If you're hanging on to the tired old cliché that the fashion industry is shallow, greedy and vain, then look no further than the good deeds of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS to change your mind. OK, maybe fashionistas and their ilk are still narcissistic, but with more than $31 million raised since 1984 on the national level, DIFFA members can hardly be called selfish or greedy. On the local level, the Dallas DIFFA chapter is known for its annual showing of designer denim jackets. Now DIFFA's efforts are leaping off the runway and into Christopher Cerra Space gallery. The gallery's current benefit show, ...in the Summer, features paintings, photography, sculptures and paper works by various artists including Marcel Dzama, Sheila Elias, Fred Fleisher, Ryan Foerster, Karin F. Giusti and others. The exhibit is on display through August 30, and 30 percent of the money from the sale goes to DIFFA. The benefit reception is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Christopher Cerra Space, 3711 Parry Ave., Suite 102. Admission is free. Call 214-887-1700. --Jay Webb
There are many things that can be accomplished on a Fourth of July weekend: grilling, sitting, television watching and, most important, drinking. A lot. To excess. And, well, if you're gonna get all banged up, why not do it the right way? May we, then, humbly offer a suggestion: The All-American Amber Ales tasting at Central Market on Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Go out and sample ales from six different regions of the country. Think of it as patriotism gone tasty (and intoxicating). Among the beers you'll be offered: New Amsterdam Ale and Fat Tire. The cost is $35. Call 214-361-5754. --John Gonzalez
Not much happens in Peter Sollett's wonderful Raising Victor Vargas: A boy (Victor Rasuk, a newcomer who carries himself like an old pro) struggles with the grandmother who raises him, the brother who worships him, the sister who rags him and the girl who eludes him. Victor's trapped in a small apartment and in his own swelled head, which makes him believe he's more man than boy, but life'll teach the kid a thing or two. During the course of the film, Victor will change--evolve is too strong a word, because we're given but glimpses of a life in progress--but not because of Any One Big Movie Moment, only a handful of small ones that lead him down the path of humility and maturity. Sollett's film plays like someone's home movie: Its truths are familiar, its hurts even more so. And it may be the best feature of 2002, so do not miss it when it screens Saturday and Sunday, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St. Call 817-738-9215. --Robert Wilonsky
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