Best Spoken Word Series - 2013
Portland artists made their own personalized deck of playing cards. Austin has a cupcake truck. In Los Angeles, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting an art installation. And Phoenix? We're just home to that grumpy cat. Around these parts, we have a tradition of spending way too much time complaining about what other cities have instead of making cool things happen for ourselves. That's changing, and Tania Katan's at the forefront. With a background as a playwright, actor, and book author (among her many credits), Katan has brought verve (and nerve) to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art with several programs, most notably Lit Lounge. She mixes local and imported writers, gives them a theme, and puts them onstage at SMoCA each month, backed by live music and fronted by none other than the very entertaining Katan herself. The fact that she packed the almost 1,000-seat house across the breezeway at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in May, in honor of Lit Lounge's one-year anniversary, is a testament to the fact that Lit Lounge is high-quality stuff — and that Phoenicians are soaking it up. Here's to another great year.