Written by Lisa Breslin

Oscar-Winning Movie Opens Foreign Film Festival

The Academy Award-winning South African film, “Tsotsi” (below), opens the Carroll County Arts Center’s 4th Annual Foreign Film Festival on February 2 and 3. The schedule:

“Tsotsi” (South Africa)
Friday, February 2 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 3 at 2 p.m.
2005; Rated R; 94 minutes
The film takes place over six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.

“Monsoon Wedding” (Indian)
Friday, February 9 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 10 at 2 p.m.
2001; Rated R; 114 minutes
The story is set among India’s the modern upper-middle class, where telecommunications and a Western lifestyle mix with old traditions.

“All About my Mother” (Spain)
Friday, February 16 @ 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 17 @ 2 p.m.
1999; Rated R; 101 minutes
A single mother in Madrid sees her only son die on his 17th birthday as he runs to seek an actress’s autograph. She goes to Barcelona to find the boy’s father, a transvestite named Lola who does not know he has a child.

“The Scent of Green Papaya” (Vietnam)
Friday, February 23 @ 7 pm
Saturday, February 24 @ 2 pm
1993; Unrated R; 104 minutes
A little girl, Mui, becomes a servant in a home where the mother still mourns the death of her own daughter, who would have been Mui’s age. Ten years later, Mui is sent to a pianist and his wife, and she falls in love with the musician.

This year’s Festival is sponsored by McDaniel College. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for arts council members, seniors 60 and over and students 18 and under. Tickets can be reserved in advance with a major credit card by calling 410/848-7272.

“Collage and Assemblage”

“Bamboo Static,” (above) by Ellen Alt, and “Horizon,” (below) by Alicia Weathersby, represent two artistic techniques in a new exhibit titled “Connections: Collage and Assemblage,” that is featured at the Carroll Arts Center’s Tevis Gallery February 8 through March 24.

The public is invited to an opening reception on Thursday, February 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The seven artists participating in the exhibit are Alt, from New York; Weathersby, of Randallstown; Shara Banisadr of Bethesda; Cynthia Beljan of Woodbine; Tom Block of Silver Spring, and Kyle Miller and Cara Ober of Baltimore.

The technique of collage, or papier colle (cut and pasted paper), creates a tactile, textured surface on a two dimensional plane. Asemblage is a sculptural technique that arranges a variety of randomly selected objects to create a unified whole. Information about the exhibit: 410-848-7272, or visit www.carr.org/arts/.

School’s Out, Comedy’s On

Comedian Michael Rosman will bring his tricks and stunts to the Carroll Arts Center on Tuesday, February 20, at 2 p.m. Carroll County Public School students have no classes on that day, so the show offers a perfect destination for anyone with cabin fever.

Rosman began his training at the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College and has performed throughout the world, including on the David Letterman Show.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for arts council members, seniors 60 and over, students 18 and under. Information: 410-848-7272, or visit www.carr.org/arts/.

How to Get Sappy

It is early spring and the ground is beginning to thaw. Trees are waking up. Sap is starting to flow. It is time for the 22nd annual Maple Sugarin’ Festival.

Held at Bear Branch Nature Center/Hashawha Environmental Center, 300 John Owings Rd. in Westminster, this year’s event will be held March 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $2 a vehicle. Featured are demonstrations on tree tapping, sap boiling, and bread making. The highlight of the day is the pancake breakfast -with plenty of fresh maple syrup, of course. There are also children’s activities, including wagon rides.

For more information on the event pick up a Woodland Sketches at any Carroll County Public Library branch or call Hashawha at (410)848-9040. – Sheila Herbst

Biking for Kids

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) operates on donations and proceeds from their one fundraiser, a 100-mile ride that is held the last Saturday in April. All of the chapters across the U.S. will be riding that day, and thousands of bikers, including those from Carroll County, will be involved.

B.A.C.A. was founded in 1995, in Utah, by a child therapist. Now the international nonprofit advocacy group has 100 chapters in the U.S., two of which are in Maryland. The local chapter has 14 members.

When B.A.C.A. of Carroll County gets a referral from a state agency, the bikers arrange a meeting with the child and his or her family. Together, the group rides to the child’s home and welcomes the child and family into the B.A.C.A. organization. At the meeting, the child also gets a vest, like the ones the bikers wear, and a photo taken with the group.

“They can look at it whenever they’re feeling scared,” said Carroll County B.A.C.A. member Brian Walker.
The support does not end after that first meeting. The child is given the phone numbers of the two closest B.A.C.A. members and is told to call any time, for any reason. Also, because Maryland has an open court system, B.A.C.A. members go to court with abused children to give them a feeling of security.

“Most children don’t testify against the person who abused them if they are scared,” says Walker.
Children who have become members of the B.A.C.A. family can stay in touch as long as they like.
For more information on the Carroll County chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse visit www.bacausa.com. – Sheila Herbst