Wake-Up Call '96: Some of the statements made by the Christian-based men's movement offshoot Promise Keepers sound like empty whining when you consider that males have ruled Christianity and just about every other cultural institution for countless centuries now. Men are suffering a collective identity crisis? They've abdicated their role as leaders in the church and family? Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Bill Price, and other high-profile male Christian activists don't appear to have wilted in the shadow of excessive personal analysis, nor have they squandered any of their considerable political capital as community leaders. But judging by the arenas they fill every year throughout the country, the Promise Keepers are saying what a lot of Christian men want to hear. Wake-Up Call '96 is a two-hour distillation of the Promise Keepers' basic male-affirmative philosophy, which contains some irrefutable good advice about respecting women and your fellow man. But is there a hidden political agenda? The event kicks off at 6:45 p.m. at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 301 W. Sanford Drive in Arlington. It's free. Men are encouraged to bring a son, father, brother, or male friend. Call (817) 261-9495.
Ballet Concerto: Ballet Concerto's annual Summer Dance Concert is Fort Worth's only large-scale, full-length, free outdoor professional dance performance. More than anything, it's a meeting of the minds for folks from throughout the country in a variety of theatrical disciplines--choreography, performance, costume, set design. Internationally renowned Spanish dancer Luis Montero returns in 1996 both as choreographer and performer of traditional Spanish ballet. Kerri Kreiman of Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth and Fort Worth artists Kathy Webster and Cameron Schoepp have collaborated on a new contemporary ballet entitled Hugo's Ball. The program includes classical and postmodern elements that highlight the contributions of the nondance artists who have participated. Performances happen June 27-29 at 8:45 p.m. at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 1309 Montgomery in Fort Worth.
Books, Boxes, Text, Video: A recent essay in Harper's offers a fascinating lament for the (pending) demise of the printed word and the cumulative nature of traditional narrative. The author, a former environmental journalist who now makes big bucks writing blurbs for informational CD-ROMs, cites recent scholarly predictions that narrative writing as it's practiced now in books and articles would soon be reinvented by the CD-ROM and other computer technology that offers inter- and outer-textual bursts of information with the stroke of a key. This is the kind of philosophical speculation, both obtuse and very relevant, that informs Michigan-born, law-school-trained artist James Magee, who opens a one-man show entitled Books, Boxes, Text, Video. Magee moved from an up-and-comer in the Manhattan art world to an El Paso resident so he could obsess over his three-dimensional explorations of the tension between verbal and visual storytelling in peace. Try to find the relationship among the media described in the show's title, and you'll understand the quandary in which everyone who studies the changing nature of mass communication finds themselves. The exhibit opens with a reception June 28, 5:30-8 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney at Bowen. It's free. Call 953-1212.
Romance Writers Workshop: Do words like "throbbing," "heaving," and "supple" find their way into your everyday conversation? Do you dream of writing a novel profound enough to deserve Fabio's image in oils on the cover? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, either your weekly calendar is tragically underscheduled or you have the stuff to create million-selling romance fiction. Romance novels are the ugly stepsister of the publishing industry, which is to say glamorous literati may scoff at such populist scribbling, but they're perfectly happy to let the poor dear keep major publishing houses afloat with her massive sales. Four Dallas authors who specialize in purple, hormonal prose converge for the Romance Writers Workshop. Francis Ray, Elisabeth Fairchild, Deana James, and Elizabeth Sites, each of whom toils in a different genre with the romance field, discuss topics like the writing process, research, finding a publisher, and other stuff. The discussion kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Audelia Road Branch Library, 1005 Audelia. It's free. Call 670-7838.
Counteracting the Religious Right: Last month's Supreme Court ruling against Colorado's Amendment 2 has already set off a national backlash by the powerful Religious Right, which isn't accustomed to losing a battle these days, much less being "betrayed" by folks traditionally viewed as fellow warriors (the Reagan and Bush appointees that populate the Court). Texas Republican Party Chairman Tom Pauken's ritual sacrifice of the Log Cabin Republicans at this year's state convention is just the latest example of a politician throwing election-year meat to the dogs who bark loudest and longest. (Bill Clinton's support of the Defense of Marriage bill is another.) Mr. Pauken faces a tough challenge within his own party from a radical right-winger who makes Pauken look like Jane Fonda. But hell hath no fury like a gay Republican scorned; the Log Cabin Republicans host Counteracting the Religious Right, an afternoon workshop for homos and heteros who're made uncomfortable by the decidedly un-Christian goals of some fundamentalist Christian activists. The workshop happens 1-5 p.m. at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, 2701 Reagan. It's free, and everyone who's interested is encouraged to attend. Call 877-4154.