REGION — Consider supporting area performers and arts groups by participating in several options this weekend:
• A livestream concert titled “A Christmas Gift” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The free concert will be available at facebook.com/vanwertlive.
The concert is presented by the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation and will feature VW Jazz. The jazz quartet includes Weston Thompson on sax, Dee Fisher on piano, Dane Newlove on drums and bassist Jeremy Laukhuf. The musicians will play Christmas classics.
A link to the concert via YouTube will be sent to all Van Wert Live email subscribers.
Funding is thanks to a grant from Arts Midwest and the support of the Van Wert County Foundation. In-person concerts have been on hold for months due to the pandemic.
• This year’s 125th anniversary of the performance of “Messiah” at Bluffton University is taking a different form. A livestream will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday at www.bluffton.edu/music.
The Christmas tradition includes excerpts of Handel’s work as well as a retrospective video by Modo Media. Company co-owners Chad Stearns and Cody Ridenour participated in “Messiah” as Bluffton students and have done interviews and gathered archival footage, photos and recordings.
Dr. Bo Young Kang, director of choral activities, will conduct select portions of the work featuring current students, soloists and a string quartet. The retrospective will include interviews with past conductors Dr. Steve Jacoby and Dr. Mark Suderman.
• The run of “Ken Ludwig’s Twas the Night Before Christmas” comes to a close Sunday at Encore Theatre, 991 North Shore Drive, Lima. The in-person play begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The show is one hour with no intermission. Masks are required.
The capacity of the theater will be greatly reduced for each show. Only 42 tickets per performance will be sold, which is 15% capacity.
Request a ticket by leaving a message at the box office, 419-223-8866, including your name, phone number, date and number of tickets needed. A volunteer will call you back to fulfill ticket requests. Cost is $15 for adults and seniors and $10 for students, including college students with a school ID. Use the east door.
The stage has been dark for much of this year due to the pandemic.