Six Free & Cheap Culture Events This Week

Believe it or not, we are just a few short weeks away from summer, also known as the time where it is completely unbearable to be in the outdoors for more than just a few seconds. It may seem as if winter was just over yesterday, but it's important that you take advantage of May's agreeable temperatures to enjoy some of the city's best outdoor entertainment.

We're certainly not advocating anything that requires actual physical exertion like hiking or something, just taking in a little art or culture in a venue that isn't air-conditioned. This week, these six free arts, theatre, and culture events will expose you to more than just knowledge -- you might even catch a little fresh air and sunshine.

The Merry Wives of Windsor May 4, 2015 Wyly Theatre $10

As Shakespeare Dallas makes their way through the complete works of their namesake playwright, it's a great opportunity to enjoy some of Shakespeare's works that aren't frequently produced. In a reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor, follow a pauper's pursuit of wealthy women, and all the hilarity that entails. This is Shakespeare Dallas' last production of the season, so if you've been meaning to catch a show, this is your last chance until next season. (Pro-tip: if you have a student ID, you can get tickets to these unabridged staged readings for free)

Avant Chamber Ballet May 5, 2015 Dallas City Performance Hall $15-25

As part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's SOLUNA Festival, the Avant Chamber Ballet company will perform selected works from George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, and their own artistic director, Katie Puder, will premiere a new composition. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will provide the music for this evening of dance, and your $15 ticket is a real bargain when you consider how much it would cost to see each company separately.

Patio Sessions: Quentin Moore with Chris Watson Band May 7, 2015 Sammons Park Free

Now that the weather is completely gorgeous, you have no reason to not spend your afternoons enjoying one of Dallas' great parks -- especially if they've got free live music. Austin-based soul singer Quentin Moore will join the equally-soulful Chris Watson Band for an afternoon of free tunes in Sammons Park. Food trucks and booze vendors will be selling their wares, and you can enjoy all that fresh air for free, too.

Next Topic: Nathaniel Donnett May 7, 2015 CentralTrak Free Houston-based artist Nathaniel Donnett's work combines the worlds of sculpture, drawing, painting and performance, and you can get an inside track into the mind of the artist with this lecture and moderated Q&A session. According to CentralTrak's description, Donnett's work "blurs the meaning of manifesto, artist statement, and personal philosophy. It marries psycho-sociopolitical concerns with the imagination and experiences of the black people in the United States, particularly in the South, and as an extension the African diaspora." If your art experience in Dallas is mostly white, this is a great opportunity to imagine work through a different lens.

Allen Arts Festival May 8-10, 2015 Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm Free

This small arts festival in Allen is a great way to build up your personal collection, thanks to the booths of juried artists, artisans, and crafters that will line scenic Watters Creek. Outside of the art on display, live music and entertainment, kids activities, and plenty of excellent people-watching makes the Allen Arts Festival the perfect way to spend a day outdoors before all the Mother's Day craziness on Sunday.

Swiss Avenue Historic District Home Tour May 9, 2015 Savage Park Free-$25

If you'd like to take a look at how the better half lives, this tour of beautiful historic homes in the Swiss Avenue district will either depress you or encourage you to become a capitalist pig. A Mother's Day weekend tradition, this walking tour will take you through some of the most beautiful and architecturally significant homes on Swiss Avenue. If you're willing to shell out the extra cash, you can pony up for a horse-drawn carriage ride from stop to stop.

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