Columbia briefs

Art exhibit

"Trees and Flowers," a display of oil paintings by Marian Gliese will be on view through April 29 at Artists' Gallery, American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays. Information: 410-740-8249 or go to artistgallery.com.

Art exhibition

The Columbia Art Center Galleries and Howard County Tourism & Promotion's Blossoms of Hope presents "Blossoms for Claudia," a juried theme exhibition, April 14 through May 1 at 6100 Foreland Garth. The exhibition features more than 65 artists whose works are inspired by, reflect, or incorporate the theme of blossoms. Show's goal is to raise awareness about the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, which provides resources to people diagnosed with cancer. Exhibition features paintings, photographs, glass works, jewelry, fiber, ceramics, mixed media and wood. A reception and awards ceremony will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 15. For gallery hours and information, call 410-730-0075 or go to columbiaartcenter.org.

Ballet performance

The Misako Ballet Company presents a studio concert for families with children at 1 p.m. April 16 at 5485 Harper's Farm Road, Suite 203. The performance will feature Japanese and contemporary dances. Information: 410-884-9690 or go to misakoballet.com.

'From Russia to Tin Pan Alley'

Bill Messenger performs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 14 at the Columbia Jewish Congregation, Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place. Admission $10, $5 for students ages 12-18. For reservations and information, call 410-730-6044.

Columbia tour

The Columbia Association hosts a Columbia Orientation Tour from 10 a.m. to noon April 28, to introduce residents to association offerings, educate about Columbia landmarks and encourage community involvement. Advance registration is required and space is limited. 410-715-3171.

School news

Gifted and Talented testing will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. May 7 at the Faulkner Ridge Center, 10598 Marble Faun Court. Testing is for nonpublic school students, grades 5-7, who plan to enter Howard County middle schools in August. Registration materials can be obtained from middle school guidance offices, or parents can call the Gifted and Talented Office at 410-313-6800. Registration deadline is April 29.

'Party Hearty'

Zumba event to benefit the American Heart Association will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at the Columbia Gym, 6151 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, in the River Hill Village Center. The event, which will feature live music and door prizes, will help create awareness and find a cure for heart disease. Admission is $16, free for Columbia Association members, but donations are suggested. Information: 410-381-5355.

Yard sale

Relay For Life of Howard County holds a yard sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9, in the parking lot of the East Columbia Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. The public is welcome to sell. Cost is $10 for space, and sellers must donate at least 50 percent of proceeds to Relay For Life. Setup begins at 7 a.m. Sellers must provide their own tables. Relay For Life celebrates cancer survivorship and raises money for the American Cancer Society. Information: 410-916-2925 or email hcrelay@hotmail.com.

'Talkin' Baseball'

Jane Leavy will discuss her book "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood" at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9, at Brighton Gardens Assisted Living, 7110 Minstrel Way, Columbia. Free. 410-740-1145.

Music series

The New Pacific Trio, featuring violinist Ann Miller, performs at the Sundays at Three Chamber Music Series on April 10 at Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road in Columbia. Program includes trios for violin, cello and piano by Joseph Haydn, Charles Ives, Johannes Brahms and Astor Piazzolla. Tickets are $15, free for those 17 and younger with an adult. Information: 410-992-0145 or go to sundaysatthree.org.

'Open Mike Night'

The Town Center Community Association will host an "Open Mike Night" teen event from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Oakland Manor, 5430 Vantage Point Road. Guests will enjoy six 15-minute performances by local teens. Pizza, sodas and dessert will be served during the first hour. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. For tickets and information, call 410-730-4744 or email tccaevents@gmail.com. Space is still available for performers.

Art exhibits

A two-person exhibit featuring the oil landscapes of Elaine Hochreiter and works in watercolors by Sarah McKnett will be on display through April 16 at Slayton House Gallery, 10400 Cross Fox Lane. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Information: 410-730-3987 or 301-596-4883.

Looking for artists

Slayton House Gallery, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, is accepting applications to exhibit at the gallery for the 2012 season. Applications are available at Slayton House or by email to cjblack@columbiavillages.org. Information: 410-730-3987 or wlca@columbiavillages.org.

Singles social group

The Phoenix Cultural Singles Group, a Columbia social group for those 50 and older, meets from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Sundays at the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, 5885 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Center. Coffee, tea and a light snack are served. The group plans events and trips. Information: 410-997-0739.

Around town

English conversation The central location of the Howard County Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, offers "Let's Get Together: English Conversation Club." It's a chance for those for whom English is a second language to practice speaking and understanding English in a group setting. The club meets at 9:30 a.m. Mondays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Register with the library before your first meeting. Information: 410-313-7850.

Wii club Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks offers a Wii club for those 55 and older from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way. The first game is free. Information: 410-313-7213.

Single Again Changing Focus Single Again, a nonprofit program for adults who are separated, widowed or in the process of divorce, provides weekly presentations and small-group discussions in a confidential, comfortable atmosphere. The group meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at First Presbyterian Church, 9325 Presbyterian Circle. An orientation for new members is offered at 6:30 p.m. Information: changingfocus.org.

Chair yoga The East Columbia 50 Plus Center at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, will offer chair yoga, an easy introduction to yoga that helps ease the pain of arthritis, reduce fatigue and improve circulation and breathing, at 10 a.m. Tuesdays. Cost is $25 per month. Reservations: 410-313-7680.

Also at the 50 Plus Center:

•A free "Survivors' Social" will be held to honor cancer survivors at 6 p.m. April 21. All cancer survivors are invited. Light refreshments will be served and those attending will be given an opportunity to share their experiences. Information: American Cancer Society, 410-781-4316.

•Line dancing with Mary McCormick on Mondays. 3:30 p.m. for advanced dancers; 4:30 p.m. for beginners. Cost is $43.

•Age Well Exercise with Joyce Diatoms will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost for 12-week session is $48.

•A class to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. Cost is $24.

•A belly dance class will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Camilla Karma will teach hip movements, stretches, arm and hand techniques, and veil dancing. Cost is $25 per month.

•A yoga class with Smite Javari is offered from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays. The cost is $24 per month.

•Beginner tai chi classes take place 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. The cost is $24 per month.

•Ryan Shimabukuro leads a hula class from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursdays that helps tone and strengthen the body. Cost for a six-week session is $28.

•A chess club for novice and veteran players meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays. Free.

•View newly released DVD movies on a large screen at 7 p.m. Thursdays. Free.

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