April isn't usually back-to-school season, but WILL's annual One-Day University at WNMU, April 5, will tempt you back to the classroom. The free event (register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 538-6320) will feature three talks by faculty, including the wonderfully titled "How To Talk Religion & Politics Without Being a Jerk," presented by Benjamin J. Cline. Andrew Hernandez will lecture on "The Indian Slave Trade in New Mexico" and Kathy Whiteman will discuss environmental education, land ethics and the university outdoor program.
Educational opportunities continue on April 20 at Gough Park in Silver City with the annual Earth Day celebration. You can also recycle your electronics, burned-out CFLs and other hard-to-dispose-of items. The event will be preceded on Friday at 7 p.m. by "Faces of Climate Change" at the Seedboat Center.
Then it's time to learn about gardening and growing things, April 27-28 at the Home and Garden Expo at the Grant County Conference Center on Hwy. 180. Share seeds, learn gardening secrets and enjoy live music and kids' activities.
It's also a big month for theater, with three noteworthy productions in Las Cruces: Twelve Angry Men at the LCCT, April 5-21; Dead Man's Cell Phone, April 12-28 at the Black Box Theatre; and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, April 19-May 5 at the new NMSU Center for the Arts.
In Silver City, the curtain rises on Theatre Group New Mexico's production of the Tony Award-winning musical Oliver! with a preview performance on April 25, followed by regular performances April 26-28, all at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre.
Music lovers of all sorts won't feel April foolish, either. Start with a three-day spring concert series by Tucson's Dusky Buskers at Little Toad Creek in Lake Roberts, April 5-7.
On April 12, the Grant County Community Concert Association will bring the Side Street Strutters to the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater. The Strutters were here twice before, most recently in 2008; this year, the jazz band has added vocalist Meloney Collins to present a special program called "Shiny Stockings." Since the group was formed at Arizona State University, the Strutters have performed and given student outreach programs in all 50 states, in seven European countries, and in Canada and Mexico. They have eight CD recordings and have entertained audiences at the Disneyland Resort in California for 22 years.
Then it's Work o' the Weavers on April 13 at the Buckhorn Opera House in Pinos Altos, wrapping up the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Indie/Folk Series season. Besides featuring the music of the Weavers, a theatrical narrative puts the classic folk group's songs and story in historical context, giving audiences insight into the early 1950s, during which the Weavers rose to fame.
Also in Pinos Altos, on April 25, the next "Special Nashville Invasion" performance at the Buckhorn features blues with Kevin So.
The Yarborough Band will have folks kicking up their heels to lively western music on April 27 at the annual Copper Country CowBelles' Shindig at the Flame in Silver City. Besides the music, you can feast on a brisket dinner and bid in a silent auction.
Sean Ashby, the internationally acclaimed former lead guitarist for Sarah McLachlan, will be performing at High Desert Brewing in Las Cruces on April 27 and Seedboat Center for the Arts in Silver City on April 28. Ashby's 2013 "Twang and Slide" Tour is in support of his latest CD, "Fantastico." Tickets for the Silver City concert are available in advance at the Seedboat Center, 534-1136, or Happy Tails Dog Grooming, 388-2111.