Downtown is Throwing a Spectacular Party and YOU ARE INVITED!
Join with Artlink, Downtown Phoenix, Inc., Mayor Greg Stanton, artists, business leaders, and lovers of all things downtown to celebrate the essential role that the arts play in making Phoenix special.
This event promises to be a feast for the eyes and ears with art installations, video projections, music, food and drink.
Mayor Greg Stanton will highlight the significant progress of downtown Phoenix during his first “Celebrate Downtown” address at the event, marking the collaborative contributions of businesses, entrepreneurs, artists and his own agenda to rebuild neighborhood identity, culture and business.
The event is Artlink’s kick-off to Art Detour 26, March 8-9, Artlink will be exhibiting artwork provided by artists who will be opening their studios for Detour weekend.
Another featured installation will be the Phoenix Phabulous History Mural, making its debut at the Gala. The mural, created by local artists with help from Phoenix historians, authors and storytellers, is the the initial collection of 12 murals portrays nine distinct Phoenix time periods.
The music and video experience will be provided by DJ Sean Watson and Matt Castleberry. Food and drink will be available for purchase from Crescent Ballroom, including three signature cocktails created specially for the event: the Phoenix Sunrise, Living in Color, and City Blue. The Paletas Betty food truck will have gourmet ices.
In addition to the art, music and food, and the Mayor’s address, Walter the Bus and Big Red will bring lights and excitement to the street outside Crescent Ballroom. Residents of Walter Studios, Walter is a huge, oversized VW bus built on the frame of a Walter fire engine, and Big Red is an equally oversized VW Bug. Equipped with a sound system and a dazzling array of lights, both Walter and Big Red will provide a larger-than-life street experience for gala attendees.
For 26 years, Artlink, Inc. has been encouraging people to discover downtown through the arts. Over that time, the artists and arts entrepreneurs that make downtown their home have had a profoundly positive impact on our city. So…polish your dancing shoes and deck yourself out in your fanciest, most colorful attire and join the liveliest party of the spring!
What: Art d’Core Gala (Dress colorfully in “fun formal” attire.)
When: Saturday, March 1, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Where: Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave.
Tickets: Admission is free. RSVP here. The event is open to all ages.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
When the New York Times Great Homes and Destinations section noted, “What You Get for… $900,000,” guess what popped up first? Why this little gem in our very own Willo Historic District. This is a reminder that downtown Phoenix is not only home to a growing number of condos and apartments filling in vacant lots, but established single family neighborhoods (and neighbors).
Meet the New City Manager
Congratulations are in order for Phoenix’s new City Manager and DPI Board member Ed Zuercher. After a six-month national search, Ed was selected to replace David Cavazos. Ed is a 20-year city employee and had been acting manager since Cavazos left in October.
At a press conference on February 18, Mayor Greg Stanton announced that Phoenix is among a select few U.S. cities that will work with Google to deliver the company’s ultra high-speed Google Fiber network to local residents, businesses, and education centers. Greater Phoenix was one of only nine metropolitan areas chosen as potential sites for the network, and the City of Phoenix – along with Scottsdale and Tempe – will work with Google teams over the next several months to take the necessary steps to roll out this cutting-edge technology to the Valley.
Take an Art Detour
The 26th Annual Art Detour, March 8-9, 2014, will be an exceptional celebration of artists and their important contribution to the vibrancy of downtown Phoenix.
More than 100 spaces, including working artist studios, unique art spaces, galleries, cultural venues, restaurants and retailers will open their doors to make this the best two-day, all-access pass to the downtown arts scene in Detour’s 26-year history.
Celebrate the Art d’Core
To kick things off, join Mayor Greg Stanton on Saturday, March 1, at the Art d’Core Gala, a celebration of the significant role the arts have played in invigorating and adding color to our downtown. The event is sponsored by Downtown Phoenix, Inc., CityScape, Phoenix Convention Center, City of Phoenix Aviation Department, Support Sky Harbor Coalition and benefits Artlink Phoenix Inc.
Stay the Night
Also getting into the art spirit is the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, which now offers an Art Package so visitors and locals alike can experience the downtown’s growing art scene. Local DJs and visual artists are featured on a rotating basis, and guests upon check-in receive a complimentary Artlink Phoenix map of galleries, studios, and art-friendly businesses.
