It's Robot Night and the feeling's right.
It's Robot Night and the feeling's right.
Ash Ponders

6 Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Just because you have to keep to your budget doesn't mean that your week has to be boring. Try learning from mistakes at the FuckUp Nights Phoenix, watch some shopping carts fly at the Phoenix Idiotarod, or try your hand at building a robot at HeatSync Labs. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

HeatSync Labs’ Robot Night
Half the battle of creating a robot is having the right tools. During HeatSync Labs’ Robot Night on the first Monday of every month, attendees have access to soldering irons, casting equipment, laser cutters, and other necessary tools. The event brings together makers of different ages to work on projects, collaborate, and bounce ideas off each other.

The next robotics-themed night runs from 7 to 10 p.m. on February 5 at 140 West Main Street in Mesa. Participation is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, go to the HeatSync Labs’ website. Laura Latzko

Terrence Martin, Aaron Hopkins-Johnson, and Julia Garcia during a FuckUp Nights Phoenix Q&A session moderated by Leah Marche at Valley Bar.EXPAND
Terrence Martin, Aaron Hopkins-Johnson, and Julia Garcia during a FuckUp Nights Phoenix Q&A session moderated by Leah Marche at Valley Bar.
Talima Flores-Allah / Crescent Reflections Photography

FuckUp Nights Phoenix
Consider FuckUp Nights Phoenix the monthly master class on failure. The organization is part of a worldwide movement to change our notions of success. During the Tuesday, February 6, edition, entrepreneurs will have seven minutes and 10 PowerPoint slides to explain how they screwed up and learned the error of their ways. Afterward, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with the presenters and ask questions about how they embraced defeat and added a point to their win column.

Pick yourself up again at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Jason Keil

Learn all about bonsai care and ikebana flower arrangements.
Learn all about bonsai care and ikebana flower arrangements.
Phoenix Bonsai Society 2016

“Japanese Art of Nature: Bonsai, Ikebana, and Japanese Gardens”
Bonsai care and ikebana flower arrangements are about more than just watering and pruning. There are greater philosophical and spiritual ties to the verdant arts, and they will be the focus of a lecture and Q&A at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, February 7.

“Japanese Art of Nature: Bonsai, Ikebana, and Japanese Gardens” will highlight the Japanese art forms with a visual presentation on friendship gardens by Diana Larowe, formerly of the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix; a live demo by Sogetsu Ikebana Artist Ping Wei; and a bonsai talk and examples from landscape designers and bonsai enthusiasts Ardie and Mike Apostolos.

The event starts at 6 p.m. at 7380 East Second Street and is free with an RSVP. For more information, call 480-499-8587 or go to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website. Laura Latzko

Wasted Ink Zine Distro's wares.
Wasted Ink Zine Distro's wares.
Melissa Fossum

Femme Fotale
With its newest photo book, Femme Fotale continues to encourage underrepresented women, including gender nonconforming and femme artists, to share personal experiences and insights about the current social and political climate.

The group will celebrate the release of Volume 5: Resistance, Resilience & Hope during a community potluck on Friday, February 9, at Wasted Ink Zine Distro, 2222 North 16th Street. The celebration will include a community art table, where artists can share two-dimensional work, along with a photo booth and potluck with vegetarian and meat dishes. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and is free to attend. For more information, see the Femme Fotale website. Laura Latzko

Down for a shopping car race, eh?EXPAND
Down for a shopping car race, eh?
Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Idiotarod
Fair warning, Phoenicians: You might encounter gangs of costumed folks frantically pushing crazy-looking shopping carts around the downtown area this weekend. And some of them might be covered in silly string, adorned in wild outfits, or armed with water balloons.

Will it grab your attention? Most definitely. Should you be alarmed? Not at all, considering it’s just the running of the annual Phoenix Idiotarod. The urban shopping cart race and bar crawl will invade downtown once again on Saturday, February 10, and feature costumed teams of five or more people competing against each other.

Competing teams, each with its own wild theme, will start the race underneath the bridge at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1134 North Central Avenue, before hitting the streets and sidewalks during an afternoon of madcap action and colorful fun. Check-in begins at 11 a.m., and the race starts at noon. It’s $50 per team to participate, but free to spectate. Visit the AZ Cacophony Society website for more info. Benjamin Leatherman

See Ann Morton and Bill Timmerman's first joint exhibition at Modified Arts.
See Ann Morton and Bill Timmerman's first joint exhibition at Modified Arts.
Ann Morton

“It’s Only Natural”
When married Phoenix artists Ann Morton and Bill Timmerman undertook summer travels last year, Timmerman snapped photographs throughout. Now, several of those photos are part of an exhibition called “It’s Only Natural” at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street. The free exhibition also features new works by Morton, a mixed-media fiber artist. Together, they tackle this question: What comprises the natural world?

They’ve worked side by side for decades, but this is the artists’ first joint exhibition. “Bill looks for ties between the built and unbuilt world, while Ann employs the serendipity of found objects and random experience,” according to exhibition materials. Take a look between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 10. It’s your last chance to see the show. Visit the Modified Arts website. Lynn Trimble

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