Time to "free up" your week, Phoenix. Get into the holiday spirit at Phoestivus, head to Rock Phoenix for Taco Tuesday, and put your wizardry to the test at Harry Potter Trivia. And yes, it's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.
Human Rights Day
After 24 years, the Arpaio era has ended. But even though “America’s toughest Sheriff” finally got the boot, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
That’s why on Monday, December 11, Puente Human Rights Movement will host Human Rights Day, a protest with a few topics are the fore. Puente wants ICE removed from Maricopa, the jail on Fourth Avenue closed, and human rights violations halted in Arizona prisons.
The gathering will take place at 4:30 p.m. at 550 West Jackson Street. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
Phoenix’s taco game is strong, with lots of choices and lots of styles. Taco Tuesday is a thing (naturally), and many eateries and bars have risen to the occasion by offering incentives to make theirs your most crunch-worthy option.
At the bar and dance club Rock Phoenix, Taco Tuesday means access to a complimentary taco buffet with the purchase of any drink. One of the owners, Michael Jacobs, tells us that he plays with the menu sometimes: “You could see a nacho or fajita bar.”
It gets even better with a two-for-one special on well drinks and bottles that runs from 2 until 8 p.m. The free feast starts at 5 p.m. on December 12 at Rock Phoenix, 4129 North Seventh Avenue. Admission is free. Visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young
Blues guitarist and vocalist Levi Platero is on his own, and that’s a good thing.
The Southwestern rocker from the Navajo Nation spent a decade playing in his family’s namesake band, The Plateros. After that, he did a one-year stint with the Indigenous Blues Band. Now, the bluesman has embarked on a solo career, leading his own group. The players are different, but what’s consistent is Platero’s guitar mastery, bringing classic and modern blues styles to life with a laid-back ease.
Ethan 103, Adero, Now or Never, and Roadside Dwellers share the bill for Native Metal Festivals’ night of rock, starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13, at Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue in Tempe. Admission to the 21-and-over show is free. Call 480-967-4777 or visit the Yucca Tap website. Amy Young
When holiday shopping and traffic become draining, a place to air your grievances is pretty crucial. Enter Festivus, the nontraditional “holiday” made popular by the TV show Seinfeld. The Phoenix Public Market hosts an annual version of the celebration. Phoestivus commemorates the occasion with a Hipster Santa, baby goats dressed as reindeer, an airing of grievances, a yeti sighting, comical holiday stories from local storytellers, a feats of strength challenge, and a giant Phoestivus pole.
More than 130 food and craft vendors will sell locally made products, and 15 food trucks and stands will serve up tamales, burritos, and empanadas. The celebration takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. on two Thursdays, December 14 and 21, at 721 North Central Avenue. For more information, visit the Phoestivus website. Laura Latzko
Kristin and Emmett’s Excellent T-Shirt Adventures
Mix some art with your cocktails as Tempe Center for the Arts presents Kristin and Emmett’s Excellent T-Shirt Adventures. The adults-only gathering happens from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 15, at The Gallery at TCA, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. It’s a bring-your-own-T-shirt affair.
The evening includes live music, happy hour, and a maker workshop with Kristin Bauer and Emmett Potter. They’re featured in an art show called “Tempe Xhibition: celebrating ten years,” which continues through January 6, 2018. It celebrates nearly 20 Tempe artists, including Mark Klett, Melissa Martinez, and Emily Ritter.
Bauer and Emmett will help attendees create T-shirts using what Bauer calls a “quick simple processes of assemblage with found text and shapes.” Compelling texts, shapes, and color infuse each artist’s work, so be sure to explore it while you’re there. The exhibition and workshop are free. Cocktails will be available for purchase. Visit the city of Tempe website. Lynn Trimble
Hansel and Gretel
Arizona Opera brings some family fun to Phoenix with a performance of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, this stage production follows the two siblings whose legendary love of sweets lures them to a witch who wants them to stay for (and become) dinner.
But concerned parents shouldn’t be worried about the opera’s dark plot, as it’s been adapted for a young audience. When the lights go up, attendees can partake in games and the building of gingerbread houses.
The kids will be all right at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, at Arizona Opera, 1636 North Central Avenue. Admission’s free. For more information, visit the Arizona Opera website. Jason Keil
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If you only know Sam Sykes from his absurd Twitter feed or his manic Batsu games at Phoenix Comicon, you’re missing out on some fun fantasy novels. But you can get in the mix at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, when he will celebrate the release of his latest, God’s Last Breath, at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.
God’s Last Breath wraps up Sykes’ “Bring Down Heaven” trilogy, about a group of misfit adventurers of questionable morals and damaged pasts as they inadvertently attempt to save the world from a mad god.
Sykes also will sign his new graphic novel, Brave Chef Brianna, about a young cook who pursues her dream of opening a restaurant in Monster Town.
Admission is free, but attendees are asked to purchase something on-site. God’s Last Breath is $16.99, and Brave Chef Brianna is $14.99. Call 480-942-2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website for more information. Michael Senft
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version. Harry Potter trivia has been rescheduled.