Put your personal religious beliefs aside, and from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6, stop by Existence Church (7686 Miramar Road in Mira Mesa) for the Exist 09 art show. “Why?” you may be asking, in your liberal atheist hater-of-all-religions tone. Because, some pretty rad artists, including Kelli Murray, Brook Olivares, Steve Cachero and Sarah Shreves, will be showing their work, and music will be provided by DJs Iceberg and CB.NITE. $5 suggested donation. 619-889-9885, www.existencechurch.com.Up north: There's a new gallery in North County, and if its first few art shows are any indication, it's going to be kicking some artsy butt. At 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, the Andrews Gallery (1002 North Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas) is opening Post Cards and Paper Dolls, a solo show featuring works by San Diego artist Susan Snyder. Splitting her time between San Diego and Mexico, Snyder weaves Mexican imagery and abstractions, creating mixed-media works of beauty. www.theandrewsgallery.com, 760-230-2680.
United Nations Association San Diego and UNICEF Committee are taking the community-oriented approach to combating the credit crunch. From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at the U.N. Building in Balboa Park (2171 Pan American Plaza), the two nonprofits will host a Micro-Credit Craft Market to Help Locals Escape Poverty, an event featuring one-of-a-kind, handmade products by people who've received small loans, or micro-loans, and have used the money to become successful entrepreneurs. There will also be a workshop teaching kids how to turn everyday items, like scraps of paper, into toys. Profits from the event will help support Madre Assunta, Tijuana, an institute that helps migrant children and mothers. www.unasd.org, 619-233-3970.
The older one
Acoustic Music San Diego is bringing Loudon Wainwright III to San Diego at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. Dad to Rufus and Martha Wainwright, two-time Grammy-nominated Loudon's been making humor-laden folk music since the late-1960s. These days, he's touring in support of Recovery, his new album featuring his early tunes, but redone and reworked. The concert will be at 4650 Mansfield St. in Normal Heights. 619-303-8176, www.acousticmusicsandiego.com.
World-renowned architect Frank Gehry will kick off the Master Architects Lecture Series: In Celebration of Louis Kahn and the Salk Institute, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Salk Institute, 10010 Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla. The lecture series, which runs through May, includes big-name architects like Thom Mayne and David Adjaye, who probably won't ever be back in San Diego—unless they're taking their kids to the zoo. Seriously, this series is a once-in-a-lifetime-like big deal, so, if you're at all into contemporary design and architecture, pay the $30 for the ticket and go. 858-454-3541 x121 or 858-453-4100 x1882.
We could all use a little break from reality sometimes—may we suggest you take that break this Saturday, Feb. 7, at Mysterious Galaxy Books? Bestselling author Patricia Briggs will be at the store (7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.), reading from her new novel Bone Crossed, the fourth installment in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is a shape-shifting mechanic who's recently made enemies with a vampire queen. On top of that, she's just begun dating an alpha werewolf and is having some serious trouble fitting in with the pack (and here you were thinking your in-laws were difficult). Come allow yourself to be enthralled by the twists and turns of this epic battle between good and evil, starting at 2 p.m. mysteriousgalaxy.booksense.com.
February is Black History Month, and what better way to celebrate than attending a few of the upcoming events at the WorldBeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park. Some of the months' events includes the Bob Marley Reggae Film Festival at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; the Black History Month Lecture: Afrikan World Civilization by Kwaku Personn-Lynn at noon Saturday, Feb. 7; and the annual Bob Marley Day (sponsored by the center but held at El Foro in Tijuana) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. www.worldbeatcenter.org or 619-230-1190.
Diversionary Theater (4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights) is breaking down some boundaries this week in a series simply called Dance / Theatre, which will feature the work of six local choreographers who've each created a brand-new dance work inspired by a contemporary play. Dance/Theatre includes some of San Diego's best choreographers, including Deven P. Brawley, who'll do a piece inspired by Bent, and Peter G. Kalivas, who'll do one based on M. Butterfly. The shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. $24-$50, www.diversionary.org.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's Thursday Night Thing event is back after its January winter break, and from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, Los Angeles art collective Fallen Fruit will talk about their work, which, they say, “extends collaboration into the public realm.” In other words, that means organizing events like the communal jam-making sessions they hold using fruit from trees found in public places like parks. Founding Fallen Fruit members David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young will lead the TNT crowd through some of their signature activities and, hopefully, inspire some creative San Diegans to join the movement and find some public fruit of their own. TNT takes place at MCASD's Downtown location (1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd.), and all the museum's exhibitions will be on view. $3 suggested donation. www.mcasd.org. Gifts that don't suck: From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Kadan Club (4696 30th St., Normal Heights), the Msformaldehyde VD Day will give all you lovers out there a chance to buy some Valentine's Day gifts that don't suck. You won't find lame roses and chocolates at this DIY craft fair; instead, you'll find things like motorcycle necklaces, art and tattoo stamps, corsets, dresses, punk-rock purses and art by Heather Hardcore, Msformaldehyde and others.