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On the banks of the Ohio: Brand new bluegrass festival puts the pickin’ back into downtown Louisville

By now everyone who really cares knows the IBMA bluegrass convention took its gig to Nashville last year after an eight-year run at the Galt House in Louisville...

Arts & Entertainment

Special EventsArts Council of Southern Indiana presents Regional Partnership Initiative grant workshops for arts organizations and providers near Floyd Co., March 21 (4pm), Arts Council Office, 820 E. Market St., (812) 949-4238.  ••The Jazz Factory presents a Dissent Lecture featuring readings of famous Kentuckians and other celebrities, March 22, 7:30pm, 815 W. Market St., 992-3242.Just Creations presents an Oriental Rug Event, featuring handmade rugs from Pakistani homes, March 23-26; seminar teaching basics of rug making on March 23, 6:30pm, 2722 Frankfort Ave., 897-7319 or www.justcreations.org. JU percussion Group presents a main stage performance featuring Taiwanese ensemble of 11 musicians, March 24, 8pm; Cultural Marketplace at 6:45pm, Brown Theater, 315 W. Broadway, 584-7777.••Louisville Palace Theatre presents David Copperfield in “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion,” featuring large illusions, March 24-25, $32.50-$42.50, 583-4555 x211.Crane House presents Carol Kobayashi Lee and Maki Takahashi in discussion, “An Appreciation of Japanese Culture in Poetry and Foods,” featuring authentic cuisine, tea and dessert, March 25, 3-4:30pm, $5 non-members, 1244 S. Third St., 635-2240.Mary Anderson Center for Arts presents “Art and Fulfillment of Spirit: an art symposium of diverse voices” featuring 7 Kentucky and Indiana artists, March 25, 10am-3pm, $15, includes lunch, Mount St. Francis Center, (812) 923-8602.West Chestnut Baptist Church presents African Children’s Choir, March 29, 7pm, 1725 W. Chestnut St.; other church performance dates include March 31, April 2, 5, 7-9, (877) 532-8651 x4505 or www.africanchildrenschoir.comU.S. Institute for Theatre Technology presents its 46th Annual Conference and Stage Expo including 4,000 delegates from U.S., Canada, Mexico and 30 other countries, March 29-April 1, KY International Convention Center, 560-0013 or www.usitt.org.Metro United Way Book Harvest now thru April 28, need new, donated books for children, various locations, including Carmichael’s Bookstore, www.metrounitedway.org.Louisville Science Center presents “Earth Exhibit,” thru May 7, 727 W. Main St., 560-7159.Oldham County History Center presents “World’s Largest Whiskey Jug Collection,” thru May 15, 469 jugs from all over KY, exhibit features films on distilling and moonshining, Tue.-Sat. 10am-4pm, 106 N. Second Ave., La Grange, 222-0826.“Discover Louisville” Landmarks, tours scheduled second Sun., 1-4pm, Water Tower on River Road, $45, 574-2868.

Expressions of You provides an open stage and a refuge

Among the audience are faces of almond-ivory, magenta-yellow, ripened rose, cobalt and painted browns. It’s a diverse crowd. The room darkens and the scent of flowered jasmine and spiced cinnamon lingers...

The American dream: cash for trash

When French artist Marcel Duchamp reasoned that his signed urinal was a piece of art, he had no idea how far the spirit of that piece would be taken. Today, nothing is so intimate or mundane as to be verboten. Particularly if there’s some manner of fame attached to it.

What a Week

OK, who sneezed on this rat?In a dramatic medical breakthrough, researchers at U of L used stem cells from human nasal passages to cure rats with spinal-cord injuries, giving hope for possible cures for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other nerve disorders in humans. The boogers-for-brains research holds promise not only for people with spinal-cord-related disabilities, but speaks volumes for the indomitable human spirit, which could motivate a talented, highly educated researcher to go, “Hey, let’s smear some snot on a rat and see what happens.”

