15 Awesome Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend, November 14 to 17

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Art Con 9 is this Saturday night, so GET EXCITED, PEOPLE! (Sorry to yell. I just love a good auction.)

While the Con anchors your weekend plans, pad the rest of your time with this party list.

There's a new Mamet play at Kitchen Dog. Ron Swanson himself, Nick Offerman, visits the House of Blues. A free film honoring our favorite babe, Jackie O, screens at the Winspear. Dowdy Studio's throwing a shindig. There's Gay Bingo for lady rights at the Rose Room, and so much more.

So make a plan. I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one outbidding you.)

Thursday 11.14 Artists vs. Architect -- Think artistic cage fight, where pros of design are pitted against one another. Now, it doesn't go to the death -- it's at One Arts Plaza, so that would be weird -- but Art vs. Architect does raise cash for charity, which is almost as good.

Letters to Jackie at the Winspear -- The Dallas Film Society presents Bill Couturié's new documentary tonight, for free. Told through letters of support sent to the first lady, you'll get an unconventional look at a nation's grief. Celebrities Frances McDormand, Octavia Spencer and Anne Hathaway lend their voices. Several hundred extra tickets were released this week, and are available first come, first served -- so arrive early for the 7:30 screening.

Friday 11.15 Live and Let Strip -- It's an all-007-themed show, where the earth's most glamorous burlesque broads serve up a show that's shaken and stirred.

Race -- One of David Mamet's newest plays gets its due beginning this weekend at Kitchen Dog. Mamet says it's a story of "race and the lies people tell themselves about it." So maybe don't expect a holiday feel-good.

Dowdy Wagon and Napkin Studios Party -- Two of your favorite teams have paired up for an evening of cocktails, shopping and good times. F. is for Frank and Daniel Driensky will be there too, so pop over and load up.

Gunther Schuller leads Meadow's Wind Ensemble and UTA Wind Symphony -- He's played with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Edited and posthumously released Charles Mingus' final work, Epitaph. He won the freaking Pulitzer Prize for Of Reminiscences and Reflections, is a celebrated author and even snatched up the 1991 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. On Friday and Saturday you'll see him in action, leading a joint concert between two college wind ensembles.

Things Do Not Happen. Things Are Made To Happen., at The Safe Room -- File this under "less conventional JFK events." The Safe Room's newest group show filters Kennedy's message through the minds of Tom Sale, Randy Murphy, Bruce Lee Webb, and Chuck & George. It's upstairs, inside Texas Theatre.

Late Nights at the DMA, with Frank Mosley's "Two Story" -- Both the Nasher and the DMA offer free admission until midnight on Friday. While you're down there catch actor/artist/cinemadude Frank Mosley's newest collaborative film installation, Two Story, followed by a discussion.

Saturday 11.16 Art Con 9 -- It's the weekend's biggest party. Composed of a high-energy auction (bids start at $20), live music by Zhora and New Fumes, DJ sets by emptycylinder and Sarah Jaffe and oodles of other cool things, this night generates cash for local artful nonprofits. This year's recipient is My Possibilities, so show up, bid high and leave a winner.

Gay Bingo for Texas Equal Access Fund -- It's the final Gay Bingo of the year, fittingly titled "Happy Holigays." Local lady rights group Texas Equal Access Fund gets a kickback and you get foul-mouthed illusionists yelling "I-69." Yup, it's perfect.

Prairie Home Companion -- Garrison Keillor isn't as spit-shined as his Lake Wobegon characters. There's a darker cunning to him that emerges in interviews and during points of political friction -- that's what's kept him so interesting over all these years. His show's still a hit, and you can catch it in Fair Park Saturday night.

An Evening with Nick Offerman -- What do you suppose an evening with Nick Offerman consists of? Hand-sharpening straight razors? Minimally discussing ex-wives? A tutorial on building a respectable table? Possibly all of the above? He's at House of Blues Saturday, so go bro down with Ron effin' Swanson.

Dallas City Lights -- It's that transformative Dallas evening where everything gets festive, all at once. The tubes open up at Neiman's, people are actually walking downtown and the streets illuminate. It's free to explore and best done without a car, so pump up those bike tires or call a cab.

Sunday 11.17 MAP at the MAC -- Make Art with Purpose partners with the MAC on Sunday for a program of short films chronicling various aspects of immigration, panel discussions hosted by Oscar-winning director Theo Rigby, and communal storytelling about ancestry which artist Anthony Weeks will then configure into a mural. It's free.

Dallas Handmade Market -- Don't wind up at the mall this weekend -- especially when the Dallas Handmade Market is doling out free mimosas to shoppers. Go there instead. You'll get tipsy and find cool things that simply cannot be mass-produced. Plus, it's stress-free.

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