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5 Unique & Cheap Culture Events This Week

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This time of year, everything just feels a little more boring. We’re all waiting around for fall television premieres and football that these last few weeks of August can feel a little empty. You could do something productive like figure out how to pay off those student loans or repave your driveway, but it’s probably a much better idea to spend time stretching your brain before you spend the rest of the year rotting it with bad TV and athletic violence.

And this week, there’s plenty to keep you interested. From well-traveled war correspondents to a grown-up water balloon fight, this week’s list of events is truly unique. Most importantly, though, you won’t have to spend more than about $10 to feel like your brain isn’t melting into the sidewalk.

Author Talk: Anna Badkhen
Thursday, August 29
The Wild Detectives
314 W. 8th St. 
Free

The Wild Detectives is rapidly becoming one of the best spots in town for an excellent cultural experience on the cheap, and their series of author’s talks only further makes that case. Described by The Wild Detectives as an “overall fascinating human being,” Anna Badkhen is a storied war reporter who has covered conflicts on four continents for publications like The New York Times. This week, Badkhen will discuss her book Walking With Abel, a critically acclaimed chronicle of her time spent in Mali with a tribe of nomadic cowboys.

FIG Finale
Friday, August 28
Fashion Industry Gallery
1807 Ross Ave.
$5-$50

It’s rough having designer tastes on a Forever 21 budget, which is why you’ll find all the basics and ladies who lunch alike taking advantage of the FIG Finale, a yearly blockbuster sale with ridiculously low prices on last year’s designer fashions. Hopefully you’ve saved up a few bucks to splurge, because the finds here can be truly impressive. Admission on Friday and Saturday is only $5, or you can spring for the $50 VIP ticket and shop early on Thursday. Either way, SHOP.

Design District Market
Saturday, August 29
Community Beer Company
1530 Inspiration Drive
Free

Speaking of shopping, if you don’t have the cash for designer duds, consider some locally made crafts when you’re trying to get a little retail therapy. At the Design District Market, you’ll find plenty of vintage goodness, hand-crafted art, and other quirky stuff that will look very cool as it collects dust on your bookshelf. There will also be a 3D-printing demonstration and plenty of beer, so there’s pretty much something for everyone.

Deep Ellum Water Balloon Wars
Sunday, August 30
July Alley
2809 Elm St.
$12-$20

It’s hot, and that probably makes you a little angry. The best way to alleviate both overheating and aggravation is, of course, to pelt other people with balloons full of water. Better yet, your $12 admission to this Deep Ellum street fest will benefit a local suicide prevention and awareness charity. Bring your Super Soakers and other assorted water toys and get prepared to blast and get blasted.

Professor R. Mutt’s Duchampaphone
Sunday, August 30
Ro2 Art

110 N. Akard St.
Free

We can guarantee that you’ve never seen anyone make music with Marcel Duchamp’s famous Bicycle Wheel sculpture, but that could all change if you make it to Ro2 Art this Sunday. This “Duchampaphone” produces sounds that “range from serene to cacophonous,” which is probably something that you should check out. Once you’ve checked out this weirdness, make time to browse through CHAOS, Ro2’s stellar current exhibition. 

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