The Best Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

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Supporting equality.
Michelle Sasonov
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There's no need to spend unnecessary dollars to have fun. This week, you can take part in an important discussion during the Bilingual Conversation and Reading, find out what it actually means to be an LGBTQ person in the film Out in Arizona, or get psychological during the viewing of “Karolina Adams: Work in Progress” — and you can do it for free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Arizona Opera performs Fellow Travelers this season.
Arizona Opera performs Fellow Travelers this season.
Arizona Opera

The Lavender Scare, Then and Now

Two gay men working for the U.S. federal government during the McCarthy era in the late 1950s, when people could be fired based on their sexuality, are the central characters for a contemporary opera called Fellow Travelers. It’s part of this season’s creative lineup for Arizona Opera, which is joining with several community groups to present a related panel discussion called The Lavender Scare, Then and Now.

The panel will include advocates and historians addressing the evolving history of LGBTQ rights, as well as challenges facing the community today. They’ll speak at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, starting at 7 p.m. Stay after for a Q & A and reception. The event is free, but you should register online before attending. Visit azopera.org. Lynn Trimble

Exploring Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.EXPAND
Exploring Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Bilingual Conversation and Reading

CALA Alliance is presenting a bilingual conversation and poetry reading with Dolores Dorantes, a Mexican writer living in exile in El Paso, Texas, whose work explores a broad range of social, cultural, and political issues. Dorantes often collaborates with fellow creatives, producing works that include books, performance, and film.

The Bilingual Conversation and Reading with Dolores Dorantes runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8. It’s happening at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, 1738 East McDowell Road. The writer’s diverse interests include mobile book stores, autobiographical writings, and the modern Mahajyra Buddism tradition. Tickets are free, but you should register online before attending. Lynn Trimble

Out in Arizona

Set for October 11 this year, National Coming Out Day is a time to highlight what it actually means to be an LGBTQ person in 2019 America. In honor of that journey, Equality Arizona is holding a premiere of the brand-new documentary Out in Arizona. The film follows the daily lives of six LGBTQ Arizonans, including an intersex veteran, various local activists, and a “two-spirit member of the Hualapai Nation.” There’s also a prescreening reception and a Q&A with the film’s creators.

This free event begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, at Harkins Tempe Marketplace 16, 2000 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Chris Coplan

Explore works by Sama Alshaibi at Northlight Gallery.
Explore works by Sama Alshaibi at Northlight Gallery.
Sama Alshaibi

‘Person Perception Persona’

Portraiture is all the rage in fine art circles these days. Phoenix art venues are doing their part to add to important conversations about who is portrayed, how they’re portrayed, and who is putting forth the images. Most recently, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art has shown works by Shizu Saldamando, an artist whose work highlights marginalized communities.

Now, you can see photographic portraiture in the free “Person Perception Persona” exhibit at ASU Northlight Gallery at Grant Street Studios, 605 East Grant Street. Featured artists include Sama Alshaibi, Miguel A. Aragón, Richard Avedon, Kwame Brathwaite, Wendy Red Star, Stefan Ruiz, Andy Warhol, and Humanize the Numbers. The latter explores the personal experiences of those directly affected by mass incarceration. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, October 11. Visit ASU Northlight Gallery on Facebook. Lynn Trimble

Alexandra Gaspar

Four Peaks Oktoberfest

Halloween isn’t the only occasion this month where one can don costumes and have fun. The various local Oktoberfest celebrations over the next few weeks will be populated by folks clad in lederhosen or other traditional German garb while partaking in a Bavarian bacchanal of beers and brats.

Case in point: the ultra-popular Four Peaks Oktoberfest, which takes over Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway, and features three days of music, carnival rides, food vendors, and wiener dog races. A beer garden will serve 20 different German varietals and a mix of Four Peaks brews.

This year’s fest runs from Friday, October 11, to Sunday, October 13, at the park and will feature performances from Black Bottom Lighters, Wyves, Crosstown Players, Banana Gun, and others. Hours are 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

Checking out the detail in a Karolina Adams drawing.EXPAND
Checking out the detail in a Karolina Adams drawing.
Lynn Trimble

‘Karolina Adams: Work in Progress’

Imagine your psychological musings laid bare before the public in a collection of drawings that reveal everything from your own self-doubt to your attempts at setting boundaries. That’s just what artist Karolina Adams has been doing for years, with works that playfully address both her inner thoughts and the shared humanity of all who question their thinking, feelings, and actions in the world.

See her exhibit titled “Karolina Adams: Work in Progress” at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street in Chandler. It’s filled with uncluttered drawings about the emotional challenges and triumphs that permeate everyday life, created using primarily black, white, red, and various shades of gray. The free opening reception takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 12. Lynn Trimble

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