The Center for Contemporary Arts opens Atomic Surplus (Oct. 11-Jan. 5), a multifaceted project that examines what it means to live in the birthplace of the atomic bomb, with exhibitions, films, lectures, and field trips. Also certain to raise eyebrows is an art exhibition by Dread Scott (Oct. 14-Nov. 22) and accompanying lecture (Oct. 14), part of the Santa Fe Art Institute’s yearlong project Contested Space. Scott gained notoriety in 1989 with his First Amendment challenges to prohibitions on desecrating the American flag.
Head to South America for two dance concerts: Te Amo, Argentina (Oct. 11), a multimedia show featuring the Grammy Award-winning Antonio Lysy in a pulsating and inspiring homage to Argentina; and the 38-member Bale Folclorico da Bahia, Brazil’s only professional folk dance company, which performs a fall dance concert at the Lensic (Nov. 13).
Virtual travel to the world’s great stages takes you to the National Theatre of London for a “Live in HD” performance of Othello (Oct. 15), with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear; and then Kenneth Branagh’s electrifying new Macbeth (Nov.5), with Branagh in the title role. The National Theatre broadcasts a special 50th Anniversary show (Nov. 12) featuring many of the original actors from its stage history. From New York, the Met Opera Live in HD is performing Shostakovich’s The Nose (Oct. 30) and Puccini’s Tosca (Nov. 9). And back at home, the local Fusion Theatre Company is performing a play that brought praise and controversy to London and New York, The Mountaintop (Nov. 15-16), a reimagining of the night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
As part of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, the documentary Tapia (Oct. 17) looks at the tortured life of the world championship boxer from New Mexico. And the German Expressionist classic Metropolis gets reimagined by the three-musician ensemble Alloy Orchestra (Oct. 29), which performs live to classic silent films using an outrageous assemblage of unlikely instruments.
There’s something for everyone on the music calendar this fall, as Health Concerts brings to Santa Fe Steve Earle and the Dukes (Oct. 15), Michael Franti and Spearhead (Oct. 23), Steve Vai (Oct. 24), and The Robert Cray Band (Nov. 10). Diehard Americana fans will even trek to Albuquerque to spend an evening with songwriters Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (Nov. 5). For old school blues, Taj Mahal’s World Blues Tour (Oct. 13) includes the legendary bluesman himself, plus recording partners Vusi Mahlasela of South Africa and Taj Mahal’s daughter Deva Mahal of New Zealand. The New Mexico Jazz Festival is offering a slate of fall shows, including the ACS Trio—Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Esperanza Spalding (Oct. 20)—plus Charles Lloyd & Friends featuring Bill Frisell (Nov. 19).
In classical music, the Santa Fe Symphony goes galactic this season with Voyages of Discovery IV (Nov. 2), exploring “the majesty of music and mathematics” with an evening of music plus mathematical theorems. Take an autobiographical multimedia journey with pianist Peter Buffett in Life Is What You Make It (Nov. 7), a concert and conversation following the release of his eponymous autobiographical book. And the latest in the popular performance series Notes on Music has the Santa Fe Concert Association’s Joseph Illick looking at the operatic genius of Giuseppe Verdi (Oct. 15).
West Indian novelist Jamaica Kincaid speaks with biographer Robert Faggen (Oct. 16) as part of the Lannan Foundation’s literary speaker series. For its Cultural Freedom series, Lannan brings war correspondent Jeremy Scahill together with fellow Nation Institute journalist Tom Engelhardt (Oct. 30). Also, longtime National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols will talk and sign his latest book, Earth to Sky: Among Africa’s Elephants, A Species in Crisis (Oct. 22), about the threat to African elephants from the ivory trade.
Programs offered at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum include poetry writing with Miriam Sagan (Oct. 15); an exploration of O’Keeffe’s still-lifes (Oct. 28), and a three-day still-life painting workshop (Oct. 31-Nov. 2). Explore O’Keeffe’s approach to abstraction (Nov. 5), or bring the kids for a morning of watercolor (Nov. 16). Budding artists will want to check Santa Fe Creative Tourism for dozens of other workshops in the arts, many just a half day, including painting, printmaking, encaustic, ceramics, tinsmithing, glass bead making, weaving, filmmaking, and dance!
If the kitchen is your palette, join Chef Rocky Durham in a seasonal survey of Sausage, Kraut & Brews at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy (Oct. 15). Or master the apple pie in a quick evening class (Oct. 16). The academy also has a Dia de los Muertos lesson in making sugar skulls (Oct. 30). The first Thursday of every month, the Pop-up Dinner with wines (Nov. 7) focuses on the coming of winter in France.
For interests further afield, try an architectural pilgrimage to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Abiquiu (Oct. 14) with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Porsche fans are planning a major automotive pow-wow when the 356 Registry West Coast Holiday comes to town (Oct. 9-13), with headquarters at La Fonda. They will be followed by serious beekeepers attending the Western Apicultural Society Conference at La Fonda (Oct. 16-19). Check the schedule online for subjects of interest to backyard beekeepers, and a chance to meet the local experts.