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by Keith Barber

The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem opens its doors to the public Friday with a Light Up the Arts Gala featuring Tony Bennett. Friday’s festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. and run until midnight. For those fortunate to have tickets to see the 15-time Grammy Award winner, Bennett will take the Stevens Center stage at 8 p.m. Those who remain at the new arts center will enjoy performances by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, No Rules Theatre Company, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and more. The new Womble Carlyle Gallery will feature the work of 45 artists working in all media from the Piedmont Craftsmen’s fivedecade history. Meanwhile, the Sawtooth School for Visual Art will exhibit arts and crafts created by faculty members. Guests will end the night at Hanesbrands Theatre, dancing to 1970s disco music. On Saturday, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 10 a.m. followed by Community Weekend. The event, which features more than 100 artistic performances, concludes Sunday at 5 p.m. The weekend is free and open to the public.

Not to be overshadowed, the Bookmarks 2010 Festival of Books will be Saturday in Winston-Salem. The annual free event focuses on youth and adult literacy. For further info, visit: www.bookmarksbookfestival.org.

On Sept. 13-14, Clemmons Community Theatre will hold auditions for “Never Too Late” at New Hope Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. For further info, call Norm Birdsall at 336.293.8447. Comedian Steve Hofstetter will be appearing at Open Space Café Theatre in Greensboro on Sunday. Hofstetter’s television appearances include, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “E! True Hollywood Story.” For further info, call 336.292.2285.

On Saturday, students and faculty from the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance will hold a Collage Concert, the first in a series of special performances planned to celebrate the inaugural year of the school. The showcase will be held at Aycock Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$20. For further info, call 336.334.4849 or visit: boxoffice.uncg.edu.

On Friday, Ambleside Gallery presents Equine & Urban: Paintings of Horses & Cities featuring the artwork of Jan Lukens from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ambleside Gallery is located at 528 S. Elm St. in Greensboro. For further info, call 336.275.9844.

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