Welcome distractions? Phoenix is full of 'em. From floral courses and art shows to an inside look at Outlander and an evening of comedy from Natasha Leggero — not to mention more options on New Times' calendar, there's enough to keep you busy each day of the week. And then some.
"Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist"
As Americans grapple with issues of race, identity, and national history, the Heard Museum presents an exhibition exploring these very themes. It’s called “Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist,” and the show originated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
WalkingStick was born in 1935 to a Scotch-Irish mother and Native American father, and her work reflects her hybrid cultural identity. Through 39 works in diverse media including gouache and collage, the exhibition traces her decades-long career and key influences from feminism to minimalism.
See the exhibition, which continues through January 8, 2017, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, November 7, at 2301 North Central Avenue. It’s free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. Visit heard.org. Lynn Trimble
Being a top-notch host is no small feat. You have have to create a welcoming environment, provide delicious apps, and keep the drinks flowing. And those are just a few of the obvious tasks. Really, it’s the details that can take your gathering from ho-hum to awesome. One detail that’s sure to wow guests is a stunning, homemade centerpiece. The floral masters at Camelback Flowershop, 4108 East Indian School Road, will teach you how to create a beautiful focal point during the Centerpiece Class from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8. The workshop costs $195 and includes teaching design techniques, a take-home centerpiece, and some snacks and wine. To purchase tickets and get more information, visit camelbackflowershop.com or call 602-840-4646. Evie Carpenter
"Desert River/City River"
One might not expect an artist hailing from the lush and green New York to accurately portray the drought and dam-nation of the desert, but that’s exactly what Tony Winters does in “Desert River/City River.” The award-winning landscape artist captures such city oases as pools and canals alongside the flowing waters of the Salt River and Bartlett Lake in his could-be-photographs paintings.
Visitors can see them for free from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, and through Saturday, November 26, at the Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 West Washington Street. For details, visit www.azlibrary.gov/azcm or call 602-926-3620. Janessa Hiliard
Summer Sales Screening
Aside from hyper-motivated Girl Scouts, the art of door-to-door sales is mostly a thing of the past. Still, the occasional rap on the door does occur, and someone winds up hiding behind the curtains in their underwear. Well, local writer and musician Matthew Rodgerson thought such a premise was primo mockumentary material. Apparently, so did Netflix. Rodgerson’s comedy series Summer Sales was recently picked up by the streaming giant, but locals can catch an advance screening of the pilot at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9. Along with the screening, cast members of Summer Sales will be on hand to proselytize the show without any pesky doors to block them. Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $15. Visit standuplive.com or call 480-719-6100 for details. Rob Kroehler
The Making of Outlander
You’ve read the novels, you’ve watched the TV show, now you can read about watching the Starz hit Outlander.
The Poisoned Pen welcomes TV critic and blogger Tara Bennett to the Hilton Resort, 6333 North Scottsdale Road, where she will talk about her new book, The Making of Outlander. Series creator Diana Gabaldon will host the event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, leading the discussion of the TV adaption, how it has stayed true to her vision, and how good Sam Heughan looks in a kilt.
Pre-signed copies of The Making of Outlander will be available for $50. Purchase includes a spot in the signing line, where Bennett and Gabaldon will personalize your copy and sign one additional book per person. No posed photos will be allowed, though staff will take pictures while the authors personalize books. For more information, call 480-947-2974 or visit poisonedpen.com. Michael Senft
Art One's 23rd Anniversary
You might say Art One Gallery is old school. It’s got a loyal following of artists and collectors cultivated during more than two decades on the Scottsdale arts scene. During the Scottsdale ArtWalk on Thursday, November 10, Art One celebrates 23 years of working with a diverse roster of student and professional artists in Arizona.
Several are well-known on the local arts scene: Luster Kaboom, Kyllan Maney, James Angel, Jennifer Gross, and Thuong Nguyen. And many will join the free celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. that night, at 4130 North Marshall Way, giving art lovers a chance to see hundreds of affordable works of art in various media, as well as talk with some of the creatives whose works bring the gallery to life.
Visit www.artonegalleryinc.com. Lynn Trimble
Modern Calligraphy Class
Remember when you had to practice writing a capital “Q” in cursive about 50 trillion times in school? Well, on Thursday, November 10, the time has come to finally put that penmanship to good use during Be A Heart’s Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class at the McKinley Club, 800 North First Avenue. From 6 to 9 p.m., Erica Tighe will teach the basics of calligraphy and send each participant home with a workbook, specialty paper, nibs, a jar of ink, and more. The class costs $99, and spots are filling up fast. For tickets and to see if any additional dates open up, check out beaheart.com. Evie Carpenter
Yes, adventure is out there. But actually it’s going to be right here in town come Friday, November 11. Get that bucket list ready, Phoenicians, because you’re definitely going to be crossing off items during Questival. This 24-hour adventure race will have teams of two to six thrill-seekers going head-to-head to see who will complete all the challenges first (or ... at all). During the event, teams will have to complete fitness exercises and service tasks. And some might even include food. The Questival winners could walk away with prize packages, including trips, Cotopaxi merchandise, and more. But whether you’re in it to win it or just out to have a good time with friends, you’ll receive a Cotopaxi Luzon backpack. Tickets start at $39, but prices will go up closer to the race. Check-in begins at 5 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North Second Street. To register, visit www.cotopaxi.com/products/phoenix. Evie Carpenter
Blend movement, call and response, and musical improvisation with personal narratives of black and Latino performance artists, and you’ve got the makings of Agua Furiosa, an evening-length dance work created by urban Latin dance theater Contra Tiempo of Los Angeles.
Loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and an Afro-Cuban deity of wind and storms, it’s being performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. It’s designed to both entertain and inspire audiences to “join the complex and transforming conversation of race in America” — by addressing contradictions of color, poverty, and immigration.
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Agua Furiosa is part of the 2016-17 Gammage Beyond series, which expands ASU Gammage programming beyond touring Broadway shows. Tickets are $20. Visit asugammage.com. Lynn Trimble
It didn’t take long for Comedy Central’s Another Period to win audiences over with raucous humor, brutal ribbing of our county’s racist, sexist past, and, of course, beautiful costume design. Described as Keeping Up with the Kardashians meets Downton Abbey, it stars co-creator Natasha Leggero with an excellent comedy ensemble backing her, including Riki Lindhome, Brett Gelman, Christina Hendricks, David Wain, her hubby, Moshe Kasher, and more. But really, fans of Leggero’s dry, mean-girl brand of humor saw her success coming a mile away.
While her character, Lillian Bellacourt, is a stuck-up, entitled snob, her onstage persona is, well, kind of similar but with fewer petticoats. You can catch Leggero at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. Tickets are $25 with a two-drink minimum. It is a 21-and-over event. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to standuplive.com. Heather Hoch
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
If we’ve learned anything from the 2016 NFL season thus far, it’s to expect the unexpected. While such terse observations offer little reprieve to befuddled Arizona Cardinals fans who have quickly grown accustomed to winning, they do remind us that — although pundits often speak in definitive terms — nothing is a given in professional sports. So when the San Francisco 49ers, a woeful division rival, roll into Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, One Cardinals Drive, on Sunday, November 13, Cardinals fans and players alike should find themselves acutely aware that the perceived disparities between the two teams are tenuous at best. Yes, the Niners stink, and the Cardinals couldn’t put together a complete game if their season depended on it. This Sunday, it actually might. Kickoff is at 2:25 p.m., and tickets are $65 and up. Visit www.azcardinals.com or call 623-433-7101 for details. Rob Kroehler