As the song goes, “Somewhere over the rainbow, sexual orientation and gender identity of all kinds are embraced and celebrated.”
OK, so maybe that's not exactly how the song went, but it's an apt description of what Steele Indian School Park will be like this weekend during the annual Phoenix Pride Festival.
Award-winning author and Valley resident Bill Konigsberg will be presenting the sequel to his praised coming-of-age book “Openly Straight” this evening (March 28) at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. His first book “Openly Straight” follows the life of Rafe Goldberg, a teenage boy who changes schools and falls in love with Ben.
1. March Madness Music Fest at Margaret T. Hance Park – March 31-April 2
The 2017 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will be taking place on April 1 and 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, but you don’t need to be a big hoops fan to enjoy the FREE three-day concert in Downtown Phoenix to celebrate the end of March Madness. Keith Urban will be playing on Friday. The Chainsmokers, Grouplove and more will take over on Saturday. The weekend will end with Aerosmith, Macklemore, Blink-182 and Nathaniel Rateliff on Sunday. F, 4-10 p.m.; Sa, 2-10:30 p.m.; Su, 3-10 p.m. Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver St., Phoenix, ncaa.com/marchmadness/musicfest.
Mark your calendars: This Wednesday, March 22, Yayoi Kusama – the Japanese artist renowned for her plethora of polka dots and infinity rooms – is turning 88 years old.
1. Yellowcard at The Marquee – March 22
Join the band during their final tour in celebration of their album, “Rest In Peace.” This is purportedly their third to last show ever, so this could be your last chance to see them live. $30. 6 p.m., Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, luckymanonline.com.
Storytelling events are no longer a rarity in the Valley. In fact, Phoenix is positively booming with events that give voice to established writers and novices alike (see: "Multi-Story Building," Jan. 2017).
Spillers is the fiction writers' answer to all the non-fiction events around town. A quarterly short fiction storytelling event, Spillers features several writers who present a piece, sit down with the show hosts on their award-winning Spillers podcast and include their stories in a chapbook. Also unlike the non-fiction events, there are no specific themes.
On Thursday, March 13, 1997, thousands of people across the Southwest United States reported seeing an unusual V-shaped formation gliding across the night sky. The initial report came from a man in Henderson, Nevada, who said the large formation was silhouetted by reddish-orange lights and was heading southeast. Soon after, callers in the Prescott area described a triangular assemblage of lights that obstructed their views of the stars, indicating a solid object. Later, reports from Phoenix indicated the unidentified flying object was making its way towards Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The phenomenon came to be known as the Phoenix Lights.
Valley author Stephanie Elliot’s debut novel, “Sad Perfect” hits shelves February 28, in the middle of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which starts this Sunday, February 26. This timing is a happy accident, Elliot says, but it couldn’t be more fitting for the novel.
“Sad Perfect” follows 16-year-old Pea, who struggles to keep her eating disorder a secret from a new boyfriend. In the midst of her budding relationship, Pea's eating disorder, anxiety and depression take over and she watches as her life starts to spiral of control and a wide cast of characters come to her aid.
Dozens of ceramic artists will open their studios to the public this weekend at 17 locations across the Valley for Arizona State University Art Museum's annual Ceramic Studio Tour. Each studio has a lead artist who has invited special “guest artists,” enticing us with a promising variety of shapes, sizes and styles.
“Permanent Collection,” a play directed by Arizona State University professor Charles St. Clair, is now performing at the Herberger Theater after opening at ASU West Campus in celebration of Black History Month, and it’s worth checking out.
Get your daily dose of culture with our curated picks of the best events and experiences in the Valley, from art and music to sports and the outdoors. Culture vultures can sign up for our Things to Do and VIP List newsletters for even more hip happenings.