Free & Cheap Culture Events in Dallas This Week

There are plenty of excuses to stay home. The couch is comfortable, Netflix is full of cool documentaries that you haven't seen, and food can actually be delivered to your front door. The comforts of the 21st century are great, but it is also occasionally cool to get out into the world and take in some of the creative and interesting art and music that the people who live in our fair city are constantly creating.

Put on some damn pants, and plan to head to one of these five free (or cheap!) culture events this week. You can celebrate the environment, listen to some cringe-worthy stories, and take in some great jazz music. Either way, you can finally tell your coworkers that you did something interesting for a change. They're probably really bored with all those stories about your cat.

Oral Fixation: Happy Camper Monday, April 20, 2015 Wyly Theatre $25 This themed storytelling series is as cathartic as it is creative, and each installment offers some of Dallas' most interesting personalities telling their craziest stories. This month's theme, Happy Camper, will center around all things summer camp. No two stories at the same, and creator Nicole Stewart herself will take the stage to talk about getting kicked out of summer camp. Maybe this month's installment will inspire you to tell your very own story a a future Oral Fixation. If you miss Monday's show, catch it again at the Texas Theatre on Wednesday.

John Avildsen Lecture Wednesday, April 22 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Free If you enjoy cheesy-but-great '80s movies, you're not going to want to miss this free lecture from John Avildsen, director of such classics as Rocky and The Karate Kid, at SMU on Wednesday. Avildsen will discuss his career, including an upcoming film, how he's seen movies evolve, and how character and story makes a great film. Students and attendees will be able to ask Avildsen questions about his creative process and more, which is perfect for budding screenwriters and directors looking to get into film.

Sammons Lunch Jam: Jazz and Dance Sammons Park Thursday, April 23 Free Getting out of your high-rise office and heading to the park during lunch is a treat in and of itself, but when you add jazz, dance, and some of the city's most promising artists to the equation, it's practically a vacation. The Booker T. Washington School of Performing Arts' Lunch Jam at Sammons Park is a free event that features the school's talented musicians, actors, and dancers each week, making it the perfect way to break up your boring workday and support the arts in a really unique way.

Cyrus Cassells Thursday, April 23 The Wild Detectives Free You may not think there's much of a poetry scene in Dallas, but an evening with Pandora's Box, a local collective of poets and writers, is proof that you're dead wrong. This week, they're heading to Bishop Arts bookstore The Wild Detectives for a reading with Cyrus Cassells, award-winning poet and professor at Texas State University. Cassells will present readings of his work, which has been nominated for the Lambda Literary Award among others.

Earth Day Texas April 24-26, 2015 Fair Park Free You don't have to be a hippie to appreciate the earth, especially when it's a gorgeous spring day in North Texas. This weekend, Fair Park will play host to a three-day Earth Day festival that is all about making Texas a more environmentally-friendly place to live. You can check out art, ride along in a Tesla, and sit in on lectures on environmental topics of all kinds. If that's a little too boring (academic!) for your tastes, live music, food, and even NASA will be on hand to entertain.

2015 Denton Arts & Jazz Festival April 24-26, 2015 Quakertown Park, Denton, TX Free If you don't make it to Denton often enough, make the annual Arts & Jazz festival your excuse. Outside of the incredible art on display, local and national jazz musicians will play three days of great music, all for free. You'll want to check out the food trucks and take the kids to create art, but you really can't go wrong in just wandering around, listening to tunes, and taking in the great people watching.

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