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5 Free Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

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Recovery from a three-day weekend can be brutal on both your energy and your budget. That's why we found some things to do that will help make the transition back to normalcy as easy as possible. This week there's flash fiction, a Latin street festival, futuristic art, the scariest exhibit you'll see this year, and some trivia based on one of your favorite cartoons, all for the very low cost of free. So stash your wallet away and have some fun this week; it's on us. 

Uptown P.E.N.
Bring your poetry, short fiction, or other written work to Practical Art on Tuesday, September 8, and share with other wordsmiths in the community. The event will last from 7 to 8 p.m,. but if you want to read your work, get there a little early to put your name on the list. The first part of the event is kind of a literary free-for-all, while the last half is reserved for a featured writer. This week's featured writer, Alison Erickson, has been published in Dash, Aqueous, and North Wood Writers. She is currently the managing editor of poetry at Four Chambers Press. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page. If you’re interested in being a featured writer, email Practical Art.

Artist Talk: Kelly Richardson
Canadian artist Kelly Richardson is bringing her futuristic video installations to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art this fall. On Thursday, September 10, you can hear Richardson talk about her process and inspirations before her exhibition opens. The discussion will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Richardson’s show, “Tales on the Horizon,” will be at SMOCA from September 12 to January 10. For more information, see the museum’s website

Mesa Arts Center Season Kickoff Festival
Help the Mesa Arts Center ring in the season with a little Latin flavor on Friday, September 11, from 6 to 11 p.m. There will street dance competitions, food vendors, Latin dance lessons, and some high-profile artists will make appearances, like the Grammy award-winning group Los Lonely Boys. All festival-related events are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Mesa Art Center’s website

"Creatures 2" 
If you love all things bizarre and creepy, you’ll love the one of the latest exhibitions at Firehouse Gallery in downtown Phoenix. The gallery is working with local artist NXOEED to bring you the second installment of its “Creatures” project. “Creatures 2” features 25 artists who will each bring you into their wildest nightmares, but they'll do so in the most creative way possible. If the idea of multimedia monsters still isn't enough, Firehouse promises guests that "it won’t suck" and that there will be free cake. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Simpsons Trivia
How well do you know Homer? Test your Simpsons knowledge at Bragg’s Factory Diner on Saturday, September 12, in a back-to-school themed trivia tournament. The event is free and welcome to all ages, so bring the family and enjoy a Simpsons-themed treat as you dominate the competition. Doors open at 7 p.m., and trivia starts at 8 p.m. See the event’s Facebook page for more information.

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