5 Free & Cheap Ways to Get Your Culture Fix in Before Holiday Madness

Bikes, beer and flowers: The Great Seed Bomb is three of our favorite things in one package.
Bikes, beer and flowers: The Great Seed Bomb is three of our favorite things in one package.

We have a precious few weeks before the craziness of the holiday season really kicks into full gear, which means you’re going to need to get in as much culture as you can before you’re inundated with reindeer and mediocre holiday music. Now that Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast-approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and avoid doing anything that actually requires any brainpower.

But, we also know that budgets are tight with all those damn gifts you’re going to have to buy, and that means saving all that cash you’re spending on theatre tickets and season passes to the opera (or whiskey and US Weekly) so you can actually buy gifts for other people. This week, you can take in these five free (or cheap!) culture events and not have to worry about choosing between paying the rent and buying a new Apple Watch for your bae.

Noir at the Bar
Thursday, November 12
The Wild Detectives

You’ve probably packed away all your spooky decor and scary movies now that Halloween is over, but you can still indulge in the delightfully dark at Thursday night’s Noir at the Bar reading at The Wild Detectives. Authors from Dallas and beyond will read from their darkest works of fiction, sign copies of books, and share morose stories with their fellow lovers of the beautifully gloomy. Plus, there will be cocktails. Put on a Smiths record to get yourself perfectly in the mood before you head to Bishop Arts.

Friday, November 13

CentralTrak is always an excellent place to find experimental art, and on Friday night, things are going to get pretty musical. Composer Christian Wolff will present Sticks, a “concert of improvisations by two small ensembles,” featuring an amplified bassoon, percussion instruments, guitar and radio. Wolff describes his show as “any number of musicians making sounds with sticks of various kinds,” which could be great for folks interested in noise-pop and improvisational music. Either way, it will be unlike any other concert you’ve ever seen before.

The Great Seed Bomb
Saturday, November 14
Clearfork Food Park

Helping the environment, drinking beer and riding bikes? There really isn’t a more hipster — or frankly excellent — combination. You’ll have to drive to Fort Worth, but strap your beach cruiser on top of the Subaru and get ready to make the planet a little friendlier for bees. On your ride through Fort Worth, you’ll toss out little seed bombs that will grow plants to feed hungry pollinators. There will also be plenty of beer and the Food Park’s bevy of food trucks to sate any post-ride munchies.

ArtCon 11
Saturday, November 14
1450 Browder St.

ArtCon is always one of the most anticipated arts events of the year, and for good reason. For just $10, you can see works from more than 150 artists, and even shell out a little of your own cash to take home a unique piece of local work. ArtCon is an immensely accessible event, so even people who feel totally out of place in the art world can feel at home here. There will also be live music, food trucks and an awesome scavenger hunt hosted by Art & Seek that could mean taking home free tickets to local arts events, which would definitely be worth the $10 admission.

Charles Ross Constructing Star Axis, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1976.
Charles Ross Constructing Star Axis, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1976.
Photograph © Elizabeth Ginsberg. Used by permission.

Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
Sunday, November 15
Texas Theatre

In collaboration with the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Texas Theatre is hosting the Texas premiere of Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art. Admission is free to the critically acclaimed film that explores the bizarre world of land art in the American southwest. The film premiered just one month ago at the New York Film Festival, and features a “veritable who’s-who of American art in the 20th century” according to IMDB. If that’s not enough to persuade you, director James Crump will discuss the film via Skype and answer questions after the screening. 

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