On the list of endangered species, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra sits next to the mighty rice rat. The orchestra, now in its 44th season, announced in November that it is in danger of closing because of a dire lack of funds primarily the result of a dearth of private and corporate donations, which make up the majority of the orchestra's budget, as well as increased competition for public arts funding. To aid conservation, the orchestra hosts a champagne toast fund-raiser at Swan Court, 2435 N. Central Expressway, Richardson, where donors--for $10 that goes directly to the orchestra--will have the opportunity to sip a flute of champagne and converse with the chairman of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and the Richardson Symphony Orchestra board. The fund-raiser will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Have some champagne and good conversation, help the arts and improve your karma. What more could a philanthropist want? Call 972-235-7926 to make a reservation. --Mary Monigold
Art of Attack
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Apparently, when I vocalized the name of this exhibit to several staffers, my inflection was slightly off. I explained that the show was a group show with a collection of works bold and unusual in their delivery--through the use of paint, text and labels. For example, Mignon Harkrader's art is described as "bubblegum world peopled with space cadets," and Erin Guy's features "delicate, amoeba-like images." After staring into faces of confusion, one staffer asked, "Well, how do they get such detail on such a tiny object?" So, just to clarify, the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, 2801 Swiss Ave., presents Painting Attack, not Painting A Tack. Sorry for the mix-up. The show opens Friday with a reception from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and continues through February 26. Call 214-821-2522. --Merritt Martin
Stranger Than Fiction
Let Dallas' own Nic Nicosia, two-time Whitney Biennial winner, multiplatinum at nearly every Dallas Film Festival, collected by art patrons and museums alike, tell you why you might want to see a preview of his latest film, 9.5 Hours to SaFe, in a free event with cash bar at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Thursday at 7 p.m.: "I think there are artists that make motion pictures that don't know anything about film or motion pictures," Nicosia says. "I'm not one of those. My goal is not to make a little art piece that makes no sense. Mine's more cinema-driven. That may not be looked at very importantly in the art world; that may not be what they want to see. But I find that my work somehow strikes a chord in nearly everyone." People like "surrealism in the suburbs" and Nicosia's David Lynch-ian qualities. For 9.5, add hypnotism. Nicosia will speak before the film preview. Call 817-840-2115 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. --Annabelle Massey Helber