Compiled by Sheri Taylor Bockelman
Black Ties and Big Hearts New Year’s Eve gala promises non-stop entertainment
In Hotel ZaZa’s Hemingway Room you’ll find Miss Kofi directing Karaoke Theatre. In the ZaZa Piano Man Lounge, there’s local legend, Bubba McNeely, crooning a tune. Feeling lucky? Roll the dice in the Déjà Vu Room casino. Or shake what your momma gave you in the Phantom Ballroom to Infinite Groove and DJ Sun.
Whatever the final hours of this train wreck of a year holds (did someone say hurricane? recession? maverick?), rest assured it won’t be boring at the Black Ties and Big Hearts New Year’s Eve Gala.
Like a first wife on her second chin lift, the 20-year-old Houston Black Tie Dinner has been thrown over for a younger, prettier fundraiser. VIPs still get their sit-down dinner, but buffet stations and multiple entertainment options dominate the reinvention co-chaired by Mark Chupik and Stephen Walker.
One thing remains the same: the group, which is responsible for returning more than $2 million back to local charitable causes, continues its philanthropic mission. Beneficiaries of the formal gala are AssistHers, Bayou City Performing Arts, Bering Omega Community Services, Center for AIDS, Houston Buyer’s Club, Lazarus House, Legacy Community Health Services, Lesbian Health Initiative, Montrose Counseling Center, Pet Patrol, and PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Fund.
Individual tickets to Black Ties and Big Hearts start at $275 and go up from there. December 31, 7 p.m. Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main Street. Details: www.blacktiesbighearts.org. —Nancy Ford
2, 9, 16 & 23 (Tues.)
Readings for Advent. Rev. Shelli Williams leads a four-part Advent discussion-based study group. By reading Watch for the Light, the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Annie Dillard, Henri Nouwen, and others will offer an opportunity to explore and discuss the promised coming of God’s Kingdom on earth. Free. Book purchase optional. 6:30 pm. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main St. Registration: e-mail [email protected] or 713/528-0527. Info: www.stpaulshouston.org.
A Little Day Music. Bring lunch and hear a performance by The Fischer Duo, plus enter for a chance to win tickets for an upcoming Da Camera concert. Noon. Grand Foyer, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas at Smith. Info: Info: www.dacamera.com or 713/524-5050.
4, 11, 18 (Thurs.)
The Benedictine Way. Join Rev. Gail Williford in this 3-part group study to look at ways to walk through Advent and beyond through the lens of the three simple vows of stability, obedience, and conversion of life. 11:30 am. Free. St. Paul’s UMC, 5501 Main St. Registration: e-mail [email protected] or 713/528-0527. Info: www.stpaulshouston.org.
Jubilee of Dance. From George Balanchine’s classical showpiece Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux to Stanton Welch’s high-energy tour-de-force Divergence, you’ll thrill to highlights from Houston Ballet’s most requested productions. Tickets start at $33. 7:30 pm. Brown Theater at Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Avenue at Smith St. Info: www.houstonballet.org or 713/227-2787.
Traditional Dickens Feast. Held at the ornate 1880 Garten Verein, a Texas Historic landmark with an extravagant German dancing pavilion, guests enjoy fine dining in a cheerful atmosphere. $65/person (open seating). Reservations required. 7 pm. 1880 Garten Verein, 2704 Avenue O, Galveston. Info: www.galvestonhistory.com/Dickens_Special_Events.asp.
5 & 6 (Fri. & Sat.)
Houston Heights 2008 Holiday Home Tour. View exquisite seasonal décor in the six charming homes selected for this year’s tour. Visit three historic homes—a 1908 Texas farmhouse, a 1920 brick Craftsman bungalow, and a 1912 American Foursquare—and three stunning newer homes reflecting traditional Heights architecture; docents will be at each location. $20 full tour; $5 per home. Fri., 6–9 pm; Sat., 3–9 pm. Info: www.houstonheights.org or 713/861-4002, ext. 7.
