4/6: Visionaries

BREAKING A CHARACTER: Vincent Gardner, this week's featured artist in the University of North Texas Jazz Artist Series, reached back to 1940s Harlem to create "Jesse B. Semple Suite," a project based on the neighborhood mainstay in Langston Hughes' "Simple Stories" featuring spoken word artist Summer Hill Seven and actor Anthony Thompson-Adeagbo. The piece debuts at Rose Theater in New York next week, so we have fingers crossed that the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra trombonist will practice a portion of the work at McDavid Studio tonight. 7:30PM. Find tickets here.

RICH VERSE: Former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins is known as the money-maker of the poetry world after a six-figure deal with Random House made him the exception in his industry. He's sort of the Meryl Streep of poetry prizes, having snagged the first ever Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry offered by Poetry magazine and netted fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and other top grants (and not to mention sitting as New York State Poet and his top U.S. honors.) Still, he'll read at Lakewood Theater tonight for free. 7PM.

BEFORE 'MILK': Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts brings director/producer Rob Epstein to Angelika Dallas for a tribute and a lecture by the filmmaker, who'll show his Oscar-decorated documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) and answer questions from Sean Griffin, the chair of SMU's Cinema-Television department. The event is free, but be sure to make reservations here.

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