Top Five Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Arizona Commission on the Arts Kicks Off Poet Laureate Nomination Process

Arizona was one of only eight states without a State Poet Laureate, a position established in states and countries around the world, in which a local established poet educates students and residents about poetry and literature.

But on May 11, 2012, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1348 into law, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts staff got to work on the process for nominating and selecting the state's first Poet Laureate.

State and National Poet Laureates date back to the Romans. They serve as champions of poetry on the local and national stages while meeting with emerging artists, community members, and government officials throughout their terms. Read the full story here.

--Claire Lawton

Maker Bench No Longer Available For Public Use, Owner David Uhlman Says Plans for Maker Faire are on Hold

The Tempe based Maker Bench has closed its doors to the public after having to relocate to a space that lacks proper access for the community of artists, hobbyists and entrepreneurs it previously served.

Maker Bench opened in June 2011 and hosted many seminars and workshops in which its members were able to use tools and materials available in the space such as woodworking, metalworking and laser cutting tools, among others.

Maker Bench owners won't rule out reopening their space to the public in the future but as of right now members of the company are focusing on other projects, including kits: "The Useless Machine" and Orange Desktop CNC Mill Kit.

Read the full story here.

--Taylor Brooks

Yandy, Creators of the "Sexy" Sesame Street and Hamburger Costumes Explain Why You Should Be a Sexy (Whatever) for Halloween

The employees of Yandy know all too well that sexy is the Halloween trend of the decade.

The Arizona-based company was started in 2005 by brothers Chad and Evan Horstman in Scottsdale. Today, Yandy operates out of a warehouse in Deer Valley Airpark and sells more than 7,000 items online, including lingerie, rave wear, swimwear, clothing, and Halloween costumes.

This year's big sellers: the Sexy Fox, the Sexy Watermelon, the Sexy Hamburger, and new arrivals, "sexy" Bert, Ernie, and Big Bird costumes. Seriously. See the full line of "sexy" costumes here.

--Claire Lawton

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