"President Obama's Impact on Art and Culture in America"
Hayti Heritage Center—When presidential hopeful Barack Obama zoomed through Raleigh in October 2008 just before his election, those who saw him witnessed the already huge outpouring of art and kitsch in his honor. The kitsch was most noticeable on that day, as opportunistic vendors hawked Obama merch, ranging from T-shirts to buttons to hats. But one graphical tribute didn't cost anything: the iconic "Hope" poster by Shepard Fairey (who would later become embroiled in a fair use lawsuit over this image). The groundswell of artistic production was so pronounced in the aftermath of Obama's election that last January, DesignBox in Raleigh was able to organize an entire group show around the theme, including Paul Friedrich's "Obama & 7-Up Rainbow." Today's lecture by Mark Anthony Neal, professor of black popular culture at Duke University, will examine the various ways Obama has already influenced American art and culture, and continues to do so. Sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art, it starts at 2 p.m. and is free. Visit www.ncartmuseum.org. —Sarah Ewald
Fletcher Theater at Progress Energy Center—"Bartok with a little Stravinsky" is how European composer György Ligeti reportedly described the six short bagatelles that he lifted from a much longer piano work and then arranged for wind quintet in the '50s. Tonight, one such quintet, New York's Windscape, exhales those lively pieces anew in a program titled Paprikash: Flavors of Middle Europe. Quintets by Reicha and Dvorak are also on tonight's program, as well as the gliding Early Hungarian Dances of Ferenc Farkas. Tickets for this Raleigh Chamber Music Guild show run $25 or $10 for students, and the music starts at 3 p.m. See www.rcmg.org. —Grayson Currin
N.C. Dance Festival Children's Festival
Jones Auditorium at Meredith College—Calling this a children's festival is a bit of a misnomer. True, many Triangle-area youth studios turn out for the event, but the audience for the event actually skews toward teenagers. At any rate, the Children's Festival exists to show off all the acts that didn't make it into the N.C. Dance Festival. But that doesn't mean you'll be seeing second-rate work. On the contrary, dancers from Enloe High School's well-known program and the Meredith Jazz and Tap Ensemble will be featured, among others. The dancers will showcase many different styles in this event, which starts at 3 p.m. and is free for Meredith faculty, staff and students. For everyone else, tickets are $5 and a festival pass is $18. Visit www.meredith.edu or call 760-8586. —Sarah Ewald
Mansion 462—For Brooklyn's Andy Friedman, his other projects—the New Yorker cartoons and the tours with a film projector—are just gravy. Friedman's songwriting and the way he puts his songs across, with or without his band The Other Failures, are the mashed potatoes. And they're top-shelf spuds, too, garlicky, with bits of skin in the mix, like the ones they blue-plate at the Nighthawks Diner. That's a perfect setting for Friedman's tales of the locked-out, broke-down and weary, which play out with country blues, beat folk and twang-teased rock oozing out of your booth's jukebox. The show starts at 7 p.m. with Wylie Hunter opening, and costs $7. See www.mansion462.com. —Rick Cornell