Events for the week
Radiothon: Sadly, it often takes one tragedy to prevent others from happening. This is what the Dallas-based Mothers Against Teen Violence, Inc. hoped to do when they formed two years ago after the brutal murders of Charles Christopher Lewis and Kendrick Demon Lott - both of whom were abducted, robbed, then shot. Between the two of them, these young men had already earned certain titles and honors - college student, Eagle Scout, vice-president of the senior class -the suggested successful futures were waiting just ahead. MATV, Inc. and KKDA Soul 73 AM join forces to host a Radiothon at the South Dallas Cultural Center. KKDA broadcasts live from the Center all day, with commentary scheduled about the activities of MATV as well as information about other resource groups. There are activities for adults and kids,as well as testimonials and talks from victims and former perpetrators of violent teen crime. The event, which happens 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. at 3400 S. Fitzhugh, across from Fair Park, benefits MATV. Donations or volunteer assistance will be gratefully accepted. For more information call 421-TEEN or 670-0314.
Showing Off the DCCCD: As odd as it may seem, the Dallas County Community College District has never before, in its 30-year history, organized a group exhibition of art works by its faculty. When you consider that each community college location launches several large-scale visual arts shows a year, the delay is even more inexplicable. Seventy-five artists representing both full and part-time faculty converge for "Showing Off the DCCCD," and among them are names you may have encountered even if you've never set foot on a campus - Mary Iron Eyes, Nancy Chambers, Martin Delabano, Gordon Young. Ever since El Centro College opened its doors in the mid-'60s, the DCCCD has attracted an increasing number of professional and self-taught artists who already had a community reputation before they discovered their sideline niche as teachers. "Showing Off the DCCCD" opens August 25, 7-9 p.m. at the Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss, and runs through October 6. It's free. Call 821-2522.
Digital Dramas: Computer-Generated Photography & Video: Digitial imagery has already overtaken the commercial movie industry in America, with high-paid computer geeks in labs edging ever closer to computer-designing an actor who won't wave a Screen Actors Guild membership card and won't need a trailor since he'll retire at the end of the day on a three-and-a-half inch disk. Digital imagery has already permeated the visual art world, where artists in the field are usually less interested in saving production costs than in making some kind of personal statement. Both national and Texas artists have contributed work to Digital Dramas: Computer-Generated Photography & Video, a multimedia exhibit that combines common artistic media with the latest technology and applies both to contemporary political, geographical, and social concerns. There are continuously running video screens as well as computer-altered photographs. These days most of us tend to postpone all thinking as soon as we see a video image, but this is one exhibit where you should read the text notes - there's going to be quite a few weird, funny, eerie scenes, so a knowledge of the artist's media, background, and intent will really enhance your pleasure. The opening reception is August 25, 6-8 p.m., and that includes a gallery talk with some fo the artists represented. The show runs through October 21 at the Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W. Main in Arlington. For info call (817) 275-4600.
Taste of East Dallas: Addison, the West End, Deep Ellum, now East Dallas - neighborhoods and provinces are lining up to exhibit their own "Taste of ..." celebrations. It's smart - the way to increased consumer patronage is through our stomachs, although we might consider drawing the line before "Taste of Plano" and "Taste of Mesquite" appear. East Dallas is a section of the city constantly reinventing itself but always retaining the charm of established businesses and old architecture. With honorary chairperson Mayor Ron Kirk presiding over the digs and WFAA-TV Channel 8's resident aw-shuckster Bob Phillips as master of ceremonies, The Taste of East Dallas features munchable donations from more than 30 restaurants in the area, including old friends like Snuffer's, Barbec's, and the Dixie House Lakewood. There's also continuous live entertainment, giveaways, and activities geared especially toward the little ones. The Taste happens 5-8 p.m. at Fair Park Tower Building in Fair Park. Tickets are $15, but kids under 6 get in free. 321-6446.
DeSoto Performance Festival: Those of you who think poetry is an elitist enterprise enjoyed by effete literary types have never been to a poetry slam, which combines the beauty and warmth of spoken-word verse with the audience participation of a monster truck rally. A group of poets sequenced through a random draw are given three minutes to wow the listeners, who at the end of the evening rate each performer with Olympic-style cards. And should Mr. or Ms. Tortured But Eloquent Soul run overtime, a referee blows a loud whistle and continues to do so at 15-second intervals if the microphone isn't surrendered. If you ask us, this is precisely the kind of exposure to hard, cold reality that some wordsmiths need, and it definitely provides a looser atmosphere for potential poetry lovers who might be intimidated by the more traditional reading atmosphere. The DeSoto Performance Festival combines both, with three hours of featured readers and open-mic poets, and three for the slam. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. in the DeSoto Town Center Amphitheatre, Pleasant Run & Hampton in DeSoto. Admission is your generous donation. Call 223-3222.
Blisskrieg: From virtual reality showcases to a Disneyfied version of American history, the great brains in American theme entertainment are always kicking ideas around to provide ticketbuyers with a simulated experience, a world unto itself. Thus far, one of the more notable undertakings has been spearheaded by David Hanson, an artist whose Rhode Island School of Design installation, "The Primordial Ooze," caught the attention of MTV and CNN earlier this year. Hanson wants to recreate the sights, sounds, and sensations of hallucinogenic drugs without having to ingest any health-threatening chemicals. Of course, Hanson was influenced by more than just a great trip when he designed Blisskrieg, his latest installation, that's really more of a theme park-pagan organ with its water slide, Tiki Grotto, gnomes (we're not sure what that meansm but vertically challenged activists take note); outdoor swamp environment, bubbling foam chamber, and psychoacoustic music. Hanson cites Max Fleischer, Christian feasts, the Dada art movement, and other stylistic phenomena. The location is 3815 Benson off Commerce, just blocks from Exposition Park. For time and admission call 827-9330 or 720-0700.
