A DEEPER SOUL
The U.S.-Mexico border has long been a talking point for politicians—what to do about it, the importance of it, the money wasted on it, the practicality, the symbolism. In the age of Trump, issues surrounding our southern border seem more pressing and relevant than ever, which is why Sue Norris wanted to learn more. She’s the committee chair for Open Doors: Art in Action, an art series hosted by Flagstaff’s Episocopal Church of the Epiphany. The series has focused on social issues since its inception in 2018, highlighting women’s rights, uranium mining, indigenous land rights and more. And since April 1, Art in Action has been host to Border+Crossroads, an international and intergenerational response to the human and environmental crisis at the southern border. Norris reached out to Raechel Running, a Flagstaff-born photographer and artist who has spent much of her creative career focusing on life in borderlands, to curate a new exhibit for the church. Border+Crossroads uses art and photography by Running, Alvaro Enciso, Stefan Falke, Ricardo Santas Hernández, Amy Martin, Alisa Zaira Reznick and Ammi Robles to share stories of the people at the border. “There’s a deeper soul that we’re trying to bring [with this exhibit], and it’s part of us,” Running says. “I guess that’s what I’m hoping people will take away from this: It’s not us and them. It’s all of us. Until we’re able to look at ourselves honestly in the mirror and address what the United States has been, then we can make a new vision for what the United States can be. But right now I feel like we’re falling apart.” Border+Crossroads is on display until June 8. This Friday, visit the Epiphany gallery, 423 N. Beaver St., for a special artists’ reception beginning at 6 p.m. Join others in celebrating Mexican culture featuring music by Mariachi Mar y Sol and a buffet by local Mexican chefs followed by a panel discussion with the artists and Roger Babnew of Cruzando Fronteras. www.epiphanyaz.org
FRIDAY | 5.3
THE VOICE OF FLAGSTAFF
You can feel Flagstaff in its cool, mountain air wrapping us within a breeze. You smell it in the fresh pines in the forest or the fragrant hops at one of our many fine breweries (or in the smell of pet food near the Purina factory). And on some weekends you can hear Flagstaff with Flagstaff Sings!, a community choir that aims to blend music and literature. Listen to the voice of Flagstaff with Flagstaff Sings’ presentation of American Quilt: A Patchwork of Songs Friday night at the Doris Harper-White Community Playhouse, 11 W. Cherry Ave. Directed by Analia Romero, the performance will feature steel drum band Steelin’ The Night Away, original music by Rebecca Prizznick and dozens of American folk, rock and pop classics. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $10. More information at www.flagstaffsings.org
SATURDAY | 5.4
SCIENCE FOR ALL
Recent claims by the president and his administration have mischaracterized science as a partisan issue. Do you want clean water for future generations? Must be a snowflake who doesn’t understand that water pollution just happens and we simply have to buy more plastic water bottles and, hey, what about climate change? Does that evidence even stand? In reality, science is everywhere and affects everyone. The third annual March for Science in Flagstaff celebrates advocacy for the scientific process in the face of dissent this weekend as people from all races, religions, gender identity and more come together for the cause. Meet at Thorpe Park, 191 N. Thorpe Rd., at 2 p.m. to march down Aspen St. to City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Ave. T-shirts will be sold for $20. Plus, the electricity at the march will be generated by bikes thanks to Green NAU, so get pedaling.
SATURDAY | 5.4
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
The Flagstaff-based Interference Series has a knack for experimental, out there and downright weird stuff. It’s an experimental program featuring musicians, poets, visual artists and dancers. Now in its fourth season, its mission is “to give a platform to experimental music and performance art that normally wouldn’t have one,” says Interference Series curator Owen Davis. One of the annual events that Davis says hits all the check points of the program’s mission is the 8x8 Festival, a film and music festival combining experimental films with live improvisational music. Over the years, the festival has garnered momentum. As with all Interference events, Davis says attendees can expect the unexpected. “I think one of the reasons why people keep coming back is that they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen,” Davis says. “Each performance is a mystery and a surprise, and I think people really appreciate the novelty of that.” This Saturday at the Coconino Center for the Arts, 2300 N. Fort Valley Road, film and music will blend together to create a unique sonic and visual experience during the third annual 8x8: An Experimental Silent Film & Music Micro-Fest, featuring eight short films, paired with eight music ensembles that will be live-scoring and improvising. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. $12 for general admission, $5 for students. Tickets are available at www.flagartscouncil.com
SUNDAY | 4.5
BEGGING TO BE TOLD
Flag-based writers, readers and lovers of all things lit have done well to offer outlets by and for their peers. And for one event in the coterie, Pinestories Story Slam, the fifth year of off-the-cuff telling has tallied another year. Operating along the lines of slam-style poetry, the audience-picked winners have been selected and will now square off in the Pinestories Grand Slam. A few caveats require each story must come from the stuff of truth, there’s a strict time limit, no notes are allowed and each event bolsters a theme. Having covered “I Want to Believe,” “Happiness” and “Ghosts, Ghouls and Tales of Mystery” to name a couple, we expect this incarnation to fiddle with some heartstrings, offering a more introspective look into the reader and their associated, universal emotions speckled with humor. Ashley “Wil” Williams created Pinestories in 2016 because she saw Flagstaff’s literary scene as more than just a niche group that comes together in support of local literature. It’s an expression of a community with a unique gravitational pull. Listen to the conclusion of the fifth season at Firecreek Coffee Co., 22 E. Rte. 66, from 4–6 p.m. There is some room for one or two non-competitive stories—if you want a chance on the stage without joining the fight send the organizers a message on Facebook or pop off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.