So many highlights from last week. Artist Sondra Perry gave an exceptional performance at DiverseWorks, FreshDark Fest was a marathon of dope music (did you see my review?), Little Simz made herself a new Houston fan base, and everybody came out to see Anderson .Paak. I’d say everybody and they momma but Foreign Exchange had a big audience too. This week we have mechanical shark-riding, Pride, and plenty of art and music to keep you busy.
Thursday, June 23: Coworking space Headquarters is having a party to celebrate their building demolition (and subsequent new construction) at 3302 Canal with food, (free?) drinks, and indoor paintball. A bunch of local musicians are coming together for The Untitled Experience: Volume 1 at Chymistry Bar & Lounge. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen, but the intriguing event is only $5 in advance and starts at 8pm. The local activist group connected to Black Lives Matter, BLMHTX, is having a general meeting at St. John’s Downtown focusing on Connecting Communities in/for Action. Lake Street Dive, led by the stunning voice of Rachael Price, is performing at the House of Blues. Discounted tickets are about $20.
Friday, June 24: Friday starts off with a bang with a wide range of events. The art studios at Winter Street, Silver Street, and The Silos are all open for The Summer Series at 5pm. The Young African Professionals Launch Party starts at 6pm at Corner Table Restaurant with free drinks and apps from 6-7pm if you RSVP. 14 Pews is hosting Breaking the Stigma: A Conversation on Mental Health within Communities of Color with a panel and community discussion beginning at 7pm. The Amazing Nina Simone shows at the MFAH shows at 7pm as a continuation of the Jazz on Film series. Dancer Harrison Guy is holding Between Two Worlds: A Hymn for Black Gay Men on Race, Religion, and Rites of Passage at MATCH beginning at 7:30pm for $25. Robert Hodge, Tierney Malone, and Russell Guess brought together a who’s who of visual artists and musicians for the album Two and 1/2 Years, a musical celebration of Juneteenth (June 19) that will be performed at The Shrine of the Black Madonna. Tickets are $25.
Saturday, June 25: At 3pm Our Family Dinner is gathering at Seasons 52 for their dinner held twice annually. It’s a wonderful event and one of the best ways for new Black Houstonians to get connected. The Houston Hispanic Leadership Initiative is gathering at UHD for a free symposium beginning at 9am. The free LGBT Pride Festival and Parade, with over 700,000 people annually, kicks off at noon in downtown Houston. The Funomenal Festival at Discovery Green has an abundance of kid-friendly events for people with children of all ages and begins at 1pm. At 6pm the free Community Music Center of Houston’s Black Music Month Legacy Concert is at TSU’s Rhinehart Auditorium hosted by Houston vocalist Tweed Smith and featuring performers like Philippe Edison who I saw at this year’s FreshDark Fest. The Texas Art Asylum is holding Castle of Dreams, which is a tribute art show for Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli (check the IMDB Top 100 if you’re not familiar). Go around 5pm when it begins and check out the asylum’s wares as well. Dope Hope HTX at Mosaic Bar & Lounge is partying to support AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) starting at 7:30pm. Monthly DJ night ARKP (A Really Kool Party) is celebrating its two-year anniversary (already?!) at Fox Hollow with Dpat and Blackout. I’ve seen Dpat spin and it was lit. I’ll be there and before 11pm when the $5 cover starts.
Sunday, June 26: Raven Tower’s Shark Week Kick-off Party will have a mechanical shark-riding contest along with live music, water balloon fights, and games! Do you need any more incentive to come out and drink? Local millenial nonprofit Hive Society is putting on Dear Summer, another dopeART show at Last Concert Cafe with presale tickets for $15. They’ll have music, art, and a speed-dating mixer for #Summer16.
Monday, June 27: The Ensemble Theatre is having a reading of August Wilson’s King Hedley II at 6pm. I went to their reading of The Colored Museum on Monday and loved it!
Tuesday, June 28: At 9am the Greater Houston Black Chamber continues their free industry forum series focusing on the Texas Medical Center. The Nightingale Room will have Michele Thibeaux, Chris Crump, and DJ Daniel Jackson for their free weekly Roologic performance series kicking off at 7pm.
Wednesday, June 29: The inaugural Hispanic Houston Impact Summit will provide an in-depth analysis of the Hispanic community at the Hilton Americas beginning at 8am. University startup accelerators OwlSpark and REDlabs are coming together at TMCx to hold a free collaborative happy hour with drinks and nachos. Monthly listening party Straight No Chaser is back at Alley Kat with DJ Flash Gordon Parks featuring Houston artist Brew’s new album Mo City or Nothin. I caught snippets during the album release at Raven Tower before the spelling be (that I won!!) and I’m looking forward to hearing more.
Thursday, June 30: Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing opens through July 31 at The Ensemble Theatre. The Waxaholics are bringing Harlem DJ Large Professor to their weekly (and lively) party at Alley Kat. Entry is free with RSVP. Kaleidoscope Houston’s new free monthly networking series for creatives, Tales of the Creative: Meet | Mix | Mingle, kicks off at The Flat with photographer and DJ Jay Tovar aka Third World TV spinning.
RSVP now: The Art Sound Off: a free competition on July 10 of creative artists producing new work onsite. Startup Weekend is coming back the weekend of July 22! Technical and non-technical entrepreneurs (and aspiring entrepreneurs) come together to take products from idea to prototype in just 54 hours. It’s an amazing experience and an excellent way to get connected in the local startup scene.
Merlex Picks has all of these and more. Don’t sleep on that calendar. I have it on my phone which is probably why I’m never at home.