Moore SquareMany of us don’t need too much persuading to venture into downtown Raleigh these days, but for 30 years, Artsplosure has been dedicated to promoting the vibrancy of the urban core.

This year, check out the trapeze troupe Aerial Angels, who will perform several times today and tomorrow. Take a dive into the creative fray by drawing with materials provided. The kiddies can get in on the fun by making their own hats and cooling fans (which Mom and Dad might eventually requisition for themselves). In the nearby Marbles Kids Museum, student work from local middle and high schools will be displayed.

There will also be art for sale. Jackie Smith, marketing and promotions manager, tells us 180 artists from across the country will show their work. The disciplines range from fibers to ceramics to photography. The market will be open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.

In addition to the visual art brightening up the area, music will provide listening pleasure for the event. Hometown act Lonnie Walker plays at 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by Buckwheat Zydeco at 8 p.m. The performances will run 2 p.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.artsplosure.org. Sarah Ewald

The So and So Reading Series
The Morning Times CaféThe So and So Reading Series, run by poets Chris Tonelli and Chris Salerno (winner of the Indy‘s 2009 poetry contest), originated in Boston but is quickly becoming a Raleigh institution. The quarterly series pairs local poets with visiting poets of renown. Each reading coordinates with the launch of a new issue of poetry journal The Raleigh Quarterly, and enlists local artists and printers to create limited-edition, high-quality broadsides for each poet. The May 16 installment features readings by Durham’s Chris Vitiello (author, most recently, of Irresponsibility) and kathryn l. pringle (author of RIGHT NEW BIOLOGY and judge of the Indy‘s 2009 poetry contest), with Justin Marks, a New York-based poet and editor of LIT magazine. The readings start at 8 p.m. and there’s no cover charge, but the last So and So was standing room only, so come early if you want a seat. See thesoandsoseries.blogspot.com. Brian Howe

Uncle Typhus’ Uncommon Burlesque Hour Presents:
The Temple of the Golden Ape
Common Ground TheatreOnce in a while, you are met with a theatrical event that might be impossible to summarize. This is one of those cases. So, let’s turn to the press release, which calls the event “Ed Sullivan meets The Muppet Show.” The event’s producer, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, plans an evening that includes an “erotic sketch-prov,” a “Children’s Theatre of Cruelty,” 1980s video re-enactments, an “Animal vs. Buddy Rich Drum Battle,” many musical performances, and more. If this is your cup of tea, kitchen sink and more, then know that tickets are $10 and that the show starts at 8 p.m. Call 698-3870 or visit www.littlegreenpig.com for details. Zack Smith

Tres Chicas and The Whistlestop
The Pour HouseBoth Tres Chicas and The Whistlestop traffic in a form of folk rock, with harmonies and pretty melodies fortified by a backbeat and a backbone. But theirs are also the sounds of country and soul and that pair’s love child, country-soul, not to mention soul’s elder kin, gospel. Most of all, Tres Chicas is the sound of three womenLynn Blakey, Caitlin Cary and Tonya Lammwho love each other like sisters and sing like it. For The Whistlestop, it’s a pair of honorary brothersMike Roy and Rob Watsondelivering from the heart. Tickets are $8-$10. The music starts at 9 p.m. Rick Cornell