Things to Do

The Best Free Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

Art created by an immigrant facing deportation.
Art created by an immigrant facing deportation. The Florence Project
Is it just us, or is everything more fun when it's free? This week, you can let your creative side loose at Get Weird, cheer on your favorite wordsmith at the Underground Poetry Individual Championship, or socialize with your friends over a tasty treat during Nami's Ice Cream Social. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

They're mixing it up over at Modified Arts. - MIGUEL ANGEL MONZÓN
They're mixing it up over at Modified Arts.
Miguel Angel Monzón

‘Squares and Gestures’

Artists don’t like being boxed in, especially when their work is labeled and siloed away from other forms of creative expression. Consider the case of Paul Lorenz, an artist whose affinities include abstract painting, architecture, musical composition, and performance. He’s found myriad ways to mix it up, including live drawing on the gallery floor while a trumpet player creates music for the shared audience experience. Explore his work at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, where gallery hours on Monday, September 2, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. His “Squares and Gestures” exhibit continues through Saturday, September 14. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Poetry calling! - ASU PIPER CENTER
Poetry calling!
ASU Piper Center

Free Readings

Escape the less poetic parts of your life for an hour on Wednesday, September 4, as two poets present free readings from 7 to 8 p.m. at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. Featured poets include Erika L. Sánchez, a Princeton arts fellow whose young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was published in 2017, as well as sam sax. sax (who uses all lowercase letters) is a queer, Jewish writer and educator whose collection titled Madness was published that same year. No need to RSVP, but registering online will help organizers know how many people to expect. Lynn Trimble

There's No Crying in Newsrooms

Veteran journalists Kristin Grady Gilger and Julia Wallace, both now at the Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will discuss and sign copies of their new book, There's No Crying In Newsrooms, at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix on Wednesday, September 4. The book tells the stories about the struggles of women who have broken through barriers at media organizations around the country. Gilger, a former editor at the Arizona Republic, is now the senior associate dean at Cronkite. Wallace, former editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, teaches at the school. The reception begins at 6 p.m. and the discussion follows at 7. Changing Hands is located at 300 West Camelback Road. Stuart Warner

click to enlarge Getting weird at ASU Art Museum. - ASH PONDERS
Getting weird at ASU Art Museum.
Ash Ponders

Get Weird

Sometimes artists create or celebrate myths. But ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe, is working to dispel one. It’s the myth that museums are mausoleums for the past and devoid of connections to contemporary life. They’re making the case with a community event called Get Weird, which includes exhibitions, creative hands-on activities, and the chance to connect with fellow art lovers.

Check out the new “Juntos Together” exhibit, featuring work by Iván Argote, while you’re there. Born in Colombia and based in Paris, his work for this exhibit includes experimental films and a sculptural installation that “considers the current cultural climate of Arizona.” Get Weird runs from 5:45 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 5. It’s free, but you need to register online before you show up for a night of snacks and subversion. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Find the poetry crowd here during September First Friday. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Find the poetry crowd here during September First Friday.
Lynn Trimble

Underground Poetry Individual Championship

Creatives are mixing it up in Roosevelt Row again. They’re using the space Revolver Records once called home to present pop-up art happenings, including slam poetry. Head to 918 North Second Street at 9 p.m. during First Friday on September 6 if you want to watch up to 16 poets compete for a $500 prize. It’s a stripped-down poetry slam competition without mics or scorecards, and judging is by audience applause. The Underground Poetry Individual Championship could run through midnight, but get there early to see more wordsmiths battle it out. You can thank the fine folks at Lawn Gnome Publishing for this one. Lynn Trimble

‘Survive, Resist, Create: Art by Immigrants Facing Deportation’

Survive. Resist. Create. They’re more than buzzwords to immigrants facing deportation. They’ve been using art to express their dreams, fears, and ideas while working with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. The organization provides free legal and social services to immigrants in Arizona facing detention. And they’ve partnered with Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, to present an exhibition of artwork by immigrants, which runs for the full month of September. The free opening reception for “Survive, Resist, Create: Art by Immigrants Facing Deportation” happens from 7 to 9 p.m. on First Friday, September 6. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge All kinds of adorable. - MONICA WAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY
All kinds of adorable.
Monica Wayne Photography

Ice Cream Social

Ice cream socials are a great blast from the past, but they’re even better when they’re vegan and benefit animals in need. Nami will host its third annual ice cream social on Friday, September 6, and attendees are in for a treat. The infamous Puppy Chow tSoynami makes its return, and the restaurant’s walls will be adorned a fresh photo installation called “Pups in Pajamas” by Monica Wayne Photography, which is all kinds of adorable. A portion of proceeds will benefit React AZ.

Cool down with a frozen treat at 2014 North Seventh Street from 6 to 9 p.m. This all-ages event is free. Melissa Fossum

click to enlarge Photography meets cultural exchange. - BRANDON SULLIVAN
Photography meets cultural exchange.
Brandon Sullivan

‘Through Each Other’s Eyes’

For nearly a decade, photographers in Phoenix and Hermosillo, Mexico, have been participating in a cultural exchange program called Through Each Other’s Eyes, traveling to each other’s cities to document the people and the environment. Four photographers are showing a selection of 20 of their images during the “Through Each Other’s Eyes” exhibit at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street, Chandler. The free opening reception runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 7. It’s a chance to meet the artists and learn more about the cultural exchange program that started back in 1988 as part of the Phoenix Sister Cities program. Participating photographers are Juan Casanova, Dionisio Corral, Brandon Sullivan, and Gina Santi. The free exhibit continues through October 5. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge It's going to be a good time. - TRANS QUEER PUEBLO
It's going to be a good time.
Trans Queer Pueblo

Queer Artivismo: Independencia

A series of Mexican patriotic holidays known as Fiestas Patrias is just around the corner. Trans Queer Pueblo will celebrate Central American and Mexican independence through an artistic queer lens with Queer Artivismo: Independencia on Saturday, September 7 from 8 p.m. to midnight. The event celebrates trans and queer people of color in the art community through drag shows, poetry, theater, and visual art.

The event has a suggested donation of $5. Food and drink proceeds will benefit Trans Queer Pueblo.

Celebrate community and social justice at Trans Queer Pueblo, 1726 East Roosevelt Street. Melissa Fossum

click to enlarge Stitching by Mac & Missy. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Stitching by Mac & Missy.
Lynn Trimble


It’s one thing to sit at home and relax with a bit of stitch work. But sometimes you want to hang out with other people who share your passion for needles and thread. Mark your calendar for 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, September 8. That’s when fellow stitching folk of all skill levels will be converging on Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, for a Stitch-In inspired by the Tiny Pricks Project, Sew Many Comments, and other projects that blend art with political activism. You can bring your stitching project or buy an embroidery kit at the event. Registration is free, but bring money if you want to buy a latte or mimosa at the First Draft Book Bar. Lynn Trimble
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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble