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Enjoying some hot chocolate during Canal Convergence.
Enjoying some hot chocolate during Canal Convergence.
Michelle Sasonov

The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Are you looking for something to do? This week, you can brighten up your days by visiting Canal Convergence, sampling a variety of fried potatoes at French Fry Throwdown, or joining an important discussion during Boricua Book Club — all for free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Checking out works by David Knorr.EXPAND
Checking out works by David Knorr.
Lynn Trimble

‘The Journey Circles Back’

If you’ve never paused to ponder the amazing ways shapes from nature make their way into architecture and other elements of everyday life, there’s an exhibit that might change your perspective. “The Journey Circles Back” features artwork by David Knorr, who creates totems and other sculptures using biometric forms. They’re both strange and familiar, and they’ll help you see the world around you in fresh ways.

See his artwork, along with a solo exhibition of paintings by Alma Telibecirevic, at the Central Gallery inside Burton Barr Library. The gallery is free, and it’s open on Monday, November 4, during library hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stick around if you want to see other works of art on view throughout the library. Lynn Trimble

Exploring prints by Marco Albarran and Monica Gisel.
Exploring prints by Marco Albarran and Monica Gisel.
ASU

‘Tintas e Impresiones’

Creating prints has long been a way for artists to share their images and ideas with a broad range of people. Prints by local artists are often included in exhibitions at various Arizona State University galleries. Now, you can see prints by Marco Albarran and Monica Gisel, two longtime staples of the Phoenix arts scene, on view inside the Fletcher Library at ASU West, 4701 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale.

For their exhibition “Tintas e Impresiones” they’re showing works reflecting multiple themes and print techniques, which convey the diversity, power, and accessibility of the medium. The free exhibit is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5. Lynn Trimble

‘Stews and Stories’

November is Native American Heritage Month. It’s a great opportunity to honor this pillar of Arizona’s rich history and culture. South Mountain Community College is offering an event called “Stews and Stories.” As you might have already gathered, guests will chow down on free stew and fry bread from Emerson Fry Bread as they’re regaled by tales from storyteller Barnaby Lewis (Gila River Indian Community), author/educator Iris PrettyPaint (Blackfoot/Crow), and author Violet Duncan (Plains Cree). The only things you need to bring? Blankets, chairs, and a healthy appetite.

Storytime begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, on the lawn of the performing arts center at SMCC, 7050 South 24th Street. For more information, email liz.warren@southmountaincc.edu. Chris Coplan

Broaden your horizons, then grab a beer, at Changing Hands.EXPAND
Broaden your horizons, then grab a beer, at Changing Hands.
Lynn Trimble

Iron City Magazine

Prisoners are people. It’s a central theme for Iron City Magazine, an online and print journal featuring art and writing by incarcerated individuals. The magazine will premiere its next issue at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, during a launch event at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8.

The evening will include “creative expressions by and for the incarcerated.” Featured speakers will include Ken Lamberton, Cornelia “Corri” Elizabeth Vander Hoek Wells, and others. Lamberton, who was released from prison in 2000, is the author of Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist’s Observations from Prison. Wells runs an ASU program that brings creative writing and other courses to correctional facilities in metro Phoenix. The launch event is free, but online RSVPs are encouraged. Lynn Trimble

Check this out on opening night for Canal Convergence.
Check this out on opening night for Canal Convergence.
Walter Productions

Canal Convergence

For Canal Convergence, Scottsdale Public Art is transforming the Scottsdale Waterfront into a free 10-day event filled with light-based visual and performance art. It starts on Friday, November 8, when the lineup includes a performance of Water Serpent by Walter Productions, a creative team whose installations are renowned at festivals from Bonnaroo and Burning Man. The show starts at 6 p.m.

Opening night also includes several artist talks and art activities, live music, and Mesa artist Katharine Leigh Simpson doing a site-specific performance of her Earthly bird creature. Locations vary along the canal, so check the online map for the best address for starting your art explorations. Lynn Trimble

Time to celebrate the city.
Time to celebrate the city.
New Times Archive

Tempe Town Lake

Do bodies of water hold birthday celebrations? Only Tempe Town Lake. Yes, our beloved artificial perennial reservoir turns 20 this year, and the city of Tempe is celebrating with a grand community birthday shindig to provide a “blueprint for the future of this Tempe treasure.” On the north lake, there’ll be a rock wall, zip line, fishing, an ASU volleyball tournament, rowing demos, sailing tours, and yoga classes. The south lake will feature an art walk, bird-watching, food trucks, Zumba classes, games, and live music at Beach Park.

This free party begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, at Tempe Town Lake, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Chris Coplan

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona


Despite the prevalence of heated political rhetoric and bigotry, Mexican-American workers continue to make invaluable contributions to our rural and urban communities. Take time to honor their lives and central roles in Arizona communities during a free event named for a book titled

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona

, published by The University of Arizona Press in Tucson.

The editors, Luis F. B. Plascencia and Gloria H. Cuádraz, will join community members to discuss their book, which addresses issues ranging from migration to economics, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 9. The free event is happening at El Tianguis Mercado del Guadalupe, 9241 South Avenida del Yaqui in Guadalupe. Expect an evening of discovery, community, and celebration. Lynn Trimble

No french fries will be lost in the process.
No french fries will be lost in the process.
New Times Archive

French Fry Throwdown

The french fry is the ultimate form of the potato, and we now has a festival dedicated to the side. The French Fry Throwdown promises to be packed to the brim with starchy goodness, with a variety of offerings from American Poutine Co., Frites Street, When Pigs Fly, Chicken Coop, Reefs Kitchen, and Mama Jim's, among others. There will also be dessert trucks and a beer garden. You can get your fry on and keep the kiddies entertained with a playground, face painting, balloon art, and train rides.

The festival commences at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 9, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue in Peoria. Parking and entrance are free. Don’t forget to vote for your favorites at the info booth. Chris Coplan

Checking out a few bookshelves at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.EXPAND
Checking out a few bookshelves at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Boricua Book Club


When Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria two years ago, he threw paper towels into a crowd of survivors gathered at a chapel in San Juan. It’s an image seared into the consciousness of many Americans, who wondered how they could help the island and its inhabitants heal.

During the next Boricua Book Club at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, 1738 East McDowell Road, participants will be discussing a book called War Against All Puerto Ricans, which explores the historical and contemporary landscape of the island. The discussion will address questions ranging from civil disobedience to the exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland in the storm’s aftermath. It’s free and open to all. Lynn Trimble

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