See Girls Rock! and enjoy free Saint Arnold Root Beer. Poignant and touching documentary that follows several girls ranging in age from eight to 18 at a special rock music camp, where they are taught that “it is 100 percent okay to be exactly who you are.” The girls have a week to select a band, an instrument they may have never played before, and write a song—then all the bands perform a concert. $6 adults; $3 age 12 & under. Fri., 6 pm; Sat., 3 pm. The Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora St. Info: www.aurorapictureshow.org or 713/868-2101.
Truth or Fiction: What Is Documentary? The world of documentary has been a confusing swirl of currents since the term was invented to describe a movie that was entirely staged (Nanook of the North). Shane King and Arne Johnson knock over some sacred cows and de-stabilize your idea of truth in media with a series of clips and revelations. They talk about their own film Girls Rock! as well as some surprising examples of fiction merging with reality. 1 pm. Aurora Video Library, 1524 Sul Ross. Info: www.aurorapictureshow.org or 713/868-2101.
Da Camera celebrates Messiaen Centennial. Music organizations around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of French composer Olivier Messiaen, and Da Camera of Houston marks the event with a performance of Visions de l’Amen. The composer first performed his great religious piano cycle with his student and future wife Yvonne Loriod, in a semi-secret art gallery concert in Nazi-occupied Paris. $35. Students/senior citizens, half price w/ valid I.D. 7:30 pm. The Rothko Chapel, 1409 Sul Ross. Info/tickets: Da Camera Music Center, 1427 Branard, www.dacamera.com, or 713/524-5050.
Tokyo String Quartet rescheduled after Hurricane Ike. Founded more than 30 years ago and considered one of the world’s supreme chamber ensembles, the Grammy-nominated Tokyo String Quartet captivates audiences with its talent and skill. $18–$67. 8 pm. Stude Concert Hall, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, 6100 Main St. Info/tickets: www.HoustonFriendsofMusic.org or 713/348-5400.
12 & 13 (Fri. & Sat.) and 19 (Fri.)
Arboretum at Night: Owl Prowl. Kids and adults are invited to join staff naturalists for a brief presentation on the owls of Houston, and then enjoy a guided walk through the forest looking for these nocturnal birds of prey. $18/members; $30/non-members. Sessions designed by age group; parents must accompany minors. Ages 12/older: 7–8:30 pm, Fri., Dec. 12, or Fri., Dec. 19; ages 5/older, 6–7:30 pm, Sat., Dec. 13. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr. Info: www.houstonarboretum.org or 713/681-8433.
Advent Retreat for men and women at St. Paul’s UMC. Add peace, well-being, and understanding of the Advent season by participating in a morning that will be dedicated to meditative exercises with Labyrinth. The joyous solitude and prayer will conclude with a wrap-up lunch. $25. 8:45 am–1:30 pm. Reserve childcare at [email protected] Space is limited. Register for the retreat: [email protected] or 713/528-0527. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main St. Info: www.stpaulshouston.org.
Blue Highways: A Journey into America. The Chapter One Book Group will discuss this book by William Least Heat-Moon. Described by the publisher as an autobiographical journey of the author through 13,000 miles of back roads (blue highways), small towns, and encountering ordinary people, his extraordinary writing captures the true American experience. The Chapter One Book Group is open to anyone who enjoys reading and discussing a variety of books. 7:30 pm in the Youth Library, J-202. To be added to the group’s e-mailing list, contact [email protected] The book for January 18 is Hotel Dulac by Anita Bruckner. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main St. Info: www.stpaulshouston.org.
Third Annual Feast of Sharing. More than 7,000 free holiday meals are served during this open-invitation event for all Greater Houston residents. Hundreds of H-E-B and community volunteers collaborate on scrumptious meal preparations, plus guests enjoy a full day of fun. There will be a Winter Wonderland, featuring children’s activities and crafts, a visit from Santa Claus, and live on-stage entertainment for all ages. Free. 4–9 pm. George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall A, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. Info: www.heb.com (Feast of Sharing link) or 713/329-3933.
