Five creative ways to welcome spring in Princeton

This is part of a series from Ilene Dube of The Artful Blogger.

What season is this? The calendar says spring but the week started off with snow. As Passover wends its way to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, here are some events to herald the season.

Fly Me to the Moon: Frank Sinatra was one of the most popular and beloved entertainers. The Fascinating and Beautiful Songs of Frank Sinatra, a one-session class at Princeton Adult School, April 2, 7 p.m., will feature live performances of some of his most famous songs and music. It will feature the story of how he lived his life “His Way” and include anecdotes about his four marriages, his philandering, his acts of charity and his relationship to the Mafia.

Looking for a new rug? Not the kind for your head, the kind for your floor. Consider taking a class in felted rug making at the Arts Council of Princeton. Felt is considered to be one of the oldest textile forms. It was, and still is, the perfect method for the nomads of Central Asia to produce their felted tents, blankets, rugs, boots, and bags. Making it is a primitive process, and no tools are needed. In this class you will make a small rug — a very small rug, about a foot-and-a-half by two-and-a-half feet (a placemat, maybe?) using dyed, carded wool, and cotton muslin. No knitting is required but there is physical work and standing on your feet. April 20, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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Peace in the Middle East: Da Arabian MC’s is one of the first hip-hop groups to rap in Arabic.  Brothers Tamer and Suhell Nafar and their friend, Mahmoud Jreri, started working together in the late 1990s after realizing that the reality of their hometown streets of Lod, a mixed Arab-Jewish town near Jerusalem, were not far removed from the streets they saw featured in Tupac videos.  Inspired to tell their collective stories through hip-hop, the trio says the core of their message is about “protest, peace, existence before co-existence and straight up survival.” Da Arabian MC’s will perform a concert, screen a documentary about the group, and participate in a discussion about their music. The concert will take place April 1, 8 p.m., in the Multipurpose Room of Frist Campus Center, with the screening and discussion April 2, 4:30 p.m., in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. Both events are free, but concert tickets must be reserved at University Ticketing: 609-258-9220

Visit old New York with Edith Wharton and her friends on this literary tour organized by the Princeton Public Library. Discover the landmarks, legends and lore of the glittering but vanished world of Wharton’s “Old New York.”Visit her childhood home, architectural follies, the Merchant’s House Museum, and churches, homes and institutions from Upper Fifth Avenue to Greenwich Village that played a role in the life of the developing author and the development of her eternally memorable characters, April 3, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,departing from Community Park North/Pettoranello Gardens parking lot.

What can we learn from history about the relationship that human beings have with nature?  Starting with some of the earliest stories in western literature, Ken Hiltner, Princeton Environmental Institute Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities, will speak from research and personal experience growing up on a farm in New Jersey. Using stories and legends of humans’ relationship with and impact on nature, Hiltner will provide a journey of discovery. He is the author of five books including What Else is Pastoral? and the forthcoming Essential Ecocriticism. April 4, 7 to 8:30 p.m., D&R Greenway Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton. Free.


The Artful Blogger is written by Ilene Dube and offers a look inside the art world of the greater Princeton area. Ilene Dube is an award-winning arts writer and editor, as well as an artist, curator and activist for the arts.

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