Comedy/Karaoke

WEDMARCH 22Akiko’sKaraokeBrewskees Karaoke w/ TriciaBrickyard Sports Bar Open Mic/DJ TerryComedy CaravanSpike DavisCreeker’s Bar & GrillKaraoke w/ Dirty DanGaslite Tavern Karaoke w/ LarinsoGood Times Pub Karaoke Jim Porter’sKaraokeJT’s Variety Club Karaoke, The Summit Bros.Mac’s HideawayKaraoke w/ Swift Ent.Main MenuKaraokeMonon Station KaraokeNew ViewKaraoke w/ JoePhoenix HillKaraoke w/ DJ Big KahunaR Place Pub KaraokeReflections Lounge KaraokeRo-Joe’s Karaoke BarKiller Karaoke by MarkSeidenfaden Cafe MaryokeeShooters Karaoke w/ CatmanSid’s Pub Karaoke SkivviesKaraokeSmyrna Inn Karaoke w/ Rusty NailSt. Andrew’s PubKaraoke w/ I-95Steinert’s KaraokeT.K.’s Pub Karaoke w/ DJ Mike Moody  Union Station Karaoke w/ BeckyWick’s Pizza, DixieDJ, S&S KaraokeZaZoo’sKaraoke

Community Listings

Special EventsDerby Fest. Spring Fashion Show, Lloyd Boston Hosts, March 23, 5:30pm, Marriott Louisville Downtown, $51-$61, 584-6383.Pioneer Days at Oldham Co. Historic Center, March 24-25, 106 N. Second Ave. LaGrange, KY, 222-0826.••Angelic Auction presented by St. James Catholic, parish silent auction and fish fry, March 24, 5pm, 1818 Edenside Ave., 451-1420.Life Story Workshop sponsored by the Western Branch Library Support Assoc., March 25, 1pm, Western Library, 604 S. 10th St., 583-3682.Festival of Healing & Spiritual Awareness presented by Healthy Lifestyles Wellness Center, March 25-26, Jideco Hall, 950 Withrow Ct., Bardstown, KY, www.featherhawk.com.••Martial Arts Exhibit by GrandMaster Hwang sponsoring Crusade for Children, March 25 3-5pm, Bellarmine College, Knights Hall, 459-1868.Dress for Success Celebrates S.O.S. — Send One Suit — Asking women to donate a nearly new interview suit to help local low-income women enter the workforce, thru March 25, 309 Guthrie St., 584-8050.Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center presents “Lewis & Clark: Mysteries of the West,” exhibit focuses on people and sites of famous expedition, thru March 28, free w/ admission, (812) 280-9970.Kentucky Hemophilia Foundation presents Spring Flower Sale to raise funds for programs and services, thru March 30, 1850 Taylor Ave., 456-3233.

Staff Picks

<SPORTS>Wednesday, March 22Go C-A-R-D-S! It may be the No Interest Tournament everywhere else, but Louisville should draw another nice crowd tonight for its quarterfinal NIT game tonight against Missouri State, an angry team that got unfairly snubbed by the NCAA selection committee. A win sends the Cards back to Madison Square Garden, where they're 0-2 this season, for the semis. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased through TicketMaster (502-361-3100, www.ticketmaster.com or at various TM outlets, including statewide Kroger stores). U of L students can buy tickets for $5 through U of L ticket office locations. Game time is 9 p.m. —Cary Stemle

A Letter from Doug Johnson

Louisvillian Doug Johnson, a peace activist living in the West Bank and teaching English at the Arab American University in Jenin, was abducted Tuesday by Palestinian gunmen. He was released later the same day. The following is a letter Johnson sent out via email on Wednesday to assure those interested that he is OK. With the help of David Horvath and Pat Geier, LEO obtained permission from Johnson to post the letter in full.

Rumor & Innuendo: Rumblings From the World of Sports

Was it me, or was something missing on NCAA Selection Sunday? Oh, yeah, the sun. And any mention of the University of Louisville Cardinals. Hmmmmm!That schedule thang. U of L played only one non-conference team that is dancing. Can you spell UK? And the Cards only beat one NCAA team — Marquette. Pitiful.