Exhausted of this relentless heat wave? After last weekend's record temperatures, let's enjoy the comfort of fresh, air conditioned spaces while watching films, listening to local poets, fundraising for urban movement and learning about how one woman's resilience inspired a movement.
Tip: Click on the links below each event description. You will jump to a page with neat features like the ability to download the details directly to your online calendar. Scroll down a bit and you will find additional intel to help you better plan your outing.
Second Annual Arch Film Festival
Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Preservation Houston's walking tour savant Jim Parsons while taking a brief promenade through Houston Heights Historic District East. Amid stories of who resided where and what life was like at the turn of the century, what whet my curiosity is the area's struggles with protecting its essence while experiencing gentrification.
Architecture Center Houston's three-day film festival delves into issues that nod to Houston's current and future struggles with economic development and population growth as residents redefine what it means to live in the city, in the suburbs and in the country.
Word Around Town Poetry Tour
Music, theater, dance, visual arts — Houston's creatives and art presenters are responsible for many nights out on the town. Though the poetry/spoken word scene is just as active, it is not as visible.
Here an opportunity to get your fix from local wordsmiths at cool locally-owned and operated venues.
Art Opening Reception: Glass Graphica
What I treasure most about exhibitions at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is that the curators, more often than not, broaden my understanding of what can be done with everyday materials that we often take for granted. Like glass.
Glass Graphica couples former master teacher and pupil, artists Moshe Bursuker and Miguel Unson, whose works are mused by natural elements, both representational and abstract, and comment on the dialogue between the organic world and man-made structures.
Urban Movement 2012
This is something I didn't know: The practice of Parkour originated in the 1920s. Where? You know it. France. Perhaps it's the trend toward free form fitness — think about the CrossFit explosion — coupled with the city's peculiar spaces that are starting to popularize the practice here in the Bayou City. You can credit that to Urban Movement, a nonprofit group headed by Cameron Pratto, Dakao Do, Mandy Trichell and Wes Hamner, who link movement with enlivening peoples' spirits.
Now that the company has a new home at Studio Fitness in The Heights, it's time for a fundraising fete with GONZO274 of Aerosol Warfare, DJ Sun, the Trainwreck Crew B-boys, UMove, Ladybird Food Truck, Saint Arnold Brewing Co. and Dripping Springs Vodka.
Screening of I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful
Though director Jonathan Demme's intentions were to study New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, the focus of his film shifted when he crossed paths with Carolyn Parker, the last resident to leave the Ninth Ward neighborhood after a mandatory evacuation was decreed before the weather massive system hit land. Parker was also the first to return.
Her jade-colored home became a symbol of resilience, and this film traces its journey from destruction to rebirth and how Parker inspired her neighbors to restore their way of life.
Author/producer Daniel Wolff will be at the screening. At 2 p.m., he will be at Brazos Bookstore signing his book, The Fight for Home, How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back.
Staff writer and adorable Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Castles in the Sky film screening - Spirited Away
Whitney says: "I'll be ducking into a cool theater at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston this weekend to escape the August sun and catch Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away on the big screen. A fanciful anime favorite, this film rounds out the summer-long Castles in the Sky: Studio Ghibil series.
Staff writer and totally awesome guy Tyler Rudick's pick: Iron Maiden "Maiden England North American Tour"
Tyler says: "I'll admit it, I've got a thing for Iron Maiden. It starts somewhere with early metal masterpieces like 'The Number of the Beast' and 'Run to the Hills' and peaks with the 1984 musical exploration of Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' But for those of us trekking out to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for Saturday's rare Maiden performance, we know who we're really going to see — Eddie, the evil skeleton who's appeared onstage with the band (as well as on every album cover) since 1980.
Eddie's a versatile chap, adapting himself to any number of Iron Maiden themes, whether they're about deranged robots or ancient Egypt. Jury's out as to what Eddie will be wearing for this weekend's show, but surely he'll be out to impress.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Recreational Aesthetics with Emily Sloan
Nancy says: "I've slept with Emily Sloan. To be more accurate, it was a nap, and an artsy one at that, at the Art League when Sloan was posing as a Naptition as part of her installation Napping Affects Performance. I followed her around again during her Carrie Nation phase. Art is rarely this funny. Sloan is up to her hard-to-classify-antics again with Recreational Aesthetics at Darke Gallery, with two Saturdays left, Aug. 19 and 25, 2 to 4 pm.
Coined by musician and artist Jane Schmitt, Recreational Aesthetics is more or less when play enters the art world. On Saturday the topic is "How Galleries remind me of Churches/Sleep Swimming" and on Aug. 25, it's "Is that a Baby Ruth in the Swimming Pool." Prepare to recreate.