Damn, it feels good to be a nerd.
The Phoenix area and other parts of Arizona often reward such brainiacs with events and activities each month, and this March is no exception. From STEAM themed to steampunk, paleoanthropologists to punk legend Henry Rollins, it’s a banner month for Valley geeks.
Quite possibly bigger than Shark Week is the "Planet Shark: Predator or Prey" exhibit at Arizona Science Center. It uses SENSORY4 Technology to pair audiences with a multi-sensory gallery experience focusing on one major badass: the shark. Walk through millions of years of evolution, check out real teeth and jaws, and learn about how this awesome predator could be pushed to extinction. The exhibit is on view in the Sybil B. Harrington Galleries area through May 29 – meaning it’s there every day in March. Tickets are $11.95 for adults, in addition to regular $18 admission. Visit the ACS website for more information.
Geeks' Night Out
The sixth annual Geeks Night Out festival is a collection of STEAM-themed booths hosted by the City of Tempe, Tempe History Museum, Tempe Public Library, and Tempe Opportunities group. Booths have everything on display from solar-powered vehicles and robotics to liquid nitrogen demonstrations and classic science experiments. There’s also a costume parade for the big day, which runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday March 2, at the Tempe Community Complex. Call 480-350-5209 or see the City of Tempe event page.
Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention
Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention 6 offers a packed schedule between March 3 and 5. Lovecraft lovers can put on their best corsets and dress vests for concerts, more than 60 vendors, more than 80 panels and workshops, celebrity guests (including Sam Jones, a.k.a. Flash Gordon), a steampunk fashion show, and rides. And whether or not you discuss politics in public, be prepared to hear about Cthulhu’s current campaign for the presidency. The Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention is in Old Tucson. Tickets range from $20 for absinthe tastings to $215 for the all-in Aristocrat Pass. Visit the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention website for more information.
"Walking and Thinking and Walking"
The Tempe-based Museum of Walking is heading over to the ASU Art Museum’s Project Space to present the exhibition "Walking and Thinking and Walking" from March 3 through May 6. Works from artists and scholars like Marina Ambramovic and Rebecca Solnit will be featured as mimeographed pieces, all curated by Bruce Ferguson. The show is part of projectWALK, “which investigates the everyday activity of walking in one of the least walkable cities in the United States." The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Project Space is open First and Third Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., and additional hours are available by appointment. Visit the Project Space at Combine Studios website or call 480-965-2787.
"Govt 101: How to Make a Downtown"
Valley Bar hosts" GOVT 101: How to Make a Downtown – Density, Arts, GPLETs, and More." It's an assembly of city officials and political operatives who are ready discuss questions like, “What is the best way to foster the growth of downtown Phoenix?” and “Why is density so important?” The panel features Downtown Phoenix Partnership executive director Dan Klocke, Michael Levine of Levine Machine, and Jeff Sherman from Downtown Voices Coalition from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Call 602-368-3121 or see the Valley Bar website.
Read on for details on VE Schwab's book-signing, a Henry Rollins appearance, and a festival dedicated to everyone's favorite detective.
A Conjuring of Light caps off the "Shades of Magic" trilogy by New York Times best-selling author V.E. Schwab. She present the final book in the series at Changing Hands Phoenix at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 9. A hardcover book costs $25.99 before tax, and will earn you tickets for two and a spot in the book-signing line. Reserve your tickets on the Changing Hands event page, or call 602-274-0067.
Spring Plant Sale
The 2017 Spring Plant Sale runs from March 10 through 26 at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the 320-acre Arizona State Park near Superior. Expect all kinds of plants, trees, and herbs for sale, and more than a few good snapshots for the 'gram game. The event also features landscaping advice from arboretum staff, as well as lectures, guided tours, and weekend wildflower walks. Entry is $12.50 for adults. Call 520-689-2723 or visit the Arizona State Parks event page.
Sherlock Holmes Film Festival
Presented by the Herberger Theater and the ASU Center For Film, Media, and Popular Culture, the Sherlock Holmes Film Festival will take Center Stage at the downtown performance venue on March 24 and 25. Films and speakers focusing on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s bread and butter include The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as writer Jeffrey Hatcher, professor Russell Merritt, and Donald Sosin. Tickets range from $5 to $20 per event. Visit the Herberger Theater Center website for more information.
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Mystery of Our Human Story Lee Berger: Paleoanthropologist
With a 2013 discovery, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger changed the game in his field. To hear about it first hand, check out the Nat Geo Live Series: The Mystery of Our Human Story. Presented by Mesa Arts Center in partnership with National Geographic, Berger discusses how his discovery near Johannesburg, South Africa, altered the understanding of human evolution. The talk covers "underground astronauts" and ritual burials. So don't miss the event at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, in the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center. Tickets range from $20 to $38. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website for more information.
What does Henry Rollins know about partying, or anything else? A whole lot, and you can see for yourself when the punk icon visits the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Out @ SMoCA presents Rollins' discussion of topics like social justice and equality from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. A free reception follows. Signed copies of his book will be available, as will raffle tickets benefiting the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $25 for members, and $30 for nonmembers. Call 480-874-4666 or visit the SMoCA website.