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Photo by Melanie Maganias Nashan

This weekend in and around Fort Worth will feature country musicians from different generations — one near the start of his career, one in the middle, and one coming to an end. Other choices include screenings of a new film, an arty dog celebration, a stand-up comedian, nature set to classical music, theater from across the pond, and a theatrical tribute to a local media legend.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, August 25

Robert Earl Keen in concert
After 41 years of touring, Texas music legend Robert Earl Keen is calling it a day with one final concert in Fort Worth. Keen has recorded 19 full-length albums in his career, most recently 2015's Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions. A member of the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, he has written songs for music superstars like George Strait, The Chicks, The Highwaymen, and Nanci Griffith. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Friday, August 26

Magnolia at the Modern: My Old School
In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. What followed over the next two years would become the stuff of legend. The preternaturally bright student surprised teachers by blazing toward his goal of entering medical school, displaying a wealth of knowledge beyond his years. Brandon found friends despite his initial awkwardness, taking bullied students under his wing, introducing classmates to seminal retro bands, and even starring in the school's production of South Pacific. The film will screen seven times through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Kimbell Art Museum presents Kimbell Dog Day
In honor of its newest acquisition, Dog Guarding a Basket of Grapes by Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, the Kimbell Art Museum will present the “Kimbell Dog Day” celebration event. Coinciding with National Dog Day, art lovers and their four-legged friends can participate in dog-friendly activities on the Kimbell lawn. There will be an outdoor architecture tour, a dog show, and more.

Hyena's presents Jon Reep
As an actor, Jon Reep played the pot smoking farmer Raymus from the hit movie Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, and the dim-witted cop Gerald Bob from the ABC sitcom Rodney. But you probably know him from Dodge Truck's popular ad campaign who leans out of a beat-up car and utters the now famous line: "That thing gotta Hemi?" He'll perform four times through Saturday at Hyena's in downtown Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents National Geographic: Symphony for Our World
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra gets back to playing with Symphony for Our World, which combines National Geographic’s intimate portraits of wildlife with an original score by Bleeding Fingers Music. The experience takes audiences on a breathtaking journey from the depths of our mysterious seas to the great heights of our majestic skies in a powerful tribute to the beauty and wonders of our world. There will be three performances through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Kyle Nix in concert with RC and the Ambers
Singer Kyle Nix has spent most of his career as a member of Turnpike Troubadours, the Oklahoma country band that was rising up the charts in the late 2010s before taking a hiatus. Although the band reunited in 2021, Nix used their time apart to pursue a solo career, resulting in his debut solo album, Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas along with RC and the Ambers.

Saturday, August 27

National Theatre Live: Cyrano
James McAvoy stars in this inventive adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, screening at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Fierce with a pen and notorious in combat, Cyrano almost has it all — if only he could win the heart of his true love, Roxane. There’s just one big problem: He has a nose as huge as his heart. Will a society engulfed by narcissism get the better of Cyrano, or can his mastery of language set Roxane’s world alight? Presented by Amphibian Stage, this is a screening of a previously recorded live production; it is not a live performance.

Artisan Center Theater presents Amon! The Ultimate Texan
Amon! The Ultimate Texan is the story of one of the most amazing Texans who ever lived. Born in a log cabin and with only an eighth grade education, Amon G. Carter, Sr. became Texas’ most powerful media overlord. Presidents put up with him because he owned the largest newspaper, radio, and television station in Texas. Mr. Carter had a big heart, but a bigger sense for business and for the future. He was one of a kind, and this play and its companion book by popular newspaper columnist Dave Lieber bring the story of this remarkable Texan back to life. The production will play twice every Saturday through September 10 at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst.

Kip Moore in concert
It may have taken country singer Kip Moore a while to get into the business — he released his debut album in 2012 when he was 32 — but the wait was worth it, as each of his four albums, including 2020's Wild World, have made the top 5 on the Billboard Country charts. He's probably best known for his 2011 No. 1 hit "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," but his record shows he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Robert Earl Keen's final concert in Fort Worth will be at Billy Bob's Texas on August 25.

