Nerd Culture

7 Things to Do for $15 or Less This Weekend in Phoenix

Phoenix artist Carrie Marill, who recently launched her PunkWasp line of fashion accessories.
Phoenix artist Carrie Marill, who recently launched her PunkWasp line of fashion accessories. Joshua Hahn
Saving up for that summer staycation? We got you, Phoenix.

Your guide to going out on the cheap from May 12 tot 14 is here — and your options are not only budget friendly, they also run the gamut from an upstart sporting team and a futurist lecture to a celebration of all things peachy. Each event will cost you no more than $15. For more things to do, see our curated calendar of events.

PunkWasp Art & Jewelry
Need a bit of inspiration to jump-start your summer fashion sense? Head to Shortcut Gallery, 5540 North Seventh Street, #120, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, May 12. That’s where you’ll find the new PunkWasp line of fashion accessories designed by Carrie Marill, a Phoenix artist represented by Lisa Sette Gallery. Marill’s necklaces and bandannas are infused with the same bright colors and playful patterns that characterize her artwork. If you’ve seen the mural with a spiral of bold color blocks on the south-facing wall at ASU Combine Studios in Roosevelt Row, you’ve seen Marill’s work. Her bandannas are based on a pair of her paintings, so basically they’re little bits of wearable art. Visit Phoenix General, home of Shortcut Gallery, at Phoenix General's Facebook page. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Cory Doctorow will be interviewed by ASU's futurist-in-residence Brian David Johnson. - PAULA MARIEL SALISCHIKER
Cory Doctorow will be interviewed by ASU's futurist-in-residence Brian David Johnson.
Paula Mariel Salischiker
Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow is an author, futurist, free-speech advocate, and editor of the popular geek website And now, he’s back on the literary scene with Walkaway, his first novel for adults in nearly 10 years. Doctorow is coming to the Valley to discuss the novel and the future of free speech on the internet at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 12, at the Doubletree Hilton, 5401 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Joining Doctorow for this conversation is ASU’s futurist-in-residence Brian David Johnson. Walkaway is a dystopian tale about a group of friends who decide to abandon the decaying cities of the future to forge a new society in the pristine wilderness in between the fallen civilization that’s been described as an anti-Atlas Shrugged. Admission is free, but purchase of a book ($26.99) from the Poisoned Pen is required for a signing ticket. Call 480-730-0205 or visit the Poisoned Pen website for more information. Michael Senft

Courtesy of Essential Theatre
From Life to Story to Stage
If you haven’t heard of Essential Theatre, maybe that’s not so terrible. Though its performances are moving and entertaining, the usual audiences/participants are going through experiences we wouldn’t volunteer for, in such places as prisons, shelters, and public schools. The company practices Playback Theatre, a visceral, personal genre in which life experiences become the narrative of scenes that are spontaneously performed in a partly direct, partly metaphorical style. It’s both less harrowing and more visual than you might think. iTheatre Collaborative presents a rare public production by Essential Theatre in Playback Theatre: From Life to Story to Stage through Sunday, May 14, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $15 at the iTheatre website or 602-252-8497. Showtime on Friday, May 12, is 8 p.m. Julie Peterson

See the short film Our Creation Stories at Heard Museum. - RENEE DENNISON
See the short film Our Creation Stories at Heard Museum.
Renee Dennison
Our Creation Stories
Explore the changing history, culture, and traditions of birth as Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, partners with Creative Push to present a film called Our Creation Stories. Led by Forrest Solis, an artist and assistant professor at ASU’s School of Art, Creative Push is a multimedia art and humanities project about labor and delivery that uses art and storytelling to promote meaningful dialogue. The short film, which screens in the Steele Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, features five Native women from across the Southwest sharing their own experiences. Stay after to enjoy a moderated panel of experts including artist Renee Dennison, nurse-midwife Nicolle Gonzales, and author Patrisia Gonzales. There’s no cost to attend. Visit the Heard Museum website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge TICKETMASTER
Phoenix Rising vs. Oklahoma Energy
It’s easy to forget, amid all the sporting events going on year-round, that the world’s most popular sport has yet to invade our insular desert bubble to the same extent that other sports have. But that might be changing. Thanks to a recent push to join Major League Soccer by way of expansion, Arizona’s sole professional soccer team, Phoenix Rising, looks poised to shake up our sports hierarchy at long last. And with hundreds of thousands of futbol fans living here, there’s little doubt that an MLS team would thrive. In the meantime, the Rising are kicking through what could be their last USL season. The Oklahoma Energy visit Scottsdale’s Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, 751 North McClintock Drive, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. Tickets are $10 and up. Visit the Phoenix Rising website or call 623-594-9606 for details. Rob Kroehler

Diana Lustig
Schnepf Farm's Peach Festival
Sweet and squishy peaches are part of a spring tradition around these parts. The folks at Schnepf Farms have something to do with that. Their annual Peach Festival started a couple decades ago as a small event where attendees could pick their own fruit and partake in a pancake breakfast. These days, picking peaches is still part of the festivities that now include rides and a peach-sampling pavilion. Vintage Market Days is joining the festival this year, bringing more than 150 vendors selling an array of handmade and vintage goods. Things will be just peachy from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, at 24610 South Rittenhouse Road in Queen Creek. Admission is $5 for adults and free for those 12 and younger. Call 480-987-3100 or visit the Schnepf Farms website. Amy Young

Gregory E. Clifford
Downtown Phoenix Open Mic
If you’re on the lookout for a hot mic in this town, then join the Downtown Phoenix Open Mic night at Herberger Theater Center. Finalize that song, poem, comedy act, dance routine, mime performance, or whatever you have floating around in that brain of yours, and share it onstage. Event organizers only ask that you plan to record your own performance to share as a video on YouTube. The Downtown Phoenix Open Mic is free, open to the public, and goes from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, at 222 East Monroe Street. Call 602-254-7399 or see the Herberger website. Lauren Cusimano
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young