Canoe Down Buffalo Bayou and explore its wild natural history. This exciting ride with Whitewater Experience founder Don Greene takes you between I-610 and Shepherd Drive, including the Arboretum and Memorial Park. See unique views of Buffalo Bayou and learn about conservation issues. Attend the mandatory orientation at the Arboretum on Thursday evening prior to the trip; canoeing experience not necessary. Trip begins at 1 pm and concludes between 5 and 7 pm. $85 members, $105 non-members; fee includes all equipment. Info: www.HoustonArboretum.org or 713/681-8433.
Ring in the New Year with Ars Lyrica: Bachanalia. Treat yourself to an elegant evening featuring two of Bach’s wedding cantatas, sung by Houston favorites Melissa Givens and Timothy Jones. 9 pm. Afterward, everyone goes to the Hobby Center Founders Club for a gala champagne reception with delectable hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, 11 pm. Performance tickets, $31.25–$41.25; $15 students w/ID. Gala ticket, $51.25. Zilkha Hall, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. Info: www.thehobbycenter.org, www.arslyricahouston.org, or 713/315-2525.
TG Support Group. The transgender support group, “HTGA,” is open to any transgender-identifying individual, friend, or family member. Free. 7–9 pm at the Haven’s Center, 1827 W. Alabama. More info: 713/526-0555 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.
Houston Roller Derby Rec League. Girls interested in skating but need to learn more skating skills or just want to learn the game and skate recreationally do not have to join the derby to skate with the rec league. Training is 7:30–9:30 pm at Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. Info: http://houstonroller
Depression & Bipolar Support Group. Don’t let depression or bipolar disorder dig its bleak claws into what little hope you’ve managed to hide from the shadows. Bering Support Network helps those in need to connect with others. You are not alone and can benefit from the experience of others. GLBT friendly. Free. Groups meet at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold, Room 232, 7:15–8:30 pm. Info: 713/526-1018.
Weekly (Sun., Wed., Sat.)
Love and Rackets. Tennis players and enthusiasts of all levels are invited to join the Houston Tennis Club at Memorial Park tennis center. The club gathers Sundays from 9 am–noon, Wednesdays from 7:30–9 pm, and offers clinics every Saturday from 9–10:30 am. There are also social activities throughout the year. Annual membership $30, court fees $3 per session. More info: www.houstontennisclub.org
Biweekly (2nd & 4th Wednesday)
City of Houston TransGender Task Force is charged by the city of Houston to ensure that transgender Houstonians are able to access the medical and social services in order to reduce the incidence of HIV within the transgender community. 7–9 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. More info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com.
Biweekly (2nd & 4th Friday)
Transgender Buddhist Meditation Group offers a traditional Theravada Buddhist vipassana 30-minute meditation for transgenders. 7–9 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. More info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com.
Semimonthly (2nd Tuesday & 4th Saturday)
FTM TG Support Group. Some Transgenders Are Guys is one of the most dynamic FTM groups in the country. STAG is a facilitated group for female-to-male identified individuals, supporters, family, and significant others. 2nd Tuesday 7–9 pm and 4th Saturday 5–6 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. More info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com.
Monthly (1st Tuesday)
The Houston SPCA Pet Loss Support Group provides a professionally facilitated, supportive, and safe environment for people to grieve the loss of a beloved companion. Free. 7 pm at the Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Dr. Info: 713/869-7722, ext. 127, or www.houstonspca.org.
Transgender Christian Bible Study and worship group is for Christian transgenders who want to share their faith with other Christian transgenders. 7–9 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. Info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com.
Monthly (2nd Tuesday)
Free Legal Consultations for Anyone with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH, www.aidshelp.org ) and Katine & Nechman L.L.P. have partnered to provide 30 minutes of free legal consultation on any legal issue to anyone with HIV. If any action is recommended, an attorney will take steps when applicable or make referrals to appropriate legal aid offices. Consultations are held at the offices of Katine & Nechman, located at 1111 North Loop West, Suite 180. To schedule an appointment, clients should call the law office at 713/808-1000 or use the contact box on the firm’s website (which has more info on the consultations): www.lawkn.com.
