If you are a planner or a last-minute procrastinator, this week we bring you a bit of this, a bit of that with events that do the body good, concerts that will lift your spirits, gatherings suitable for the whole family and brainy films that will make you go, "hm" — just because we like to challenge you.
Blue Cure & KHOU 11 News Tweetup Celebrating Men's Health Month at Hotel Zaza
Let's talk about prostates. Sure, though the subject may not make the best dinner or over-drinks tête-à-tête, a world without the people that happen to sport these essential organs without be unconceivable (insert laugh). Truth be told prostate cancer is not a disease of a graying demographic as most people tend to think. Rather, it affects many a young as well, like the story of one communications professional known for creative buzz.
As a survivor of prostate cancer, Gabe Canales founded Blue Cure to ensure it's something that's discussed often, like breast cancer and heart health. At this Blue Cure Meetup, M.D. Anderson physicians will be on hand to chat about causes, symptoms and prevention. Adding a little sass to the gathering are KHOU 11 News personalities Lily Jang, Lisa Hernandez, Gene Norman, Shern-Min Chow, Vicente Arenas, Malini Basu, Andrew Horansky and Courtney Zubowski and your CultureMap team.
Social media fiends, this is a tweetup, though tweeting is not a requirement to attend. But if you do, use the hashtag #KHOU4BlueCure and #Party4ACure.
Tuck & Patti at Dosey Doe Coffee House
It was a couple of moons ago that a dear friend said to me while driving, "Pull over and listen to this." She proceeded to dock her iPod and introduced me to this husband-and-wife artist duo. Despite Tuck & Patti's simple guitar-plus-voice arrangements, there's something about their nostalgic, emotional power that has the ability to touch your heart, make you laugh and cry.
My favorite song is by far "Takes My Breath Away" because how it unfolds, blossoms and finds repose standing "on a mountain top," though "Better Than Anything" comes in at a close second. One tears me up, the other makes me boogie.
The Heritage Society's "Heritage Family Day"
What's the one cavil people have about Houston? Perhaps there's more than one, but what I hear often is that there's a habit of building new before safeguarding what holds historical value. Isn't it great to know that organizations like The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park do what they can to preserve the life of yesteryear?
The "Heritage Family Day" is an open house that vivifies life at the turn of the century with old-fashioned children's games and activities like making your own book of Houston history. The day's theme focuses on the travels of the 1893 Baker Playhouse. Illustrator Bill Megenhardt will sketch out different versions of playhouses, perhaps what yours may look like, while singer/songwriter Leah White churns out a few tunes.
At 2 p.m. mosey over to the Julia Ideson Building to hear artists from Houston Grand Opera read The Very Long Life of Alice's Playhouse; A Survivor's Story by Andrea White, who will be on hand to sign books.
Screening of Payback at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
As a Canadian (not by birth, but by passport) I, every once in a while, proudly sport the maple leaf, imbibe a Labatt and utter an "eh" here and there. I can't resist the urge to suggest that the film roused by the book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, written by north-of-the-border author Margaret Atwood, is a must see this weekend.
Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal amasses philosophies from Raj Patel, Louise Arbour and Atwood that explore debt. Not just financial debt, but the give-and-take game that exists in every relationship. Think: Do you owe anyone anything?
World Refugee Day 2012
How amazing is Houston that we can call this city the most diverse the country. As a megalopolis that welcomes people from all walks of life, it's humbling to learn that many found their way here seeking refuge from persecution, danger, civil unrest and racism.
Many communities now call Houston home, and World Refugee Day at the Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center is an opportunity to see who is here, learn how they arrived here and celebrate what's beautiful about their homeland. They've survived, now it's time for them to thrive.
Houston Grand Opera will also premiere the next in the series of East + West, Song of Houston chamber opera commissions. New Arrivals by John Glover and Catherine Filloux tells the tale of Yani Rose Keo, a Cambodian refugee who has made it her mission to help others through her nonprofit, The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services.
Staff writer and CultureMap's most adorable Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Bob Schneider at McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Whitney says: "I've seen Bob Schneider get an audience of former-hippie sexagenarians salsa-dancing to his white-boy Latino rhythms at a bluegrass music festival; I can only imagine how he commands a crowd at the Mucky Duck. See him play there — twice — on Thursday night."
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Screening of Gerhard Richter Painting at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Nancy says: "Painting is movement. Nothing made that clearer than Gerhard Richter Painting, a film by Corinna Belz. You have two more chances to see this extraordinary documentary on Gerhard Richter. The film takes us right inside the makings of several abstract paintings.
"Belz's fly-on-the-wall style allows us to be with the painter without having him perform for the camera. We see paint come and go while the famous German artist considers what to keep and what to paint over. Watching him pull his giant squeegee over the canvas seemed like a sacred dance.