I hope you’ve been staying warm and safe indoors! Here are this week’s cultural, music, and startup events around Houston! Subscribe to my emails here to get these messages directly in your inbox.
Are you interested in Persian food? I’m giving away tickets to a sold-out cooking class at Asia Society of Texas on Saturday at 11am! There are only 2 requirements to win: (1) subscribe to my newsletter; (2) post this photo on Instagram and tag @jaisonojaison and @merlexpicks along with a guest to bring with you!
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF DRINKING WHISKEY & MAKING BAD DECISIONS
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 2:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
On Thursday, January 18th Reserve 101 celebrates their 10th Anniversary. Grab a few friends and stop by Reserve 101 at any point of the day to enjoy the party and share a toast as they provide some amazing cocktails and whiskey specials. Learn more HERE.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON MLK COMMEMORATIVE CELEBRATION – SYMONE SANDERS
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is an opportunity for the University of Houston community to celebrate and reflect on the legacy and life of civil rights leader Dr. King. Attendees gather during this time to memorialize the work and accomplishments of one of the most prominent African American leaders in modern history. Political Activist, CNN Political Commentator, and Former National Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Campaign Symone Sanders is the keynote speaker. Learn more HERE.
SUNDANCE SHORTS AT AURORA PICTURE SHOW
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 7:30 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
On the same evening as the opening of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Aurora presents its own Sundance with the Houston premieres of several short films selected by the prestigious festival. Sundance is considered a leading showcase for short films and a launchpad for independent filmmakers for more than 30 years. This eclectic program includes fiction, documentary, and animation by filmmakers from the US, Canada, Chile, Sweden, and Poland. Learn more HERE.
THE BACK OF THE BUS COMEDY MIC
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Free to get in, cheap drinks, great laughs, and a jolly ol’ time had by all! Open Mic Comedy at Houston’s newest comedy club The Secret Group located in Eado. The show will take place in the newly constructed Black Box Theatre, nicknamed by a few of the comedians around town as “The Secret Box.” Hosted by Seth Bullock and Josh Stokes. Learn more HERE.
HAABSE MIX + MINGLE NETWORKING EVENT
Friday, January 19, 2018, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Join the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators at whiskey bar Reserve 101 for a very informal networking event. This event is for members as well as those simply interested in learning more about the organization. Executive board members will be present discuss the organization, upcoming events including the statewide conference, and membership. Learn more HERE.
CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM HOUSTON – OPENING RECEPTION
Friday, January 19, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Celebrate the opening of Dissent and Desire featuring documentary photographs by Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh that chronicle contemporary LGBTQ+ life in Delhi, India. Beverages will be available for purchase at the cash bar. Gupta and Singh’s project masterfully enables the viewer to witness the intimate, ordinary, and daring moments of seventeen diverse individuals and couples. Admission is free and open to the public. Learn more HERE.
PERIOD. NEW PARAGRAPH: A STORYTELLING PRACTICUM
Friday, January 19, 2018, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Join Project Row Houses Round 47 artists Brian Ellison, Marc Furi, Marlon Hall and Danielle Fanfair as they screen films featured in their installations. Start this year by learning new stories and embody a new story through inquiry and conversation. Each artist’s story will be explored as metaphor, inviting participants into their own stories and ending with a cross-pollinating mixer. Learn more HERE.
CONCERT: RUTH B. AND HAILEY KNOX AT HOUSE OF BLUES
Friday, January 19, 2018, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Young Canadian singer Ruth Berhe started off as a Vine artist but her song Lost Boy has racked up over 74 million views on YouTube. Singer Hailey Knox is opening this show in the smaller Bronze Peacock room at the House of Blues. Artists usually perform there before they blow up (Khalid was there in January 2017). Shows in this smaller space are much better and more intimate than the regular room and tickets are only $15. Learn more HERE.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON MLK DAY OF SERVICE
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Join all members of the UH community in working to address social issues facing Houston in honor of Dr. King. Potential service projects include neighborhood community cleanups, gardening projects, preparing and packaging meals for the elderly, and other beautification projects. Transportation, lunch, a t-shirt, and all materials required for service projects will be provided for all volunteers. Shifts are from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Learn more HERE.
HOUSTON WOMEN’S MARCH
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The 2018 elections are crucial for the future of our nation. We must elect progressive leaders in Austin and DC. If the Houston region generates a massive progressive wave during the primaries and in the general election, we change Texas. If we change Texas, we change America. The power is in your hands! Learn more HERE.
ASIAN FOOD TOUR SERIES: TRADITIONAL PERSIAN FOOD
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Over the last few decades, a large Persian community has settled in Houston and brought with them their culture, language, and delightful cuisine. Traditional Persian cuisine combines vegetables, fresh green herbs, spices, and occasionally fruits and nuts to produce exotic culinary flavors. During this workshop for those with little to no experience, learn how to make dolmeh, grilled chicken, and dill rice. You can also win tickets to this event at jaisonoliver.com! Learn more HERE.
I CAN SHOW YOU BETTER THAN I CAN TELL YOU: BLACK VERNACULAR
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Dark Imaginarence practitioner Nathaniel Donnett’s performance riffs on an African American proverb illustrating how words can’t always express meaning as fully as the actual experience. This performance is in conjunction with Donnett’s exhibition ‘In One Form or Another; Verse One’ currently on view at Art League Houston. He will explore concerns of identity, memory, Black American vernacular and expression, the binary of language in contemporary art and the commons, including the perceptions of black bodies, spirit, and the imagination. Learn more HERE.
10″ X 10″ ART SHOW 2018
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
This is one of H&N’s biggest shows of the year. For the past 2 years it has drawn a crowd up to 1000+ people. Even our former mayor has made her way to this show. All artwork must be 10″ x 10″ for 2D work and 10″ x 10″ x 10″ (at widest/highest points) for 3D work. There is a price cap for this show of $100 or less for each piece of art. Learn more HERE.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ
Sunday, January 21, 2018, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley’s life and career are on full display in a poignant portrait that includes appearances by Manolo Blahnik, Tom Ford, Valentino Garavani, Marc Jacobs, and Anna Wintour. The documentary is a cinematic monument to one of the most unique figures of 20th-century American culture with a repeat showing at 7:00 p.m. $9. Learn more HERE.