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Five Must-See Arts and Culture Events This Week in Metro Phoenix

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We know, the beginning of the work week sucks. But if you take a quick look at the calendar, you'll see we're off to a pretty good week of art events, sports games, dance parties, and more. Here are our must-see events from now to the weekend...

Monday, December 17: "Environmental Memories of South Central Phoenix" @ George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center If you're tempted to make the argument that this city has no palpable history, take one look at the current exhibition at George Washington Carver Museum, 415 East Grant Street. "Environmental Memories of South Central Phoenix" tells the story of south Phoenix long ago -- when neighbors swam the canals, farmed in their backyards, and picnicked along the riverbank.

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The scene was picturesque, and through photographs, timelines, stories, and scientific research on urban environmental change, museum visitors can trace the histories of a few of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Price: Donations accepted -- By Claire Lawton

Tuesday, December 18: "Trajectory" @ ASU Art Museum Tempe has welcomed traveling Portuguese artist Miguel Palma to the ASU Art Museum, 699 South Mill Avenue, to show his work exploring the Southwest's unique desert landscape. As a part of the Desert Initiative: Desert One regional collaboration, the exhibition, "Trajectory," investigates Manifest Destiny and the military history of the American Southwest.

The artist developed a "Desert Initiative Remote Shuttle," which he used to gather images of the arid desert landscape. Along with the images it collected, the shuttle will be on display as a part of the show. The work serves as a visual representation of exploration with ties to the local history, investigating how the past will affect the futures of both terrestrial and extraterrestrial exploration. -- By Lauren Saria

Tuesday, December 18: Underground Crit @ North Valley Corporate Center If pedaling around Camelback Mountain -- or pretty much anywhere in the Valley -- is becoming a little tedious, then maybe it's time for some racing action in the weekly Underground Crit series. These neighborhood races are unsanctioned, self-sufficient and low-pressure. If you've been riding awhile, you're able to handle your bike properly in a crowd, and you're feeling juiced with competitive spirit, then the intense A Group has a spot for you. If you're still trying to understand why spandex shorts are a good thing, then the way-relaxed B Group should be your place. Both groups offer plenty of cycling excitement as riders lap around the undeveloped North Valley Corporate Center's smooth parking lot, which features some mellow inclines. Winners go home with nothing but the thrill of the ride.-- By Glenn BurnSilver

Wednesday, December 19: Everything Is Terrible! Holiday Special 2012! The Cataclysmic Transformation! @ Filmbar While Mayanist scholars dispute whether December 21, the last day of a 5125-year cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, is a harbinger of any world-ending cosmic event, it would be a deliciously ironic upending of the holiday season. Those plunderers of VHS-trapped gems of awfulness, Everything is Terrible!, are prepared for both with their Holiday Special 2012! Cataclysmic Transformation! live event at FilmBar on Wednesday, December 19.

The EIT! crew mines thrift stores for tossed videos to find baffling clips of hilarious weirdness. Over the past five years, they've collected quite the treasure trove of Yuletide-themed oddities including sexy Santas, Nazi elves, and countless goofball Christmas choirs. EIT! accompanies the clips with wild costumes, puppets, and singalongs all make it worth your while, too. Price: $10 -- By Jose Gonzalez

Friday, December 21: Fiesta del Fin del Mundo @ Q Lounge Well folks, it turns out that shitty movie with John Cusack was right. We're all doomed to die in a series of natural disasters and freak occurrences on Friday, December 21, with the intolerable company of Amanda Peet. But, if you know you're going to parish, you might as well do it in style. That means heading to Fiesta del fin del Mundo.

The bash blends Mayan prophecy with a modern party to end all parties. Literally. Enjoy nuclear fallout in the company of some of the Valley's least prepared souls as they drink and dance the world away to the beat of top 40 hits, Latin, hip-hop, and more. Dirt cheap drink specials keep the party fueled as go-go dancers lead the count down to the end of days at Q-Lounge, 8501 North 27th Avenue. Even if you don't believe the world is ending, you can party like those who do.-- By Christina Caldwell

Check out more things to do today (and everyday) in our Calendar section ...

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