Check out the arts and cultural scene

  • Registration is open for Theatre Baton Rouge's spring classes. For a list of the classes and to register, call (225) 924-6496 or theatrebr.org.
  • Kids Orchestra is accepting applications for the spring semester. kidsorchestra.org/2019-2020-programs.
  • Tickets are on sale for Opéra Louisiane's "Sing and Swing" fundraising event at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge, 4728 Constitution Ave. The night features a celebrity karaoke competition with Ned Fasullo’s Fabulous Big Band. Local celebrities include Sister Martha Ann Abshire, Rodney Braxton, Matt Watson, Kris Cangelosi, Layne McDaniel and Stafford Wood. The event also includes dancing, a silent auction and food. Tickets start at $100, VIP passes are $200. operalouisiane.com.
  • Registration is open for LATCo. Comedy's introduction to improv classes for teens and adults beginning Jan. 20 in the company's new space at Ogden Park Shopping Center. To register, visit latcocomedy.com/classes. For more information, call (225) 955-0959 or email latcoimprov@gmail.com.
  • To celebrate Joe Burrow's Heisman Trophy win and 48 touchdown completions, the Baton Rouge Symphony is offering 48% off tickets for its Mozart Birthday Bash concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, 529 Convention St. At brso.org, use the promo code BURROW when ordering tickets.
  • Tickets are on sale for Theatre Baton Rouge's Young Actors Program's "Guys and Dolls," opening Jan. 30 on the Main Stage, 7155 Florida Blvd. Tickets are $30 and $21 for students. (225) 924-6496, theatrebr.org.

Gaines Award accepting submissions

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is accepting submissions through Jan. 8 for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, for Louisiana students in grades three through 12.

Essays must address the topic, “If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?” and be no more than 500 words.

First-, second- and third-place winners for elementary, middle and high school divisions will receive cash awards during the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence program at 6 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St., in Baton Rouge.

Electronic submissions (preferred) should be sent to gainesaward@braf.org. Submission must include the student’s name, school, grade and telephone number. Paper submissions should be mailed to: Baton Rouge Area Foundation, 100 North St., Suite 900, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

For information, contact Lynn Mitchell at gainesaward@braf.org or (225) 281-3710.

CASA seeks volunteers

Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate Association urgently needs caring adults — especially men and African Americans — to become voices for children in the foster care system.

CASA volunteers serve as advocates for abused children who have been placed in foster care, according to a news release. CASA volunteers do not provide legal representation, nor do they replace social workers. A CASA volunteer is an independent voice speaking solely for the best interests of the child with the ultimate goal of being a safe, permanent home.

Community volunteers are needed in order for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child who needs a voice in our community. No special background is required. The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend the 45-minute orientation session at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the CASA office, 848 Louisiana Ave.

CASA is accepting applications for the next volunteer training class, which begins Jan. 14. To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, call (225) 379-8598, visit casabr.org or email volunteer@casabr.org.

Contact Southside Advocate Editor Darlene Denstorff by phone, (225) 388-0215 or (225) 603-1998; or email southside@theadvocate.com. Deadline: 2 p.m. Friday.