorses or noshing on kettle corn, turkey legs, and barbecue, festival-goers can enjoy the bluegrass stylings of Yee Haw Junction, The Marsh Grass Mamas, Flatt City, Blue Plantation, and Sounds of Grass. Charleston County Parks and Recreation is hosting a “bring your own horse” Harvest Weekend Trail Ride and Campout in conjunction with the Fest — give them a call for more info and prices.
SATURDAY

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VISUAL ARTS — “WHY?”

This experimental art project, started by local painter and printmaker Mary Walker to engender a widespread discussion about the current state of global politics, began with her sending packages labeled simply “WHY?” and containing blank scrolls of paper and other materials to artists and printmaking studios around the world. The project comes to fruition this week with its display at the sorely underused City Gallery at Waterfront Park alongside a show of works by modern Iraqi artists. The exhibition also features a curator walk-through on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. for those who would like a deeper view into the makings of The Scrolls.
OPENS FRIDAY

Women Engaging Globally
Sat. Nov. 5
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free
St. Matthew Baptist Church
2005 Reynolds Ave.
766-5416
charleston.sc.lwv.org

FORUM — More than just a red ribbon

Women made up more than 30 percent of new AIDS cases in South Carolina last year — the seventh highest ranking in the U.S. — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This, along with the global and national epidemic, will be the topic of discussion at the Women Engaging Globally forum, an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Charleston area. The Charleston chapter of the LWV was one of seven Leagues in America selected to host a forum; the topic for our city is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Speakers include doctors, authors, researchers, and legislators from across the country and the Lowcountry. This is going to be a must-attend event for women activists, community leaders, public officials, and anyone who wants to educate the public and help slow the spread of these deadly diseases.
SATURDAY

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CONCERT MUSIC — Falco certainly appreciated it

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s Casual Classics series is All About Amadeus this year, since 2006 will be the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Violinist Diana Cohen will be the highlighted soloist for the evening as the CSO plays mostly Mozart in this performance that showcases the senses of humor of both Mozart and his mentor, “Papa” Haydn, whose whimsical Symphony No. 83 (subtitled “The Chicken”) is one of the featured pieces tonight.
SUNDAY