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Landing big names

Cable television host Joseph Viglione launched his Visual Radio Television show nine years ago in Woburn. He has lined up some pretty impressive interviews along the way, which number 300 now and have aired in many local towns. Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson, singers Judy Collins and Suzanne Vega, performance artist Laurie Anderson, ''Mystic River" author Dennis Lehane, professor Stephen Hawking, and band members from The Doors, Grand Funk Railroad, The Rolling Stones, The Cars, and The Jefferson Starship, are just a sample of the notables Viglione has had on his show. Viglione writes for All Media Guide and is working on a book about Lou Reed's 1973 Rock 'n' Roll Animal Tour.

 

HEAVY HITTERS: Merrimack College will celebrate the accomplishments and call attention to the ongoing struggles in the African-American community over the next month. On Feb. 5 from 2 to 5 p.m. and Feb. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. in Cascia Hall, a workshop called ''The Tunnel of Oppression" is planned to simulate disputes and to work out feelings of prejudice. Wheaton College's visiting professor of Hispanic studies Dr. Hossiri Godo-Solo, an Ivory Coast native, will speak Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Sakowich Center about the convergence of African-American and Hispanic cultures. Several films and an art exhibit of African masks are also part of the celebration. All programs are free and open to the public.

SYMPHONIC ESCAPE: Indian Hill Symphony conductor Bruce Hangen hopes the public will retreat from the cold into the Littleton High School Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Feb. 8 for a performance of Mozart's soothing Symphony No. 40 and an afternoon of tea. The center is also hosting an art exhibition by Harvard painter Monica Vachula, who created ''Paul Revere's Ride" based on the famous poem. Soloist Marguerite Krull, who won the Marian Anderson Foundation Award in 1997, will perform ''Casa Guidi," by American composer Dominick Argento. Hangen, who is also guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, will host a discussion before the concert at 2:15 p.m. Visit www.indianhillmusic.org for details.

IRISH COLORS: It is Andover art collector Mia Guerrera's mission to showcase the talents of Irish artists in her Andover gallery, Lorica. To mark Irish Heritage Month in March, she is planning a show, ''Local Color," featuring the work of Irish painters Pat Cowley, Joe Campbell, Mary Christie, Alan Bradshaw, David Gordon Hughes, Leslie Nesbitt, John Connery, Mary O'Brien, John Dinan, Helen Brocklehurst, Hamilton Sloan, Chris Dearden, Ray Robinson, William Park, and others. An opening reception is planned for March 12 at 6:30 p.m.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: North Andover's Sharon Broussard worked hard two years ago to bring exhibitions and programs to Merrimack College to raise awareness about domestic violence. Her work recently won the Outstanding Program of the Year Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. ''I felt that by bringing artistic approaches to this topic to our campus, students would become educated about domestic violence in a way that wasn't about talking at them," said Broussard, a health counselor at the college. One of the exhibitions included a striking 16-by-16-by-10-foot house made of restraining orders. She also assembled expert panels and organized two theatrical performances and classroom discussions.

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