Soulful Symphony performs conductor Darin Atwater's Evolution of a People at the Hippodrome tonight. A tribute to the multi-faceted culture of African Americans, the piece includes a photo narrative by Ellis Marsalis III. 1:18 (One Hour Eighteen), the true story of the imprisonment and death of a Russian tax collector, focuses on human rights violations in contemporary Russian society and plays at Theatre Project all weekend. The show is free—though a hat will be passed—and includes a post-show discussion each night. The legendary Nighthawks, with blues great Phil Wiggins also on the bill, play the Creative Alliance.
Tomorrow evening, the Creative Alliance hosts its annual Residents Open House by opening up its artist studios and throwing a party. The studios are open from 7 to 9 pm, and local rockers Big in Japan perform with Celebration's Katrina Ford at 9 pm. It's all free, and you can even buy some dinner if you like. Kurt Vonnegut biographer Charles Shields speaks at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society at 3310 E. Baltimore Street. Shields is also the author of a recent Harper Lee bio, and his talk is free and open to the public. Ex-Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong celebrates the release of his new solo disc with shows at Soft House (1511 Guilford Avenue) on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble plays its annual Black History Month gig at An die Musik. It's an early show at 5 pm, and the group features trumpeter Corey Wilkes, who's played with a recent incarnation of Art Ensemble of Chicago.
And don't forget that the American Craft Council Show runs all weekend at the Convention Center. It features hundreds of exhibitors and includes "Mining the City," a design conversation sponsored by D Center Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. The panel will discuss how place influences the creative process. Check out the nifty announcement (above) created by Katherine Fahey, one of our favorite local artists.