New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, September 9, through Sunday, September 11. For more events, see our curated online calendar.

2016 Season Kick-Off
Maybe you’ve got fond memories of preschool story time, when magical tales seemed to fly off the page. Imagine what a talented crop of artists might do with some of those stories now, and then get to Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street, to find out. The Center kicks off its 2016-17 season from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 9, with a free celebration of contemporary art inspired by literature. It’s your first chance to see five new exhibitions at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, featuring works by local and international artists working in diverse media from paper cutting to sculpture.

While you’re there, see seven Experimental Art Night pieces presented by [nueBOX], and watch Vessel Project’s atmospheric performance inspired by renowned literary characters. Friday’s lineup also includes artist demonstrations, music, spit poetry, and a community art project. Fingers crossed there’s no Hansel-and-Gretel-inspired food truck. Visit Lynn Trimble

If you’ve ever car-sang “Independent Women, Part I” by Destiny’s Child, or you simply enjoy art and live music in general, then you may like Femi9 — billed as “a female-focused night of entertainment.”

Attendees can expect works by female artists, and music by Adara Rae & The Homewreckers, Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers, Lady K.O., and Sadie Jane — all hosted by AZ Sauce Boss,, and Figure out how to pronounce “femininity” by Friday, September 9, when the event runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Pho Cao, 7436 East McDowell Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $5 at the door. Visit Lauren Cusimano

Liz Ann Hewett knew this wouldn’t be easy. “The pressure is intense,” she told New Times while finishing up the choreographed work she’ll debut on September 9 and 10. It’s called Memoriam, and the contemporary dance show pays tribute to the victims of 9/11 some 15 years later, focusing on the events in New York City and telling stories both “heartbreaking and heroic” through movement that’s centered on what people experienced that day. Curtain is at 8 p.m. on Friday, when the work opens for a two-performance run at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Additional matinee performances for high school students will be closed to the public. Tickets to the show are $20 to $30 and available through Becky Bartkowski

"Ducks, Eggs, and Fish"
For Chinese American painter Martin Fan Cheng, the story is in the details. The contemporary artist works with a goal of “painting the real work as we see it,” which comes across beautifully in “Ducks, Eggs and Fish,” from shadows on an egg to the sheen on scales. The collection, both an homage to a favorite hobby (fishing) and a quiet commentary on the cultural obsession with food, hangs in the Art of Asia Gallery within the Phoenix Art Museum at 1625 North Central Avenue, and will remain on view through Sunday, November 6. See Cheng’s work during regular museum hours: Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults. Visit or call 602-257-1880 for details. Janessa Hilliard

One More Time with Feeling
Since the 1970s, gothic crooner Nick Cave has delivered an array of intense music, from hard-driving post-punk numbers to lush and sinister ballads that weave their way under your skin. Cave and his band the Bad Seeds’ latest release, Skeleton Tree, is their first since Cave’s family lost their teenage son last summer to a fatal fall off an England cliff. Director Andrew Dominik’s film, One More Time with Feeling gives fans an opportunity to see performances of this new material, along with interviews and footage that explore the tragic circumstances that surround the record’s creation. Explore Cave’s world at 6:40 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. The film runs through September 15. Call 602-595-9187 or visit Amy Young

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young