If you want to beat the First Friday crowds and still experience the art, make your way downtown for Preview Thursday, during which artists display their works in a more intimate setting. At the Brett Wesley Gallery, 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd., Bob Stang debuts his series of paintings Connections from 6-9 p.m. Over at the Contemporary Arts Center, 101 E. Charleston Blvd., tonight will be the last chance to check out Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s Geolocation, a project that blends Tweets with photographs of the places from which they originated. Lastly, view the as-of-today transformation of Damned Ink Studios into Statement Art Gallery, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 225, and enjoy a small reception at 7 p.m.
Citizen Outreach has invited the six leading candidates in the Las Vegas mayor’s race to a debate at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country, 9151 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Clark County Commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Larry Brown, Las Vegas first lady Carolyn Goodman, businessman Victor Chaltiel, restaurant owner George Harris and Las Vegas Councilman Steve Ross will duke it out from 5-7 p.m. For something a little more soothing, the Nevada Ballet Theatre introduces its spring production, The Tried and True and the New, featuring guest artists Matthew Rushing and Clifton Brown from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. The show will be at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV and run through March 6. Shows begin at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and the Sunday matinee starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at NevadaBallet.org.
Cancer is the No. 1 killer of children in the United States. Today you can do something about it. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a charity committed to funding research for childhood cancers by encouraging donors to “make a bald statement” and shave their heads. Since 2005, the foundation has raised more than $56 million. Volunteers must raise a minimum of $100. Do that and you can get your head shaved at participating venues, including McMullan’s Irish Pub and Nine Fine Irishmen at 1 p.m., and Boulder Station hotel-casino at 4 p.m. Visit StBaldricks.org for more information.
The Las Vegas chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities will close NASCAR Weekend with a bang as it hosts Track Walk. Giving hundreds of fans the exclusive opportunity to walk on the 1.5-mile race track, the annual walk begins at 9 a.m. on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Trackside registration is $35 and children under 16 are admitted free with one paid adult. Participants must arrive by 8:30 a.m. and donations can be made at SpeedwayCharities.org. Stick around for the pre-race activities followed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 race with legend Jeff Gordon. Check LVMS.com for complete weekend details.
Put your kids’ wild imagination to use in the Vegas PBS Kids Go! story contest. Through April 8, kids in kindergarten through fifth grade can submit stories of fact, fiction, prose or poetry, along with matching illustrations they’ve created. Winning stories will move onto a national contest. For information visit VegasPBSbs.org.
Golden Rainbow, a nonprofit organization providing assistance for Southern Nevadans living with HIV/AIDs, is holding its Ribbon of Life kickoff fundraiser at 8 p.m. in the Revolution Lounge in The Mirage. The event features live music, entertainment, a raffle and the announcement of this year’s venue for the annual Ribbon of Life Spectacular. The Spectacular is a gathering of Las Vegas’ best singers, dancers and performers from shows on the Strip, and is one of Nevada’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraisers. Tickets for tonight’s event are $20 at the door.
The work of UNLV College of Fine Arts instructor Mary Warner will be on display at Springs Preserve through June 12 (See Page 81). Warner teaches painting, and Kaleidoscope: Visual Inspirations features pieces by her students and former students that speak to the impact she has had their lives. The show, in the Big Springs Gallery, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Check SpringsPreserve.org for information.