5 Free, Fun Things To Do at Duke In April

From powwows to national parks and documentaries, April offers plenty

The award-winning documentary, “The Wanted 18,” screens April 13.
The award-winning documentary, “The Wanted 18,” screens April 13.

The Working@Duke editorial team searches the Duke Events Calendar to bring you five free things to do at Duke each month during the academic year. The month of April offers music, film and unique cultural experiences.

April 5, 12 and 19 – Jazz@TheMaryLou

On three Wednesday nights this month, the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture will be a haven for fans of live jazz music. Organized with help from the Duke Jazz Studies Program, the weekly Jazz@TheMaryLou program is open to everyone and features local musicians, Duke students and special guest artists performing in a relaxed atmosphere. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. and runs past midnight. There are hors d’oeuvres and refreshments available, as well as drinks at The Commons.

April 8 – Duke Powwow

Duke’s annual powwow begins with a traditional grand entry and turns into a communal celebration of Native American culture through music and dance. Running from noon-5:30 p.m. on the Abele quad, the event will feature craft vendors, dancers, drum groups, T-shirts and food. The powwow is organized by the Center for Multicultural Affairs and the Native American Student Alliance.

April 11 – Violin Master Class

Since first breaking onto the scene as a nine-year old prodigy, violin virtuoso Janet Sung has played for audiences around the world and has had her performances described as “riveting” by The Washington Post. She is now an in-demand teacher and performer. Her master class, which will offer listeners a chance to listen in as Sung teaches advanced violin students, starts at 5 p.m. in the Nelson Music Room (East Duke 201). The event is open to the public.

April 13 – Screen/Society: Documenting the Middle East

The award-winning documentary, “The Wanted 18,” tells the story of a group of West Bank residents who, in 1987, buy 18 cows in order to circumvent the Israeli-run dairy system. After the “lactivists” first figure out how to care for and milk the cows, their plot is uncovered and they must hatch a plan to hide the cows and distribute the milk. With the help of comic panels and claymation, the film, according to the New York Times, “follows a worthy tradition of highlighting absurdities that arise during conflict.” There will also be a showing of the 10-minute trailer of “Al-Nakba and the City of Lyd: A Work in Progress,” by filmmaker Sarah Friedland. Afterward, Friedland and Sofia Farah, a North Carolina grad student from the West Bank, will hold a Q&A session. The screenings, which are part of Documenting the Middle East Film Festival, begin at 7 p.m. in White 107.

April 26 – Scholars and Storytelling, Jonathan Jarvis

Jonathan Jarvis spent 40 years in the National Park Service, finishing an eight-year stint as its director earlier this year. Franklin Humanities Institute’s Story Lab welcomes Jarvis as part of its Scholars and Storytelling series. He’ll discuss the National Park System’s meaning and relevance to the issues of environmental justice, climate change and our collective American identity. The event runs from noon-1 p.m. at Smith Warehouse, Bay 4 C105.

For more Duke events, visit the calendar.