Monthly (1st Friday)
TG Social. The Friday Night Transgender Social is a special, once-a-month event hosted by the TG Center for the Houston-area transgender community, supporters, family members, friends, community providers, and significant others. Each themed social consists of a dinner, movie, games, and/or presentation. 7–10 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. $5. More info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com.
Monthly (2nd Saturday)
Second Saturdays at Winter St. Studios. It’s open-door policy at Winter St. Studios every second Saturday of the month. This is a great way to meet and hang with the varied artists working in many different media and styles in their studios. Participating artists have a large red dot on or near the door of their studio. All are welcome between 1 and 6 pm. Winter St. Studios, 2101 Winter St. More info: 713/862-0082 or www.winterstreetstudios.net.
Monthly (4th Saturday)
TG Support Group. Texas Association for Transsexual Support is another one of the original support groups in Houston. TATS is a professionally facilitated support group for those identifying as being a transsexual. 4–5 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. More info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com.
Significant Others TG Support Group. The Significant Others Support is a group that provides support to the wives, husbands, girlfriends, and boyfriends of individuals whose partners are considering transition. 3–4 pm at the TG Center, 713 Fargo. Info: 713/520-8586 or www.transhouston.com..
Monthly (1st Sunday)
Read On. Want to spend at least one afternoon each month sharing with other titillating women like yourself? The Exchange meets at 2 pm at Baba Yega Restaurant. Bring your favorite nonfiction and/or fiction to this new book club to ruminate, and even cogitate, in public. Details: [email protected].
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January 6, 7, & 11
Houston Roller Derby new girl tryouts. All new girls must attend all three days of tryouts: Tuesday, January 6, Wednesday, January 7, and Sunday, January 11. Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. For more info: http://houstonrollerderby.com/public/pag242.aspx.
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But Not Goodbye. From the screenwriter and director of Miracle on 34th Street, this comedic version by George Seaton is set in the summer of 1910. Unbeknownst to him, Sam Griggs is not long for this world—if he had known he was going to die today, he might have made an effort to clean up the mess he’d made of the family finances. As he “sees” the devastating results of his recklessness, the spirit of the newly deceased Sam wants to try to repair the damage he left behind, but the spirit of Benjamin, his father, who died at 36 in a tavern brawl, arrives to help him “move along,” showing him that things will work out in the end. $20–$36; discounts for seniors 65+ and students w/valid I.D. Through Dec.28. Main Street Theater, Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. Info: www.mainstreettheater.com or 713/524-6706
A Fertle Holiday. Twenty-four years and counting. Once again, the Fertles are home for the holidays. Grab your butter pie and make your reservations early. This one sells out fast. $22. Through Jan. 10, 2009. Radio Music Theatre, 2623 Colquitt. Info: www.radiomusictheatre.com or 713/522-7722.
Houston Grand Opera’s Studio Showcase. An incredible opportunity to enjoy opera by HGO’s inspiring young studio artists, preceded by a reception and followed by a light dinner—all included in the ticket price. Presented is a variety of operas, such as Carmen, Don Pasquale, La Clemenza di tito, Dead Man Walking, and La Boheme. $35. 7:30 pm, Fri., Dec. 12, & Sat., Dec. 13. Jones Hall, Univ. of St. Thomas, 3910 Yoakum Dr. Info: www.houstongrandopera.org or 713/228-OPERA.
New York’s Divine Performing Arts presents dazzling Chinese dancers gliding across the stage in a breathtaking blend of beauty, energy, and grace. Experience traditional Chinese culture displayed through this inspiring visual and musical spectacular, including state-of-the-art backdrops, masterful vocalists, and drum accompaniments. $30–$150. 8 pm, Mon., Dec. 22, and Tues., Dec. 23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. Info: www.divineshows.com/houston or 281/715-6369.
Portables! Travesty Dance Group’s new repertory show combines poetry, song, diversity, and the most festive holiday spirit! The nine-member Houston-based dance company known for its “quirky and intelligent modern dance” will present seven new works by choreographer and Houston director Karen Stokes. $26.50. 7:30 pm, Thurs., Dec. 11, and Fri., Dec. 12; 6:30 pm, Sat., Dec.13. Zilkha Hall, The Hobby Center for Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. Info: www.thehobbycenter.org or www.travesty
dancegroup.org or 713/315-2525.
The Receptionist is a dark comedy with a Twilight Zone twist. At the start of a typical day in the northeast office, Beverly deals effortlessly with ringing phones and her colleague’s romantic troubles. But the appearance of a charming rep from the central office disrupts the friendly routine. And as the true nature of the company’s business becomes apparent, The Receptionist raises disquieting, provocative questions about the consequences of complicity with evil. By playwright Adam Bock, winner of the 2007 Obie Award. $20–$25. 8 pm, Fri.–Sat. through Dec. 13; 5 pm, Sun., Dec. 7. Theater LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo. Info: www.theaterlabhouston.com or 713/868-7516.
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PERFORMING ARTS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Sing Out, Louise! Smile, Baby! Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) is hosting a two-day Winter Camp teaching students to perform a salute to Broadway musicals. These one-day sessions for novices teach students new materials each day. Students rehearse songs, dances, scene excerpts, and narrative poems. Each session ends with a showcase presentation for family and friends. Fees: $30/day for ages 4–6, class held 9:30 am–noon. $75/day for ages 7–10 and 11–14, class held 9 am–3 pm. Dec. 22 & 23. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St., Suite 200. Info: www.TUTS.com, [email protected]
.com, or 713/558-8801.
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After Hours. Sunday mornings, 1-4 am. Featuring the QMZ (Queer Music Zone) with Jimmy Carper. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-5738.
Queer Voices. Mondays, 8-10 pm. Features, news, music, interviews, reviews, and commentary. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-4000.
Reach Out in the Darkness. Houston’s only transgender radio host and her partner present selected music from the ’60s, played like it was in the ’60s, exclusively from vinyl pressings. Every Wednesday morning, 3-6 am, KPFT Pacifica radio (90.1 FM).
World of Opera. Houston Grand Opera returns to the airwaves for its 8th season beginning Oct. 14 with highlights from last season’s performances. Saturdays, 12:30 pm on 88.7 FM, KUHF. Info/radio guides: 800/62-OPERA or www.npr.org.
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Body Worlds 2 & The Brain: Our Three-Pound Gem. A vivid display of the latest neuroscience findings on brain development and function, brain disease and disorders, and brain performance and improvement, this is the original exhibition, now debuting in Houston. In keeping with their mission of educating lay people, Dr. Gunther von Hagens and his wife, Dr. Angelina Whalley, have created a holistic meditation on the brain that merges anatomy, neuroscience, and philosophy that resonates with everyone. Also see 200 other real human body specimens, including more than 20 full-body specimens in life-like, dramatic poses; healthy and unhealthy organs; body parts and slices. $17–$25. Through Feb. 22, 2009. The Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Dr. Info: www.hmns.org or 713/639-4629.
Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 is a groundbreaking exhibition of almost 50 works chronicling the contributions that black women have made and continue to make to video art. Examples: Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry’s emotionally charged self-portrait Cut (2006); and Kara Walker’s Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions (2004), which uses cut-paper silhouettes, drawing, painting, performance, and video to examine the antebellum South’s legacy of slavery. Also included is Houston-based artist Carroll Parrott Blue, whose 2003 memoir about her relationship with her mother, Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Texas Upbringing, An Interactive Cultural History, combines music, technology, prose, and visual imagery in a rich narrative that spans 35 years, beginning in Houston during segregation. Free. Through Jan. 4, 2009. Brown Foundation Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.camh.org or 713/284-8250.
