Pockets feeling a little lighter than usual? Don't sweat it, Phoenix. Your guide to free fun from May 15 to 21 is here. And whether your idea of a perfect evening is boozing it up with some birds, watching live dance performances atop a tiny stage, or exploring the feminine side of the Wild West, there's something for you that costs exactly zero dollars. For more things to do, see our curated calendar of events.
Do your best happy dance, because CONDER/dance is bringing its Tiny Dances back to Tempe. They’re short, original works performed atop 4-by-4-foot stages. Basically, they’re small boxes, which forces choreographers to get extra creative. You could say they’ve got to think on top of the box.
Check out Tiny Dances at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16. They’re part of the Performance with a View series, which happens in an intimate space overlooking Tempe Town Lake. Tuesday’s performance is free, but get there early, because space is limited.
The Tiny Dance lineup includes seven dances performed by Jordan Daniels, Tiffany Velazquez, Gina Jurek, Mac Allen, RaShawn Hart, Joan Rodriguez Hernandez, and Taimy Miranda. Visit the City of Tempe website. Lynn Trimble
Birds n’ Beer
It’s not always easy to tell whether there’ll be beer at an event, so it makes things easier when organizers call it something like Birds n’ Beer.
The Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 South Central Avenue, and Audubon Arizona host their signature happy hour event each month (except in July), and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, the topic is “Top 10 Urban Birding Tips.” Presented by birding enthusiasts and activist Kathe Anderson, May’s Birds n’ Beer audience will learn how to spot and identify the most common birds in the Phoenix area — including hummingbirds and burrow owls.
Think all photographers do pretty much the same thing? Wrong-o. Take a look at the range of styles and techniques up-and-coming photographers use during Art Intersection’s showcase of Arizona students’ work in its seventh-annual “Emerge” exhibition. Juried by photographer and interdisciplinary artist Clare Benson, the show highlights works by students from area high schools, colleges, and art schools. The pieces presented don’t adhere to a specific focus or process, but they do offer a range of photographic styles, including scenic and portrait photography. The show runs through May 20 in the North and South Galleries at Art Intersection, 207 North Gilbert Road, #201. Hours on Wednesday, May 17, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Art Intersection website. Laura Latzko
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“Facing West: The Feminine Perspective of the Frontier”
There’s no shortage of artworks by men exploring Wild West themes. But how often have you seen women tackle similar subject matter? That’s just what Phoenix artist Faith Christiansen Smeets does, but through the eyes of pioneer women rather than men. See her works inspired by diaries of frontier women, plus academic texts, during an exhibition titled “Facing West: The Feminine Perspective of the Frontier.”
The free opening reception for “Facing West” happens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at Megaphone PHX. It’s a studio and gallery space operated by artist Andy Brown, which is located at 4700 North Central Avenue. Smeets will be showing abstract works inspired by the “hope, tragedy, and triumph” of women who traveled westward during the mid-19th century. Visit Faith Christiansen Smeets website. Lynn Trimble
Crescent Ballroom’s Trivia Night
Do your friends call you a know-it-all? Are you often frustrated with being the smartest person in the room? Get a reality check during Crescent Ballroom’s Trivia Night at 308 North Second Avenue. From 5 to 8 p.m. every Sunday, test your knowledge of random facts for a chance to win free concert tickets, bacon, and gift cards to Crescent and Stinkweeds. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get discounts on food and booze. There’s no cover. For more information, visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Lindsay Roberts