Behind every great man there's a great woman, right? Well, forget the first part, and you've got the idea behind the fascinating lecture series that is Unique Lives & Experiences. This forum provides its audience with an intimate look at the personal tragedies and triumphs of its famous female speakers. This year's lineup consisted of Jerri Nielsen, the physician who diagnosed and directed the surgical removal of her own breast cancer while stationed at the South Pole; Mae Jemison, a Dartmouth professor and the first African-American woman in space (aboard Endeavour); Marie Osmond, child actress, country music star and mother of seven who survived a gripping bout of postpartum depression; Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, who shared intriguing tales of both the difficulties and benefits of being a woman in world politics; and exiled Chilean Isabel Allende, the best-selling author of The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune. Each lecture ends with a Q&A session, providing educational, entertaining interaction. So who needs men? Sisters are doin' it for themselves.

Behind every great man there's a great woman, right? Well, forget the first part, and you've got the idea behind the fascinating lecture series that is Unique Lives & Experiences. This forum provides its audience with an intimate look at the personal tragedies and triumphs of its famous female speakers. This year's lineup consisted of Jerri Nielsen, the physician who diagnosed and directed the surgical removal of her own breast cancer while stationed at the South Pole; Mae Jemison, a Dartmouth professor and the first African-American woman in space (aboard Endeavour); Marie Osmond, child actress, country music star and mother of seven who survived a gripping bout of postpartum depression; Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, who shared intriguing tales of both the difficulties and benefits of being a woman in world politics; and exiled Chilean Isabel Allende, the best-selling author of The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune. Each lecture ends with a Q&A session, providing educational, entertaining interaction. So who needs men? Sisters are doin' it for themselves.

It's Wednesday night and there's nothing to do? We like to spend the midweek drinking a glass of wine or sipping a cup of coffee at Agora. It's a dusky place with dark heavy furniture mixed with a few Greek artifacts here and there and hip magazines you won't find anyplace else. And where else can you get banana bread or baklava while you play a game of backgammon? And as the night wears on, out come the belly dancers. They shimmy and shake their stomachs wearing sequined I Dream of Jeannie costumes as smiling patrons stuff dollar bills into their belts. You can't see that at Starbucks.
Agora
Photo by Craig Hlavaty
It's Wednesday night and there's nothing to do? We like to spend the midweek drinking a glass of wine or sipping a cup of coffee at Agora. It's a dusky place with dark heavy furniture mixed with a few Greek artifacts here and there and hip magazines you won't find anyplace else. And where else can you get banana bread or baklava while you play a game of backgammon? And as the night wears on, out come the belly dancers. They shimmy and shake their stomachs wearing sequined I Dream of Jeannie costumes as smiling patrons stuff dollar bills into their belts. You can't see that at Starbucks.
Most every family's got one wannabe star stomping through the house. A great place to put that special child who's hogging all the attention is a drama class at Main Street Theater. There, your kid can learn everything from hip-hop to Shakespeare. The classes run year-round, but the summer camp is especially comprehensive. The college-aged instructors, who are full of kid-friendly energy, teach everything from theater games to dance moves to acting. And at the end of the three-week sessions (which last all day long!), the kids put on a parent-pleasing show where every child who wants to shine has a role.
Main Street Theater
Most every family's got one wannabe star stomping through the house. A great place to put that special child who's hogging all the attention is a drama class at Main Street Theater. There, your kid can learn everything from hip-hop to Shakespeare. The classes run year-round, but the summer camp is especially comprehensive. The college-aged instructors, who are full of kid-friendly energy, teach everything from theater games to dance moves to acting. And at the end of the three-week sessions (which last all day long!), the kids put on a parent-pleasing show where every child who wants to shine has a role.
Sad and Pissed, Rachel Hecker's standout show at Texas Gallery, turned a relationship gone wrong into a powerful, poignant and witty body of work starring Hello Kitty spin-off characters. The show was punctuated by "explosion" paintings that riffed on Batman fight scene graphics, with "OOF!" and "POW!" replaced by succinct expletives that encapsulated the "pissed" aspects of breaking up. Hecker is an art-community favorite for both the high caliber of her pop-appropriating work and her enthusiastic support of fellow artists, first via the Core Program as assistant director of the Glassell School of Art and currently as assistant professor of painting at the University of Houston. Hecker is also pursuing a personal/conceptual art project titled "Rachel Hecker's Global Mission to Date Carlisle Vandervoort," referring to the board president of DiverseWorks. She has formed a grassroots organization to assist in her quest. To date, Hecker's project has included promotional buttons with slogans like "Carlisle rocks," an informal brochure and a petition signed by 101 people who feel the two should make a love connection.
Sad and Pissed, Rachel Hecker's standout show at Texas Gallery, turned a relationship gone wrong into a powerful, poignant and witty body of work starring Hello Kitty spin-off characters. The show was punctuated by "explosion" paintings that riffed on Batman fight scene graphics, with "OOF!" and "POW!" replaced by succinct expletives that encapsulated the "pissed" aspects of breaking up. Hecker is an art-community favorite for both the high caliber of her pop-appropriating work and her enthusiastic support of fellow artists, first via the Core Program as assistant director of the Glassell School of Art and currently as assistant professor of painting at the University of Houston. Hecker is also pursuing a personal/conceptual art project titled "Rachel Hecker's Global Mission to Date Carlisle Vandervoort," referring to the board president of DiverseWorks. She has formed a grassroots organization to assist in her quest. To date, Hecker's project has included promotional buttons with slogans like "Carlisle rocks," an informal brochure and a petition signed by 101 people who feel the two should make a love connection.
For years, Union Pacific map maker D.D. Smalley's eccentric attic museum delighted children and adults alike with the residue of his myriad hobbies. Petrified dinosaur dung was shelved cheek-by-jowl with, among thousands of other things, model ships, homemade objets d'art, an extensive arrowhead collection and cigar boxes full of hundreds of thousands of commonplace postage stamps tied with string into identical bundles of 100. After Smalley's death, his grandchildren Frank Davis and Vikki Fruit operated the museum sporadically until they sold the house in 1994. Then the museum was boxed up and sent into exile at Fruit's Hill Country barn, until this spring, when Brazos Projects, the Rice Building Workshop, the Davis grandchildren and indefatigable volunteer Helen Fosdick teamed up to reinstall the museum, knick by knack, in a space next to Brazos Bookstore. If anything, its long absence from Houston has made our hearts grow fonder of this wondrous curiosity cabinet and testament to knowledge for its own sake.

For years, Union Pacific map maker D.D. Smalley's eccentric attic museum delighted children and adults alike with the residue of his myriad hobbies. Petrified dinosaur dung was shelved cheek-by-jowl with, among thousands of other things, model ships, homemade objets d'art, an extensive arrowhead collection and cigar boxes full of hundreds of thousands of commonplace postage stamps tied with string into identical bundles of 100. After Smalley's death, his grandchildren Frank Davis and Vikki Fruit operated the museum sporadically until they sold the house in 1994. Then the museum was boxed up and sent into exile at Fruit's Hill Country barn, until this spring, when Brazos Projects, the Rice Building Workshop, the Davis grandchildren and indefatigable volunteer Helen Fosdick teamed up to reinstall the museum, knick by knack, in a space next to Brazos Bookstore. If anything, its long absence from Houston has made our hearts grow fonder of this wondrous curiosity cabinet and testament to knowledge for its own sake.

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