Photo by Melanie Maganias Nashan
Robert Earl Keen's final concert in Fort Worth will be at Billy Bob's Texas on August 25.

Drought uncovers ancient dinosaur tracks at park in Glen Rose, Texas

Dinosaur News

Ancient dinosaur tracks were uncovered in a famous Texas park: The tracks, dating back approximately 113 million years, were discovered in a dried-out riverbed at Dinosaur Valley State Park, 54 miles southwest of Fort Worth, on August 18.

The tracks were revealed due to the drought. Under normal weather conditions, they would have remained hidden underwater, as they have for these many decades. But thanks to climate change, patches of the Paluxy River, which runs through the park, dried out completely. According to park officials, it brought the tracks to light.

Sadly for dino fans, it's fleeting: With the rains crossing Texas this week, the tracks are anticipated to soon (maybe already) be buried again.

"While these newer dinosaur tracks were visible for a brief amount of time, it brought about the wonder and excitement about finding new dinosaur tracks at the park," said a park spokesperson in a statement. "Dinosaur Valley State Park will continue to protect these 113-million year-old tracks not only for present, but future generations."

The tracks are believed to belong to the Acrocanthosaurus, a dinosaur that would stand about 15 feet tall and weigh nearly seven tons. The other species found at the park is the Sauroposeidon, a much larger dinosaur at 60 feet tall and weighing about 44 tons.

Park rangers at Dinosaur Valley State Park caution that the visibility of any dinosaur tracks depends on how much rain the area receives. If you go there, you may not see these tracks. You probably won't see these tracks.

The tracks have made international news, after a group called the Friends of Dinosaur Valley State Park posted photos showing a clean-up of the space. The discovery has been covered by CNN, the BBC, and major networks. Everyone loves dinosaurs.

Fidus

Apartment community opens in Grapevine with extra love for the dogs

Animal News

A new residential option in Dallas-Fort Worth is strictly for the dogs: Called Fidus Pet Concierge Communities, it's a garden-style apartment community with amenities specifically designed to meet the needs of dog owners.

Fidus acquires existing low-density, garden-style apartment communities of 300-600 units, and renovates the property with features and services, transforming them into luxury Class A apartment communities with canine-focused elements, on-site pet services, and social events.

Fidus founder and principal Steve Bardack says in a release that the need for such a residential option increased during the pandemic.

"Seventy percent of U.S. households now own a pet, a trend that accelerated during the pandemic when people were spending more time at home," Bardack says. "Now, as employees return to the office, their animals are being left behind, creating separation anxiety for both the owners and their pets. Recognizing the need for hands-on pet care in apartment buildings, Fidus Pet Concierge Communities addresses the pain points associated with pet ownership and can also be a solution for companies looking to relocate new talent with dogs in tow."

There are currently two Fidus communities in DFW:

  • Cross Creek at Grapevine Ranch in Grapevine
  • Equinox on the Park in Garland

Unit sizes range from 750 to 1163 square feet, and the rent ranges from $1550 to $2500 per month.

Fidus properties incorporate dog-focused features and technology within each apartment, such as a doggy door that leads directly to either a private fenced yard or a dog-safe balcony/patio with a porch relief system.

On-demand dog nanny services allow residents to ensure their pet is looked after when they can't be at home, either under planned or unexpected circumstances. Other offerings include:

  • keyless entry for residents and the Fidus Pet Concierge
  • Furbo treat dispensers with artificial intelligence capabilities that will alert residents via text if their dog is barking or in distress
  • Nest thermostats for remote temperature management
  • three cameras in each apartment so residents can monitor their pet both indoors and outdoors.

They're also adding an on-site pet concierge open daily with onsite doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, dog walking, and in-unit feeding, all of which can be requested via a mobile app.

Other features include dog parks and group activities such as morning dog walks and training classes. Oh this is good: DNA-based testing is used to identify pet waste offenders, who are then subject to lease violation fines, in order to help maintain a healthy living environment.

