Raised in Houston, Rick Bass was once part of the problem. But the reformed petroleum geologist has evolved into a solution-seeking activist -- not to mention one of the young lions of nature writing. Now based in Yaak Valley, Montana, Bass has backed up the often-outspoken words he's written in books like The Lost Grizzlies, The Ninemile Wolves and The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness with serious action in the realms of environmental and animal conservation. Says Bass, "Activism takes time away from art, but so does anxiety. Engagement in political struggles is not a healthy choice for many of us ... but there would be turmoil if I didn't try." Bass reads from his first full-length novel, Where the Sea Used to Be, at 7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, 523-0701. Free.
The "Dialogue: Racism" Summer Film Series, sponsored by the Center for the Healing of Racism, opens at 7 tonight with Viva la Causa: 500 Years of Chicano History, a video based on Elizabeth Martinez's book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures. The screening/discussion forum continues through July 29 at various locations. Viva unspools at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 2600 Holman. Info: 520-8226. Free.
July 1 Ray Hill has crafted a cottage industry out of rabble-rousing, be it for gay rights, prison reform or the preservation of topless bars and smut stands. Ray Hill, the Prison Years, a revival of the one-man show by the burglar-turned-activist, includes Hill's thoughts about "prison life, the 'system' and [his] run-ins with Houston's finest." 8 p.m. The Little Room Downstairs, 2326 Bissonnet, 523-0791. $10.