Nerd Culture

13 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, October 7, through Sunday, October 9. For more, see our curated calendar of events

The 17th Annual Best of Phoenix A'Fare
Best of Phoenix 2016: Bordertown hit stands a week ago, and that means it’s time to celebrate. The Best of Phoenix A’Fare is just the place. Held at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 6902 East Greenway Parkway in Scottsdale, the soiree will feature cuisine from more than 40 restaurants, a make-your-own Moscow Mule bar, a shoe shine lounge, on-draught Stella Artois, and live entertainment. Cocktail attire is recommended for the 21-and-over party, which runs from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, October 7. General admission tickets are $45 and include entry as well as unlimited food samples, cocktails, wine, and beer. Get yours and details at Becky Bartkowski

"Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic"
Imagine someone approaching you on the street and saying he wants to paint your portrait. Most people with street smarts would turn away — unless that man was Brooklyn-based artist Kehinde Wiley, whose paintings setting everyday people in scenes from famous artworks will be featured in “A New Republic,” an exhibition opening October 7 at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue.

The exhibition features 60 works, including paintings and sculpture, which span the artist’s prolific 14-year career. Friday’s opening from 6 to 10 p.m. includes live music, pop-up performances, photo booths, live drawing in the galleries, and a DJ set inspired by Wiley’s “The World Stage” series. Museum admission is free that night, but nonmembers pay $5 to see the Wiley exhibition — which explores issues of race, gender, and the politics of representation. The exhibition, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, continues through January 8, 2017. Visit Lynn Trimble

Mishka Shubaly and Kristine Levine
Those looking for an intentionally funny match-up of a man and woman going head-to-head on stage ahead of the second presidential debate don’t need to go much further than midtown’s The Rebel Lounge on Friday night.

It’s a battle of wits and one-liners when Mishka Shubaly and Kristine Levine take the stand-up stage during the Bigger and Badder Tour, bringing comedy to the club at 2303 East Indian School Road. Fans of funny might recall Shubaly’s recent appearances at Literally the Worst Show Ever and Bird City Comedy Festival, while loyal Portlandia viewers and die-hard Doug Stanhope fans will recognize Levine from her work with both.

Hosted by Anwar Newton and featuring producer Erick Biez, it’s Shubaly versus Levine (sort of) at 8 p.m. on October 7. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 21-and-over event. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of. For details and to purchase tickets, visit and Janessa Hilliard

Namaste AZ Yoga Festival
Time to finally use that Lululemon gift card, because the first-ever Namaste AZ Yoga Festival will have you stretching it out for three days straight. The inaugural Namaste AZ Yoga Festival starts with classes from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, and flows to Sunday, October 9, at the Camby Hotel, 2401 East Camelback Road. Events include classes like Happy Yoga Hour and Chakra Meditation from Arizona-based and nationally known instructors, plus workshops on how to make a yoga playlist, presenters like Buddhist speaker Gesche Michael Roach, vendors, and more.

Tickets for Thursday are $25 at Prices range from $29 for a single class drop-in to $299 for the whole festival. For further details, call 480-720-1838 or visit Lauren Cusimano

Fangoria FearCON
Dying to strut your spooky or undead self in front of an audience? Get your chance at the Fangoria FearCON. Twisted Airbrushing’s workshop will help you get all done up like a favorite zombie or horror character for a beauty pageant. Too interactive for you? There’s plenty of other fear-filled fun, including movie screenings, panel discussions, and scary celebrities. This year’s guests include Eugene Clark, zombie Big Daddy in George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Monique Dupree, who’s been in more than 60 films, including Bikini Bloodbath Christmas. The gory good time happens from 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 7, at Sun Studios of Arizona, 1425 West 14th Street in Tempe. Admission is $30 to $150, and the event runs through October 9. Call 602-399-9500 or visit Amy Young

Arizona Dance Festival 2016
More than 10 local dance groups are taking to the stage on Friday, October 7, for the kick-off of the two-night Arizona Dance Festival, happening at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Featured performers include professional and student dancers from local dance companies, dance studios, and community college dance programs based in Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe.

The festival is presented by Tempe-based Desert Dance Theatre, headed by artistic director Lisa Chow, and the Arizona Dance Coalition, a statewide membership-based organization. Pay $20 for a single night or $30 to see both showings, which feature different performances. Friday’s lineup includes ballet, contemporary, modern, tap, and interdisciplinary dance. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young