Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do This Week

Time to party underground.
Time to party underground. Lamp Left Media
Do yourself a favor and stop spending money. This week, you can explore the spring exhibitions at Party Underground, be a part of the solution at Downtown Phoenix Clean-Up, or kick back in the great outdoors at Sunday in the Park — all for free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Jordan Owen
All Cassette Set
Jordan Owen, better known as the founder of Petty Things, is a lover of all things analog. He’s shunned playlists on streaming services. Instead, the DJ has been collecting and mixing together shoegaze, college rock, and post-punk for years. He will share his mixtapes at Valley Bar for an All Cassette Set. The night will be a visual experience as well with old television sets playing VHS tapes of ’80s movies and episodes of The X-Files.

Owen will press play on some great noise-pop at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Party Underground
Skip the elevator, if you can. There’s a dramatic flight of stairs that will lead you to the Party Underground event happening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street, Tempe. Once you’ve made your grand entrance, through spaces designed by international architect Antoine Predock, you can join the free party celebrating the museum’s spring exhibitions. The evening includes screenprinting featuring a design by Daniel Funkhouser, decorating tiles, making buttons and collage art, and enjoying small bites and drinks. Leave time to see the “Funk” exhibit with ceramics by Viola Frey, inside a gallery dotted with giant, brightly-colored FatBoy beanbag chairs. You’ll get to explore plenty of other artwork, too. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Studio time for Fausto Fernandez. - COURTESY OF THE GALLERY AT TCA
Studio time for Fausto Fernandez.
Courtesy of The Gallery at TCA
Fausto Fernandez
Pairing wine with artworks is always in good taste. Take it to the next level at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway, when The Gallery at TCA presents a free artist salon and wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 22. Artist Fausto Fernandez will be discussing his work along with curator Michelle Nichols Dock, inside the gallery where Fernandez’s work is part of an exhibit called “Retro Reactions.” It’s a casual way to learn more about abstract expressionism and a talented Phoenix artist, whose creative influences include Jim Dine, Pablo Picasso, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. While you’re there, check out artworks by other local creatives, including Malena Barnhart, Kristin Bauer, Jacob Meders, and Rembrandt Quiballo. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time to clean up your act. - COURTESY OF LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA
Time to clean up your act.
Courtesy of Local First Arizona
Downtown Phoenix Clean-Up
Admit it. You’ve left behind seemingly harmless trash like a gum wrapper before, without giving it much thought. But if everybody did it, we’d all be awash in gum wrappers. So knock it off. Then vow to change your ways, and head over to Phoenix Market, 14 East Pierce Street, for the first Downtown Phoenix Clean-Up of the year. It’s being presented by Local First Arizona, which says event volunteers got 320 pounds of trash off the streets last year. This year, the goal is 680 pounds. Help make it happen between 9 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. They’ll provide the maps, gloves, garbage bags, and trash-grabbers. And you’ll get a free late breakfast provided by Phoenix Public Market. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out one of Zarco Guerrero's masks. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out one of Zarco Guerrero's masks.
Lynn Trimble
Mask Alive! Festival of Masks
If hearing the word “masks” makes you think of bad guys, you might be watching too many crime shows. Put down the remote and make your way to Pioneer Park, 526 East Main Street, in Mesa. That’s where Cultural Coalition, an arts organization focused on indigenous artists and community engagement, is presenting its Mask Alive! Festival of Masks, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 24. The free event includes music, dance, and puppetry celebrating the neighborhood’s diverse cultures. Participating creatives include Zarco Guerrero, a Mesa artist who honed his talent for mask-making in countries from Mexico to Japan. Other festival offerings include food trucks and children’s activities. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Strolling through Hance Park. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Strolling through Hance Park.
Lynn Trimble
Sunday in the Park
Crescent Ballroom is taking the music outdoors as part of a free event called Sunday in the Park. It’s happening at Hance Park, 1242 North Central Avenue, from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 24. Bring a blanket so you can sit awhile to enjoy music from the Hi-Dreams vinyl DJ collective. You might want to tuck a favorite book, ball, or board game under your arm before you head out. Bring money if you want to buy beer, wine, coffee, or eats. You can work it off on the volleyball court. (Or not!) Pets are welcome, of course, but maybe don’t bring the goldfish. Visit Lynn Trimble
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble