Culture News

Bar Flies: Valley Bar and New Times Collaborate on New Reading Series

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Charlie Levy, and he opened a music venue in downtown Phoenix called Crescent Ballroom. The bar served burritos and beer and whiskey cocktails and Levy brought all the coolest bands there to play.

And the people were happy. But that wasn't enough for Levy. So he found himself another space downtown, just a few blocks from Crescent, and soon he'll open his latest venture, Valley Bar — a magical, underground spot with lovely furnishings, games, gourmet hot dogs and plenty of drinks. 

Bands will play at Valley Bar, but there will be other sorts of live performance, as well — including Bar Flies, a monthly reading series co-sponsored by Phoenix New Times.  

Each month, we'll bring you a different theme, a different curator, and a different lineup of readers. First up, appropriately enough: "Firsts," featuring Sarah Hubbell, Katie Johnson, Tania Katan, Brad Snyder, and Kevin Vaughn-Brubaker. 

In the coming weeks, we'll bring you more details about our readers and other upcoming Bar Flies events. And if you're interested in curating or reading, contact New Times Managing Editor Amy Silverman at [email protected]. For now you'll want to mark your calendar for Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6). The stories are free. You'll have to buy your own food and drinks. See you there.   

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at