Occupying a prominent space within the 95-acre Sculpture Fields at Nova?s Ark, the 7th annual ArtHamptons event celebrates post-war and contemporary artwork. In recognition of the Hamptons' international reputation as an inspiring summer playground for culturally savvy individuals, "Escape" will be celebrated in all its incarnations this year. The fair's 50,000-square-foot museum-like space will feature more than 3,000 different works of art, which are all available for acquisition.
Although the scope of its exhibits is international?consisting of works by more than 500 different artists as presented by galleries from more than 10 countries?ArtHamptons continues to celebrate the creations of established masters as well as emerging talent from the East End. Over the course of three days, attendees can take in the displays and attend various cultural events and programming.
Supporting the Texas Center for the Missing, Champions for Children presents benefactors with an evening of hilarious standup and delectable cuisine while helping fund the Center's philanthropic mission of missing-child prevention and recovery. Guests dig into toothsome chow, choosing from a variety of vegetarian and meat-laden dishes while chortling at hilarious standups and mad libs whispered to the comedians by the servers. After an opening set from Cliff West, nationally recognized laughmeister Bob Smiley headlines the event, bringing his manic energy and quirky physicality to anecdotes on relationships, raising kids, and everyday life. Live and silent auctions offer further opportunities for charitable largesse, and an event-wide raffle gives guests the chance to win fabulous prizes and impress dates with their raffle-fixing abilities. Attendees' vehicles can eagerly listen in on the show from free parking spots.
When Henry Harvey went to the University of Houston in 1975, he realized the dance moves he'd picked up at high school in Fort Worth were more valuable than he thought. In fact, he gave lessons to new people in the area who wanted to fit in on the dance floor. Years later, his wife decided they should start dancing together. "I went to dance class and found out they were doing the same things I was 10 years before," he said. Taking stock of his management abilities and previous dance experience, he realized he had the opportunity to be successful, so he brushed up his skills and founded High Steppers Dance Troupe LLC in 2007.
At locations throughout the area, Harvey and his team of instructors teach the hot urban Houston two-step, as well as swing-out dancing. The dances are set to cool urban R&B tunes and neo-soul grooves and help participants release the seductive strut or smooth swagger they've kept bottled up. Instead of duct taping themselves to a good dancer in the club and letting them do all the work, students can be confident in their ability to finally know what they're doing on the dance floor.
Harvey claims that his students, many of who are aged 40 and older, come not only for the improved skills that come from dancing for two hours, but also for the atmosphere, which he calls "very upbeat and very festive." His dance classes can also act as a stress reliever after a long day at work. "They get into dance class and they're rejuvenated," Harvey says.
In addition to dance lessons, the group takes charter buses on regional trips and hosts two to three showcases per year, where students regale audiences with a synchronized dance routine. At their social dances, a DJ spins tunes as students get the chance to put their lessons into practice and leave behind their days of doing the worm shyly on the dance-floor sidelines.
Staff Size: 25?50 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Food trucks
Recommended Age Group: All ages
Now in its second year, the West Houston Food Truck Festival brings together nine food trucks to sell their edible wares outside Temple Sinai. This year's event promises to be bigger and better than the last, with three bands poised to rock the crowd with heartfelt ballads about street tacos and snow cones. A family-friendly affair, the event will also host balloon artists, face painters, and organized games for kids. It's all in the name of support with a portion of the proceeds going to the Houston Food Bank, and never has charity tasted so good. With local gems such as The Waffle Bus and What's Up Cupcake on hand, it's best to come with a big appetite.
Beer, bites, and music—for the fourth year in a row, Houston Beer Fest welcomes in summer with that winning combination. Guests enjoy samples from a selection of more than 200 craft brews both regional and national. At last year's sold-out celebration, beer barons such as Texas's Karbach Brewery, Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery, and Chicago's Goose Island Brewery supplied the suds, and food trucks such as Chi'Lantro BBQ and Zeapod Cakery kept plates piled to complement the array of ales and lagers. While next year's purveyors are still under wraps, guests can plan on complimenting their food and brew with a soundtrack of beloved Texas bands performing blistering sets across four stages.
The Dinner Detective eschews campy costumes and plots for an exciting evening of food-accompanied mystery and paranoia, where actors hide among the diners, playing innocent and making everyone a potential suspect. To solve the crime, guests freely interrogate one another, chivvying out clues about the murderer and determining who has a bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Between dramatic deaths and simulated police involvement, guests dig into four-course meals, washed down with bottomless iced tea or drinks from the cash bar. The diner who comes closest to solving the mystery through their snooping goes home with a prize basket to show off to their friends or to feed to their pet goat.