Kathleen Mellen’s best bets
Every year, Ko Festival of Performance director Sabrina Hamilton picks a theme for the five-week series that kicks off its 22nd season Friday at Amherst College (this year, it’s courage). Then, she scours the country to find just the right artist-driven performances that speak to the theme. First up: “Just Kids,” with Sean Christopher Lewis, about a man who teaches kids with violent psychological issues. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 4 p.m., Holden Theater. www.kofest.com
ANOTHER GOOD BET
Trying to get out of the heat (or rain) this summer? Beginning next week, The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will be open Thursdays at 2 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m., through Aug. 23, for “It’s Cool at the Mead,” guided (air conditioned) gallery tours. Free.