Weeds, medical shrimp and strong women all factor into this issue.

No, we are not changing our focus.

It’s just that this month we chronicle artists working as researchers, social scientists and archivists through land, sea and even car-based practices that define our city.

Art cars put Houston on the quirky map. Hubba Hubba Art Car artist Sarah Gish interviews “Art Car: The Movie” filmmakers Ford Gunter and Carlton Ahrens, whose film closes the Cinema Arts Festival, running November 9–13.

Nancy Zastudil goes hyper local with her story on “The Shrimp Boat Projects” at University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

The weeds enter the scene in Katia Zavistovski’s investigation of Mark Dion’s Buffalo Bayou Invasive Plant Eradication Unit, a Houston Arts Alliance project.

If we turn to Houston’s cultural ecology, we find several remarkable women making their mark on the classical music scene. Chris Johnson visited with Houston Grand Opera’s Sandra Bernhard, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s Alecia Lawyer, DaCamera’s Sarah Rothenberg, and Houston Symphony’s Aurelei Desmarais to hear their stories.

Women are rising at Houston Ballet, too, with Melissa Hough as the third female company member to set a piece on Houston Ballet in its history. Marene Gustin fills us in on the annual Jubilee, which also includes a tribute to departing executive director C.C. Conner and snippets of what’s to come.

Our cultural warrior this month is Stages Repertory Theatre producing artistic director Kenn McLaughlin. His force of nature personality always manages to lift my day, and there’s much going on at Stages this month to lift yours.

Speaking of joy, enjoy my A+C guide to the lay of the holiday arts land.