Get outside and enjoy this time of year because we've got plenty of awesome things to do on a budget: From sleek and sexy Corvettes, to a visit by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a walking tour of six museums, it's all going down this week in Houston and surrounding areas. Plus, don't miss a visit by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp; we know him as John Sandford with his bestselling, so creepy you can't put the book down, "Prey" series. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and six of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Space City Performing Arts
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, $10
Global percussion music is the name of the game for this Houston-based music organization. Some will remember their inaugural project, Space City Gamelan, which debuted at TEDxHouston in 2012. Last time they stepped onto the stage over at Rec Room, percussionists performed works by Mike Mulshine and Steve Reich. Here's your chance to hear clapping music and futuristic elements with a world-view twist.
Wura-Natasha Ogunji: House of Wahala
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, free (preview)
8 p.m. Friday, free (tickets are required)
Visual and performance artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji is importing some Austin weird, while also paying tribute to her Nigerian roots, as she reinvents the lucrative art market with this evening of spectacle, humor and political debate. Yes, guests can (and should) bid on art from more than 25 international and Texas-based artists, but at least we know the money goes directly to the artists. Come early to view the art at 7 p.m. this Friday, then strap yourself in for the ride of your life as sound artist Emeka Ogboh provides the evening's soundtrack on this "flip the script" evening of wahala (meaning trouble in Nigerian pidgin).
Opening Reception for "Atlas, Plural, Monumental"
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, free
Contemporary American artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has followed in the footsteps of great inventors, going so far as to reproduce the kites designed by Alexander Graham Bell and Joseph Lecornu. But he did it his way, strapping on cameras and re-engineered alarm clocks to snap his picture on the ground as he flew the kites. For his water-filled wine bottle sculpture shown above, visitors can tap the bottles with a mallet to play a rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." It's the first survey exhibition in the Americas for Jonas over at CAMH, and you can count on a few other pieces that invite viewer participation. "Atlas, Plural, Monumental" is on view April 29 through August 6.
Museum Experience Zone 2
Asia Society Texas Center, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Czech Center, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston Museum of African American Culture
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, free to $12
Put on your walking shoes for a super-sized helping of culture, because the museums in Zone 2 are opening their doors for a daylong celebration of art and history. Check out the Japanese bamboo art at Asia Society (free), view historical re-enactments at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum ($3 to $5), participate in egg painting at the Czech Center ($3 to $5), make your own polymer clay sculpture at HCCC (free) and view a pair of amazing exhibits over at HMAAC (free). For a high-tech, futuristic experience, don't miss the artificial-intelligence avatar of a Holocaust survivor and ask the hologram questions at the Holocaust Museum ($8 to $12). Times vary, visit the Houston Museum District Association website for details.
13th Annual Spring Charity Corvette Car Show
Sugar Land Town Square
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, free
Do you have an eye for style? Come view the more than 100 Corvettes on view and enter your pick for the People's Choice Award. There's a lot at stake, and the judges are awarding both arms and cash for their favorites: first place winner nets a 9mm Walter Model PPSM2 handgun, second place finisher gets $300 cash and third place earns $200 cash. The men and women who keep these vehicles in tip top shape also have an agenda; they're raising money for the Fort Bend Rainbow Room and The Arc of Greater Houston.
Until Proven Innocent
7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, $10 (at the door)
Houston-based filmmakers, brother and sister Anthony and Jenna Jackson (P+R Productions, LLC), took a deeper look at the story behind Hannah Overton, a foster mom in Corpus Christi sentenced to life in prison, charged with capital murder of four-year-old Andrew Burd. This insightful documentary includes interviews with one of Overton's attorneys, John Raley (Raley & Bowick), and explores whether Overton was wrongfully accused or a vicious child killer. Both Raley and filmmaker Jenna will be in attendance for a talk-back after the screening; drinks and appetizers will be served. Insider tip: Tickets are $11 online, but $10 at the door.
New Ulm ArtWalk and Festival
New Ulm Firemen's Park, New Ulm
6 to 9 p.m. April 28, free
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29, free
Get your passport to great art with this fun, interactive multi-stop gallery tour. Print your "passport" from the website and get it stamped at Kenneth Turner's studio, Galleria Banco Viejo, Tin Lizzie's, the Gallery at... Esquina and June Levy's Brenham Home Collection. Turn those completed passports in by 4:30 p.m. Saturday and you could win a custom necklace, a giclee print, an original painting, rustic frames or dinner for two at Tin Lizzie's Cafe. Listen to jams from Wild Rabbit Salad and Mystery Loves Company, nosh down on food truck fare, and check out the art cars and classic rides on display.
2nd Annual Traders Village Houston Comicon
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, free ($4 parking)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, free ($4 parking)
Come out and meet Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo, because photo ops with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are free, courtesy of the Cowabunga Factory. Second time around, it looks like Traders Village has lined up some great human celebrities as well, including Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers S.P.D.), Bruno Gunn (HBO's Westworld), Chase Coleman (HBO's Boardwalk Empire) and Micah Parker (The Vampire Diaries). Then have fun checking out all of the comic book, sci fi, cosplay dealers and artists at one of our favorite outdoor markets. Costumes are encouraged.
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Golden Prey book signing
Murder By The Book
4 p.m. Sunday, free
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Camp has made quite a success with his alter-ego, writing under the pseudonym of John Sanders and cranking out 14 books in the bestselling "Prey Series." As a journalist he has reported on the darker side of humanity, including killings on the drug-addled streets of Miami and the modern day social problems of Native American communities in Minnesota and North Dakota. Sandford will be on hand this Sunday to discuss and sign copies of Golden Prey, where Lucas Davenport tries his hand as U.S. Marshal, but finds himself in the middle of a case involving cartel assassins and a torturer known as the "Queen of home-improvement tools."
HEAT with Michael Mann Livestream Q&A
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Mason Park
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $9.74
Director Michael Mann is celebrating the upcoming Blu-Ray release of HEAT, the Director's Definitive Edition, with a coast-to-coast screening, followed by a livestream Q&A with Mann. Action-packed and with heavy-hitting starpower on the big screen, this dark flick about crime, loss and love in Los Angeles has stood the test of time. Watch this battle of good versus evil as lifelong criminal Neil McCauley (De Niro) plans one last score and his nemesis, the obsessed cop Vincent Hanna (Pacino), tries to take him down.