One huge plus: Fidus Pet Concierge Communities do not have any blanket breed or weight restrictions. A new resident's application process includes in-person temperament tests for each dog, ensuring that every pet resident is friendly. But aggressive dogs are not permitted, regardless of breed or size.

To help local shelters, Fidus maintains partnerships with local rescues, shelters, and foster networks. Every confirmed lease that results from a partner referral gets the resident $50 off their registration fee and $200 for the participating shelter or rescue.

A new Fidus Foster Program works with rescues and shelters to help their dogs find temporary foster care with Fidus residents. The program also offers discounts and complimentary services from Fidus facilities to further encourage more residents to foster dogs.

Fidus plans to open a third Dallas-area property in 2022, and to acquire and renovate four to six more properties in the Dallas area over the next two years, part of a larger rollout across the South.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Zoo

Walk on the wild side with 750+ species at San Antonio Zoo

On the Road

Get in touch with your wilder side at San Antonio Zoo, which is home to more than 750 species — some of which are endangered or extinct in the wild.

When you visit, don’t miss these top 10 things to do.

1. Ride the Zoo Train
The zoo's two miles of track run through Brackenridge Park, where you can also hop on and hop off near the Japanese Tea Garden, Sunken Gardens, and the Witte Museum, which explores South Texas history, culture, and natural science.

In 2021, the zoo unveiled a new train experience called the C.W.T. Express, which reintroduces a historic, diesel-style engine to the fleet.

2. Visit the Reptile House
Even if snakes are not your thing, the Reptile House is still a fascinating stop thanks to its wide array of species from all over the world, including turtles and lizards.

3. Watch jaguars walk overhead
The Pantera Walk presented by Texas A&M San Antonio is a literal catwalk in the sky for jaguars. Gaze up and watch the giant cats wander between habitats at this special feature.

4. Visit Timothy the hippo inside Africa Live!
You can get up close and personal with one of nature’s largest mammals — and even feed the famous Timothy — during the zoo’s unique, behind-the-scenes interaction.

5. See the rhino trio in the Savanna
Another one of nature’s largest mammals is the rhino, and there’s a trio of them in the Savanna area. You can sign up to go behind-the-scenes here, too.

6. Feed flamingos at Flamingo Mingle
Meet and greet a flock of Caribbean flamingos during this immersive experience, where you’ll learn that they are filter feeders, which is more like whales and oysters than most birds!

7. Take a spin on the carousel
With 60 stunning, hand-painted animals, the custom-designed carousel is fun — and a work of art. Texas favorites like the endangered whooping crane, the white-tailed deer, the Texas horned lizard, and the jackalope are joined by a menagerie of real and imaginary animals, including the white ostrich, a sea dragon, the hummingbird, a tiger shark, and a polar bear.

8. Feed the world’s tallest animal
One of the most beloved zoo experiences is the giraffe feeding, where you can gaze eye-to-eye with the world’s tallest land mammal. Grab some lettuce and get set to be impressed by these majestic creatures.

9. Get face time with baby kangaroos
Cue all the "awwwws." At the Kangaroo Krossing, you’ll see red ’roos of all ages in this extension of the zoo’s Wild Australia realm. There’s more to love in the Snack-A-Roos snack stand and upgraded experiences, where you can get up close with the cute creatures.

10. Stop by the country’s oldest children’s amusement park
Established in 1925 and renovated in 2009, Kiddie Park is the oldest children’s amusement park in the country. And while modern updates have been made, the nostalgic style has been preserved with the park’s old-fashioned Ferris Wheel, famous hand-carved Herschell Spillman carousel, flying saucers, and more.

Find more to do at the San Antonio Zoo here.

At San Antonio Zoo, you can feed the giraffes.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Zoo
At San Antonio Zoo, you can feed the giraffes.
Photo courtesy of Deep in the Heart

Stunning new wildlife film narrated by Matthew McConaughey inspires Texans to keep Texas beautiful

McConaughey in the wild

Move over, David Attenborough and Barack Obama, there’s a new wildlife narrator on the job, and he’s here to both celebrate and conserve what makes Texas unique. Narrated by Matthew McConaughey, Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

North Texans got a sneak peek of the film when it premiered at the EarthX Film Festival in Dallas in mid-May. It hits Texas theaters on Friday, June 3.

