The Best Live and Virtual Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

See work by Ellen Nemetz at Scottsdale Public Library.
See work by Ellen Nemetz at Scottsdale Public Library. Scottsdale Arts
The creatives in our midst have been busier than ever, making work they're sharing in both live and virtual formats. Here's a sampling of what's happening around metro Phoenix this week, including several events that won't cost you a thing.

Artists' Breakfast Club

Some of Arizona's most accomplished artists have gathered during the past two decades as part of an informal group called the Artists' Breakfast Club, which meets monthly to foster community, cooperation, and mutual support. Now works by dozens of these artists, including Christine Cassano and Joel Coplin, are part of a group exhibition inside an exhibition space at Scottsdale's Civic Center Library. The library is open select days this week, including Monday, December 14, when the hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. While you're in the area, leave time to enjoy public art around Old Town or nearby galleries and museums.

click to enlarge Throwback to Jerusafunk performing at the Klezmer Music Festival. - EVJCC
Throwback to Jerusafunk performing at the Klezmer Music Festival.

Jerusafunk Performance

Homegrown band Jerusafunk is performing a live online concert as part of Tempe Center for the Arts' SHFT series that’s part of the venue’s pandemic pivot. The nine-piece group blends traditional klezmer music with funk, along with diverse styles including afrobeat, jazz, salsa, and more. You can see the free concert on the TCA Facebook page at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16.

Gather Storytelling

Storytellers Pete Salaz, Sarah Tan, and Rosetta Walker are doing live storytelling at the intimate ASU Kerr Cultural Center just north of Old Town Scottsdale for an online event called Gather, which starts at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16. Tune in and chat on YouTube starting at 6 p.m., along with guest host Abigail Brammer-Fouts. Every storyteller will be working with the theme “One of Us.”

click to enlarge Time for a little night sky magic. - ALLEXXANDAR/ SHUTTERSTOCK, INC.
Time for a little night sky magic.
Allexxandar/ Shutterstock, Inc.

Virtual Night Sky

The ASU Marston Theater located on ASU’s Tempe campus is going virtual, with a live presentation featuring the night sky viewed via its planetarium technology. The free event on Wednesday, December 16, is a chance to learn more about the winter solstice and the closest conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn since the mid-17th century. The presentation starts at 7 p.m., and there will be a Q&A from 7:45 to 8 p.m.

click to enlarge It's luminaria time over at Desert Botanical Garden. - DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN
It's luminaria time over at Desert Botanical Garden.
Desert Botanical Garden

Las Noches de las Luminarias

Stroll through Desert Botanical Garden during this annual tradition featuring 8,000 luminaria and twinkling lights that share dramatic spaces with a beautiful assortment of native plant life. This week’s dates include Thursday, December 17, through Sunday, December 20, when the garden is doing timed-entry admissions for the 5:30 to 10: 30 p.m. event. Adult tickets start at $29.95.

click to enlarge Head to The Churchill for Sidewalk Saturday. - THE CHURCHILL
Head to The Churchill for Sidewalk Saturday.
The Churchill

Sidewalk Saturday

Head over to The Churchill in Roosevelt Row between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, to explore works by local artisans along streets near the Downtown Phoenix Public Market that happens from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. that same day. While you’re in the area, look for the alleyway filled with murals that sits just east of The Churchill, or snap some photos of more than a dozen other murals in the area, by artists including Tate Caraveo, Carrie Marill, and JB Snyder.

click to enlarge Throwback to James B. Hunt work shown at ThirdSpace. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Throwback to James B. Hunt work shown at ThirdSpace.
Lynn Trimble

Zine Hunt

For years, Phoenix artist James B. Hunt has been hiding art around town, inviting people to explore the city with a ‘finders, keepers’ approach to his work. Now, he’s part of a creative trio that’s getting ready to hide a zine from Fluke Publishing, which was inspired by their search to find the precise locations of various minerals around Arizona. It’s illustrated with images Hunt calls “nightmarish birds, ghouls, and supersoldiers,” and he’ll be hiding artwork along with the zine on Saturday, December 19. He’ll drop hints that day via Instagram for those who want to participate in the free offbeat art adventure.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble