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Top picks for the week

Cartoonist Lynda Barry.

Cartoonist Lynda Barry.

If we can’t go to Italy, then we might as well let Italy come to us.

That Mediterranean country will be celebrated in Santa Fe next week with cinema, food and a significant amount of partying as part of CineFesta Italia, which opens Wednesday and runs through June 4.

There will be movies at the Jean Cocteau Cinema and Violet Crown to give us the language and landscapes ($12 tickets), along with a series of receptions, parties and dinners at Osteria D’Assisi, Hotel Santa Fe and Pizzerio da Lino (varying prices).

The dinners will benefit the local Cooking with Kids program and Communities in the Schools, which helps support kids to keep them in school through graduation.

Head to for a schedule and tickets.

Ray John de Aragon's "Billy the Kid Meets his Ghost."

Ray John de Aragon’s “Billy the Kid Meets his Ghost.”

TALKING HEADS: We’ve got a couple of the more intriguing talks of the year so far coming up next week.

The Santa Fe Institute brings cartoonist, author and creative catalyst Lynda Barry at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to talk about “Biology and creativity: Why must we write, draw, sing and dance?”

Known for her weekly strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” and her 17 books, Barry will be at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St., to wonder about the biological function of the arts. SFI has issued a warning – or is it a come-on – that the talk will include swear words, party tricks and certain kinds of jokes. It’s free, but tickets are required: or 988-1234.

For something a little bit tamer – if anything about the Wild West can be considered tame – check out Ray John de Aragón’s talk about “Billy the Kid and Other New Mexico Legends.”

An Albuquerque historian who has written a book about The Kid, Aragón will speak at noon Wednesday in the Meem Community Room, New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave.

Musician/singer Laurie Lewis.

Musician/singer Laurie Lewis.

FIDDLIN’ AROUND: Laurie Lewis, who uses voice, fiddle and guitar to preach the gospels of Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, comes with musician Tom Rozum to Center Stage, 505 Camino de Los Marquez, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Tickets are $29 in advance through or $32 at the door. Acoustic bluegrass and country doesn’t come much finer.

MEMORIAL MEOW: Those partiers at the Meow Wolf Arts Complex, 1352 Rufina Circle, have a full slate of music over the Memorial Day Weekend, with Go Dark and Metal Mother (“fluorescent electronic kick-drum centric music”) at 8 tonight, followed by Cassegrain, a Berlin-based duo known for surrealist techno. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door.

On Saturday at 8 p.m., Sepalcure (“atmospheric tribal dub, house and two-step beats”) and Kode9 (a “progenitor of early dub step”) entertain for $23.50 in advance/$26 at the door.

Head to for more details.