Featuring state-of-the-art cinematography, the film journeys from the highest peaks in West Texas, through our aquifers, rivers, and bays, and deep into the Gulf of Mexico. The story is told through the eyes of wildlife species like the elusive mountain lion, and showcases our ability to destroy, conserve, and recover wildlife and the habitat we mutually depend on.

With a masters in wildlife biology from Texas A&M University, the film’s director, Ben Masters, hopes the film will inspire audiences to conserve our remaining wild places, to show the connectivity of water and wildlife, and to recognize Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale. Best known for directing the award-winning feature-length documentary The River and the Wall, Masters also founded Fin and Fur Films, a production company specializing in short films featuring wildlife research, conservation, and activism. We connected with Masters for a few questions about his soon-to-be released new film.

CultureMap: What was the inspiration behind Deep in the Heart?
Ben Masters: Growing up, I was always fascinated with the BBC and National Geographic shows of wildlife in Africa or Antarctica. It wasn’t until I studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M did I realize that Texas also has incredible wildlife spectacles and diversity. I started making movies ten years ago with this film as a dream, and four years ago decided to go for it. It’s been an amazing experience and a huge challenge to make Texas’ first wildlife movie. Lots of pressure to make it as good as possible and really show off our state.

CM: Why tell the story through the eyes of wildlife?
BM: Many of the animals and behaviors are super fascinating and have never been filmed. Take ocelots for example: They’re our most beautiful cat and there’s never been quality videos ever taken of them in the wild in Texas. Or alligator gar and their fascinating life strategy of spawning during floods: Texans love Texas, and we have amazing wildlife that a lot of folks care about — so it made sense to produce a film like this.

CM: When did you first start production on this story?
BM: We began filming in 2018 and finished the edit in 2022. It took hundreds of days in the field and some sequences, like the mountain lion, took nearly a year to capture.

CM: What was the hardest part about putting a film like this together?
BM: The most difficult part was filming rare animals that are hard to find and getting quality footage of them. It was also incredibly satisfying when we did pull it off though.

CM: What was a standout memory from the process?
BM: A big standout memory was getting the news that Matthew McConaughey would narrate. He has such a unique voice that fits perfectly for the film, which will definitely help launch the conservation messaging for the general public.

CM: The trailer touts the film as a call to action: What are you hoping audiences will be inspired to do after watching the film?
BM: You’ve got to watch it to find out!!! We also have a take action page on our website to get involved with organizations doing great work across the state.

DEEP IN THE HEART | OFFICIAL TRAILER from Fin & Fur Films on Vimeo.

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Deep in the Heart will play in theaters throughout Texas starting Friday, June 3. Head to the film's website for more information.

Courtesy photo

Fort Worth Easter peeps, please don't buy rabbits, chicks, and ducklings

Animal News

Easter is looming and the SPCA of Texas is here to remind us that buying baby rabbits, ducklings, and chicks is not a good idea. Don't do it.

SPCA marketing & communications VP Maura Davies says that, unfortunately, most of those bought during the Easter holiday end up getting dumped at shelters.

"Although the idea of furry, fuzzy, fluff balls hopping through the fresh, spring grass may seem appealing, rabbits, chicks, and ducklings are not 'low-maintenance' pets and are not the best choice for small children, who like pets they can hold and snuggle with," Davies says.

Consider this:

  • The average lifespan for a rabbit is 7-10 years
  • The average chicken or duck lives to be about 8-12 years old. In some cases, chickens can live to be up to 25 years old.
  • These animals are neither passive and cuddly. They are ground-loving creatures who feel frightened and insecure when held or restrained.
  • They are fragile. Their legs and spine can easily break if dropped or handled roughly.

Rabbits require as much or even more care as a dog or cat, Davies says.

