If the quality of the art exhibitions that have opened during this early part of the new year are indicators of what to expect from area galleries and museums in 2016, then we are in for an exceptional year. Of these recent openings, one of the most powerful is Betye Saar’s Still Tickin’, which opened at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) on January 30.
#1: “Displaced” at Space 55, Feb. 20 (canceled)
Described by RPM Orchestra's Pete Petrisko as “a multi-sensory allegorical tale, told dialogue-free through actions, sounds, movements, light, scent and textures,” this immersive theater experience – dubbed “Displaced” – features a live musical score by RPM Orchestra, “suspended choreography and fanning dance” by Debra Minghi, a performance by Michael 23, and an appearance by someone named Killian Cinnamon. The theme of this special preview production – which will officially premiere in April – is the idea of displacement, being forced to move for reasons ranging from war to gentrification. $7, 8:30 p.m. February 20 at Space 55 in Phoenix. space55.org (update: This event has been canceled)
The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF) will mark its 20th anniversary this year and remains true to its mission: To present films with Jewish themes from all over the world to the Greater Phoenix community. For two decades, GPJFF has screened a wide variety high-quality independent films with Jewish content. Last year, more than 6,400 people attended the festival.
When the drugstore Christmas section goes on sale, store shelves begin the assault of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and a flurry of red and pink. Love is all up in your face, so if Valentine’s Day just isn’t your style, try one of our alternatives instead.
Hanna-Barbera's 1960s cartoon The Jetsons had Americans imagining life with flying cars and robot servants, while the later Stanley Kubrick flick 2001: A Space Odyssey portrayed possible dangers of creating artificial intelligence. While sentient computers and floating cities aren’t part of our everyday 21st-century experiences (yet?), the myriad real and fictitious technologies seen in Arizona Science Center’s POPnology™ hint at future possibilities.
Humans have fabricated pottery since some ancient knucklehead threw a ball of mud in the embers. When that clay was stone-hard by morning, a sharper friend had an epiphany, and ceramics was born. Over generations, artisans improved on functional clay containers by making them gorgeous. Now, your locally-made ceramic gem is calling you.
Phoenix residents have a bit of arthouse envy when it comes to the quirky, iconic businesses that put towns like Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, on the alt-culture map. Voodoo Doughnut, McMenamins and Alamo Drafthouse are among the two cities’ most famous locales. While we have FilmBar, iPic and AMC Esplanade, there’s nothing quite like Alamo, a chain of dine-in theaters with a full kitchen serving frothy beer and pub grub straight to your seat.
For 25 years, Arizona Musicfest has regaled Valley audiences with a wide variety of musical performances, from Broadway and bluegrass to classical and jazz. This year’s festival, which started on January 29 and runs through March 11, features 18 concerts at several North Scottsdale and Phoenix venues. Some concerts are already sold out, and others are selling fast.
POPnology at Arizona Science Center, Feb. 8
See Marty McFly's hoverboard from the “Back to the Future” films alongside the jetpack from Disney film “The Rockateer” and the autopia car from Disney's “Tomorrowland” in this touring exhibition, which explores the influence of pop culture on technological innovations. Also on hand: Mars rovers, virtual reality gaming by Oculus, the world's first 3D printed car, Baxter the worker robot, sketches for future plans for flying cars from Hyundai, and more. POPnology made its world premiere at Arizona Science Center on February 7, and will be on exhibit through May 15. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-17. azscience.org
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest at Heard Museum, Feb. 13-14
This convergence of indigenous cultures and athletic performance has grown increasingly competitive: Recent contests have been decided by three or less points, and last year's contest was so close the two finalists had to compete in a tie-breaking dance-off. See what all the hoop-la is about as dancers manipulate up to 50 hoops to create animal and globe shapes, and try to impress the judges in five areas: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativeness and speed. Lawn seating only; bring a blanket or chairs. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14. Tickets cost $18, adults; $13.50, seniors 65 and older; $7.50, college students with ID and children ages 4-12. heard.org
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