Holiday Splendor in City Park
A beloved tradition for all ages, Celebration in the Oaks takes place at New Orleans City Park throughout the month. Amidst the backdrop of twinkling lights, visitors will delight in the amusement park rides; visits with Santa; performances by school choirs, orchestras and dancers; and much more. It is open Dec.2-Jan.1, except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Information,

Wayne Gonzales, a native New Orleanian, is known for his paintings that depict crowds. “Light to Dark/Dark to Light” is his first solo museum show in the United States, and his works can be seen now at the New Orleans Museum of Art through Feb. 26, 2012. His newest painting, “Seated Crowd,” is a large blue masterpiece depicting a passive audience inside a movie theater. The exhibit will also display two murals on the walls showing the contrast between nature and war. Information,

Runways and Workshops
“Haute and Handmade: A Showcase of Southern Contemporary Couture” takes place at the Ogden on Dec. 9. It is a runway fashion show will be centered around the work of Alabama Chanin, a community revitalization project that combines innovative fashion with a distinctly American sense of craftiness. The following day, there will be a workshop for beginners and experienced designers alike, featuring Natalie Chanin.


On film
The sixth annual PhotoNola, a festival of photography, will take place Dec. 8-11 at various venues around town. It is coordinated by New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries and museums and features a wide range of demonstrations, exhibits and social gatherings. A highlighted artist is Josephine Sacabo who has two exhibitions: one at A Gallery for Fine Photography as well as a major retrospective at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She will also be the keynote speaker, doing a slide presentation of her work and giving a talk at the Williams Research Center. Information,

What kind of photography do you do? I do a kind of subjective and somewhat introspective type of photography, usually in a series and often based on certain literary texts that have captured my imagination.

From where do you draw your inspiration? Nature, poetry and people.

What do you hope people get from the experience of PhotoNOLA? This festival is a testament to the courage, strength and talent of the local photo community. They put this thing together after Hurricane Katrina, against all odds, in order to create a sense of community for each other, and it’s a huge success on every level. For me, it’s the model of a grass-roots movement. I talk to photographers and gallery owners all over the country, and everyone wants to participate in it. I think the best things photographers can get from it are the connections with one another and the exposure to all sorts of really good work. And the realization that artists can band together and create a better world for themselves.

Dec. 2. Loyola Theatre One Acts Festival; Lower Depths Theater (Loyola University). Information,

Dec. 3. Watch the Throne Tour featuring Kanye West and Jay-Z; New Orleans Arena. Information,

Dec 4 & 26. New Orleans Saints home games; Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Information,

Dec. 8-18. The NOLA Project presents Romeo and Juliet; New Orleans Museum of Art (Great Hall). Information,

Dec. 9-10. Prep Classic football; Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Information,

Dec. 9. Vox and the Hound concert; Republic. Information,

Dec. 15. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra presents “Baroque Christmas”; First Baptist Church. Information,

Dec. 16. Disney Live! Phineas and Ferb; UNO Lakefront Arena. Information,

Dec. 17-18. Miss Malaprop & Bayou Salvage present Peek-a-Boo Popup Shop; Color Me NOLA (4815 Magazine St.). Information,

Dec. 18. “Caroling in Jackson Square”; Jackson Square. Information,

Dec. 20-24. Cirque Dreams Holidaze; Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.  Information,

Dec. 29. Moscow Ballet presents Great Russian Nutcracker; Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Information,

Dec. 31. Galactic with special guests Anders Osborne, Corey Glover and Corey Henry; Tipitina’s Uptown. Information,

Dec. 31. Aquarium Drunk and WTUL present Black Lips with Jean-Eric; One Eyed Jacks. Information,

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