"They need to live indoors as part of the family, they need their hutches cleaned daily, and they should be spayed or neutered," she says.

Chickens and ducks also require specialized diets, habitats, and care.

To end the cycle of Easter rabbits, chicks, and ducklings getting dumped a month after Easter, Davies suggests buying a chocolate bunny or a stuffed animal instead.

Also, and it feels like this is obvious but don't feed Easter candy to your pets. Chocolate can be fatal.

"To adopt a pet is to bring home joy," Davies says. "It is also important to remember that pet ownership is a commitment for the lifetime of the pet and that it is important that the entire family make the decision to commit to caring for that pet."

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Giant sea creatures made of recycled beach trash wash onto Galveston Island in must-see new exhibit

inspiring sea change

A giant great white shark, massive bald eagle, oversized octopus, and more enormous sea life have invaded Galveston Island.

"Washed Ashore," a compelling traveling art exhibit of giant sea animal sculptures made of trash collected from beaches, is now on display across 19 locations in Galveston.

The clever showcase features more than 20 pieces — most more than six feet tall and as much as 17 feet wide — such as coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sunfish, and more.

Sculptures can be found at museums, hotels, parks, attractions, and popular outdoor spaces. Thanks to a partnership between Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Galveston Park Board, the exhibit, which is open though March 5, is free.

This innovative, powerful exhibit is designed to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and comes at a touchstone environmental moment. Some 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners.

Similar "Washed Ashore" exhibits have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens across the nation. Notably, this Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate, per press materials.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody says. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit the official site.

Photo courtesy of Visit Galveston

Meet Greta the great white shark.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a frigid start to February this week, but tasty events bring opportunities to warm up once the coldest weather passes. Get cozy with hand-made pasta and wine, a dim sum cooking class, two new Sunday brunch launches, and a complimentary educational class to watch online from the warmth of your own home.

Thursday, February 2

An Evening with Batasiolo Wine Dinner
Only 11 lucky individuals get to partake in this four-course dinner set to take place in il Modo’s intimate pasta-making room. Wines from Beni Di Batasiolo Winery will be paired with each course. Reservations are $199, plus tax and gratuity, and include valet parking. Dinner begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 4

Who Eats Cornbread? Who Eats Biscuits? Baking and Texas Identity Webinar by the TCU Center for Texas Studies
Curl up at home with hot biscuits or cornbread while watching this tasty and educational webinar led by Rebecca Sharpless, professor of history at TCU. She’ll talk through the history of baking in Texas and the American South, speaking from research conducted for her latest book, Grain and Fire. Learn who used white cornmeal, who used yellow, who used sugar, who didn’t, flour to fat ratios, and why it all matters. The free webinar begins at 10:30 am.

Jazz Brunch Launch at The Fitzgerald
The Camp Bowie Boulevard restaurant will channel New Orleans vibes with the launch of its new jazz brunch. The live jazz pianist will provide tunes on Fitzgerald’s heated patio both Saturday and Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. Plan for brunch dishes like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, crawfish omelets, and bananas Foster banana pudding.

Dim Sum Time at Indulge Cooking Studio
The downtown cooking studio located inside Third Street Market hosts an array of classes regularly. This one will feature dim sum, the traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates featuring various dumplings and snacks. The menu will include chicken shumai, Chinese greens, spring rolls, and an egg custard tart. The class is $89 and will begin at 11 am.

Sunday, February 5

New Sunday Brunch at Craft & Vine
The Roanoke restaurant, wine bar, and craft cocktail lounge will launch Sunday brunch with new buffet-style stations. Enjoy eggs Benedict, a carving station, waffle bar, and more, as well as champagne flights, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and even a bar cart for crafting Old Fashioneds. The price is $39 per person and $15 for kids 12 and under. Brunch service begins at 10 am and the live music starts at 11 am.

Luke Bryan trucks to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2 tour stops, including Dickies Arena

Country on

Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."

He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)

Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.

According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.

Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.

“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.

Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.

Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.

Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.

Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.

Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.