Film festivals, STEAM events, typeface meetups, and an event that holds the Guinness World Record for largest UFO convention – they're all set to pop off somewhere in metro Phoenix this February.
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about cave-diving from a National Geographic journalist, always wanted to join up with one of those community stargazing nights, or were ever curious about the daily lives of superheroes, here are 11 events ready for your slick planner app.
Phx Type Club
The whole “new year, new you” thing can include new projects as well, and the Phx Type Club is having its first meetup. The initial meeting will be held in the 1802 building on Jefferson Street, and attendees can expect an orientation – though they are asked to have a piece of lettering, calligraphy, or a typeface for a friendly critique session. Send your work to email@example.com for the meeting, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1. See the Facebook event for more information.
National Geographic Live: The Risky Science of Exploration
Named National Geographic’s 2011 Explorer of the Year, diver and environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad is speaking at the Mesa Arts Center on some of the more daring and squeamish things that earned him his title. From subaquatic cave-diving in Cuba to perusing venomous snakes in Vietnam, a night with Broad at the microphone is sure to be adventurous. Presented by Mesa Arts Center in partnership with National Geographic, "The Risky Science of Exploration" starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, in the Ikeda Theater. Tickets range from $24 to $38. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website for more details.
Western Pop Film Festival
Three films are lined up to screen over three nights for the Western Pop Film Festival. First up is The Searchers, starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, at Tempe Center for the Arts. John Wayne and some weirdo kid go looking for a young, abducted Natalie Wood. An after-film discussion will feature ASU’s Peter Lehman. The next is The Unforgiven, starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 2. A post-screening talk will feature ASU’s Jason Scott. Last is Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which we feel like we probably don’t have to explain to you. The after-movie discussion features Ralph Remington, the artistic director at Tempe Center for the Arts. Cost is $5 per movie. Visit the TCA website for more information.
"The Super Neumanns: 365 Photos by Danny Neumann"
If you’ve ever wanted to see what the day-to-day lives of superheros, then join other curious attendees at “The Super Neumanns: 365 Photos by Danny Neumann” in the Walter Art Gallery. Run by longtime New Times contributor Robrt Pela, R. Pela Contemporary Art presents Danny Neumann’s action figure photo series, with an opening reception starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 2. The photos will remain on view through February 28. Call 602-320-8445 or visit the Facebook event for more details.
FilmBar VHS Swap & Beyond the Gates
Tapeheads, try to contain your excitement as we tell you about the FilmBar's first-ever VHS Swap – a small marketplace of VHS tapes, magazines, posters, VCRs, board games, and other collectibles. After the swap, the downtown indie theater will host the the Phoenix première of Beyond the Gates, a horror-adventure film that we hear has more VHSs in it than The Ring. The movie's director, Arizona native Jackson Stewart, also will be there. The event is hosted by the BS Movies Podcast, who will hold a post-screening Q&A and podcast taping session with the director. The VHS Swap starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 10, and the movie starts at 10. The swap is free, but the screening will cost $9. Visit the FilmBar website for more information.
Read on for a Renaissance lecture, an astronomy night, and the UFO Congress.
Me, My Quantified Self and I
Arizona State University professor Jessica Rajko is putting on a new dance production titled, Me, My Quantified Self and I. The show’s message is to visualize “our digital world as the messy, cluttered, complicated ecosystem it is.” Unexpected Art Gallery is hosting the show, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, February 10 through 12. An interactive pre-show starts at 7 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Visit the Jessica Rajko website for more information.
Phoenix Experimental Arts Fest
A collaboration of Paradise Valley Community College's fine arts and astronomy programs, the annual Phoenix Experimental Arts Fest is a collection of multimedia artists, computer programmers, musicians, and dancers. The 2017 festival is inspired by the Visions of the Future poster series created by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and will unveil six new works. The free festival starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, at the PVCC Center for the Performing Arts. Visit the Facebook event for more details.
International UFO Congress
The 26th annual International UFO Congress presents lectures, documentaries, exhibitors, and the 2017 EBE Film Festival on everybody’s favorite topic: flying saucers. Lectures range from “The Phoenix Lights 20 Years Later: Meet the Witnesses and Hear New Information” to “Real Cowboys & Aliens: UFOs in the Old West.” Holding a Guinness World Record for the largest UFO convention, the 2017 International UFO Congress is held from February 15 to 19 at the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center. Visit the International UFO Congress website for tickets and a full schedule.
"Medieval Queens of the Americas"
With a tagline like “Elite Maya Women Building Dynasties in the Classic Period,” you won’t want to miss this lecture on the "Medieval Queens of the Americas" – a free and public event hosted by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Karrie Porter Brace, chief exhibits curator at ASU Libraries, presents the lecture from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, in room 4403 of Lattie F. Coor Hall at ASU Tempe. Visit the Facebook event for more details.
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Part of the 2017 Arizona SciTech Festival – a statewide series of STEAM events held in February and March – the monthly Public Star Party is held at the Black Mountain campus of Paradise Valley Community College. This free community stargazing event uses high-power telescopes to better display the night sky, all in partnership with the PVCC astronomy faculty and the Phoenix Astronomical Society. The party is from 7 to 9:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 23. Attendees are asked to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call 602-561-5398 or visit the event page.
Correction: This article has been corrected from its original version, which noted that Unforgiven was part of the Western Pop Festival. The film being screened is The Unforgiven.