1 ART-O DE MAYO
Ask people what's celebrated on Cinco de Mayo and many will say it's Mexican Independence Day, which, as anyone who's able to google "Cinco de Mayo" can tell you, is false. The holiday celebrates the victory at the Battle of Puebla, when Mexican soldiers said, " Au revoir, pendejos," to French forces occupying the city. Nowadays, Cinco de Mayo is reserved for college kids in racially insensitive outfits getting drunk on tequila.
Don't be that drunken dumb-dumb; instead, celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some cool art and culture at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library's Fiesta del A-List at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2 (1008 Wall St. in La Jolla).
The A-List is the Athenaeum's regular meet-up that combines art, food, music and drink with a theme that relates to a current exhibition. This time, view pieces from San Diego Art Prize recipients, which include vibrant jewelry, sculpture, mixed media and paintings.
Check out the art while grubbing on tasty Mexican food from La Jolla eatery Puesto and sipping cerveza from Karl Strauss and tequila cocktails from Cup. There will also be a performance by the 13-piece avant-garde mariachi band Red Pony Clock and a small vinyl shop selling records from the Athenaeum's collection.
A-list committee co-chair Katie Walders says the exhibition and the Mexican holiday mix perfectly because some of the art has a border influence, including Arline Fisch's "Saints & Angels."
"This event will marry local artists with local culture," she says. "We're honoring the tradition of Cinco de Mayo but having a modern take on it and celebrating the current artists and musicians that are carrying on the tradition."
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at ljathenaeum.org/alist.html.
2 SEX CRIMES RETOLD
In 2001, authorities busted a major human-trafficking and sex-slavery network that had been terrorizing Mexican women and girls in the San Diego County-Tijuana region. That despicable operation serves as the dramatic foundation for a new chamber opera, Cuatro Corridos, which tells the story of exploitation of young women in U.S. migrant-worker communities by focusing on four female protagonists. The opera features soprano Susan Narucki, percussionist Steven Schick, pianist Aleck Karis and guitarist Pablo Gomez performing compositions by Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang and Hebert Vázquez. A video screen made to look like a border fence will translate lyrics sung in English and Spanish. Shows are at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, May 8, 10 and 11, at the Conrad Prebys Music Center at UCSD. cuatrocorridos.com
3 TOTALLY PO-MO
"I used to be Snow White," declares Yolande Snaith in her multimedia performance piece One Hundred Feet. A new solo work that incorporates elements of dance, video, sound and lighting design, One Hundred Feet finds Snaith—a celebrated performer and choreographer and the head of graduate dance theater at UCSD— hopping through time and space with the help of 50 pairs of shoes, digging into ideas of identity by exploring iconic women like Joan of Arc, Gertrude Stein and Marilyn Monroe. If you're in the mood for some high-concept art, head to UCSD's Wagner Dance Building for performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4. Tickets are $10 to $20. Visit imagomoves.com for details, theatre.ucsd.edu/places/parking.html for directions.