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Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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Phoenix, your plans for the week are here.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals

He probably didn't plan it, but Matt Williams picked a great time to leave Arizona. Williams was part of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- as either a player, partial owner, or coach -- for every year of the franchise's existence up until last October when he took the job as manager of the Washington Nationals. Williams has taken some heat for his treatment of star right fielder Bryce Harper, but his Nationals squad looks like a serious contender in the NL East.

See also: 10 Books Every Arizonan Should Read

The team he left behind, on the other hand, is in the midst of what may well be the worst season in the franchise's history. Williams will make his return to Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, on Monday, May 12, when his Nationals open up a three-game series against the Diamondbacks.

The game will start at 6:40 p.m. Tickets start at $5 and are available online via www.ticketmaster.com. -- Ed Kummerer

Uptown P.E.N.

Public speaking takes a lot of balls, we'll admit. It can be emotional, rewarding, and nausea inducing all at once. First timers and practiced hands alike, Practical Art is giving you a chance to speak your mind.

The gallery-store hybrid features more than 100 statewide artists of all media. On Tuesday, May 13, the written word is explored with Uptown P.E.N. The open mic night is devoted to all things longhand, encouraging participants to present prose, poetry, or flash fiction. During the latter half of the impromptu storytelling, local writer Margaret Levine will present her work as this month's "featured wordsmith." Jake Friedman, who runs the literary magazine Four Chambers, hosts the event.

The literary free-for-all is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. The first-come, first-served event is free and open to the public. First come, first serve. Visit www.practical-art.com or call 602-264-1414. -- Janessa Hilliard

An Evening with Colin Chillag

Phoenix artists and art lovers, take note: The 2014 Contemporary Forum artist grant recipients and the mid-career artist award winner will be announced at Phoenix Art Museum during An Evening with Colin Chillag on Wednesday, May 14. But not before the arts organization, which works with PAM to support contemporary artists in Arizona (among other things), sends off the 2013 honorees in style.

Last year's grant recipients were street artist La Muñeca, Sean Deckert, Mohammad Reza Javaheri, Kim Largey, Michael McLeod, Ann Morton, and David Sherman. All will present works completed since receiving their grants in an exhibition-style setting. Colin Chillag took home last year's mid-career artist award. He'll present a lecture during the event, which begins at 7 p.m.

Rub elbows with art's up-and-comers at 1625 North Central Avenue. For more information on the event, visit www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1880. To find out more about Contemporary Forum, see www.contemporaryforum.org. -- Becky Bartkowski

"Tales from Big Surf, Kiwanis Pool and Legend City"

It certainly feels like there's a lot of events using the First Friday model nowadays, but keeping track of Second Saturdays and Twelfth Tuesdays gets pretty cumbersome. So much so that, like most technologically dependent humans, you've probably thrown a few worthwhile events into your iCalendar and handed your scheduling over to the ol' smartphone. Well, here's another one to toss into the mix, and it may even be worthy of that prestigious second reminder. Every third Thursday, the Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue, hosts Third Thursday at the Museum, with guest speakers discussing topics related to sports and recreation in Tempe.

This month features Tempe's recreation administrator Dave Bucher discussing the newly renovated wave pool at Kiwanis Park. Joining him will be Jeff Golner and Richard Ruelas discussing Tempe water-park Big Surf and the long-defunct theme park Legend City. Third Thursday at the Museum is a free, all-ages event at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15. Visit www.tempe.gov or call 480-350-5100 for details. -- Rob Kroehler


It's time for a new spring look. The Clarendon Hotel and Spa is once again lending itself to local creatives to become the largest art installation in the Valley. ARTELPHX is a three-day, multimedia project will encompass everything from performance and video art to neon sculpture and site-specific visual works from handpicked artists including Leslie Barton, Steve Weiss, Chris Boyd, Amy Cannestra, Angel Castro, Lisa R. Chow, Hannah Cooper, Michaela Konzal, Scarlett Decker, Daniel Funkhouser, Daniel Gottliebson, Bamboo Gate Tea Room, Bill Hemphill, Zoo, Micro Nursery, Mark Hughes, Valerie Hunt, Candy Jimenez, Nathaniel Lewis, Stephanie Moland, Steph Raptis, Ingrid Shults, Tain Barzso, Katharine Leigh Simpson, Lauren Strohacker, Kendra Sollars, Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, Denise Yaghmourian, and Joe Willie Smith.

ARTELPHX will return to the Clarendon Hotel and Spa, 401 West Clarendon Avenue. The event kicks off with an invite-only VIP preview night on Thursday, May 15, followed by viewings for the general public Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17. Admission is free. For details, visit www.artelphx.com or call 602-513-2922. -- Katie Johnson

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