Top Five Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

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.

UNION at the Biltmore Opens This Weekend -- Here's What You Can't Miss

UNION, located between Stingray and Seasons 52 at the 24th and Camelback shopping center, is home to Phoenix-based businesses including Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, Paris Envy, Whoopie Baking Company, Frances, Smeeks, Frances & Charlie, For the People, Paris Envy, Oils & Olives and Trattoria del Piero by Queen Creek Olive Mill, Bonafide Goods, Lily, Me Myself & I, R&R Surplus,, White House Flowers, and The Willows Home and Garden.

The innovative retail project was designed to provide small and locally owned shops space alongside the Biltmore's large, nationally owned chain stores, which will ideally create more traffic for local business owners and a wider selection for shoppers.

--Claire Lawton

Five Must-See Movies in November

The way films come and go, in and out of theaters, usually it's easier to miss a movie than catch it. That makes planning ahead a must when it comes to moviegoing in the Valley. That's also why we've handpicked five must-see flicks screening this month to add to the ol' planner. Snag some snacks and scope out our picks.

--Becky Bartkowski

Laurie Notaro and Her Fellow "Idiot Girls" Help a Friend in Need After Hurricane Sandy

My friend Lucille Ascolillo, who lives in Ship Bottom, New Jersey, kept posting as Hurricane Sandy began to beat at her house that sits on Long Beach Island, a barrier island that faces the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite the order to evacuate, her 19-year-old son named Franky is a fire fighter on the island and she was determined not to leave him -- aside from the fact that she couldn't find a shelter that would also take her dog. She wasn't going to leave Sandy, ironically the dog's name, on the island alone, either.

From her posts, Lucille's friends keep track of the storm: First, the neighbor's patio furniture is blown away, then another's neighbor's boat is lost. Then the cable, internet and power go out. Then water begins seeping into the house and quickly, the house is flooded an hour before high tide. And then there's nothing. No posts.

Nothing from Lucille until hours, almost a day later, when she reappears on Facebook. Read the full story here.

--Laurie Notaro

Tania Katan Talks Sweater Vests and Shopping Habits with Laurie Notaro for This Year's Shine

Once a year, New Times puts the spotlight on Scottsdale in SHINE, our annual pocket guide. As usual, the 2012 edition includes all the best spots to drink, dine, party, and get a culture fix. But this time around, we're really all about the merchandise. So break out your piggy bank and get ready for a little retail therapy.

Tania Katan is an author, playwright, performer; Lounge Program Coordinator for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where she's been shaking things up with literary and arm wrestling events (more on those later).

This week, author and Phoenix New Times contributor Laurie Notaro caught up with Katan to talk about her shopping habits and the time she tried to seduce IKEA's online help for this year's Shine ...

--Claire Lawton

I Work for GOOD: Downtown's monOrchid to Grant One Community Member Free Studio Space for a Year

Run out of space to work on your latest project or looking for a spot to do some serious creating? Take note: Downtown's monOrchid is looking for one lucky tenant.

Introduced this week, the I Work For Good project will award one local creative a dedicated work space in the monOrchid loft with a one year lease -- for free.

See how you can be considered for the free work space.

--Claire Lawton

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

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Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi