Women in Exile: Refugee Rights and Realities: The recently convened fourth annual U.N. World Conference on Women provided the first chance Hillary Clinton got in a long time to stop playing Barbara Bush and start spouting off on the issues of women's health and safety across the world. Predictably, every possible social interest group in America put its own spin on the controversial event, including several presidential candidates who couldn't wait to co-opt yet another divisive issue for their campaigns. Although issues like clitoridectomies, forced abortions, and female infanticide stir up a strong desire in any halfway-caring individual to intervene, at what point does it become a matter of cultural imperialism for Western feminist leaders to insist on a rearrangement of gender roles in societies hundreds or thousands of years older than ours? Amnesty International presents a Dallas discussion on the plight of women across the world - specifically, those women who flee their country out of fear for themselves and their children, and the unique plight of refugees as opposed to immigrants. The panel discussion includes a firsthand account of the Conference, and accounts by Dallas women of troubles in their original homelands. "Women in Exile: Refugee Rights and Realities" happens at 7:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, Hillcrest and Daniel, at Southern Methodist University. Call 768-3284.
Millennium: For imaginative, morbid children who haven't been raised in the Christian tradition. there's a special thrill in reading the Book of Revelation and every other "last day" prophecy in the Bible, so loaded are they with gorgeous poetic symbolism and dramatic dread. The first word of the latest art exhibit at the Biblical Arts Center, Millennium: Images of the Rapture, Revelations, and Other Last Day Prophecies of the Bible, refers not specifically to a thousand-year period, but the age in which God will finally come down and establish his kingdom. Artists from all over the country have submitted their visions of rapture and redemption. Millennium runs through November 26 at 7500 Park Lane. It's free. Call 691-4661.
The Lady of the Dawn: Teatro Dallas' annual production to celebrate the North American continent's El Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead rituals is among its most anticipated, as the venerable troupe has come to symbolize Latino cultural expressions in theatrical form. To take a break from its usual Don Juan Vampire sagas, the company presents playwright Alejandro Casona's The Lady of the Dawn, a fairy tale about death, resurrection, and the strange land that lingers between them. The lobby of the theater company is decorated with altars and crafts honoring those who've passed on, as per the Day of the Dead tradition. The Lady of the Dawn (La Dama del Alba) is presented Wednesday-Saturday at 8:15 p.m., with a Tuesday performance in Halloween, at 2204 Commerce. Tickets are $10. The show closes November 4. For info call 741-1135.
Cottonwood Art Festival: Richardson's Cottonwood Art Festival, now in its 26th year, has become an unofficial-official welcoming of autumn. And anyone who endured last summer's heat without an air conditioner should refrain from throwing off his or her clothes and rolling in the cool breeze-blown grasses of Cottonwood Park, the site of the event, which boasts an average annual patronage of more than 20,000. The Festival is actually a "visual arts" picnic, the opportunity for prominent Texas and national artist to display their wares and personally greet the people who want to purchase them. Live performances by the steel-drum ensemble the Panhandlers, as well as the Richardson Community Band and the Richardson Gymnastic Team and a variety of strolling entertainers and children's activities, are in the offing. The Festival takes place Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. at Cottonwood Park, Belt Line Road, one block east of Coit in Richardson. It's free. For more information call 231-4624.
Trio Drottningholm: When Swedish musician Dan Laurin walks up to people and tells them he's a recorder player, he assumes they know the difference between the flute-like instrument and the now-obsolete turntable. Laurin comes to Dallas to perform with Trio Drottningholm, which makes a rare U.S. appearance to open the '95-'96 Meryl P. Levy Gallery Concert Series. Trio Drottningham comes from the internationally acclaimed Drottningham Baroque Ensemble, which performs on authentic instruments and concentrates on everything from jazz to music from The Netherlands. The show is free and kicks off at 3 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. Seating is limited. Call 922-1200.
Ancient Egyptian Mummification: The Hows, Whys, and Wherefores: While any culture's death rituals are difficult to sum up in a few sentences, the motives behind the process of mummification in ancient Egypt were to ensure that the bodies of the dead would be kept intact for the journey to the other side, much like the practice of lining the tombs with personal possessions of the deceased so they could carry their favorite items with them. The Egyptians saw the material body as a reflection of the soul, and so it was to be treated as a holy vessel, not a pile of ashes to be returned to the earth. The North Texas Chapter of The American Research Center in Egypt presents a talk by arguably the most hotly debated Egyptologist in the field. Earlier this year Dr. Bob Brier set off a flurry of op-ed protests (and aroused the interests of National Geographic's producers so much, they filmed a whole episode) when he attempted to mummify a contemporary cadaver, using the formulas set forth by the ancient Egyptians. What was his scientific purpose? You'll find out when Dr. Brier talks about "Ancient Egyptian Mummification: The Hows, Whys, and Wherefores" at 7:30 p.m. in Room 153 of Heroy Hall on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. It's free.