15th Annual Fall Craft Fair: The non-profit Craft Guild of Dallas wants to drag closeted hobbyists and their work into the light of day by sponsoring classes and fairs to encourage a rather nifty notion--creativity for its own sake, not just because you're the best at what you do or can expect to make a lot of money from it. It seems the idea of doing something just for the sheer pleasure of creativity died somewhere across the last couple of decades (you can bet your buttons it's the media age at work; as Nicole Kidman wondered aloud in To Die For:"What's the point of doing anything if there aren't people to watch you do it?"). The Guild's biggest annual event is now celebrating its 15th year (although the organization itself has been around for 46 years). Getting your work into the Fall Craft Fair is a rather more exclusive proposition--participants are selected through a jury process. Bookbinding, glasswork, weaving, pottery, jewelry, watercolors, and paper art are all represented here, proudly displayed in front of the people who did it (consequently, you might consider keeping controversial opinions on the nature of art to yourself). The Fair is open November 2-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in Plaza of the Americas, 700 N. Pearl in the downtown Arts District. It's free. For info call 490-0303.
Built to Last: Photographs of Dallas from the Acme Brick Company Collection: Brick companies are kinda like toilets--you don't think about them much until you need one, and then they become the most important thing in the world. No other American company has become as synonymous with its product as the Texas-based Acme Brick Company. Acme and the downtown Central Library have joined forces for a small photographic exhibit that features some 20 pictures from the company's files, most of which were snapped back at the turn of the century. The real draw for history buffs, besides the fact that most of these photos have never been published or publicly displayed before, is the chance to see buildings that are long gone, like the Oak Cliff Interurban Station., as well as structures you've always loved exhibited in their infancy. The show runs through January 15, 1996 in the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young. It's free. Call 670-1435.
The 19th Annual Lakewood Tour of Homes, Craft Fair, and Cafe: Let's face it--the real thrill of a neighborhood tour of homes is pretending how you'd fix up the place if you could only afford it. There are plenty of gorgeous old structures in the Lakewood neighborhood, and enough people around the city want to know what they look like inside to turn the Lakewood Tour of Homes into an event that's thrived for 19 years. The Lakewood Early Childhood PTA, which works to benefit the Lakewood Elementary School, has selected five different homes for your voyeuristic inspection. In addition, Lakewood restaurants and 75 artists combine forces to offer a Craft Fair and "Taste of..." Cafe. The event is scheduled November 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and November 5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are $6-$8. The Craft Fair and Cafe are located at Lakewood Elementary School, 3000 Hillbrook. For the location of the home tour and other info, call 821-8095.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses: It's been more than a year since Classic Theatre Company offered Dallas a production. Critically championed but playing, like most theater companies in this city, to wildly unpredictable audience support, the Company specialized in unconventional productions of classic European plays that needed the dust blown off them. With the assistance and support of the Undermain Theatre, artistic director Janet Farrow and a few of the original cast members turn up the footlights with Farrow's original adaptation of Choderlos De Laclos' 1782 novel about the joys and sorrows of cruel love. Les Liaisons Dangereuses opens November 4 and runs Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:15 p.m. through December 9 in the Undermain's Basement Space, 3200 Main. Tickets are $8-$10. For info call 423-3399.
Eleventh Annual African Awakening Conference: With the one-two punch of the O.J. verdict and Farrakhan's Million Man March, Americans of all colors have been thinking about race more deeply than at any time in recent memory. Do African-Americans and Anglos really live on two different planets? Which is the more destructive of forces--white complacency or black bitterness? While Afro-separatism has been a vital philosophy since the '60s--albeit one with a small following--Farrakhan and others have renewed the separatist call, this time as less an expression of pride or rage than practicality. The title of the Eleventh Annual African Awakening Conference, "Reclaiming African World History: Looking Back to Move Forward," says it all. A roster of internationally recognized African-American leaders comes to Dallas to discuss the importance of historical perspective to the civil rights movement--in this case, history that stretches back to the dawn of Africa. Events are scheduled November 4 and 5, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters in the Dallas Convention Center, Akard & Canton. Tickets are $15-$35. For more information call 747-7000.
The Art of Louis-Leopold Boilly: Modern Life in Napoleonic France: The great French painter Louis-Leopold Boilly, who died 150 years ago this year, was one of the first major French artists to take the French Revolution seriously. Street scenes and other painted recreations of everyday life were considered unworthy of a serious artist's muse until Boilly came along and proved not only that a discerning eye can find beauty in the mundane, but that the revolt of the underclasses necessitated a change in social perspective that had to be addressed in visual art. The Kimbell Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art in Washington co-organized an exhibition of the genre painter and portraitist called The Art of Louis-Leopold Boilly: Modern Life in Napoleonic France. The show covers a 50-year period (1780 to 1830) that encompasses seminal events in European history. It runs through January 14, 1996 at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth. Admission is $4-$8. Call (817) 877-1264.