Usually it take a while for cutting-edge art films to make their way to the Midlands. That’s going to be less of a problem since the Nickelodeon has been chosen as a site to see new art-house films before their general release.
The Nick is the only S.C. site for the New York Film Critics Circle Series. Following the screening of the film, the audience will be treated to a live talk-back with stars and directors of the movies.
On Tuesday, the Nickelodeon presents “At Middleton,” at 8 p.m. The screening will include an introduction by Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers. Afterward, director Adam Rogers and actors Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia will participate in a live, interactive interview. The Nick is at 1607 Main St. Tickets are $18. (803) 254-8234; www.nickelodeon.org
Activities commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day continue today with the MLK Gospelfest at 6 p.m. Sunday. The event features the USC Gospel Choir in concert with the Rev. Carolyn Brailsford and the Bethel A.M.E. Church Choir, the John Works Chorus and the awarding winning group The Gospel Legends.
Tickets to the concert are $10 for the USC faculty, staff and the public and $5 for students, and can be purchased at the Koger Center box office.
Poetry lovers are sure to enjoy the J. Gordon Coogler Poetry Festival, Thursday through Jan. 25 in Blythewood. Known as the Bard of the Congaree, Coogler lived from 1865 to 1901. The Blythewood native was known for writing “poems while you wait” for customers at his Columbia print shop. Activities on Thursday will include poetry stations around Blythewood where volunteers will create original poetry for people on the spot and A Celebration of All Things Coogler — poetry readings, student poems and a brief history by family historian Art Coogler from 6-9 p.m. at The Manor at Doko Meadows, 171 Langford Road. On Jan. 24, Art Coogler and Bill McDonald will read and discuss selections from “Purely Original Verse,” 6-8 p.m. at the Langford-Nord House, 100 McNulty St. And don’t miss Bravo Blythewood’s regional Poetry Out Loud competition, 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at The Manor at Doko Meadows. (803) 754-0501
The Metropolitan Opera is poised to audition singers again in Columbia. On Saturday, Jan. 25, a trio of judges from the Metropolitan Opera National Council will hold auditions at Columbia College. Three winners will go to Atlanta for a regional competition. The winner will receive $15,000 and an entree into the opera world. On Friday, a fund-raiser at the home of Carol and John Kososki on Forest Lake will take place. Tickets are $60 a person or $100 per couple. To learn how to get tickets and other details: (803) 787-0287.
AN AFTERNOON WITH STEINWAY SERIES: 3 p.m. Sunday at Rice Music House, 470-16 Town Center, Village at Sandhill. Dr. Ryan Smith, assistant professor of music at Coker College, will perform. Free, but seating is limited; call (803) 254-2777 to reserve a spot.
PATRONS AND FRIENDS OF THE ARTS AT EBENEZER: 6 p.m. Sunday at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1301 Richland St., free chamber music concert featuring artist-in-residence pianist Matthew Ganong, Micah Gangwer, violin; and Dunsan Vukajilovic, cello. (803) 765-9430, ext. 17.