Dr. Seuss Wants You! now at Holocaust Museum Houston. Theodor Seuss Geisel, well-known author of children’s books written under the “Dr. Seuss” pen name, was also a lifelong cartoonist who used his talent to express his concern and opinions during the early years of World War II, drafting more than 400 newspaper and magazine editorial cartoons. See a variety of his illustrations from 1940s newspapers, including those with captions such as “When the Sucker Season Opens, Don’t You Bite,” a challenge to Adolf Hitler’s offer of what Geisel called “peace bait” to the rest of the world. Another showing Hitler at a “ball and chain shop” is entitled “Measuring Up a Couple of Prospects,” referring to ankle, neck, and wrist chains for “you and me.” Free. Through Feb. 1, 2009. Central Gallery. Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St. Info: www.hmh.org or 713/942-8000.
First Saturday Arts Market (formerly Yale Street Arts Market). Local artists display and sell original works of art, and local musicians entertain. First Saturday Arts Market is held the 1st Saturday of every month at 548 West 19th at Wind Water Gallery’s parking lot. Free. The fall/winter/spring hours are 11 am–6 pm. Info: www.yalestreetmarket.com. Stop by The Artful Corner at 3423 White Oak Blvd., 713/426-4ART.
Hot Glass and Environments.Hot Glass, Cool Collections offers a glimpse inside 12 of Houston’s best private glass collections. The exquisite works on view represent the many styles and techniques of the Studio Glass Movement, including hand-blown, kiln-worked, torch-worked, and cold-worked glass. Large Gallery. Environments = Form + Space features imaginative installations by three emerging glass artists who present new and expansive ways to define the discipline of glass, emphasizing the importance of form over function and the relationship between objects and the spaces they occupy. Small Gallery. Opening reception, Fri., Dec. 12, 5:30–8 pm; “Collecting Craft” panel discussion, Sat., Dec. 13, 2 pm. Exhibition Dec. 13, 2008–March 15, 2009. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. Info: www.crafthouston.org.
One-Man Army. Eleanor Roosevelt once described cartoonist Arthur Szyk as a “one-man army,” because he used his art as a weapon to garner support for the social and political issues in which he believed, crafting illustrations to draw the public’s attention to the murder of European Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II. He portrayed Jewish people as strong, patriotic, and heroic, while creating many powerful anti-Nazi and anti-axis cartoons. He produced illustrated books, commercial art for posters, stamps, and political cartoons, making his work important in 20th-century political propaganda. Free. Through Feb. 8, 2009. Mincberg Gallery, Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St. Info: www.hmh.org or 713/942-8000.
Still Life: an exhibition by Emily Sloan. Well known for her larger-than-life, site-specific public installations, like the “Burning House” on Highway 59N and the Sabine Street Bridge Lamp at Buffalo Bayou Art Park, Emily Sloan’s newest show draws inspiration from childhood memories of a friend’s collection of snow globes. She uses photography and sculpture to transform the gallery space with snow globes that “consist of objects shaking together—mixing the present with the past.” Her exhibition explores relationships between representation and reality, and the boundaries between art and life. Through Dec. 27. Gallery 1724, 1724 Bissonnet St. Info: www.gallery
1724.com or 713/523-2547.
Tête-á-Tête: society displayed in mixed media. Houstonian Lisa Qualls exhibits a series of drawings, mixed media works, and sculptures, in which she overlays and combines text, pattern, imagery, and form drawn from historical, cultural, and text sources. Her work speaks of the transience of peoples and how the shifting and intermingling of populations have altered the collective cultural identities of societies. A native of Pakistan and former Houstonian, Anila Quayyum Agha uses textile processes, such as dyes, wax resist, and embroidery to create drawings that explore how social and gender-based issues result from the concepts constructed by history, traditions, and contemporary society. Through Dec. 27. Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.artleaguehouston.org or 713/523-9530.
Texas Green: 4th Annual Open Call Show. Artworks in various forms and interpretations that resonate with this year’s theme, from newly emerging as well as established local, regional, and national artists. The Texas Green exhibit will be on view through Feb. 15, 2009. Free. Art Car Museum, 140 Heights Blvd. Info: www.artcarmuseum.com or 713/861-5526.
