The Social Justice Project Blends Poetry, Dance, Politics at Mesa Arts Center

Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Artists who are part of The Soul Justice Project ensemble performing May 1 at MAC.
Local artists are putting their creative spin on social justice conversations surrounding immigration, LGBTQ rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement in a collaborative performance piece they'll present Friday, May 1, at Mesa Arts Center.

It's part of The Social Justice Project, an ongoing enterprise in promoting community awareness and dialogue that was developed by Phonetic Spit artists Myrlin Hepworth and Tomas Stanton. Phonetic Spit uses hip hop and poetry to "combat illiteracy, cultural alienation, and silence."

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Angela Ellsworth on Her Ongoing Plural Wife Project, New Work, and the Museum of Walking

Eliza Woloson
Angela Ellsworth's interdisciplinary art practice encompasses performance, sculpture, drawing, and much more.

Angela Ellsworth is nothing short of an art celebrity here in Phoenix.

She's represented by Lisa Sette Gallery and is associate professor of Intermedia at Arizona State University, where The Museum of Walking (MoW), one of her current projects with Steve Yazzie, is based. Along with the launching of MoW last year, Ellsworth was named a recipient of the prestigious Art Matters Foundation Grant for Soundproofed, a solo performance that's part of her larger Plural Wife Project. And, to top it all off, an exhibition of Ellsworth's new work, "Volume I," recently opened at the Joseph Gross Gallery at University of Arizona in Tucson. Though these various projects and bodies of work are vast in the way they engage with history, movement, and space, there is a larger dialogue there -- a thread that runs throughout her artistic practice.

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Logan Phillips' Sonoran Strange Poetry Book Release to Feature Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Courtesy of Performance in the Borderlands
ASU will be sponsoring a release party for Logan Phillips' first full-length poetry collection and performance piece, Sonoran Strange, on February 11.

This week ASU's Performance in the Borderlands Project will host an event celebrating the release of Tucson poet Logan Phillips' first full-length collection, Sonoran Strange. The evening will feature readings and performances by a variety of local writers and artists, including Arizona's first Poet Laureate, Alberto Alvaro Rios.

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[nueBOX] Launches with Evocative Works from Emerging Phoenix Performance and Installation Artists

Photo courtesy of Jacob Daniels.
We're excited to see how Jordan Daniels' choreography will evolve throughout his [nueBOX] residency.

Phoenix's premier performance and installation art platform, [nueBOX], hosted its launch party on Thursday, February 5, at First Draft Book Bar.The event served as an introduction to the organization, and featured both live and recorded performance and installation art by current and future [nueBOX] artists-in-residence.

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[nueBOX] Creates Platform for Phoenix-Area Performance Artists

Courtesy of [nueBOX]
[nueBOX] provides burgeoning performance and installation artists with studio space and exhibition opportunities.

How do performance and installation artists make the transition from the structure of school to the chaos and uncertainty of the real world? [nueBox], a nonprofit arts organization, has some ideas. Their year-long residency programs provide creatives with studio space (through a partnership with Phoenix Center for the Arts) as well as performance opportunities and a platform for critical analysis of their working pieces.

[nueBOX] will hold its launch party (aptly dubbed "[nueLAUNCH]") on February 5 at First Draft Book Bar. We chatted with co-director Matthew Mosher about the event and the state of Phoenix's performance art scene.

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Cherrie Moraga's The Hungry Woman Comes to ASU: Tragedy That Hits Close to Home

Tim Trumble, courtesy of ASU Herberger Institute for Design and Arts
The Hungry Woman weaves together Greek and Aztec mythology, along with a little Mexican folklore.

ASU's fall theatre lineup will feature The Hungry Woman by Cherrie Moraga, which promises to be a new -- and local -- take on an old classic.

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Phoenix to Host Individual World Poetry Slam October 8-11

Red Greg
Phoenix is about to get a whole lot Slam-mier.

Seventy-two competitive slam poets walk into a coffee shop in Phoenix. This is not a joke. There will be no punchline.

The Arizona Humanities Council will play host to the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, a four-day event that pits "presentative poets" against one another. The competition itself exists as a series of timed bouts, each judged by five randomly selected audience members. The top 12 competitors will move on to the final round on Saturday, October 11, hosted at Marquee Theatre.

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Mystic Circus Arrives in Phoenix to Train the Youth, Shock the Adults

Categories: Performance Art

Image courtesy of Alwun House
Mystic Circus shows and eventual classes offer sideshow, traditional circus, and a plethora of other acts

Over his career, self-proclaimed "natural-born freak" Rush Hicks has performed or trained with the Coney Island Sideshow and Squidling Brother Circus, placing him among the elite of the world's circus and sideshow performers. In the past year alone, Hicks has logged almost 15,000 miles of travel all over the world with the aforementioned troupes, and on his own.

So what brings him to Phoenix?

Founded in Brooklyn, Hicks has brought the Mystic Circus to downtown Phoenix's Alwun House, where it performs every second Saturday following a successful trial show in May. But even that pales to the project currently occupying most of his time: founding the Mystic Circus school.

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Paul Elliott Captures Phoenix's Drag Scene with "This D**k Walks Into a Bar" at Eye Lounge

Categories: Performance Art

Melissa Fossum
Paul Elliott's portraits of Coco St. James at Eye Lounge

Anyone who has watched RuPaul's Drag Race for at least 10 minutes can vouch for the magic of drag. Seeing a burly man (eyebrows optional) transform into a gorgeous woman is more entertaining than you might think. The process isn't easy, thanks to tucking and creating the illusion of a feminine silhouette, but the end result can lip-synch like nobody's business.

Local photographer Paul Elliott captures that magic in his exhibition "This D**k Walks Into a Bar," which is open to the public at Eye Lounge from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, January 3. We recently caught up with him to discuss the Valley's drag scene.

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Good 'N Plenty: Announcing SMoCA's Artist Grant Winners of 2013

Photo by Amy Gochoel

Good 'N Plenty artist grants were awarded to Stefanie Francis and Ryan Avery over the weekend at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's semi-annual event. The grant was created last year to support "the projects of innovative art makers, wise-crackers and trailblazers based in Arizona."

Grant funding comes from ticket sales and a program at SMoCA's sister organization Scottsdale Public Art that matches those funds for the second-place winner. Because last Friday's event at SMoCA Lounge was sold out, each winner will receive approximately $1,200.

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