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    $15 or less: Weekend listings for the budget-conscious culture lover

    Mike Daisey at the Rep, birding in Discovery Park, food rodeo, Taco Challenge and more -- for $15 or less
    The one and only Mike Daisey

    The one and only Mike Daisey Mike Daisey

    Welcome to $15 or Less, our eclectic, weekly events calendar for cash-strapped devotees of arts and culture.

    Mike Daisey’s American Utopias
    Seattle Repertory Theatre, 5/1-5/4 at 7:30 p.m., $12 for under 25
    Monologist and former Seattleite Mike Daisey returns with two new solo performances. American Utopias, where Daisey explores the physical spaces (from Disney World to the Occupy movement) that have seeped into the American dream, shows this weekend. Next weekend: F***ing F***ing F***ing Ayn Rand.

    My Life to Live
    Seattle Art Museum, Thursday 5/2 at 7:30 p.m., $8
    This film, which marks the midway point in SAM’s French New Wave Masters series, showcases the work of seminal filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Frances Truffaut. Take in Godard’s tale of gritty, yet gorgeously self-possessed self-discovery, in 12 episodes, on 35mm — for one night only. It’s also First Thursday so capitalize on the free-ness of SAM (and the Pioneer Square art walk).

    Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers
    Photo Center NW, Open daily (see hours) through 5/28, FREE
    This travelling exhibit features 23 artists and 64 works, ranging greatly in style, mood, and composition, all centered around storytelling. Right next to Seattle University, this spectacular little gallery hosts an array of shows year-round.

    Le Wren’s EP Release Party
    Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Friday 5/3 at 8 p.m., $10
    Centralia, WA band Le Wrens will be celebrating the release of its first CD. Four of the band’s members are siblings (The Gundersens. Does it get any cuter?), and they play the sort of unapologetically heartfelt, string-layered folk that gets you bouncing on the balls of your feet.

    Discovery Park Bird Tour
    Discovery Park, Saturday 5/4 at 8 a.m., $3
    In case you missed it, the weather report for the weekend is a dream. Take this opportunity to visit one of Seattle’s most spectacular parks — and learn about our feathered friends with experienced birders. BYOBinoculars.

    Taco Truck Challenge
    Volunteer Park, Saturday 5/4 at 11 a.m. -7 p.m., $5 admission
    Following the ¡Fiesta 5K Olé! Run/Walk (which benefits the Hope Heart Institute), race participants and Mex food-loving members of the public can partake of tacos prepared by the usual suspects as well as mobile faves like Skillet, which is working a fusion taco into its menu line-up. El Camion has deservedly won the Taco Truck Challenge for the last two years, but who doesn’t want to give them a run for their money? (Pun painstakingly intended)

    Mobile Food Rodeo
    Fremont (180 North Canal St.), Sunday 5/5, FREE
    Another sunny opportunity for alfresco munching. A short jaunt past the vintage Fremont Market (just hitting its prime), the Food Rodeo will host a local craft beer garden and 36 food trucks, including Off the Rez, Roxy’s Waffle Wagon (beer batter waffles!?) and Lumpia World, all aimed at serving up smaller portions at cheaper prices for comprehensive —guilt-free — sampling.

    Short Stories Live: The Selected Letters of Willa Cather
    Town Hall, Sunday, 5/5 at 4- 5:30 p.m., $10-15
    In her will, author Willa Cather specifically forbade the publication of her letters. So, why are local actors going to be reading selections from Cather's 566-letter collection? We have no idea. But we'll be there to find out what Cather didn't want us to know.

    Stephen Apkon
    Elliott Bay Book Company, Tuesday 5/7 at 7 p.m., FREE
    Founder of a non-profit film and education center in New York, Apkon will be here to read from his book, The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens. The author will aptly discuss the evolution of literacy, along with the history of storytelling and how it all translates to the 21st century.

    What are you doing this weekend? Let us know in the comments area below. And if you hear of any interesting – under $15 - events in or around our grand city, please email editor@crosscut.com.

    Nicole Capozziello is a former Wisconsinite with a past split between cheesehouse and liberal arts college. She has called Seattle her home since 2009. She currently works at TOPS alternative school, and at Theo Chocolate, where she lives the dream as a chocolate factory tour guide. She enjoys cooking, exploring Seattle’s lovely parks with her dog and wonderful friends and attending author readings.

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