Nerd Culture

10 Nerdy Things to Do This September in Metro Phoenix

See Rocketship by Dwayne Hall at "Another Earth" – and nine other nerdy things to do this September in the Valley.
See Rocketship by Dwayne Hall at "Another Earth" – and nine other nerdy things to do this September in the Valley. Courtesy of Tempe Center for the Arts
September starts strong in the Valley’s nerd world, as Labor Day weekend carries events like Saboten Con at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix Downtown and CoKoCon at Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix North into our ninth month.

But the remainder of September is still teeming with fun indoor, and a little bit of outdoor now, events like sci-fi and superhero movie screenings, special exhibits, and story times. Now get ready to clear your calendar – only to fill it back again with these 10 nerdy events in the Valley this month.

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See Aaron Kirchmaier's City Ice #5 at "Another Earth."
Courtesy of Tempe Center for the Arts
"Another Earth"
A science fiction-inspired exhibition, "Another Earth" showcases the work of three local artists who have explored fictional landscapes focusing on technology, time, and the human condition. So, it’s pretty much like walking into an episode of Outer Limits. The work of Dwayne Hall, David W. Johnson, and Aaron Kirchmaier is on display in the Connections Cafe at Tempe Public Library and put on through Tempe Galleries — an extension program of the Gallery at TCA. Check it out from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. See the Tempe Center for the Arts website for more details.

Live From Bookmans! Ukulele Party
Thanks probably goes to Jonathan Coulton, but the ukulele has now become one of the cornerstones of geek rock. If you’ve ever wanted to try one of these little guys, Bookmans Mesa is hosting Live From Bookmans! Ukulele Party with guest instructor Kehau Kuhi. Participants will hopefully pick up some simple chords and learn to play two or three songs, as well as the instrument’s Portuguese and Hawaiian history. You can BYOU or grab a uke from Bookmans’ musical instrument department. The free ukulele party is 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 8. See the Bookmans website for more details.

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See your favorite super hero family right downtown.
Courtesy of CityScape Phoenix
The Incredibles
When Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter get together, you know it’s going to be good. Yes, we’re talking about The Incredibles, and CityScape Phoenix is putting on an outdoor screening of the movie as part of the Fall Series of City Lights Movie Nights. The free movie screening starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 14, at Patriots Park — or the CityScape splash pad. Yes, you can bring your Pixar-themed beach towels. See the CityScape website for more details.

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Catch The Last Unicorn at FilmBar.
The Last Unicorn: Cinemania Presents
Where to begin with this bizarre, 1982 animated classic? The Last Unicorn is from the creators of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass — best known for that creepy, fun cartoon version of The Hobbit. The voice acting cast is star-studded, including Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, Christopher Lee, Alan Arkin, Tammy Grimes, Angela Lansbury and more, with a soundtrack from the band America. FilmBar hosts The Last Unicorn: Cinemania Presents at 10 p.m. Saturday, September 15. Tickets are $9.95, which you can get at the FilmBar website.

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Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! is celebrating women in sciences.
Courtesy of Pueblo Grande Museum
Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!
The Pueblo Grande Museum is hosting Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! for the seventh year running. PGM will be popping off with programming themed as "Women Making History: Trailblazers in The Arts, Sciences, Innovation & Culture." There’ll also be gallery tours, artifact show-and-tell stations, and prehistoric archaeology and Hohokam-related crafts all day. Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! is 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, September 22. Museum entry is free to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket, and you can get two free admissions now at the Smithsonian Magazine website. See the PGM website for additional details.

Ex Machina
“This Won’t Hurt a Bit” is a gathering of scholars and experts talking about mind, memory, and welcoming our soon-to-be robot overlords. FilmBar and ASU’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics are teaming up to host the talk, and a screening of Ex Machina – everyone’s favorite sexy A.I. love story. The screening activates at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 27. Tickets are $9.95, which includes a small popcorn and $1 off your first drink. See the FilmBar website for tickets and information.

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Banned Books Reading 2018 highlights the dangers of book censorship with adult story time.
Courtesy of Alwun House
Banned Books Reading 2018
You like books – of course, we all do – but the Arizona LGBT+ History Project in collaboration with the Alwun House is taking it one step further. The second annual Banned Books Reading is like adult story time highlighting the dangers and all-around lameness of book censorship. Your Mistress of Ceremonies will be Sister Sur Mon Visage, while other guests include Theresa Nicole, Trejon Dunkley, Victor Emmanuel, and more. Doors are at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, at the Alwun House. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 day of. See more information and invite your friends through the Facebook event.

Get ready Moth fans.
The Moth: Phoenix Story Slam
Weekend NPR nerds, bring your Saturday afternoons to life during The Moth: Phoenix Story Slam. This monthly open-mic storytelling competition hosted by The Moth welcomes all to come share a five-minute personal story based on that night’s theme – September's being education, i.e. street smarts, beauty school, Ivy League to a hospital residency – or just have a drink and enjoy the show. Doors are at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, at Crescent Ballroom. Tickets are $10 and available through The Moth website.

Yeah, October is almost here.
Courtesy of Haunted Swap Meet
Haunted Swap Meet 2018
The Haunted Swap Meet is best described by the people who run it: “Multi-family yard sale with a Halloween theme.” That means you can dress up in spooky gear and forage for used Halloween décor, costumes, and props with over 50 vendors. Or, you may swap using your own stuff. There will also be makeup demonstrations, prop building workshops, food trucks, and more. The free swap is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 29. Sponsored by Sanctum of Horror Haunted House, the Haunted Swap Meet 2018 will be in the parking lot at Phoenix College. Get more details and invite friends through the Facebook event.

Join MoW for a community science experiment.
Infrared_Phoenix / Phoenix helicopter image: Peter Crank, ASU Urban Climate Research Center
HeatMappers Walk and Ride
The good people at the Museum of Walking invite you to come “Sweat for Science” during the HeatMappers Walk and Ride. In other words, this is a community science experiment with the objective of developing or improving cooler, more walkable areas throughout Phoenix as part of the Nature’s Cooling Systems Project. Participants may join the other walkers at Edison Park from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 29. The walk is free, but participants must register, have health insurance, and sign a waiver. See the MoW event page for more details.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.