So many milestones in life are celebrated early on: 16 years marks increased freedom, 18 heralds an ascension into adulthood and 21 promises the legal right to make a fool of oneself in public. After that, it's a slippery slide into ageism, crises and, most deplorably, routines. Too young for death; too old for MySpace.com. So it goes for us, but thankfully the same cannot be said for creative organizations and establishments. Advancing years--like with fine wine--only make better a showplace such as Conduit Gallery, a champion and outlet for unique Texas artists. On Saturday at 6 p.m., founder Nancy Whitenack and dozens of Conduit's represented artists (who've collaborated recently on original material for display) host a 20th anniversary exhibition and reception, which is a number most galleries won't reach in dog years. Works such as the vague, erosive beauty of Robert Dale Anderson's illustrations and James Sullivan's memorably textured sculptures are but two reasons for the continued expansion, and this culmination should serve as evidence that, unlike life, the best is yet to come. Conduit Gallery is at 1626 C Hi Line Drive. Call 214-939-0064. --Matt Hursh
Miles from civilization, he was tied to a fence, pistol-whipped until unconscious and left for dead while the autumn winds swirled around Wyoming. The next day, when a bicyclist saw him in the distance, he thought Matthew Shepard was a scarecrow. He was a gay man, the victim of a hate crime, and his death so shook this nation that in response, candlelight vigils were held and plays were written and foundations were organized. Six years later, Shepard's mother, Judy, continues to talk publicly about his death. On Wednesday at noon, she'll speak at a private home, the guest of Dallas' Institute for Interesting People. For reservations, call 214-890-3491. --Paul Kix
She Did It Her Way
If you knew you could have everything but would inevitably lose it all, would you still want it? Would you even want to know? Cuban singer La Lupe proceeded into a successful career in the 1960s and '70s but was haunted by a premonition from her godmother after being baptized into Santeria. She was told she would have everything but ultimately lose it all to destiny. And ages before the buxom ladies from Destiny's Child belted out how they were "survivors," La Lupe proved herself as one when the glitz and glamour faded. Known for her onstage theatrics while she was an international sensation, La Lupe eventually went from sultry performer to converted evangelist. The off-Broadway show by Puerto Rican playwright Carmen Rivera about La Lupe comes to Dallas on June 4. La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny, a Martice Enterprises production, starts at 8 p.m. in the Latino Cultural Center located at 2600 Live Oak St. Call 214-750-7435 or visit www.martice.com. --Jenice Johnson
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