Quartetto Gelato: In case you're wondering, the four multi-instrumentalists in the Canadian pop-classical ensemble Quartetto Gelato are aware that the last word in their title is Italian for "ice cream." Oboist Cynthia Steljes, violinist Peter De Sotto, violist Claudio Vena, and cellist George Meanwell decided on the name because they insist the tone of their music is "light and celebratory." But don't confuse "light" with "throwaway": This still-young troupe has been hailed throughout America and Canada for both their technical skills and their passionate interpretive chops. Regular listeners of National Public Radio may have caught the troupe at the end of March on NPR's Performance Today, which dubbed the group "Debut Artist of the Year." The show happens at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call 528-5576.
Peace Power: There are a whole lot of wonderful organizations behind "Peace Power," an afternoon of short plays written and performed by inner-city kids. The Junior Players, Dispute Mediation Services (a program designed to teach kids how to deal with conflict in nonviolent ways), and the United Way join forces to present four short plays that deal with feeling different, gender issues, and the gang lifestyle. All participants are between the ages of 11 and 15 and enrolled in DISD middle schools. In addition, there's an opening reception for the visual art show Mi Mundo, a collection of works by kids in similar environments. The plays happen at 4:30 p.m. in the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. They're free. Call 526-4076.
Mother's Day at the Arboretum: Don't abandon your mother to the condescending insult of sloppy handmade cards or Mother's Day talent shows by enthusiastic but tone-deaf tykes. A really special Mother's Day is the one that lets her forget she's a mother for 24 hours. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers two days of high-class entertainment shot through with a double dose of late-spring Texas beauty. "Mother's Day at the Arboretum" features elegant brunches, strolling violinists, performances by ballet and musical groups, a specially outfitted gift shop, and, of course, acres of begonias, irises, day lilies, and perennials. Events happen May 11 and May 12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 8525 Garland Rd. Admission is $3-$6; parking $2. Call 327-8263.
Natural Exposures: Wildlife conservationists, zoologists, and the like may think their mission on earth is to protect and preserve fauna, but they're wrong. They exist solely so that the rest of us may enjoy some of the more exotic creatures on the planet through glass shields or photographers' flat images. Natural Exposures is just such an opportunity for the travel-impaired--an exhibit of pictures snapped in Texas, Costa Rica, and the Amazon by David Schleser, former curator of the Dallas Aquarium, and David Roberts, a research biologist at the Dallas Zoo. Both are expert-writers who've been consulted and published across the world. In Natural Exposures, saber-tooth wolf fish and blue-headed katydids are your pals. The show opens with a reception May 10, 6-9:30 p.m., and runs through May 19 at Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W. Lovers Lane. It's free. Call 670-6826.
First National Potbellied Pig Convention: A statement of purpose is included in the media release for the First National Potbellied Pig Convention that pretty much sums it up: "It is our hope that with the broad range of courses offered, [participants] can identify ways to help their own...and other pigs in the community and recognize methods of better physical and mental health for their pigs." The release goes on to identify participants as "pig parents." The convention is the fruit of much sweat and blood poured by the North American Potbellied Pig Association, which hopes to raise the profile and awareness of this hottest of domestic pets. In addition to a vendor-display area, classes and seminars include "Understanding the Mind of Your Pig" and "Pigs...Let's Talk." Events are planned day and night May 10-12 at La Quinta Inn Conference Center, 825 N. Watson Rd. in Arlington. The fee is $60. Call (817) 875-2551.
Marion Winik: Fiction and nonfiction AIDS literature has exploded into an American publishing phenomenon over the last five years, but few of the authors who've reaped critical benefit from it have the perspective Marion Winik possesses. Winik is the Austin-based essayist-commentator who earned a national following from bittersweet National Public Radio broadcasts about surviving a drug- and sex-addled youth. She attracted the interest of Texas prosecutors after she admitted during a 1994 NPR essay that she helped her husband, who lingered in the final stages of AIDS, kill himself (though she was never charged with a crime). Her new book, First Comes Love, details their relationship, unusual because she knew her husband was gay when she married him. Winik reads and discusses her work at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Market & Bookstore, 3930 Cedar Springs. It's free. Call 521-8919.
The Path to Enlightenment: Masterpieces of Asian Sculpture from the Musee Guimet, Paris: The legendary Musee Guimet, Paris, France's national museum of Asian arts, is going through some structural changes, so 71 of its sculptures were sent on an overseas voyage. The Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum is the only American host. (The next destination is the Idemitsu Museum of Arts in Tokyo). The collection has been dubbed The Path to Enlightenment: Masterpieces of Asian Sculpture from the Musee Guimet, Paris, and it features the development of Buddhist-inspired sculpture across 12 countries and 18 centuries. The show runs through September 1 at 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth. Tickets are $6-$8. Call (817) 332-8451.