Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Checking out a collaborative mural at ALAC.
Checking out a collaborative mural at ALAC. Lynn Trimble
Ready to have some free fun? This week, you can learn some tips on how to spruce up your outdoor space at Jump Start Your Fall Garden, browse a collection of compelling images at the Kids in Focus exhibit, or check out some impressive rides with an ice cream in hand during the Summer Cooldown. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Library meets film screening. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Library meets film screening.
Lynn Trimble

Dear White People

As Trump continues his racist tirades, it’s the perfect time to revisit the 2014 film called Dear White People, which was written and directed by Justin Simien. The film imagines four African-American students navigating issues of identity and race within the context of an elite college where success is often defined by conformity and material wealth. It’s being screened at Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale. Head to the auditorium to catch the free screening from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, August 12. Take note if you’re bringing young family members: The film includes strong language, sexual content, and drug use. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge See Danica Marlin's sculpture at Harry Wood Gallery. - LYNN TRIMBLE
See Danica Marlin's sculpture at Harry Wood Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

MFA Summer Juried Exhibition

During the academic year, you can explore works by emerging artists at ASU galleries. When summer rolls around, ASU School of Art presents its annual exhibition of art by graduate art students, which is a great opportunity to see works by artists you might not have encountered along the beaten path. Artworks featured in this year’s MFA Summer Juried Exhibition were selected by Tiffany Fairall, chief curator for Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Participating artists include Ryan Eckert, Carlos Garcia, Thomas Knight, Laura E. Korch, Danica Marlin, Roy Wasson Valle, and others. See their art ranging from paintings to sculpture between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, August 12, at Harry Wood Gallery, inside the ASU School of Art building at 900 South Forest Mall in Tempe. The exhibit is free, and continues through August 30. Lynn Trimble

Latino Cultural Center Meeting

If you want to have a say in city efforts to create a new Latino Cultural Center, now is the time to get involved. A city subcommittee that’s exploring possible locations will hold its next public meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13. It’s happening at the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center, 147 East Adams Street, which is home to one of the Valley’s many organizations focused on Latino arts and culture. The meeting may include renderings for possible designs at various sites, although city officials say that’s subject to change. Keep track of meeting details by watching the webpage for the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. Lynn Trimble

Jump Start Your Fall Garden

Just because it’s August doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing your garden for the fall. Savvy and knowledgeable gardeners have perfected the art of growing vegetables and other plants in our arid desert landscape. Jump Start Your Fall Garden will help you learn how to get your green thumb off on the right foot. Greg Peterson, a frequent speaker and founder of the Urban Farm, will share with you simple steps to make your garden a sustainable supply of wholesome food.

Plant the seed from at 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, at Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Every photo tells a story. - KIDS IN FOCUS
Every photo tells a story.
Kids in Focus

Kids in Focus

If you want to watch a child erupt with joy, give her a camera, a musical instrument, or a bit of unfettered time with nature. Kids in Focus, a nonprofit that uses photography to help at-risk kids develop a strong sense of self, knows the power of taking pictures and mentoring to help youth experiencing homelessness, poverty, trauma, or neglect. See how they make it happen, when Kids in Focus presents an exhibit at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. It includes photographs by 30 youths, ages 10 to 14, who worked with 15 mentors to create a compelling collection of images. See the free exhibit on the second floor between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Before there was Twitter... - NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Before there was Twitter...
National Archives

‘The Constitution and Donald Trump’

For the 10th talk in his series titled “The Constitution and Donald Trump,” attorney and author Robert McWhirter will be discussing recent events in Trump world — including the Mueller report, tax returns, and the question of whether presidents can be charged with crimes while they’re still in office. Check it out at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 15. It’s a free event, and it just so happens that you can buy McWhirter’s book, Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights, you’re there if you get inspired to learn more about the law. By the way, the talk could also veer into other topics related to headlines and social media fodder. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Cool down at The Churchill. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Cool down at The Churchill.
Lynn Trimble

The Summer Cooldown

Expect to see some impressive rides during an ice cream social and car show coming to The Churchill, 901 North First Street, on Friday, August 16. They’re part of a free 6 to 10 p.m. event organizers are calling The Summer Cooldown, which also includes live DJ sets and a chance to check out new murals filling an adjacent alley. That’s Third Friday, by the way. So get to Roosevelt Row well before 6 p.m. if you’re driving and dreaming of finding a free parking space. While you’re out and about, check out other art offerings nearby, from street music to gallery exhibits. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out the social justice section at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out the social justice section at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Work That Matters!

Palabras Bilingual Bookstore is celebrating its fourth anniversary by shining a light on people and groups working for social justice in local communities. Join the fun, and learn more about what’s happening in your own backyard and beyond, during the free Do Work That Matters! event happening at the bookstore, 1738 East McDowell Road, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 17. Expect a day filled with performances, art, culinary offerings, and healing. From 6 to 9 p.m., Palabras will present an open mic event featuring poetry, music, storytelling, and more shared by people of color, as part of its ongoing POC It to Me series. 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