Nerd Culture

7 Things to Do for $10 or Less in Metro Phoenix, February 17 to 19

Salt Petal headlines La Gran Fiesta.
Salt Petal headlines La Gran Fiesta. Villa Caratachea
Heads up, Phoenix: You don't have to spend a ton of time finding things to do on the cheap. We already did the hard part, digging up events for the New Times' calendar ranging from a museum game night and a group bike ride to interactive light rail performance art. Now, it's up to you to get out there and experience the budget-friendly options the Valley has to offer — all for $10 or less.

Wine + Bingo Night
If your misspent youth involved both/either Golden Girls reruns and/or blue hair, then Wine + Bingo at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art might combine a few of your deeply held passions. Test your mettle — and by that we mean knowledge of wine and fine art — during the 21-and-over game night at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 17, in the museum’s lounge, 7374 East Second Street. The winner earns not only bragging rights but also an original piece of art by Malena Barnhart, an ASU art grad whose confectionery-colored works explore the marginalization of women. Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for museum members. Tickets are available via SMoCA's website. Becky Bartkowski

click to enlarge These kids are stewarding the hell out of this planet. - COURTESY OF PHOENIX ZOO
These kids are stewarding the hell out of this planet.
Courtesy of Phoenix Zoo
Conservation Science Night
Though Conservation Science Night at the Phoenix Zoo is for kids age 8 through teens and their families, that might include you (stranger things have happened) or you might know a family that would love for you to aunt or uncle it up for the evening. The young’uns will meet scientists, befriend nature, and master such skills as:

• compiling squirrel data, because God knows the squirrels aren’t;
• counting snails, who are slow enough to be counted;
• using radio telemetry to locate animals (something we frankly need help with on every zoo visit).

The next Conservation Science Night is Friday, February 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 455 North Galvin Parkway. Admission’s free, but call 602-914-4333 to reserve a spot. Visit the Phoenix Zoo website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Get to the MU for a deep discussion of race in America. - HOPE ART/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
Get to the MU for a deep discussion of race in America.
HOPE Art/Flickr Creative Commons
"Speaking the Unspeakable"
When it comes to discussing racism, Americans historically have been given to opacity, in more ways than one. We’re certainly not transparent about it and we’re often unclear about its definition at any given point in time. Oversimplifications dismiss nuance and critical thinking; overcomplicating it agitates the murk. In 2017, race relations are as tenuous as ever from sea to shining sea. With 320 million under wing, vast and disquieted, we need to clear things up. Valley residents can start by attending the free event “Speaking the Unspeakable: A Conversation on Colorblindness, Racism, and Antiracism,” a panel discussion hosted by ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. Stop by the Memorial Union, 301 East Orange Mall on ASU’s Tempe campus, on Saturday, February 18, for a number of engaging panel discussion throughout the day. Learn. Grow. We can all do better. Visit ASU's website or call 602-496-1376 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge Proof for Valley Metro light rail riders: You’re seeing Light Rail Plays, not the Twilight Zone. - COURTESY OF RISING YOUTH THEATRE
Proof for Valley Metro light rail riders: You’re seeing Light Rail Plays, not the Twilight Zone.
Courtesy of Rising Youth Theatre
Light Rail Plays
It’s okay, it’s only a play. It’s practically the motto for Rising Youth Theatre’s Light Rail Plays performed on select Valley Metro light rail trains and stations in downtown Phoenix. Launched in 2014, the annual event pairs professional artists with local youth, then takes them through the process of creating and performing short works with diverse themes. Tour guides with signs reading “It’s okay …” tag along so riders know they’re watching live performance rather than entering the Twilight Zone.

This year’s Light Rail Plays lineup includes eight new five-minute plays. They’re being performed several times each day February 17 through 19 and again from the 23rd through 26th on the light rail route that runs along Central Avenue between Roosevelt Street and Camelback Road. Performances on Saturday, February 18, start at 4 p.m. You’ll need a light rail pass ($2 for a single ride or $4 for a day of rides) to ride the light rail, like any other day, but there’s no charge to watch the plays. Visit the Rising Youth Theatre website. Lynn Trimble

Read on for an experimental art night, a group bike ride, and a celebration of Latin and Hispanic culture.
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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
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
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble