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We've got your weekend: Don't bother sleeping

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From the series Personal Possessions by Jason Kerzinski (photo provided by: PhotonNola)

Thursday, December 8-Sunday, December 11/PhotoNola: The annual festival of photography will be taking over New Orleans, and this year they are bringing  150+ photographers in 50+ venues for exhibitions, gallery talks, portfolio sharing, workshops, panel discussions, and the PhotoGALA & Keynote. From Arno Rafael Minkkinen and Jeanine Michna-Bales to local photographer Eric Whitaker, PhotoNola will have sights for all eyes. For more on the exhibitions, workshops, photographers, and a full schedule of programs, you can check out their website. Most exhibits are free and open to the public (in case you needed more convincing).

Friday, December 9-Sunday, December 11/St. Mary Majaks (918 St. Mary Street): Rewind back two months ago. There was a call out in New Orleans for original plays, and after a screening and editing process, five plays have been chosen for live performance. You can see all five of these short plays in one night. The plays will run on December 9, 10, & 11. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the shows start at 8:00 p.m. For tickets and more information, you can check out the event here.

Friday, December 9/Tipitina's (501 Napoleon Ave.): From national performances at Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, to hometown appearances at Voodoo Fest and Jazz Fest, Big Sam's Funky Nation have built their reputation onstage, and you can see them play this Friday. The band's live performances are legendary, filled with blasts of brass, bursts of electric guitar, and the charisma of Big Sam, a frontman who sings, plays, dances, and involves the audience in everything he does. You don't just watch a Funky Nation show. You become part of the show, singing along with Big Sam whenever he demands a call-and-response. That can all happen on Friday at Tipitina's starting at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $15. 

Friday, December 9/Saint Heron House (1340 Monetgut Street): The Saint Heron team is collaborating with Shotgun Cinema to bring a screening of the Sundance-prize winning film, Mother Of George. Cinematographer Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival) and the incredible director that is Andrew Dosumnu have created a compelling story that explores how a tight knit community navigates life’s events. The screening begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $11, and you can pre-purchase them here.

Saturday, December 10/X-A-Dent (730 Papworth Ave.  Metairie, LA): Local dent repair shop X-A-Dent (I mean, do names get better than that?) will be holding its first Dents for Kids Toy Drive at its Metairie facility on Saturday. They will be trading automotive dent repair for unwrapped Christmas toys.  X-A-Dent will repair one door ding free to all those that provide a new unwrapped toy valued at $25 or more.  The toys will be donated to One Heart NOLA, a local charity that serves foster children and children in crisis. The drive runs from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 10/NOVO (7100 St. Charles Ave): The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra is gearing up for the holiday season with a concert focusing on Christmas music in...wait for it...movies. From Polar Express, Home Alone, and Nightmare Before Christmas, with Special Guest Spud McConnel, the NOVO will cover it all. Tickets for this holiday night are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

Saturday, December 10/Clouet Garden: As every year for the past fifteen, the New Orleans Bookfair will gather independent authors, publishers, zinesters and other literary riff-raff (as stated by their fantastic press release writer) to ply their trades and hawk their wares, focusing on the New Orleans locals. There will be a fun kids’ area and lots of activities for all ages. Also, their press release was so good that we have to directly quote it because they are: "Throwing it back to the VERY FIRST Bookfair, we will have ROLLING READINGS taking place inside a bus! Or perhaps a very large non-bus, depending what we can get our mitts on! But probably a bus! This sucker will be poetry (& prose) in motion!" How can you say no? You can't. So head over to Clouet Gardens between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and to check out all the exhibitors as well as the beautiful poster art done by Harriet Burbeck, you can check out the New Orleans Bookfair website.