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Discussing the people, events, and issues of our region with area writers, artists, entertainers, and news makers. From arts events to political activity, find out what's happening in northeast Louisiana.

Danielle Kelley Tolbird / NLAC

The 21st Annual Blend of the Bayou is Sunday, May 6 from 5-7 p.m. The event features local food, drinks, and art in a silent auction style party. The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is also hosting the Northeast Louisiana Summer Film Series at Flying Tiger Brewery every 3rd Wednesday.

Lisa Shambrook, /

The Gerontology Lecture Series commemorates Older Americans' Month Wednesday, May 2 at noon in the SUB Ballroom B on the ULM campus. The panel discussion features Dean Ron Berry, Dean H. Glenn Anderson, Jr., and Vice President Dr. Eric Pani.

Hamza Butt, /

I-20 Top 20 is Tuesday, May 1 from 6-8 p.m. at La. Tech University Hall. The event is a marketplace of ideas and innovation, as well as a networking opportunity for new or experienced entrepreneurs.

musikrat, /

The Monroe Symphony Orchestra is presenting "Mozart in Monroe" Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. in Brown Auditorium on the ULM campus. The concert showcases three of Mozart's greatest and most well-known works.

Gay Nell Barth / Camp Quality

Camp Quality is seeking volunteer "companions," or camp counselors for the week-long July camp. Camp quality specializes in serving children who have cancer or are in remission.

Volunteers, called companions, are required to undergo a background check. They then complete a two 1/2 day sessions of training before the camp begins. Companions are matched up one-on-one with campers. "We do that because a lot of these children don't have good socialization skills," says Executive Director Alan Barth.

Katie Brumfield / Tech Theatre Department

The Louisiana Tech Theatre Department is presenting the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear April 24-29 at the Stone Theater in Ruston. 

The play is set in modern-day Washington D.C. and features many opportunities for audience interaction. King Lear's three daughters are campaigning for control of the best third of the nation throughout the audience. The candidates pass out business cards with QR codes The audience can scan the codes on their phone and see the voting process in real-time on a screen.

Paul L. McCord Jr., /

Hamfest 2018 is April 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the West Monroe Convention Center. Hamfest is hosted by the Northeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club to celebrate amateur or "ham" radio.

"Hamfest is a convention of radio enthusiasts that combines a trade show, flea market, and various other activities of interest to amateur radio operators," says Scott Dickson of the Northeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club. The festival includes forums on several topics related to ham radio, as well as raffle prizes and license testing.

Tim McIlveene / OBA

The Northeast Louisiana Workforce Development Summit is Tuesday, April 24 at 8:30 a.m. The goal of the summit is to build and strengthen relationships between the business industry and education in the Northeast Louisiana region.

The summit begins with opening remarks from Courtney Hornsby, the president of the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce. Afterward, speakers Larry Alexander of the State Department of Education and Paul Helton of the Louisiana Economic Development are presenting the "Importance of Partnerships."

Ali Owens / KEDM

The 1st Annual Unity in the Community Concert is Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at Lea Joyner Memorial United Methodist Church. The goal of the concert is to build bridges between people by highlighting their similarities through shared performance and meaningful text.

Anita Breen / Strauss Theatre

Strauss Little Theatre of Monroe is presenting "Sister Act: The Musical" April 19-28. The musical is about self-discovery and finding community in unlikely places.

"Sister Act: The Musical" tells the story of aspiring singer Deloris Van Cartier and how her life changes after she witnesses her crime-boss boyfriend Curtis murder one of his associates. Van Cartier runs to the police, who place her in hiding at a convent. Although at first she feels lost, she finds her place in the convent choir leading worship.