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7 Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Portrait of the Artist as a Delicate Flower (detail) by Bill Dambrova.
Portrait of the Artist as a Delicate Flower (detail) by Bill Dambrova.
Bill Dambrova/Lynn Trimble

Who needs money to have fun? Not you. This week, you can binge-watch films during the Black History Movie Marathon, see the work of Thomas “Breeze” Marcus and Douglas Miles, and learn the basics of bird-watching. And it's all free of charge. For more things, to do visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

“Energy Eaters”
Typically, you’ll find Phoenix artist Bill Dambrova inside his Goat Heart Studio inside Bragg’s Pie Factory on historic Grand Avenue. It’s filled with a glorious assortment of art and oddities he’s collected throughout his career. But you don’t have to pay a studio visit to enjoy some of latest abstract art with a biological twist. It’s on view at Eric Fischl Gallery, located on the Phoenix College campus, 1202 West Thomas Road.

“Energy Eaters” includes 14 of Dambrova’s artworks, including seven pieces that are new or being shown for the first time. The free opening reception runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, February 26. The show continues through Thursday, March 22. Visit the Phoenix College website. Lynn Trimble

Chadwick Boseman stars as James Brown in Get on Up at the Black History Movie Marathon.
Chadwick Boseman stars as James Brown in Get on Up at the Black History Movie Marathon.
Universal Pictures

Black History Movie Marathon
Thanks to South Mountain Community College and Phoenix Public Library, you can honor and celebrate Black History Month even as you keep your resolution to get off the couch and be with humans — all the while bingeing on films, as you would’ve if you’d never left the house.

The Black History Movie Marathon runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, screening Get on Up: The James Brown Story (2014, sweaty musicians), Loving (2016, less sweaty than the title suggests), and In the Heat of the Night (1967, sweat for days).

Popcorn and snacks will be served, breaks will be taken, and painless enlightenment will occur. Admission is free at South Mountain Community Library, 7050 South 24th Street. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website or call 602-243-8187. Julie Peterson

For Beth Tom, art is as much about the experience of creating as the finished product. For her upcoming show “Toy,” the mixed-media artist experimented with different styles and used found objects to create new pieces.
The one-night-only exhibition will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 1. Much of the work in the exhibition features a childlike element or pays homage to childhood in some way. The artist incorporated keepsake items such as old ticket stubs, cards, drawings, letters, CD covers, and sheet music into her work and reused old paintings, canvases, fabric, pieces of wood, and paints.

The free solo show will take place at Megaphone PHX, 4700 North Central Avenue, #112. For more information, go to the Facebook website. Laura Latzko

The Gila Junior All-Stars played for massive, rabid crowds during WWII. While they lived in an internment camp.EXPAND
The Gila Junior All-Stars played for massive, rabid crowds during WWII. While they lived in an internment camp.
Bill Staples Jr./Nisei Baseball Research Project

“The Legacy of Japanese American Baseball”
We’re guessing you don’t remember firsthand when a World War II Japanese-American internment camp turned Gila Bend into Arizona’s third-largest city. Or that prisoner Kenichi Zenimura spearheaded an effort to construct a baseball field and build a 32-team league, knowing that hitting the road and playing together would raise morale and awareness and foster goodwill between Japanese and white Americans. And it did.

Sports historian Bill Staples Jr., author of Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer, will speak on “The Legacy of Japanese American Baseball,” including but not limited to Gila Bend, on Thursday, March 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard. The event’s free, but it’s suggested you RSVP at the Scottsdale Performing Arts website. Call 480-312-7323 for more info. Julie Peterson

Thomas "Breeze" Marcus painting (detail) reflecting traditional basketry patterns.
Thomas "Breeze" Marcus painting (detail) reflecting traditional basketry patterns.
Courtesy of Royse Contemporary.

“If These Walls…”
Two artists with indigenous roots are revealing important steps in their own journeys, with an exhibition of new work in Scottsdale.

“If These Walls…” features work by Thomas “Breeze” Marcus and Douglas Miles. They’re well-known for creating murals and work that reflects Native American life both present and past. Marcus hails from the Tohono O’odham tribe and grew up on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Miles is based on the Apache San Carlos Indian Reservation.

Marcus’ artwork references traditional basketry patterns, and Miles’ artwork incorporates skateboard culture. See their work at Royse Contemporary, 7077 East Main Street, #6, on Saturday, March 3. The free exhibition continues through Saturday, March 31. Visit the Royse Contemporary website. Lynn Trimble

This walk is for the birds.EXPAND
This walk is for the birds.
Morgan Moore

Saturday Morning Bird Walk
Wanna learn more about birdwatching? Set your alarm early for the weekend and visit volunteer Joe Willy and other birders of various skill levels at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center for the Saturday Morning Bird Walk.

For an hour, they’ll guide you through the habitat and teach you how to spot the winged creatures along the Salt River. If you don’t have binoculars or a field guide, do not fret. There are plenty you can borrow at the facility.
Be on the lookout starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, at 3131 South Central Avenue. This event takes place rain or shine. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Rio Salado Audubon Center website. Jason Keil

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The coolest kind of swap meet.EXPAND
The coolest kind of swap meet.
Courtesy of Michelle Donovan

The Nile Record Swap
Digital music, games, or memes not your thing? Maybe you prefer something with a little more history. The Nile Record Swap on Sunday, March 4, invites shoppers to peruse vintage toys, records, tapes, and movie and show posters from different time periods. Vendors will have music from a variety of genres, including soul, punk, metal, and hip-hop.

In the past, vendors have had one-of-a-kind finds such as wrestling figurines from the 1990s and 2000s. During the sale, DJ My God Complex will spin music, and the Nile’s coffee shop will be open for business.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 105 West Main Street. For more information, go to the Facebook website. Laura Latzko

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