The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Get lost in readings at Valley Bar.EXPAND
Get lost in readings at Valley Bar.
Evie Carpenter
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Get ready to make some plans, Phoenix. This week, you can commune with fellow believers at International UFO Congress, dance yourself out of this world at Tekknoir, or get inspired at Bar Flies. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Getting weird at ASU Art Museum.EXPAND
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

International UFO Congress

Want to believe? You’re not alone. Around half of all Americans believe that there are intelligent extraterrestrials out there in the cosmos and they’re visiting us. Just ask anyone who witnessed the Phoenix Lights in 1997 or anyone in attendance at the International UFO Congress which invades the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, 340 North Third Street, this week.

The multiday event focuses on the existence of aliens, but also government investigations into UFOs, close encounters, and other paranormal subjects. Panels, lectures, and Q&As will take place featuring more than two dozen guest speakers, including investigative journalist George Knapp and paranormal researcher Christopher O’Brien. Screenings of films and documentaries are also planned.

If you missed out on the first day of the International UFO Congress on Wednesday, the event runs from Thursday, September 5, through Sunday, September 8. Activities start at 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. daily, with multiple sessions taking place each day. Daily admission is $39 for the a.m. sessions, $69 to $79 for the p.m. sessions, and $59 to $109 for every lecture. VIP packages are available. Benjamin Leatherman

Find the poetry crowd here during September First Friday.EXPAND
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 mic 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

Art created by an immigrant facing deportation.EXPAND
Art created by an immigrant facing deportation.
The Florence Project

‘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

Dance yourself out of this world.
Dance yourself out of this world.
Paulann Egelhoff


The living worlds shown in science-fiction movies are nothing short of amazing. Imagine chilling at the Mos Eisley Cantina without the impending danger of Greedo shooting first. Tekknoir will create an immersive world that feels like the clubs of Star Wars and Blade Runner coming together for its Cinematic Sci-Fi Dance Party at The Lunchbox on Friday, September 6, 2019.

The 21-and-over event runs 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and features drag performances, as well as techno, synthwave, and electro music from DJs Heretic, G, Dehga, Rad Dude, and more. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.

Get intergalactic at 4132 East McDowell Road. Admission is $8. Melissa Fossum

All kinds of adorable.EXPAND
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

Photography meets cultural exchange.EXPAND
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

Phoenix Rising Football Club

Life’s pretty sweet right now if you’re a player for Phoenix Rising Football Club. They’re making mincemeat of other teams. As of this writing, the team still have the best record in the United Soccer League’s western conference and they’re a virtual lock for the playoffs in October. Plus, the Rising have a few other win streaks going, including being unbeaten for 16 straight games at Casino Arizona Field, 751 North McClintock Drive in Tempe.

Needless to say, the team will have loads of momentum going on Saturday, September 7, when they take on San Antonio FC at home. Despite their middling record, San Antonio is considered to be a scrappy team, which means the Rising will have to be on their guard. May the odds be in their favor.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18-$40. Benjamin Leatherman

Attention, One Direction fans.
Attention, One Direction fans.
The Van Buren

Midnight Memories

The British boy band One Direction celebrate their ninth anniversary this year, and Directioners will be able to celebrate with Club ’90s’ latest party titled Midnight Memories. On Saturday, September 7, sing and dance the night away to your favorite 1D hits and boy band anthems at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Doors open at 10 p.m.

The first 400 entrants will receive free giant 1D pins, and everyone is welcome to pose in the themed photo booth.

Feel beautiful at this 18-and-over event. Tickets are $10 to $20. Melissa Fossum

It's going to be a good time.
It's going to be a good time.
Trans Queer Pueblo

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 12 a.m. 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

Stitching by Mac & Missy.EXPAND
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

Arizona Cardinals

Hope always springs eternal for Arizona Cardinals fans at the dawn of every season, no matter what the eventual outcome might be. That’s especially true of this year, as the Red Birds have a lot going for them. There’s a new head coach (Kliff Kingsbury), a new rookie quarterback (first-round draft pick Kyler Murray), and new additions to the roster (offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, linebacker Terrell Suggs, and Byron Murphy).

Arizona will put their abysmal record from last year (not to mention a so-so preseason) behind them as they take to the field at State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, September 8, for their home opener.

Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. Tickets are $31 to $413. Benjamin Leatherman

Ready for some laughs?EXPAND
Ready for some laughs?
Two Dykes

Two Dykes and a Mic

Two Dykes and a Mic is a hilarious weekly podcast lead by comedians Rachel Scanlon and McKenzie Goodwin. The duo tackles hot topics like strap-ons, tantric sex, and pop culture news like the VMAs and Cara Delevingne.

The Two Dykes are on a whirlwind stand up comedy show. They stop by Stand Up Live on Sunday, September 8, at 7 p.m. for an 18-and-ver show full of laughter and sexual tension.

Explore LGBTQ issues, relationships, and a whole lot of hilarity at 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets start at $10. Melissa Fossum

Checking out Fantasia Crystals.EXPAND
Checking out Fantasia Crystals.
Lynn Trimble

Paganism 101: Earth Based Spirituality For Today’s Modern World

For some, the words “into the woods” conjure thoughts of Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale-filled musical. For others, it’s a call to embrace earth-based spirituality. If you’ve ever been even a little bit curious about pagan history, beliefs, and practices, there’s an easy way to learn more. The School of Magical Arts at Fantasia Crystals, 5108 North Seventh Street, is presenting a class called Paganism 101: Earth Based Spirituality For Today’s World, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 8. Facilitated by Michael Erwin, the class will explore both historical and contemporary paganism, review pagan terminology, and address common myths about the practice. The class is open to those 13 years old and up (youth need a parent’s permission). The class costs $15 and you should RSVP ahead of time. Lynn Trimble

Ready for takeoff.EXPAND
Ready for takeoff.
Courtesy of Drone Racing League

Drone Racing League

Drones aren’t just the domain of hobbyists, geeks, tech-bros, and budget-conscious filmmakers anymore. The phenomenally popular remote-controlled devices are being used for the sport of drone racing, and the competitions are both fun and intense.

Picture this: Illuminated drones zip through complex 3-D courses consisting of a series of glowing obstacles and gates above 90 mph. while their controllers use FPV goggles to navigate. It’s a mix of Star Wars-style pod racing with the aesthetic of Tron and the adrenaline-packed thrills of Formula 1 action and e-sports. It’s also a blast to watch.

Such a scene will unfold insider Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, September 8, when the Drone Racing League, a pro-level circuit for elite pilots, brings the sport to downtown Phoenix for its first large-scale ticketed event in the U.S. A dozen pilots will compete at the event, which is part of the DRL Allianz World Championship Season.

Family-friendly activities will take place outside the stadium beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the drones start flying at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Benjamin Leatherman

Mix and mingle with likeminded people.
Mix and mingle with likeminded people.
Hayden's Ferry Review

Hayden’s Ferry Review

Hayden’s Ferry Review, a semi-annual literary journal edited by MFA students at ASU, has been going strong since 1986. The journal will celebrate the release of its 64th publication, the MAGIC issue, with a launch party at Fillmore Coffee Co. on Monday, September 9. The event features a poetry reading from three contributors: Jabari Jawan Allen, Raquel Gutiérrez, and Felicia Zamora.

Believe in magic and enjoy poetry from 5 to 7 p.m. at 600 North Fourth Street. This all-ages event is free. The MAGIC issue and previous publications will be available for purchase for $13. Melissa Fossum

Scene from Here's to Life! The Story of Refreshments.EXPAND
Scene from Here's to Life! The Story of Refreshments.
Pop Motion Pictures

Here’s to Life! The Story of The Refreshments

If you’re a sucker for full-circle moments, you’ll love seeing the film Here’s to Life! The Story of The Refreshmentsthedroneracingleague.com. It’s the tale of an alternative band from Tempe that fell off the music world radar after having a big hit in the ’90s, then made a big comeback amid an entirely different music scene. The film is being screened in the east Valley, not far from where the band first made it big, as part of the Four Peaks Hopped Up on Music Series. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. screening on Monday, September 9, are $8. It’s happening at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 4955 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler. Lynn Trimble

Head here to see Hummus! the Movie.EXPAND
Head here to see Hummus! the Movie.
Joel Zolondek

Hummus! the Movie

Nowadays, you can order a side of hummus, a spread made with chickpeas, with your popcorn at some movie theaters. It’s a testament to the popularity of the food that has some intriguing historical roots. There’s even a film called Hummus! the Movie, which is being screened at the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, 122 East Culver Street, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10. “It’s a light, fun film that also provides a lot of context about Israel and the Middle East,” according to Lawrence Bell, the center’s director. The screening is free, but seats are limited. Lynn Trimble

Bar Flies

The concept of being lost has inspired some of the world’s great literary works, plus countless works of visual and performing arts. But there’s no telling what might surface when locals gather at

Valley Bar

, 130 North Central Avenue, for a reading series called Bar Flies. It’s happening on Wednesday, September 11, at 7 p.m.

This month’s theme is “Lost,” which could inspire some particularly poignant works. Participating readers include John Chakravarty, Anastasia Freyermuth, Peg Hesley, Nina Newell, and Regina Revazova. You have to be 21 or older to attend. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance. Lynn Trimble

Remembering 9/11, 18 years later.EXPAND
Remembering 9/11, 18 years later.
Lynn Trimble

Tower Challenge

Arizona law enforcement and firefighters, along with active and retired military, will be gathering with supporters at 8 a.m. for the Tower Challenge at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. Designed to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, the event includes climbing 2071 steps. That’s the equivalent of the 110 flights of stairs that were climbed by firefighters during the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. Registration is $40 and you must be at least 16 years old to climb the stairs. Doors open at 7 a.m. Proceeds benefit the 100 Club of Arizona and several additional charities. Lynn Trimble

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