Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do This Week

Fortoul Brothers art sighting at Mountain Shadows.
Fortoul Brothers art sighting at Mountain Shadows. Lynn Trimble

No money? No problem. This week, you can explore artwork created by Arizona-based artists at Mountain Shadows, walk the talk at Living Sustainably, or get a behind-the-scenes look at the ASU campus during ASU Open Door — all for free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Mountain Shadows
Most hotels fill their hallways with generic artwork. It’s harder to find resorts that really spotlight local artists. But Mountain Shadows, located at 5445 East Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley, knows how it’s done. Their art gallery, comprising a bright hallway near the resort entrance, features works by Arizona-based artists. The space is curated by John Reyes of Reyes Contemporary Art. It’s open to the public, and there’s no cost to check it out. Stop by anytime on Monday, February 18, to explore the gallery. You’ll find new works on paper and canvas by the Fortoul Brothers, whose murals dot the downtown Phoenix landscape. Expect an intriguing take on nature, humanity, and the cosmos — conveyed through lines and colors with elegant simplicity. Visit Lynn Trimble

"Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior"
It’s easy to take Frank Lloyd Wright’s work for granted living so close to Taliesin West, the famed architect’s winter home. But the more you learn about Wright, the more you’ll appreciate his singular talent and impact. The Chandler Museum, 300 South Chandler Village Drive, is an enjoyable place to start. Visit the museum between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, to explore an exhibition called “Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior.” It’s filled with photographs, reproduction drawings, textiles, and furniture that reflect his characteristic design aesthetic. While you’re there, look for information on Wright’s Chandler projects undertaken during the 1920s and 1930s. Museum admission is free. Visit Lynn Trimble

Living Sustainably
Saying you’re pro-sustainability is one thing. Actually walking the talk takes a deeper level of dedication. Find fresh inspiration for making it happen at ASU’s Lyceum Theatre, 901 South Forest Mall on the Tempe campus, where Sir Jonathon Bate is doing a lecture called Living Sustainably. It’s happening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20. The British scholar will highlight exemplars of sustainability from different places and time periods, while exploring ways the humanities can help foster sustainability within individual lives and communities. The free event includes a dessert reception. Space is limited, so register online before you attend. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Feeling the lit love. - PIPER CENTER FOR CREATIVE WRITING
Feeling the lit love.
Piper Center for Creative Writing
Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference
There’s good news for lovers of all things literary. The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference on ASU’s Tempe campus includes a two-day literary fair that’s free and open to the public. Head to Old Main, 400 East Tyler Mall, to explore the first day’s offerings between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The lineup includes readings, talks by literary professionals, and vendor displays. You’ll see some familiar faces there, from Wasted Ink Zine Distro to Phoenix Art Museum, but you’ll also encounter fresh voices to expand your literary landscape. Get there by 11:30 a.m. to hear readings by graduate students in ASU’s creative writing program. RSVPs are requested, but not required. Visit Lynn Trimble

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest
There is a band that changed your life. For writer Hanif Abdurraqib, that group was A Tribe Called Quest. For the poet and essayist’s third book, titled Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, he delves into how the hip-hop collective fits into the larger societal picture of music, fandom, and our nation as a whole, as well as how their work affected him on a personal level through his own stories and keen cultural observations.

Abdurraqib will be visiting Phoenix to discuss and sign copies of his latest work. The reading begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 22, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Coronado High School has notched a few claims to fame during its 58 years of existence. Its original buildings were designed by famed architect Ralph Haver. Major league catcher Lou Marson, Gin Blossoms guitarist Jesse Valenzuela, and soap opera actress Beth Maitland are all Coronado alumni. And scenes from the 1999 CBS telefilm And Baby Will Fall will filmed there.

Oh, yeah, it was also famously used in a little movie called Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, an accomplishment that will forever be etched in local lore. The 1989 film, which was largely filmed in the Valley, was transformed into San Dimas High School and became the stomping grounds of the sci-fi comedy’s titular slackers.

Coronado High will celebrate its inclusion in cinematic history on Friday, February 22, with a 30th anniversary outdoor screening of the movie on its football field, which is located at 7501 East Virginia Avenue in Scottsdale. The film starts at 7 p.m. and both admission and popcorn will be free. Call 480-484-6800. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Walking through open gallery doors at ASU School of Art. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Walking through open gallery doors at ASU School of Art.
Lynn Trimble
ASU Open Door
Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at the ASU campus in Tempe? Get a glimpse during ASU Open Door, taking place from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 23. It’s a free event for community members, who can check out everything from science to art. Head over if you want to explore campus art, dance, or theater spaces. Other highlights will include mural-painting, zine-making, face-painting, screen-printing, music-making, improvisation, and other creative pursuits with ASU faculty, alumni, and students. There’s also an art exhibit, featuring works in diverse media by graduate art students. Visit Lynn Trimble

Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories
American Indian boarding schools were established with the intention of assimilating indigenous students into American culture. Children were forcibly removed from their families, given American names, and taught a curriculum intended to replace their way of life with Christianity. The Heard Museum is reinstalling its compelling exhibit about these tragic institutions, along with presenting a symposium titled Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories. Presenters and educators will discuss what was learned from this shameful chapter of American history.

The presentation is from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, at 2301 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble