5 Talks to Attend in Metro Phoenix This July

Phoenix is a cultured town, full of experts on a wide array of topics and eager audiences ready to learn. This month, there are a few lectures that are more than worth your time.

If the idea of attending a lecture brings back traumatic memories of monotonous professors, don't worry, no tests will be administered. These all feature passionate people who bring life to their given fields; plus, you're allowed to drink at some of them. Topics range from local legends to Modern art to how operate a shrimp farm in the desert. So if you’re looking for something a little more educational this month, here’s a list of five lectures and talks to help broaden your interests and expand your collection of conversation starters. 

"Growing Fish, shrimp and veggies in the desert. How aquaponics can feed the world!"
Urban farmer and University of Arizona graduate George Brooks will be speaking at Adults' Night Out on Friday, July 3, about the challenges of growing food in a desert environment. He has worked on local consulting firms that focus on STEM research and currently serves as the vice chair of PlanPHX. The lecture runs from 7 to 8 p.m., and guests should plan on a lesson in aquaponics, or the science of fish and soil-less plant life, and tips for urban gardening. Brooks' lecture is free, but some of the other exhibits will cost extra. 

"When the Moderns Were Contemporary"
Those wishing to learn not only about modern art, but the social forces that surrounded and influenced Modernism in its heyday need look no further than the Phoenix Art Museum. Art connoisseurs and novices alike will be able to learn about Modernism from the granddaughter of Murdock Pemberton, a prominent art critic of the 1920s. 

Sally Pemberton will visit the Phoenix Art Museum on Wednesday, July 8, to talk about her book Portrait of Murdock Pemberton - The New Yorker's First Art Critic and the world in which the genre thrived. The talk starts at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing. Admission is free.

"History Underground"
When Marshall Shore moved to Arizona from New York 15 years ago, he heard a lot about Arizona not having any exciting history. Eager to disprove this theory, Shore became so well-versed in the state's past, he began touring and lecturing about all the quirky and interesting tidbits Arizonans have managed to forget. The self-declared "hisptorian" will begin his latest venture this month at the Valley Bar in Phoenix.

In the series, he will examine local lore, particularly focusing on that of Arizona's most famous murderess Winnie Ruth Judd. This month's talk will focus on Judd and Arizona in the 1930s, specifically. 

Those interested in Arizona’s history can check History Underground: Obscure Anecdotes of Phoenix Events on Sunday, July 12. The event starts at 6 p.m. and costs $5.

"Race, Justice, and the Future of Leadership"
Famous for his outspoken nature, author Tim Wise visits hundreds of colleges to speak about race in the workplace and what it means in our society. On Thursday, June 23, he will speak about the implications of ignoring race and privilege at Phoenix College's Bulpitt Auditorium. He will also talk about how to tackle such issues in the work place and in our communities.

The discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. and includes a question-and-answer segment, followed by a book signing. This event is open to the public and is free, but tickets are required. See ASU's events page for more details.

Artist Talk: Edgar Orlaineta
Edgar Orlaineta's work has been featured among other modernist pieces all summer at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's "MetaModern" exhibition. The Mexican-born artist combines mid-century furniture and reimagines it as contemporary art that heavily reflects both time periods.

Orlaineta will visit SMoCA to talk about his collection of furniture-based art on Thursday, July 30. The talk is free and begins at 7 p.m. 

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Sara Weber