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.

Girls' Season Finale: Here Are 5 Ways to Stay Busy While It's Off the Air

Now that the tidal waves of hype and backlash have (mostly sort of) come and gone, it's safe to say that, no, Lena Dunham's Girls is not a younger, newer version of Sex and The City (for those looking for that, we'll leave you and your Fendi baguette with CW's The Carrie Diaries).

Yes, it is about a group of privileged, entitled, educated, and even spoiled 20-somethings in New York as played by a group of young women who count newscaster Brian Williams, Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, and playwright David Mamet among their famous, successful parents. No, Dunham does not spare herself or her Eloise tattoos the teensiest bit. And, yes, accidental crack-smoking, naked cupcake-eating, and unsexy sex all make cameos in the raw, hilarious series.

For fans who've watched religiously and already know all the above, this Sunday will be bittersweet as it marks season one's finale -- and then they'll be stuck with True Blood's freaky fantasies. But thankfully there's plenty of Girls-related ephemera to keep them busy before season two begins ....

-- Becky Bartkowski

Roosevelt Row Selected for National ArtPlace Grant that Will Fund a New Streetscape, an Artist Village, and More

The hardworking folks behind First Fridays, Third Fridays, Adaptive Re-Use of Temporary Space (A.R.T.S) Program, and a majority of the activity on Roosevelt Street in downtown Phoenix received some very good, six-digit news last week.

Late last year, Roosevelt Row's Greg Esser, Kenny Barrett, and Braden Kay wrote and submitted the application for a grant through Artplace, an organization formed and funded by eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts and six of the nation's largest banks.

On Tuesday, they were awarded a $150,000 grant, categorized as "Using Art to Accelerate Transit Oriented Development," that will go toward funding three major programs on Roosevelt Row, including a streetscape project in collaboration with the city of Phoenix, a "Feast on the Street," and an evolving artist village.

-- Claire Lawton

7 Must-Sees in Phoenix Libraries

If you haven't noticed, a lot has changed since the days when the only things you could find in the library were grouchy old librarians and dusty books.

Ok, there are still a lot of dusty books, but in their midst you can also find a veritable treasure trove of (free!) media entertainment. To help you navigate the Valley's literary labyrinth this summer, we hit the street to find out what three of the biggest libraries have to offer.

-- Lauren Saria

Five Hot Summer Staycation Deals in Phoenix

Summer's back (with a vengeance), and as some of us may have two months of freedom while others are stuck waiting for the weekend, most everyone is looking for an opportunity to get away.

But instead of spending the big bucks on traveling out of town, why not consider a good old fashioned staycation? It'll save you the hassle of airport security, economy rental cars, and unspoken obligatory souvenirs for friends and family.

Best of all, we've already done the research for you.

-- Katie Johnson

Found on Craigslist: 1,000-Pound Transformer-Style Wine Rack Made from Transmission Parts

For some, Craigslist is a great place to toss a bunch of junk and wait for suckers to buy it. For others, it's a place to showcase true ingenuity.

Exhibit A is evidence of both.

Introducing the half-ton, Transformer-style wine rack made from transmission parts. The six-foot, half-ton wine rack holds 32 bottles and enough geek cred to last a lifetime.

See pictures of the crazy Transformer wine rack here.

-- Claire Lawton

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

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