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Arts

Music, poetry, and dance celebrate love

Ice covers the marshes as Chuck Francis of Rockport works in oils at the Cox Reservation in Essex as part of a drop-in class hosted by Gloucester artist David Curtis, which meets every Saturday.

John Blanding/ Globe Staff

Ice covers the marshes as Chuck Francis of Rockport works in oils at the Cox Reservation in Essex as part of a drop-in class hosted by Gloucester artist David Curtis, which meets every Saturday.

LOVE IN THE ARTS: An evening of music, poetry, and dance celebrating the many ways of expressing love is at the Marblehead Arts Association Thursday.

Nora Falk, an entertainer with the Marblehead Little Theatre, performs love songs. She is accompanied by John Arcaro, a professor of piano at Berklee College of Music.

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The performance ends with an audience sing-along.

Poetry selections range from traditionally romantic to contemporary works, as well as a few sonnets read by young performers from the Rebel Shakespeare Company, based in Salem.

Readers include Rhod Sharpe, who broadcasts the BBC radio show “Up All Night” from his home studio in Marblehead, and performer Frances Poisson.

Eustathios Stratis, an educator and dance teacher who offers Argentine tango lessons in Marblehead, presents local couples who have been practicing the ancient and seductive form of dance. The dancers are accompanied by Ken Hiatt on accordion and Beth Cohen on violin.

A champagne reception is included in the evening.

The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the King Hooper Mansion. Admission is $20, $15 for art association members. Call 781-631-2608 or visit www.marbleheadarts.org.

EARLY MARDI GRAS: The Squeezebox Stompers bring the bayou to Byfield for a Mardi Gras celebration Saturday at The Cat in the Cradle Coffeehouse.

The band performs a mix of Cajun, Zydeco, country, blues, and jazz in the style of the French Quarter in New Orleans. And dancing is encouraged.

The evening includes Cajun gumbo and New Orleans beer served at the Cat Café, in addition to its regular fare.

The Cat in the Cradle is hosted by the Byfield Community Arts Center. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and music starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 at the door. Visit www.byfieldcac.org

AMERICAN MUSICAL ROOTS: As part of Black History Month, Kevin Comtois, who teaches in the global studies department at Northern Essex Community College, presents “From Slave Spirituals to Hip Hop: The Social and Political History of American Music,” in Beverly and Wilmington.

Using recorded music, film clips, and still images, Comtois traces the evolution and social and political context of American popular music through four centuries, ranging from slave spirituals, minstrelsy, blues, jazz, and rock and roll.

Comtois has been teaching history at Northern Essex since 1999. In 2005, he was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study jazz at Washington University in St. Louis.

The presentations are at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Beverly Public Library and 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Wilmington Memorial Library.

Admission is free. Call 978-556-3862, e-mail speakersbureau@necc.mass.edu, or visit www.necc.mass.edu.

AUTHORS’ CORNER: Submissions are being accepted for the fourth annual Teen Poetry Contest at Hamilton-Wenham Public Library. The library’s teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, chose technology as this year’s theme. Deadline is April 30. Cash prizes will be awarded in two categories: grades 6 through 8, and grades 9 through 12. Honorable mentions will also be awarded. Contest rules are available at the library or online at www.informedteenshwlibrary.blogspot.com.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: A two-woman show featuring photographs by Karen Hosking of Marblehead and paintings by Sheila Farren Billings of Salem is at The Gallery at Grosvenor Park in Salem through Feb. 27. A reception with the artists will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. After a career as a clinical psychologist, Hosking launched a second career as a freelance photographer. She has photographed in a variety of places and genres, including landscape, architectural, creative, and fine art. Billings paints outdoors on location and in her studio in a variety of mediums. She is also the author and illustrator of four children’s books. . . . Exeter Public Library in Exeter, N.H., has announced the list of artists donating artwork for the library’s annual Baskets for Books fund-raiser: Fermin Perez-Andreu, Rose Bryant, Lucretia Gordon, Keith MacLeod, Judith Vanacore, and Ellen Whitman. Their works will be raffled at an event March 21 at Riverwoods in Exeter. The evening includes dinner and a silent auction. Tickets are $35 and available the library.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com.
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