What would you do if you purchased some land on eBay but the deed never arrived? Aurora Picture Show screens the Houston premiere of eteam's Space Delay this Friday, about the hunt for a shadowy landowner and a piece of the American dream.EXPAND
What would you do if you purchased some land on eBay but the deed never arrived? Aurora Picture Show screens the Houston premiere of eteam's Space Delay this Friday, about the hunt for a shadowy landowner and a piece of the American dream.
Still from Space Delay by eteam

Ten Things to Do in Houston for $10 or Less (Nine Free), February 23-March 1

Roll out the red carpet because Houston is celebrating the grand opening of two venues this weekend: the Moody Center for the Arts and Upper Kirby's Levy Park, which is unveiling $15 million in upgrades. That makes for a great start for a staycation in the Bayou City, plus we've got a jam with Jawwaad, pin-up-inspired art in the East End and even a pet parade in Galveston. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and nine of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston presents a lecture and performance by Jawwaad Taylor, in conjunction with CAMH’s music-based lecture series 20HERTZ.EXPAND
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston presents a lecture and performance by Jawwaad Taylor, in conjunction with CAMH’s music-based lecture series 20HERTZ.
Photo by Ronald L. Jones

20HERTZ with Jawwaad Taylor
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
6:30 p.m. Thursday, free

Houston-born trumpet player and rapper Jawwaad Taylor isn't content to play in just one sandbox. For CAMH's next 20HERTZ lecture, the multi-disciplinary artist will discuss his many spheres of influence (hip-hop, jazz, improv, visual arts) and also treat audience members to a mini concert of his signature electronic and trumpet music. He's ready to chat about everything: his musical projects, his collaborations with visual artists and how visual aesthetics can change the way listeners interact with music.

View works by Valyntina Grenier and hear excerpts from her timely poetry at Gspot Contemporary Art Space. Shown: Cloud Party at the RainbowEXPAND
View works by Valyntina Grenier and hear excerpts from her timely poetry at Gspot Contemporary Art Space. Shown: Cloud Party at the Rainbow
Photo courtesy of Valyntina Grenier

Art + Poetry Artist Talk
Gspot Contemporary Art Space
5:30 p.m. Thursday, free

Artist Valyntina Grenier asks visitors to look beyond the colorful surfaces of her paintings, installations and encaustics to see that they offer reflections on this moment in our nation's history, a time when ruin, bigotry, evil, violence and fear threaten to take hold. Stop by for this intimate gathering in the Heights as Grenier reads from her poetry and shares the works in her solo exhibition.

Laff Town Comedy returns to Saint Dane's Bar & Grille for an evening of open-mike comedy.
Laff Town Comedy returns to Saint Dane's Bar & Grille for an evening of open-mike comedy.
Photo by Steven Padilla

Laff Town
Saint Dane's Bar & Grille
9 to 11:55 p.m. Thursday, free admission

It's time for H-Town's comics to step into the spotlight and see if they've got what it takes to bring the laughs, because Laff Town Comedy has returned to this laid-back Midtown eatery. Host Bryan Biggio will kick things off with a mini-set, then we'll hear from almost a dozen funny men (and women) before featured comedian Ku Egenti takes the mike. Be sure to belly up to the bar for the super-tasty burgers and drink specials.

Aurora Picture Show screens the Houston premiere of eteam's Space Delay this Friday.EXPAND
Aurora Picture Show screens the Houston premiere of eteam's Space Delay this Friday.
Still from Space Delay by eteam

eteam: Space Delay
Aurora Picture Show
7:30 p.m. Friday, free to $10

If a film's success hinges on the plot, we might just have a winner here. The premise is that the New York-based art collective eteam purchased a plot of land on eBay but, when the deed didn't show up in the mail, they headed west to track down the shadowy landowner and claim their piece of the American dream. The artists (Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger) will be in attendance for this Houston premiere, and also will screen their recent short, Track One. Aurora Picture show members are invited to a reception at 6:30 p.m.; a Q&A follows the screening of Space Delay.

View "Pin-up" inspired art in this group exhibition at East End Studio Gallery. Shown is work by Lizbeth Ortiz.EXPAND
View "Pin-up" inspired art in this group exhibition at East End Studio Gallery. Shown is work by Lizbeth Ortiz.
Photo by Alex Barber

"Pin-up" Art Group Show
East End Studio Gallery
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, free

In the late 19th century, burlesque performers and Hollywood actresses created photographic promo cards to drum up business and build their fan bases. These inexpensive adverts were often tucked into mirrors or pinned up on the wall, and we can't wait to see their vintage beauty echoed in contemporary drawings, paintings and photographs in the new "Pin-up" Art Group Show at East End Studio Gallery. Can't make it opening night with the crowds, food trucks and vendors? Then be sure to come back for closing night, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. March 3.