The Major's Music and Word Festival: In case you haven't been informed, the Major Theatre in East Dallas, which labored for two years to bring Dallas movies that we never would have had otherwise, now strives to bring us music and live entertainment that we never would have had otherwise. For a couple months now they've played host to local and national touring bands; last Saturday they hosted renaissance man of arcane knowledge Robert Anton Wilson; and tonight, they present a combination of spoken-word performers,theatrical groups, and musicians. The word "eclectic" doesn't begin to describe a bill that included hip-hoppers Shabazz 3 (profiled by Robert Wilonsky in this issue's "Street Beat" column); Dallas dabbler-in-everything Jeff Liles, who'll perform spoken word under the sobriquet Cottonmouth, Texas; musician and poet Roxy Gordon, who finds contemporary relevance in traditional American Indian mysticism; performance art group Soul Nation; storyteller Kelly Higgins; and juggler-storyteller Logan Daffron. Doors open at 8 p.m. at 2830 Samuell Blvd. across from Samuell Grand Park. Tickets are $5. For information call 821-3456 or 821-5602.
Clearview's Tenth Anniversary: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the crowd-packed, wall-painted, labyrinthine charm that Club Clearview exudes like no one else. A decade anniversary is really more like a centennial in club years, as anyone who's ever tried to keep a dance-live music-performance space open and thriving will tell you. Clearview has a weekend of special nights planned, all of them terrifically affordable. Thursdays are normally hosted by Buzzmonger, the local music 'zine, but August 24 has been transformed into Concubine's Sexmonger Night, at which the recommended dress is rubber pants and entertainment is provided by Guy 2000, Pimpadelic, and Goddog; August 25 features a dizzying musical dalliance with Reverend Horton Heat, Southern Culture on the Skids, Little Jack Melody, Tablet, and others; August 26 features live music by Dash Rip Rock, Funland, and Beef Jerky, but the real coup was landing Wigstock Festival organizer Lady Bunny to perform and M.C. the midnight "Miss Fabu Pageant," also featuring a celebrity panel of judges that includes Wings actor Thomas Hauden Church, Dallas Morning News Club Scout Kendall Morgan, and Todd Oldham's brother Brad. All events happen at Club Clearview, 2806 Elm. Tickets are $4 for Thursday and $10 for Friday and Saturday each. Call 283-5358.
Visions: The Women's Expo: For six years, The Women's Expo has had a mission to "inform, inspire, and educate women," but each time you persuse the long schedule of events and guest speakers, the same question pops into your head - "which women?" In the lineup this year are cowboy-hatted follicle engineer Jose Eber; singer and faded TV actress Jasmine Guy (the snooty one from A Different World), who'll be delivering a keynote address with the rather obtuse title "Making Our Own Way ... Together"; and tons of cooking demonstrations, advice for career professionals, and fashion shows. You're tempted to rename the event "The Women Who Make More Than Fifty Grand a Year Expo," although topics that cut across economic lines, like breast cancer, or a talk by five-time Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair, broaden the interest a bit. Women's Issue Network kicks off Saturday morning with a celebration of the 75th anniversary of women's suffrage, but one suspects the spirit of those salty, stalwart female rabble-rousers of the early 20th century won't be invoked. August 26, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; August 27, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at Infomart, 1950 Stemmons. Admission is $5-$6. Call 523-0650.
Psychic Fair: They don't call it Dallas' oldest and largest Psychic fair for nothing. There's a sizable contingent of regulars who flock every month to this gathering of more than 40 psychic professionals who deal in such disciplines as tarot, astrology, palmistry, crystal ball, past life experiences, and more. Unfortunately, there was a bit of disharmony at last month's harmonic convergence when this writer switched two figures and made the faithful think they were suddenly getting more for less. To verify, the Fair doesn't charge you $15 for each eight-minute reading by a professional, but $8 for each 15-minute reading, as it has been for a while and will be in the foreseeable future (and these are folks who know their future). The Fair happens noon - 6 p.m. at the Dallas North Ballroom of the Dallas Park Central Hotel, LBJ & Coit. Admission is $6. Call 241-4876.
The Studio Museum in Harlem: Twenty-Five Years of African-American Art: For 27 years, the Studio in Harlem has served as a model not only for any curator nationwide who wishes to start an organization devoted to African-American art, but for anyone who seeks to assemble a body of work that reflects a particular social identity. The powers behind the Studio's creation at first just wanted a barebones exhibit space for African-American artists. It flourished so well that in 1979, officials broadened their goal to acquire a permanent collection that would reflect 19th and 20th century African-American art as well as traditional and contemporary artifacts and art from Africa and Cuba. What they forgot was, and is, a unique ethnic tree that illustrates how influences refuse to be contained by borders and bodies of water. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth features a marvelous retrospective of the institution's permanent collection, titled The Studio Museum in Harlem: Twenty-Five Years of African-American Art. The show runs through October 1 at 1309 Montgomery in Fort Worth. (817) 738-9215.
Miguel Antonio & Friends: Local classical guitarist Miguel Antonio wants to throw a Latino-flavored musical shindig on the shores of White Rock Lake with a gaggle of his friends, and moreover, he wants you there. The evening is called, in the best tradition of Bob Hope TV specials, simply Miguel Antonio & Friends, although expect to enjoy yourself quite a bit more. The program includes both classical and flamenco guitar, as well as percussionists and harpists serenading you with the romantic, slightly sinister sound of mariachi music. Local dancers hoof it up with traditional choreography in folklorico and flamenco. The evening kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. For admission or reservation information, call 670-8749.
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What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.