36th Annual Les Femmes du Monde Benefit Fashion Sale: Many of us like to snicker at the idea of rich Dallas ladies opening their closets to the less fortunate, which is pretty much everybody in Dallas besides themselves and their husbands. But you can bet we'll be first in line to get our paws on a "gently used" Armani when the 36th Annual Les Femmes du Monde Benefit Fashion Sale gets under way. It's not just clothing that makes its way to the auction block, but also household items, jewelry, books and records, furs, shoes, and gifts. All proceeds benefit The Dallas Council on World Affairs, which ropes in international political and business bigwigs to speak to Dallas audiences. The sale happens September 13 and 14, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and September 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Exchange Park, 6300 Forest Park Road, Harry Hines Boulevard at Mockingbird Lane. Admission is free. Call 350-4406.
Manga by Sen Arimura: Considering its mixture of violence, honor, and large breasts, the mystery behind the popularity of Japanese manga and anime (comic books and animation) is why it hasn't exploded beyond cult dimensions. Americans dig the stuff for its convoluted plots and sexual energy, but any student of Japan will tell you that the best films and graphic novels are teeming with undercurrents of social commentary on contemporary Japanese life. Internationally hailed illustrator Sen Arimura, a manga veteran, has become something of a cultural gadfly with his fusions of folklore and the fate of the burakumin, middle-aged male migrant workers without families who have slipped through the harsh net of Japanese culture. The exhibit opens tonight with a lecture by University of Texas professor Dr. Susan Napier, a national expert on the manga and anime phenomena. The show runs through November 3 at the MAC, 3120 McKinney Avenue. It's free. Call 953-1MAC.
Transportation--Destination: A Look at Transportation and Architectural Images in American Folk Art of the 20th Century: Bruce and Julie Webb, curators and co-operators of that Texas folk-art paradise known as the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, have developed their latest exhibition around themes so simple and fundamental you've probably stopped considering how profoundly they affect your life. The boundaries of the subject matter are represented in the show's title, Transportation--Destination: A Look at Transportation and Architectural Images in American Folk Art of the 20th Century. Official places of public business and the public or private means people use to get to them are the subjects of sculptures and drawings by numerous nationally celebrated self-taught artists, both living and dead. An opening reception happens tonight, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the show runs through October 20 at 209-211 West Franklin in Waxahachie. Call 938-8085.
Isabel Nathaniel and Bryan Woolley: It's no secret that writers have egos the size of garbage barges; in both cases, the damn things carry some pretty stinky cargo, and they float from port to port with nary an enthusiastic reception. With this in mind, we'd hate to be a fly on the pile when two big talents like Isabel Nathaniel and Bryan Woolley have a marital spat. The New York born-and-bred Nathaniel and Texas boy Woolley also labor on decidedly different sides of the literary fence: She's a nationally published, award-winning poet whose first collection has been issued by Brown University's prestigious Copper Beach Press; he's a veteran journalist for the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News who also writes fiction. They share a reading hosted by The Writer's Garret and Wordspace. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista in Lakewood. It's free. Call 827-4860.
Sixto de la Rosa, Lupita Murillo, Sandra Maria Esteves: The Bath House Cultural Center is abuzz today with the activity of a pair of Latino-centered arts celebrations. The photography of Lupita Murillo, titled for this show Photos de Mi Familia, along with paintings by Sixto de la Rosa, a North Texas-based painter, are feted with an opening reception. A little bit earlier, the poet Sandra Maria Esteves appears to read from her poetry collections, answer questions, and sign copies of her books. The reception for de la Rosa and Murillo takes place tonight, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; the show runs through September 28. The reading by Esteves happens today at 4 p.m. All events are free and take place at 521 E. Lawther. Call 670-8749.