GREAT, Armstrong Hangar 703, Palmdale, 2014, by Thomas Struth, is on view in "Nature & Politics" at the Moody Center for the Arts through May 29.EXPAND
GREAT, Armstrong Hangar 703, Palmdale, 2014, by Thomas Struth, is on view in "Nature & Politics" at the Moody Center for the Arts through May 29.
© Photo by Thomas Struth

"Nature & Politics" by Thomas Struth
Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, free

It's the first full day of operations for the brand-spanking-new Moody Center for the Arts, so go easy on the gallery guides. Just ask them to point the way to the chromogenic prints by German-based artist Thomas Struth, where he depicts scientific research and manufactured landscapes in "Nature & Politics." The exhibit is free for the viewing, but if you're hungry to learn more about the technological developments that make space travel possible, experiments in plasma physics or industrial facilities such as offshore oil rigs or blast furnaces, then pony up the $20 for his panel discussion at 2 p.m. in the Lois Chiles Studio Theater.

Levy Park sports a 24,000-square-foot play area for kids, a double-decker bus has been turned into a beer garden, and they've installed 600 pieces of Fermob outdoor furniture.EXPAND
Levy Park sports a 24,000-square-foot play area for kids, a double-decker bus has been turned into a beer garden, and they've installed 600 pieces of Fermob outdoor furniture.
Rendering courtesy of the office of James Burnett

Grand (re)Opening
Levy Park
10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, free

Dogs are wagging their tails at the news of the totally spruced-up Levy Park in the Upper Kirby District. Mayor Sylvester Turner will be on hand at 11 a.m. for the ribbon cutting, then it's time to begin exploring six acres of fun, rain or shine. The shebang includes food trucks and face painting, gardening demos and a piano concert, plus performing arts, poetry and animal rescue groups. Fido is welcome to come; just make sure he's got you on a leash. Hang around, folks, because the Grammy Award-Winning Band Grupo Fantasma hits the stage at 6 p.m. in the new performance pavilion. Bonus: Scout out the crowds and weather beforehand on the nifty Levy Park webcam.

It's free to watch the parade, but consider upgrading to the Annual "A Cat's Eye View" Parade Viewing Party for just $20. The shindig runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Trolley Building and offers a front row seat of the Shriners Hospitals for Children & Sunshine Kids Parade (noon), the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade (1:30 p.m.) and the Firefighters Children's Parade (3 p.m.).EXPAND
It's free to watch the parade, but consider upgrading to the Annual "A Cat's Eye View" Parade Viewing Party for just $20. The shindig runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Trolley Building and offers a front row seat of the Shriners Hospitals for Children & Sunshine Kids Parade (noon), the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade (1:30 p.m.) and the Firefighters Children's Parade (3 p.m.).
Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

19th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade
Downtown Galveston
1:30 p.m. Sunday, free*

See or be seen this Sunday when costumed pets strut their stuff in the 19th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade. Come early because the costume contest begins at 12:30 p.m., when winners will be announced and ribbons awarded. This year's theme is PAW-Jama Party, just in case that gets your creative juices flowing with costume ideas. Line up at 21st and Harborside at Pier 21, then follow the parade as it proceeds down 20th Street to the Strand, travels west to 25th Street, left on Mechanic, and then back to the starting point. Beads are fine for throwing or catching, just no candy, please; we want to make sure no animals were harmed in the making of this fun. Proceeds from participant entry fees benefit the Galveston Island Humane Society. *Insider tip: Access to the Strand District is free this Sunday so that all can enjoy viewing the parades.

Elliot Ackerman's writings have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Repub­lic and The New York Times Magazine.EXPAND
Elliot Ackerman's writings have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Repub­lic and The New York Times Magazine.
Author photo by Peter van Agtmael

Dark at the Crossing book signing
Brazos Bookstore
7 p.m. Monday, free

Author Elliot Ackerman (Green on Blue) is in Houston to discuss and sign copies of Dark at the Crossing, a contemporary love story set in Turkey. Main character Haris Abadi is an Arab American with a past who finds himself trying to cross into Syria to help fight Bashar al-Assad's regime. This exploration of loss, second chances and the origin of our beliefs is told with raw urgency and power. Ackerman is both a former White House Fellow and a Marine, and has served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart. He is based out of Istanbul, where he has covered the Syrian Civil War since 2013.

Each month the Glasscock School presents a free "Creativity Up Close" lecture series. What will you do to up your creativity quotient?
Each month the Glasscock School presents a free "Creativity Up Close" lecture series. What will you do to up your creativity quotient?
Graphic by Dean Mackey

The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
The Shepherd School of Music, Stude Concert Hall, Rice University
7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, free

Keith Sawyer, author of Zig Zag and Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation, has tips and tricks for maximizing our creative potential. Innovation and creativity have become even more important, especially in a workforce that depends so heavily on computer technology and outsourcing. Sawyer is a Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; this event is presented by The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University as part of its "Creativity Up Close" lecture series. Up your CQ and click here to register.

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