By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer
It's ba-a-a-a-c-k! And it's fu-u-u-u-n!
Starting Tuesday, 20/20 II will spend 20 days and nights showcasing 58 events by 45 organizations in 18 Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky neighborhoods. A fair number of events (20-plus) are free.
It's "II" because the festival began last year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Enjoy the Arts/START, the membership organization that introduces students and young professionals to arts at a discount, and usually with a party atmosphere attached.
Last year, the festival drew more than 10,000. So Enjoy the Arts/START is at it again.
Plans aren't completely set, but below are 10 events that gave us the biggest tickle, listed by day.
Wednesday - Jazz Genre: Jazz and Live Painting. Thank Art Academy of Cincinnati alum Sara Mulhauser for this one.
"I wanted to bring back the old days of artists observing, drawing and painting in public, we don't see that anymore."
To the sounds of Pavilion Music Company Big Band, painters including York Street Cafe owner Betsy Cunningham will make like Renoir. Bring your paints and admission is free. 8-11 p.m. upstairs at York Street Cafe, Newport.
Sept. 29 - Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Wiffle ball in the Rotunda (with Museum Center staff and pals in turn-of-the-last-century uniform). Check out historic game footage in the Newsreel Theater. And take an after-hours tour of Baseball as America with artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. 6 to 9 p.m., Cincinnati Museum Center
Oct. 4 - Tha Blast. Cincinnati's first urban culture festival promises hot fashion, eye-popping hair design, slammin' poetry (featuring Jessica Care Moore), local and national DJs, graffiti art, music videos, break dancers, an art exhibit, a hip- hop song countdown. No wonder it goes into the wee hours. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., SSNOVA.
Oct. 5 - Gospel Brunches. Only two venues this year, Hamburger Mary's downtown (featuring the Hebrew Singers from Dayton) and Bronte at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood (featuring P. Ann Everson-Price and Friends with guitarist Daniel Now.) It will be a late brunch at 2 p.m., but anytime is the right time for great gospel.
Oct. 6 - Slap Happy Hour. Members of Friends of Lucy, Area 51 and the Showboat Improv Team will duke it out (in the spirit of Whose Line Is It, Anyway?) in a stand-up comedy competition. 6 to 9 p.m., Covedale Center for the Performing Arts.
Oct. 8-9 - Down & Dirty Tales II. Down & Dirty from Madcap Puppets' Jerry Handorf was one of last year's SRO events. This year the audience again gets to choose from a list of stories that include The Pied Piper, Snow White Trash and a lot of titles that can't be printed here. Handorf is also busy building a new, eight-foot "spokesmodel" for the show. She's a real witch. 7:30 and 10 p.m., Old St. George, Clifton.
Oct. 10 - Latin International Night Extravaganza! Here's what we know so far: The film is Calle 54, a hot behind-the-scenes look into Latin Jazz at Showcase Cinemas Cincinnati. The dancing will be to Cammy Award-winning Tropicoso at the Madison Theater in Covington. The dinner listed in the brochure is kaput but who cares?
Oct. 11 - Automedia. Now here's an outdoor installation we don't see every day. Media Bridges will project the work of 10-15 film and video artists onto the blank walls of buildings adjacent to the parking lot at the corner of Race Street and Central Parkway. Several three-dimensional, site-specific installations of interdisciplinary art at eye level are also promised. 6-10 p.m., rain or shine, free
Oct. 12 - Liberated Souls. 20/20 again wraps with Artistic Expression Night with Liberated Souls. Promised is a mix of music, dance, visual art and poetry featuring DJ Tree, jazz vocalist Tyrha M. Lindsey and the neo-soul and trip hop stylings of the band Mahogany Boudreaux. Emmanuel Yamoah, P&G exec and slam poet, will emcee. There will be an open mic for anyone who wants to get in on the act. 7 p.m.-midnight, Mecklenburg Gardens Beer Hall, Corryville
Sept. 25-Oct. 11 - After parties (like the Art Sucks Auction) and happy hours. What kind of festival would it be if you just went home to bed? Parties are scheduled across downtown, from CLAU to Arnold's, from Shanghai Mama's to Mount Adams Bar & Grill. You'll only find them on the Web site, or from somebody cool enough to know.
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