Culture News

Top 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.

Tempe Improv Owner Reported Missing

Just days before the Tempe Improv is set to disappear from the Valley's comedy scene, the club's longtime owner has gone missing.

Mark Anderson, who has run the club for more than 23 years, reportedly has been missing for the past two weeks. News broke within the past 24 hours that the 60-year-old Oklahoma City resident, who also owns a second Improv location in Washington, D.C., hasn't been seen since May 15.

Anderson reportedly was last spotted in San Diego at that time driving a silver 2011 Dodge Durango. His wife reported him missing on May 12, three days before he was last seen. There also have been possible unconfirmed sightings of Anderson in Las Vegas and Dallas.

-- Benjamin Leatherman

Calle 16 Mural Project Heads to Barrio Cafe at Sky Harbor International Airport

For months, the team of muralists and painters behind Calle 16 have gathered at their headquarters to paint a tribute to their neighborhood.

Gennaro Garcia, Lalo Cota, Angel Diaz, Breeze, and others completed a 27-by-7-foot canvas that will be plastered to the wall in the Silvana Salcido Esparza's airport satellite of Barrio Cafe.

Esparza founded Calle 16 Mural Project in 2010 with the hopes of bringing the neighborhood together and showcasing its culture in a positive and public way.

-- Claire Lawton

Jeremy Kinison and Cut Throat Freak Show Appear on America's Got Talent

Anyone hoping to impress Howard Stern would probably need some combination of scantilly-clad women and sordid tales involving sex or scandalous behavior.

Local daredevil performer Jeremy Kinison and a few of his fellow freaks, however, needed only some broken glass, an ordinary chair, and a couple of swords to astonish the iconic radio personality.

The overly tattooed 32-year-old touring sideshow artist and adrenaline junkie, who has performed at many First Friday art walks over the years, appeared on last night's episode of America's Got Talent along with his Cut Throat Freak Show troupe.

Needless to say, they put on a showstopping performance that wowed the crowd, nabbed some major kudos from Stern, and earned them a spot in the next round of competition.

-- Benjamin Leatherman

Five Life Lessons Learned from Phoenix Comicon 2012

From scantily clad anime babes to wiry Boba Fetts, geeks from all over the Valley flocked to Phoenix Comicon to celebrate both the 35th anniversary of Star Wars and the nearly religious monument to pop culture that brought them to downtown Phoenix. It's over now, but the memories will live on in all of our hearts -- OK, and in our slideshows of Phoenix Comicon.

Conventions are typically common grounds for professionals to talk to other professionals under the pretext of learning something. Lucky for us, the only skill required at Phoenix Comicon is liking to watch/play/read stuff that jocks love to hate.

Check out the five life lessons we're taking home from the largest comicon to date.

-- Alex Weiss

Cycle: Maricopa County Tables Plans for Downtown Bicycle Cellar

Plans to place a Bicycle Cellar bike station in the long vacant ground floor of the historic Security Building now appear to be all but dead despite gaining initial approval from the Maricopa County Facilities Resource Panel back in January.

"Unfortunately, the Bike Cellar project has in fact been cancelled," said Jonce Walker, Maricopa County Sustainability Manager and shepherd of the project for the county.

The project was not included in the 2012-13 fiscal year tentative budget, which was approved by the county Board of Supervisors on May 21. The final budget is scheduled to be adopted on June 18.

-- Jason Franz

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi