5 things to do in NEO: Celebrate NBA All-Star Weekend at Rock Hall and Cleveland art show

Hank Willis Thomas mixed media art, including NBA jerseys
Hank Willis Thomas mixed media art, including NBA jerseys [Hank Willis Thomas and Erika Kapin]

After 25 years, Cleveland hosts the NBA All-Star Weekend and there are special exhibits in town from the Rock Hall's "Baseline to Bassline" exhibit to Hank Willis Thomas' pop-up show "The New Black Aesthetic." 

Here are five arts and culture events to make your weekend a slam dunk.

"Baseline to Bassline: 75 Years of Music and the NBA"

The Rock Hall mixes music, sports, and culture in “Baseline to Bassline.” The exhibit explores hip-hop’s long history with basketball through NBA headliner memorabilia and interactive QR codes that share players’ favorite warm-up songs. The exhibit opens Thursday, Feb. 17, and runs through April 1.

Verb Ballets: "Romeo and Juliet" 

Cleveland Public Theatre welcomes Verb Ballets' “Romeo and Juliet.” Through the award-winning choreography of Joshua L. Peugh, the story is adapted to reflect present-day events. The show runs from Feb. 17 - Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

The Ariel Kasler Quintet

This jazz ensemble from northwest Ohio blends the rich sounds of Middle Eastern, Jewish, and Israeli music to create original compositions. Ariel Kasler's Israeli-North American background brings a fresh perspective to jazz music. The unique voice of The Ariel Kasler Quintet can be heard at the Bop Stop Friday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. 

Hank Willis Thomas: "The New Black Aesthetic"

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the NBA, artist Hank Willis Thomas opens a four-day exhibit, "The New Black Aesthetic." The show consists of basketball jerseys reconfigured in the shape of renowned basketball players. Thomas draws attention to these figures' impact on the NBA. The opening reception is at the Caxton Building in downtown Cleveland Friday, Feb. 18, at 6 pm. 

"The Web of Anansi"

What happens when a clever spider sets out to teach two tiger cubs a lesson? This and more is explored in the Near West Theatre production, "The Web of Anansi." Twelve Literary Arts teams up with local playwright Nina Domingue and director Nathan Henry to retell the West African and Caribbean folklore. The show closes this Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

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