From eye-opening exhibits to a cycling festival, here are Jackalope Ranch's top five picks for things to do in (and around) Phoenix this week.
Immigration is a hot-button issue in the Southwest -- and in Arizona in particular. With hundreds of miles of borderland, crossing into America is tempting, but also challenging. Every day scores of people attempt the perilous journeys across blistering deserts, and every day many are left for dead. Those who survive are faced with the challenge of living in a new land where stringent immigration policies constantly spark local -- and national -- debate.
"Crossing the Border," on display at ASU's Hayden Library and sponsored by the Chicano/a Research Collection and Arizona Collection, examines the history of people risking everything for the American dream, the factors that drive them, and the endless battle over immigration reform. The exhibit includes contributions from Puente Human Rights Movement, District 29 Senator Steve Gallardo, and a dozen others.
See what all the debate is about at the free exhibit on Monday, March 31, at 300 East Orange Mall. The library is open 24 hours that day. Call 480-965-6164 or visit www.facebook.com/ChicanoCollection. -- Glenn BurnSilver
The nice thing about art, as compared to, say, some music, is that one can travel back in time and typically find modern relevance in older works. That is especially true if the works are tied to a particular venue, such as the Mesa Arts Center. "M8k Marks" showcases drawings, paintings, and printmaking from former faculty, current and resident artists active at the center during the past 30 years. Following printmaster David Manje, who founded the center's printmaking program in 1985 with a converted vintage Griffin lithographic press, many of the featured artists -- such as Jeremy Yocum, Agustin Vargas, Michael Healey and Lisa Albinger -- got their start here with works stretching from protest posters to surreal and hyper-real images.
Discover printmaking at "M8k Marks," which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, at Mesa Arts Center, One Main Street. The free show runs through Sunday, April 27. Visit www.mesaartscenter.com or call 480-644-6500. -- Glenn BurnSilver
The Valley's gearing up to host the Super Bowl and its accompanying parties next January. Yawn. Holler at us when we finally land the insane international fiesta that is the FIFA World Cup. Until then, the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team vs. Team Mexico on Wednesday, April 2, will have to do.
There's a lot on the line for U.S. and Mexico, both having qualified for the La Copa Mundial 2014 in Brazil. Each team's respective coach will be particularly eagle-eyed in watching player performance to make their final selections for their national teams. Plus, the regional rivalry has heated up in recent years, with the U.S. shutting out Mexico 2-0 last September.
The U.S. Men's National Soccer Team faces Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $42 to $275. Visit www.ussoccer.com for more information. -- Jose Gonzalez
The 14th annual Phoenix Film Festival opens Thursday, April 3, with a 7:30 p.m. screening of the UK thriller Locke. Starring the alternately heartthrobby and horrifying Tom Hardy, this Steven Knight film unravels the life of a man in the matter of a car ride.
But the festival lineup isn't all heavy. Nightly parties at the festival pavilion run through Sunday, April 6. And there are plenty of mood-lightening flicks to be seen, including the Jenny Slate comedy Obvious Child, which screens at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, April 5, and was met with positive reviews at Sundance and South by Southwest. And, while we wouldn't call it mood-lightening, locally made documentary The Joe Show examines our one and only sheriff.
That's just a small sampling of the nearly 200 films that fill up the festival, which runs through Thursday, April 10. Consult www.phoenixfilmfestival.com for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets. Admission is $13 for single screenings. Passes range in price from a $40 flex pass, which grants access to four flicks, and a $300 platinum pass, which includes access to all screenings, preferential seating, and admission to parties. All screenings take place at Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 East Mayo Boulevard. Call 602-955-6444. -- Becky Bartkowski
Whether you're a fixed or a 10-speed, gear up for the third annual Cyclomesa event.
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Formerly The Great Arizona Bicycle Festival, this two-day affair is a one-stop street fest for all things two-wheeled. Each day features a large-scale race, including a crash-and-burn sprint and the start and finish of the 70-mile bike marathon El Tour de Mesa. Things get a little more extreme this year when the festival holds qualifiers for Red Bull Ride + Style, a yearly ride competition comprised of top fixed gear bike races and freestyle cyclists. Tempe's State Bicycle Co. presents the local qualifier in conjunction with El Tour Criterium, a 25- to 60-minute race with a $20 application fee.
For those who'd rather watch than ride, there will be live music, a beer garden, food trucks, and a kids' zone -- complete with a bike rodeo.
Saddle up from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 4, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. Admission is free. Visit facebook.com/TheGreatArizonaBicycleFestival for details. -- Janessa Hilliard