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Top Five Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

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If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Arizona Commission on the Arts Kicks Off Poet Laureate Nomination Process

Arizona was one of only eight states without a State Poet Laureate, a position established in states and countries around the world, in which a local established poet educates students and residents about poetry and literature.

But on May 11, 2012, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1348 into law, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts staff got to work on the process for nominating and selecting the state's first Poet Laureate.

State and National Poet Laureates date back to the Romans. They serve as champions of poetry on the local and national stages while meeting with emerging artists, community members, and government officials throughout their terms. Read the full story here.

--Claire Lawton

Maker Bench No Longer Available For Public Use, Owner David Uhlman Says Plans for Maker Faire are on Hold

The Tempe based Maker Bench has closed its doors to the public after having to relocate to a space that lacks proper access for the community of artists, hobbyists and entrepreneurs it previously served.

Maker Bench opened in June 2011 and hosted many seminars and workshops in which its members were able to use tools and materials available in the space such as woodworking, metalworking and laser cutting tools, among others.

Maker Bench owners won't rule out reopening their space to the public in the future but as of right now members of the company are focusing on other projects, including kits: "The Useless Machine" and Orange Desktop CNC Mill Kit.

Read the full story here.

--Taylor Brooks

Yandy, Creators of the "Sexy" Sesame Street and Hamburger Costumes Explain Why You Should Be a Sexy (Whatever) for Halloween

The employees of Yandy know all too well that sexy is the Halloween trend of the decade.

The Arizona-based company was started in 2005 by brothers Chad and Evan Horstman in Scottsdale. Today, Yandy operates out of a warehouse in Deer Valley Airpark and sells more than 7,000 items online, including lingerie, rave wear, swimwear, clothing, and Halloween costumes.

This year's big sellers: the Sexy Fox, the Sexy Watermelon, the Sexy Hamburger, and new arrivals, "sexy" Bert, Ernie, and Big Bird costumes. Seriously. See the full line of "sexy" costumes here.

--Claire Lawton

5 Shows to Watch Now that Honey Boo Boo is Over

Admit it, after months of watching a chubby redneck child compete in beauty pageants and make sketti with her family, you've become accustomed to a certain level of culture in TV entertainment. Now that the first season of Honey Boo Boo is over you may be wondering what other shows would best compliment the remainder of that 2 gallon tub of cheese balls sitting on the kitchen counter.

Fortunately, Jackalope Ranch has scoured the bottom of the entertainment barrel for our top television picks this fall, because we too have an appreciation for low quality programming.

--Katie Johnson

State Fair Gone Wrong: The Bad, The Worse ... And Something That Could Kill You

Once a year, we get to see fair grounds at their finest: full of carnival rides, livestock and way too much fried food. It's a fall ritual. And starting this Friday in Phoenix, we'll gather together to celebrate the weirdest our state has to offer, from over-size legumes to best-looking livestock.

It all sounds nice and rosy ... but what about when things go wrong?

Just in time for this year's festivities, we've gathered this list of state fair horror stories - the funny-but-bad, the worse...and one thing that could actually kill you.

--Lauren Saria

Don't forget to check out Jackalope Ranch's continuing series, 100 Creatives.

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