No fate is too horrible for the characters of Candide.EXPAND
No fate is too horrible for the characters of Candide.
Cory Weaver

7 Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Spending money is lame. Instead, groove over to Hip-Hop in the Valley, check out the Sunday A’Fair, or geek out at the Arizona Opera Book Club. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Arizona Opera Book Club
Say it’s the mid-18th century and you take issue with Gottfried Leibniz’ Monadology. You’re Voltaire, so you write Candide, a novel satirizing Leibnizian optimism. Leibniz has been dead only 43 years by the time it’s done. Way to ignite that very long fuse! But it was all worth it to stamp out the creeping plague of pretty much any kind of philosophy whatsoever.

Thanks largely to Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 English-language Candide operetta, people still talk more about Voltaire than about Leibniz, Spinoza, or even the Cartesians. The Arizona Opera Book Club tears into the charming, violent original, in advance of next month’s live performances. Bring your discussion points to Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 22. It’s free. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website. Julie Peterson

Trivia and Taps Tuesday
You’re smarter than all your friends, right? Prove it at DeSoto Central Market’s Trivia and Taps Tuesday.

Every Tuesday at 7 p.m., you can put your drinking and your thinking to the test with a quiz by Front Row Trivia Live. Arrive a little early for happy hour, which runs from 3 to 7, when DeSoto offers $5 pitchers of Blue Moon.

The questioning goes down at 915 North Central Avenue. For more information (or to challenge your friends to an intellectual beat-down), visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Ready for the rooftop?
Ready for the rooftop?
Courtesy of the Clarendon Hotel and Spa

Rooftop Bingo
Are you dying to win a plastic toy dinosaur while taking in the view from the rooftop of the Clarendon Hotel? You’re in luck.

On Wednesday, January 24, Arizona history enthusiast Marshall Shore and ball-girl Jenny Kuller will host rooftop bingo at 401 West Clarendon Avenue. Expect a couple of rousing rounds of bingo mixed with interesting tidbits about Arizona’s checkered past. Winners at previous bingo nights have gone home with prizes like pot holders, nut trays, and, yes, reptile replicas.

The family-friendly event will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Explore Safwat Saleem’s take on America’s political landscape at Vision Gallery in Chandler.EXPAND
Explore Safwat Saleem’s take on America’s political landscape at Vision Gallery in Chandler.
Peter Bugg

“Concerned but Powerless”
Back in early 2016, Pakistani-American Safwat Saleem turned to art as a way to process the presidential election. The Phoenix-based artist launched a series of new work that he expected to finish on election day. But that didn’t happen, because of his reaction to the election results and events that followed.

Now he’s showing those works in his first solo exhibition in seven years, which is happening at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street in Chandler. The free art show is called “Concerned but Powerless,” and you can give it a good look during the opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 25.

It’s a chance to meet the artist, and learn more about what the gallery calls his “satirical response to the national political and cultural climate.” We’re thinking he must have had plenty to work with. The show runs through Friday, March 2. Visit the Vision Gallery website. Lynn Trimble

Local rap is the best rap.
Local rap is the best rap.
Courtesy of Teek Hall

Hip-Hop In The Valley
The monthly showcase Hip-Hop In The Valley returns to Downtown Phoenix. A cypher will open the evening, followed by Guy Optimal Goodwin, FATED, Black One, and abstract niños performing live sets inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event organizer DJ Scapegoat will spin to close out the night. He hopes the showcase will share the message of his civil rights hero.

He explains, “I’ve always looked up to Dr. King as an inspiration to live for others, and with this 'leader' we have now, obviously our country has lost focus on what a leader needs to be.”

The grooves begin at 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, at The Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Lost Leaf website. Jason Keil

Truth Seeking and Freedom of Expression: A Dialogue
In this political climate, a nonpartisan discussion can be almost impossible. That’s why Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law teamed up for Truth Seeking and Freedom of Expression: A Dialogue.

Lead by prominent professors with opposing views, Robert P. George and Cornel West the event aims to create an environment in which students can open challenge each other and share opposing viewpoints.

Get ready to talk it out on Friday, January 26, at 5 p.m. at the ASU Student Pavilion, 400 East Orange Street in Tempe. Tickets free are and are available through eventbrite.com. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

The Hourglass Cats appear at Sunday A’Fair.EXPAND
The Hourglass Cats appear at Sunday A’Fair.
Courtesy of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday A’Fair
A free outdoor concert where you can buy food and alcohol sounds like enough fun for just about anybody. But Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts relentlessly offers more at Sunday A’Fair at Civic Center Park, almost every Sunday while the afternoon weather is decent (roughly January to April).

Scheduled acts for Sunday, January 28, are The Hourglass Cats and Haley Green. Arizona artists and craftspeople display works for appreciation and sale, activities for kids and families burn off energy, and docents lead free tours of the sculptures in the park. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art also offers free admission during the event.

The official address is 3939 North Drinkwater Boulevard. Bring your chairs or blanket. Admission is free; visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art website or call 480-499-8587. Julie Peterson

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