Friday / LGBT prom: Of course you know that the annual NO/AIDS Walk takes place on Sunday. So get into the mood with the 2011 Gay Prom, Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. for the 18-and-under set and 8 to 11 p.m. for the rest of the world at Cathedral Creative Studios, 527 Julia St. Free admission, cash bar, DJ, light food, king and queen to be selected, and costumes welcome (but of course – this is New Orleans).
Saturday / Jazz masters: Tekrema Center for Arts and Culture launches its 2011-2011 performance series with the return of the SoulSpeak Afrobeat Party, from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the center at 5640 Burgundy St. This year’s event offers a birthday tribute to John Coltrane, with a jazz poetry set by Sheldon “Shakespear” Alexander, a video anthology of jazz greats and, at 10 p.m., a performance by the Donald Harrison Quartet in the Aya Garden. Known as the King of Nouveau Swing (a reference to his unique blend of acoustic swing with modern R&B, second-line, hip-hop and reggae rhythms), Harrison recently was called “one of the most important musicians of the new millennium” by CBS Sunday Morning. Admission is $7 at the door, which includes food. There’s a cash bar.
Saturday / Art sale: Hit the street – Oak Street, that is – for a different kind of art opening this weekend. Art on Oak offers a collection of posters, paintings and prints, at great prices, to benefit the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. The sale takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Symphony Book Fair Warehouse at 8605 Oak St. Artists represented include Bruce Brice, George Dureau, Robert Guthrie, Ida Kohlmeyer, Henri Schindler, Richard Thomas, Leslie Staub and many more. Admission is free, refreshments will be served, and many of the works are priced affordably at $75 or less.
Saturday / Poets in motion: Can rhymes change the times? Poets across the globe think so, and plan to prove it with poem(s) heard around the world (650 events in 450 cities and 95 countries). 100 Thousand Poets for Change involves poets, writers and artists performing works that focus on social change in their communities. Here in New Orleans, writers, musicians and artists – and their fans – are invited to Alcee Fortier Park at Esplanade and Grande Route St. John at 4 p.m. Saturday to take part in the global celebration. It’s “free and open to the sky.”
Saturday / Trip the light fantastic: Dance masters and local celebs take the stage at Rockin’ With the NOLA Stars, Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive. The Dancing With the Stars-type benefit will raise funds for Bridge House — and raise your awareness of ballroom basics, including the Argentine tango (read more about that here.) Tickets are $35 at the door.
Saturday / The Brawl and all: It’s all about empowerment. New Orleans Ladies Arm Wrestling (NO LAW) is a no-holds-barred (sorry) group offering raucous competitions designed to amuse, entertain, and raise a few bucks to combat sexism and, most importantly, benefit local charities. Join them for a Super Brawl at 8 p.m. Saturday at Howlin’ Wolf. We’re not sure just who will be competing, but NO LAW faves include The Viper, Cry Baby, and Sista Slammer. And don’t be fooled – this is an athletic tournament, with four matches, finals and sudden death.