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Ongoing through Jan. 2 | Discovery Place Science | $15-$23
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Thus spoke astronaut Neil Armstrong when he set foot upon our nearest celestial neighbor. (I watched this event on live TV at the age of 9, then jumped up and down on my bed to emulate the astronauts bounding on the low-gravity surface of the moon.) Discovery Place’s exhibit includes a photo op atop an Apollo 15 Lunar Rover and a model of Sputnik-1, the Russian satellite that scared the crap out of America’s cold warriors.
Oct. 22 | 5-9 p.m. | Mint Museum Randolph | Free
A celebration commemorating the opening of North Carolina’s first art museum takes place at both the Uptown and Randolph locations of the veritable Queen City institution. The festivities kick off at Mint Museum Randolph with the opening of the newest Interventions installation by local artist and muralist Irisol Gonzalez. The evening includes an artist talk with Gonzalez, plus live painting by local artists Elisa Lopez Trejo and Arthur Rogers, food trucks, music by DJ Claudio Ortiz, cupcakes and giveaway bags.
Oct. 23 | 12-4 p.m. | Mint Museum Uptown | Free
The 85th anniversary celebration of North Carolina’s first art museum continues, moving from Randolph Road to the Mint’s Uptown location. There will be live music by Groove Masters and Orquesta Mayor, live painting by artist Arthur Rogers, raffle prizes and tours of the John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist exhibition. In addition to Breck’s landscape-inspired works, the exhibit highlights his exploration of new styles and approaches to painting in the years before his death at the age of 38.
Oct. 26 | 6:30 p.m. | The Fillmore | $37
Except for frontman Greg Graffin, the band’s membership has been a revolving door, but SoCal punk survivors Bad Religion have stayed true to the social-justice warrior punk ethos that spawned them. Hardcore skate punks to the core, Bad Religion sings about religion, politics, society, media and science with melodic sensibilities that draw on impeccable three-part vocal harmonies. Bad Religion continues to rage against rampant apathy in the face of global crises, and will not go quietly into the night.
Oct. 26 | 8:30 p.m. | Snug Harbor | 13
Launched in 2006 when the founding members were still teenagers, The Shivas have spent the last 15 years growing up in public, and that’s a good thing. Initially obsessed with classic garage rock and ’60s psychedelia, the Portland, Oregon, group got in touch with their regional roots, delving into Pacific Northwestern rock ‘n’ roll and surf. They’ve grown more sophisticated and connected to their community — they’re involved with a nonprofit that serves Portland’s homeless — but the band hasn’t lost its punk fire.
Oct. 27 | 8 p.m. | Neighborhood Theatre | $15
Prankster punk band Dollar Signs trades in rowdy punk rock with roaring guitars, triumphant horns and rollicking shout-along choruses, all coalescing around a warm and cuddly heart. This last attribute is acknowledged in the title of the band’s latest album, Hearts of Gold, which dropped last spring, but the release party got swept aside due to COVID. A proper release seems like a return to normalcy — or as normal as you can get with a band that pokes fun at how we’re all cocooned in coping mechanisms.
Oct. 29 | 6 p.m. | Gantt Center | Free
The Gantt Center’s new exhibition, Container/Contained: Phil Freelon — Design Strategies for Telling African American Stories, examines the renowned late architect’s work, including museums, libraries and cultural centers. Freelon believed architecture should be more than a container. In his designs for African-American communities and institutions, Freelon expanded on the multiple functions and meanings of skin with building envelopes that explored the use of color, pattern and material.
Oct. 29 | Rowe Upper Gallery – UNC Charlotte | Free
Charlotte-based artist Georgie Nakima draws on her science background in creating colorful public art, paintings that seamlessly fuse wildlife and the natural world with spiraling geometric shapes. Her work encompasses fractals, sacred geometry, the Fibonacci spiral and environmental activism in the form of wolves, tigers and other big cats. This exhibit includes a sampling of Nakima’s studio work alongside a site-specific mural designed for the Rowe Arts lobby.
Oct. 30 | 3 p.m. | Evening Muse | $20 and up
For their upcoming album Vessel, female-fronted, Northern Michigan power trio The Accidentals draws from a genre-jumping range of influences, coupled with smart songwriting and sharp instrumentals. Americana singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks hails from central New York, where he’s charted an unlikely course from farmers markets and open mics to NBC’s The Voice. His forthcoming album Flowers For You has been praised for its “energy and exceptional guitar work.”
Nov. 2 | 6:30 p.m. | Charlotte Comedy Theater | $250
Chicago Improv veteran and Carolina native Keli Semelsberger founded Charlotte Comedy Theater and Training Center in 2001 when there was little improv in Charlotte. I was in a sketch comedy troupe at the time and I came away with two points: Sharpening our troupe’s improv skills with Semelsberger was a smart move, and death is hard, comedy is harder and improv is hardest of all. Startup classes begin in November and run for six weeks.