5 Free Events This Week for the Broke but Culture-Hungry

Lily Taylor at a Pandora's Box event.
Lily Taylor at a Pandora's Box event.
Lauren Smart

After blowing all your money (and any chance at a healthy liver) at the St. Patrick's Day parade this weekend, you're probably going to have to do a little penny-pinching until payday. But being cheap doesn't have to mean sitting at home eating Kraft dinner and praying that your Netflix subscription isn't due. Instead, you should get out and try to make the most of living like a starving artist until that direct deposit hits.

Once the hangover has worn off, it's time to figure out what you're going to do, and staying inside and talking to your cat just isn't an option. Fortunately, there are a ton of free arts events that you can attend in hopes of flexing those remaining brain cells. From poetry to street art, you're sure to find a no-cost way to get the hell out of the house this week.

Pandora's Box Poetry Showcase Monday, March 16 The Margo Jones Theatre Free Combining musical and poetry talent, Pandora's Box is a monthly showcase that showcases the best and brightest of both the local and national scene. This month's installment will feature local poet MH Clay, who will also release a new collection of poetry this week, singer Lily Taylor and Irish poet Gene Barry, among others. According to the event's description on Facebook, you should plan to "fill your brain with a dangerous rain" by "subjecting yourself to the piercing beauty of language," which is probably the most metal that poetry has ever sounded. (Parking at Fair Park is also free for this event.)

Observe Dallas 2015 Launch Party Wednesday, March 18 Alto 211 Free (Donations accepted) Local photographer Richard Andrew Sharum first started making waves in Dallas by placing his striking photography in random spots all over the city, guerrilla-style. He then announced his identity alongside a remarkably ambitious plan to drape some of the city's buildings in massive prints of his work. Wednesday night, you can meet the man behind the work at the official launch party for Observe Dallas, Sharum's ongoing photography project. A live DJ will spin tunes and there'll be snacks, but you should probably toss a few bucks into the hat to support Sharum's art.

Crate Dating Thursday, March 19 Off The Record Free If you're a vinyl collector, you know all too well the joy of meeting someone with an equally well-curated collection of wax. Off The Record has been killing it as of late with their High Fidelity events series -- past events have included speaker series and panels on the state of local music -- and this week's evening of musically inclined dating is equally cool. You won't need to bring your own records, though. Instead, you'll browse through Off The Record's selection and choose tunes that fit your personality. Frankly, there are much more depressing ways to meet a potential mate, and who wouldn't want to date someone with a perfectly curated collection of Coltrane?

Jeff Chang Lecture SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center Wednesday, March 18 Free Most of us haven't attended a lecture since college, but a good history lesson wouldn't hurt us. American Book Award winner Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be: The Colorization of America, will present an examination of one of the most complex issues of our time: race. Chang's work examines how Americans' perception of race has changed over time through a variety of pop-culture memes, contemporary art and marketing campaigns.

AIR Time Featuring James Wallace Alamo Drafthouse Richardson Wednesday, March 18 Free (reservations recommended)

It's great to see the suburbs investing in arts programming, especially when it involves watching a classic thriller at Alamo DraftHouse. The latest installment of the Arts Incubator of Richardson's AIR Time, an interview series with local artists, will feature James Wallace, creative manager and programming director for Alamo Drafthouse DFW. Wallace comes from the world of film journalism -- including writing for the Dallas Observer -- and will tell the story of the first movie he ever saw in a theater, Aliens. The talk will be followed by a free screening of the film.

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