Temperatures are still cresting 90, this weekend and next week, and to stay cool, the INDY always recommends classic beat-the-heat activities like taking a trip to a swimming hole or local brewery.

But, if you’re looking to infuse a little culture into your weekend between swims and sips, here are our picks—a little bit of jazz, a powerful performance, and a drag brunch—for the weekend of August 20. 

Outdoor Jazz at the North Carolina Museum of Art 

The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh 

If you’ve never gone to an amphitheater concert at NCMA, here’s the INDY scoop: it’s lovely. Tonight (August 20), the museum lawn will fill with the sounds of New Orleans, with a triple bill that includes opener Sweet Crude and the expressive, expansive sound of headliners Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Tank and The Bangas. 

Both amphitheater seating and lawn space (bring a picnic blanket, if this is the route you go) are available in tickets ranging from $36-$40 for the 7 p.m. show. All concert attendees are asked to mask up. (Bonus: If you can’t make this concert but are looking to jazz up your month, a free jazz series at Moore Square kicks off next week.) 

Blood Done Sign My Name at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Hillsborough

If you’ve lived in the Triangle for awhile, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Timothy Tyson’s 2004 memoir, Blood Done Sign My Name, which documents the 1970 murder of a Black Army veteran, Henry Marrow, in Oxford, North Carolina. The book was later turned into a movie and, thanks to celebrated local actor and playwright, Mike Wiley, it’s also a powerful play that has been performed throughout the Triangle the past several years. (Read a 2014 INDY review of the play here.) 

This Sunday, you’ll have a chance to watch Wiley’s solo performance—of 30 roles, no less—of the play, as part of Hillsborough’s St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s “Faith & Arts” series. Tickets are $20.

Drag Brunch at The Unscripted Hotel

The Unscripted Hotel, Durham 

Drag Brunch is back at downtown Durham’s Unscripted Hotel, kicking off this Sunday at the respectable brunch hour of 11 a.m., hosted by local drag legends Vivica C. Coxx, Stormie Daie, and Naomi Dix. Tickets start at $35 and come with a complimentary mimosa, which you can take for a lounge by the pool. 

You can read more about the lineup, with this 2019 INDY profile of Vivica C. Coxx, and a recent INDY “15 Minutes” conversation with Stormie Daie and Naomi Dix. 

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