A New Year means a new list of events to choose from in January.
Ambassador's Ball: This annual black tie gala benefits the Allegro Foundation, a champion for children with disabilities. It begins at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 at Quail Hollow Club, 3700 Gleneagles Road. Event sponsors include Wells Fargo, Ally Financial, the Charlotte Hornets, CPI Security, Novant Health and SteelFab Inc. This year's honoree is His Excellency Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari, Ambassador of Qatar. The evening includes a reception, dinner and dancing plus a special performance by the Allegro Foundation children. Proceeds benefit the Allegro Foundation's movement instruction programs that enhance the quality of life for area children with disabilities. Details: www.allegrofoundation.net.
Community Dialogue Series: The Women's Inter-Cultural Exchange is sponsoring this weekly discussion on race, culture and opportunity held over five weeks. It takes place Wednesdays from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8 at Covenant Presbyterian Churh, 1000 E. Morehead St. Free and open to the public. Dinner is available from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the church for $7 but reservations are required: 704-333-9071; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pride Awards: This gala hosted by Pride magazine features a dinner and awards ceremony. This year's theme, Building Communities - Changing Lives, is a collaboration with Habitat for Humanity. Honorees include the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition, Reid Park Neighborhood Association president Rickey Hall and Mallard Creek High School senior Taye Martin. Normally a black tie event, this year's attire is Jeans and Other Creative Things. Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Westin uptown. Raising The Roof, the After Glow party after the dinner, features DJ Kool. Details: www.pridemagazineonline.com.
MLK Day Celebration: Celebrate MLK Day at the Gantt Center Jan. 16 from 9 to 5 p.m. during a day of special events sponsored by Food Lion. Activities include panel discussions, guided tours, art-making workshops, scavenger hunts and film screenings. Free. Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture, 551 S. Tryon Street at the Levine Center for the Arts. Details: 704-547-3700; www.ganttcenter.org.
Women Of Abstract Expressionism: The first major museum exhibition to focus on the groundbreaking women affiliated with the Abstract Expressionist movement during its seminal years, between 1945 and and 1960, is on view through Jan. 22 at the Mint Museum uptown, 500 S. Tryon St. Admission is $18; $14 for seniors and students. Details: 704-337-2000; www.mintmuseum.org.
Opera Carolina's La Traviata: This classic Italian opera in three acts by Verdi takes place in Paris in 1850 and tells the tragic story of the doomed love affair between a wealthy young man and a beautiful courtesan. Performed by Opera Carolina at Belk Theater uptown. Show times are 2 p.m. Jan. 22; 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26; and 8 p.m. Jan. 28. Tickets are $20-$154. Details: www.operacarolina.org.
"My Body, My Turn" Makeover Event: Charlotte Plastic Surgery hosts this event for mothers of all ages. Doctors Paul Watterson and Michael Beasley join nurse Allie Haile to discuss the newest information about breast and body surgery, plus non-surgical options for total rejuvenation. January 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, 2215 Randolph Road. Free, but registration required: 704-237-0036; www.charlotteplasticsurgery.com.
Travel & Cruise Show: Take advantage of one-stop planning and booking at this event hosted by Mann Travel. Events include seminars on the newest luxury vacations and cruises, plus packing demonstrations along with discounts, prizes and giveaways. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College Street. Admission is free. Details: www.manntravels.com.
Liz Hilliard Book Signing: Fitness expert Liz Hilliard, creator and owner of Hilliard Studio Method, is known for helping women at any stage and any age sculpt strong, healthy and beautiful bodies and minds. She shares her tips and the story of her fitness journey in her new book, Be Powerful: Find Your Strength at Any Age, which has already become a bestseller. She'll sign copies from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 28 at Park Road Books at Park Road Shopping Center, 4139 Park Road. Details: 704-525-9239; www.parkroadbooks.com.