We the People… Multimedia works by Delilah Montoya, Soody Sharifi, and Orlando Lara. This timely exhibition was created to examine the relationship of two ethnic minorities, Moslem and Hispanic Americans, to the current U.S. political landscape, and to give voice to these Americans who are often negatively misrepresented in the media. Montoya and Lara have created related works which use the metaphor of desire lines to highlight how the strong desire to enter the United States overshadows the dangerous risks faced by those who cross over from Mexico through the Arizona-Sonora Desert every day. Iranian American photographer Sharifi uses the ultimate American symbol, the U.S. flag, in an exploration of how young Muslims have traditionally seen themselves in relationship to the larger American culture, and how their self-vision has been altered in the post 9-11 world. Through Dec. 27. Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.artleaguehouston.org or 713/523-9530.
What’s Cookin’? Two Centuries of American Foodways. More than just fuel for our bodies, how we choose, prepare, serve, and eat food largely depends upon our family traditions, ethnic heritage, and regional customs. Whom we choose to eat with defines our circle of family and friends. This exhibit encompasses all of these and more. Examine artifacts such as a turn-of-the-20th-century ice cream mold, a fruit jar wrench patented in 1903, and much more. See photographs of vintage Houston grocery stores and restaurants, menus and uniforms from favorite local eateries, and a collection of Houston cookbooks. Free. Through Jan. 4, 2009. The Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby, Sam Houston Park. Info: www.heritagesociety.org or 713/655-1912.
Thomas Street Clinic is offering HIV testing free to the public, Mon.-Fri. 9 am-1 pm. There is no need to establish eligibility (“gold-card”), no donation will be asked of the person seeking testing, and the test is free. Thomas Street Clinic, 2015 Thomas, 713/873-4157 or 713/873-4026.
The Montrose Clinic offers free confidential HIV testing at these locations:
Decades, 1205 Richmond, 713/521-2224, Mon. 6-10pm (Dennis);
EJ’s, 2517 Ralph, 713/527-9071, Wed. & Fri. 10pm-1am (Rhonda & Lourdes);
Mary’s, Naturally, 1022 Westheimer, 713/527-9669, Wed. 4-8pm (Jack);
Midtown Spa, 3100 Fannin, 713/522-2379, Tues. 9pm-1am (Carlos), Wed. 10pm-1am (Juan), Fri. 10pm-1am (Quincy);
Ripcord, 715 Fairview, 713/521-2792, Wed. 9pm-12am (Matthew);
Inergy/Mango Lounge, 5750 Chimney Rock, 713/660-7310, Mon. 9pm-12am (Carlos);
1415 Bar & Grill, 1415 California, 713/522-7066, Thurs. 9pm-12am (Carlos);
611 Hyde Park Pub, 611 Hyde Park, 713/526-7070, Tues. 3-7pm & Sun. 2-6pm (Matthew);
All Star News and Video Emporium, 3415 Katy Freeway & Studewood, 713/869-7878, Mon. & Thurs. 4-8pm (Jack);
Brazos River Bottom, 2400 Brazos, 713/528-9192, Thurs. 8pm-12am (Matthew);
Cousin’s, 817 Fairview, 713/528-9204, Thurs. 8pm-12am (Jack);
Club Houston, 2205 Fannin, 713/659-4998, Tues. 8pm-12am (Dennis). For more info: 713/830-3000.
Planned Parenthood offers free anonymous or confidential testing at clinic locations throughout the area. To speak with an HIV counselor: 1-800-230-PLAN, Dickinson: 281/337-7725, Fannin: 713/831-6543, FM1960: 281/587-8081, Greenspoint: 281/445-4553, Huntsville: 936/295-6396, Lufkin: 936/634-8446 x223, Rosenberg: 281/342-3950, Stafford: 281/494-9848.
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Info needed for your event listing: a few lines of info about your event; date/time; cost; location/address; organization name; and two phone numbers—one for OutSmart to reach you for questions and one for OutSmart readers to get more info on your event (can be the same number). Mail info to: OutSmart Magazine, 3406 Audubon Place, Houston 77006.