Press Picks

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Discovery Day Unbeknownst to most of us, the Institute of International Education has been celebrating Greece all year, and now it brings art by Greek children and Grecco theatrical entertainments to the Children's Museum. Hands-on crafts for kids include mask and garland making and sing-alongs. Theatrical entertainments include a play, Echo and Narcissus, and live music and folk-dance performances. Echo and Narcissus are not good role models for children, having a childlike fascination with their own voice and looks, respectively. Children, however, are sure to relate. Given that the museum is an educational facility, we assume that Echo and Narcissus are not rewarded for their self-absorbed ways and, instead, learn valuable lessons. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. In the Kids Hall, included in admission. The Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 522-1138. $5; kids under two free.

Narrative Paintings We've said it before and we'll say it again, Beth Secor is a quiet but nonetheless key member of the art community. She's not only a talented artist in her own right, but also a woman with a talent for bringing out the artist in others. "Narrative Paintings" is made up of works by seniors at the Harbach-Ripley facility, many of whom grew up with hard times and have never previously had a chance to express themselves. These works explore the artists' personal histories in gouache. Reception, 1-3 p.m. Show through September 2. Inman Gallery, 1114 Barkdull, 529-9676.

Fiesta de la Hispanidad The Society for the Performing Arts is always combing the globe for entertainment, and they open their musical season with folk music from Bolivia. A group of musical historians, Rumillajta, will play sikus and antara (bamboo pipe instruments more impressive than Zamfir's pan flute), charango guitars and percussion instruments fashioned from sheep hooves and pea pods. Based in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, the five members of Rumillajta travel the world playing Andean music and selling traditional instruments. 8:30 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Call 520-3290 or 520-3292 for details or information on handicapped seating. Free.

Budweiser SuperFest By now you'd expect that Boyz II Men, who seemed pretty coltish and perky when they came out with Cooleyhighharmony, would be calling themselves Men Us II Be Boyz. Which is to say they've grown up. Not, admittedly, that maturity's had any effect on reducing the Boyz popularity, especially among the more swoon-happy in the female half of the human race. All those looking for something soulful in their R&B are likely to be heading out to The Summit for the SuperFest. There's something for the guys as well, given that TLC and Mary J. Blige will be among the Boyz's opening acts. 8 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza. Call (800) 832-0033 for information. $35.

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Sample the Arts open house Everybody who's anybody in the Theater District will be showing their stuff to potential patrons today. Their stuff includes costumed characters (Houston Grand Opera's bear and ballet mice from The Nutcracker); backstage tours of the Alley; and samples of cuisine from the Lancaster and the Spaghetti Warehouse. The point of all this fun is to get people involved in the arts. Last year, more than 40,000 people trooped through the Wortham Center and the Alley Theatre. Prepare to see everything and take a snapshot of your kid with a dancing tree. 1-5 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue, and Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue. Free. For more information, call 546-0200.

Ken Medema Fans may know Medema from TV's Hour of Power, or they may remember him from his early days as a music therapist. The San Francisco-based pianist incorporates your basic American styles, blues and rock, in his music. He also borrows from the rock and roll arena in his presentation; Medema "creates a flood of sound and light that entertains, inspires and informs." That's according to MCCR, which is excited about hosting this concert. 6 p.m. Metropolitan Community Church of the Resurrection, 1919 Decatur, 861-9149. Free.

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More time in the tunnels For those who missed the suffragist rally on Saturday, and for those who attended and went tunnel crazy, here's another chance. While thousands of Houstonians go about their business in the tunnels every single day, others barely know they exist. Discover Houston Tours has daily, guided, hour-and-a-half-long walking tours underneath downtown Houston, with docents pointing out world-famous works of art and architecture. Tours depart daily at 9:30 a.m. (please arrive by 9:15 a.m.) and reservations are suggested. Meet in the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel at Allen Center, 400 Dallas; valet parking and surface parking available. Call 840-WALK. $5 (cash only).

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Health Benefits Reform for Business -- in Place, in Process and Needed Next "In place" and "in process" are optimistic terms to use when the subject is health care reform, but nonprofit types have to be optimistic -- no one gives grants to the gloomy. Health Access Texas, a nonprofit organization busy in health services, education and research, has organized this conference and invited Congressman Bill Archer to be the keynote speaker. State Senator Jerry Patterson is also among the featured speakers. "This is one forum," Health Access Texas president Patricia Nelson says, "for all the stakeholders in our community's health care reform process to meet and exchange ideas." Archer's talk, "Will the U.S. Congress Bring New Reforms?" is slated for 10 a.m.; the conference begins at 7:30 a.m. Sheraton Astrodome Hotel, Kirby at Loop 610. For registration, call 522-8552 or fax 522-3381. $45.

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Edith Sorenson