Check out the Fourth Annual Mardi Gras and Parade, which will headquarter at CityScape. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on March 1, revel with the help of a DJ curated soundtrack, creepy masks, vendors and, of course, beads.–UPDATE: THE PARADE IS CANCELLED; OTHER FESTIVITIES CONTINUE.
View the New Venue
The Pressroom, located at 441 W. Madison Street, opened this month. Built in the 1920′s, the 14,000 square foot, red brick building once housed the city’s most modern printing press. Now the site offers ample indoor and outdoor space for concerts, weddings, private parties, corporate meetings, performing and visual arts, and sporting events.
No Festival of Film
No Festival Required is organizing a Sunday matinee music-oriented documentary film series at the Phoenix Center for the Arts through the month of May. Local photographer and videographer Steve Weiss created No Festival Required in 2002 to help boost the art form of film in downtown Phoenix, first through short film screenings and now primarily documentaries.
The Taste of Phoenix
Six Arizonans have been named semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards, the restaurant industry’s version of the Academy Awards. Three of the six have strong ties to downtown Phoenix: Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco (pictured right), Sam Fox of The Arrogant Butcher, and Silvana Salcido Esparza of The Barrio Cafe.
Sponsor Bike Share
Final negotiations are in process with several key sponsors for Grid Bike Share. These efforts will continue, with a focus on sponsorship collaboration opportunities for local retailers. A 200-bike Grid program rollout is slated to begin the week of April 21, with plans for a major intro event in coordination with the City of Phoenix and Valley Metro. Rollout will finish in May with a total of 500 Grid bikes at 50 stations.
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Roosevelt Row CDC Celebrates Downtown Vision at The Nash
WHAT: Come celebrate the debut of Roosevelt Row’s visioning publication: “Roosevelt Row Artists’ District: Creative Placemaking in Downtown Phoenix,” showcasing community feedback for downtown development and participation.
WHERE: The Nash, 110 East Roosevelt Street #110, Phoenix AZ 85004
● $10 online, or at the door
● $35 online, includes a paperback book copy of the publication
● $50 online, includes a hardcover book copy of the publication
WHO: The internationally celebrated jazz venue, The Nash, will host this celebration, with award-winning local restaurants Mamma Toledo’s, Pizza People Pub, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Welcome Diner, Lumberyard Brewing Co. and live performance by Arizona School for the Arts. Presentation led by Roosevelt Row CDC co-founder Cindy Dach, Leslie Lindo of Project Rising, and Roosevelt Row CDC Board President Vermon Pierre.
WHY: This document is the first publication of its kind in Roosevelt Row, highlighting the accomplishments of community collaboration in the past decade and goals for downtown progress for the next decade.
Event information: www.rooseveltrow.org/create
Ticket information: https://visioninglaunchparty.splashthat.com/
How does a downtown hotel celebrate its second birthday? If it’s the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, they mark the occasion with an elaborate block party, replete with an adult hot chocolate bar, lobster corn dogs, Dave Damiani & the No Vacancy Orchestra and a silent auction, with proceeds to benefit the O’Connor House.
A luxurious celebration, for sure, but one that is representative of the relationship the Renaissance has built with the downtown community in only a couple of years. It is the perfect opportunity to, as General Manager Paige Lund says, “share the personality of this great city and the soul of this great city, because there’s a lot of it.”
Having opened its doors in January 2012, the former Wyndham property had undergone a renovation a few years prior, but the Renaissance team has actively transformed the space, updating guest rooms, fitness center and club lounge to create a cohesive space that reflects its downtown environs. A lifestyle brand within the Marriott portfolio, Renaissance partners with each city in which it is located to promote what Lund describes as “the experiential side.”
We asked the Navigators to share some of the gems they suggest to visitors. Here are a few highlights.
Downtown Deli (for the chicken noodle soup!)
Orpheum Theatre (for shows or the Tuesday guided tour)
Hotel guests are referred to as “Discoverers,” while concierges are “Navigators,” helping to plan their visit. While visitors are known to come to the Valley for the weather, the golfing and other outdoor activities, the navigators introduce Phoenix-centric cultural elements, such as local museums, restaurants, and live music. “The places where a local would go,” according to Lund. The hotel even offers a tour of downtown murals.
“They navigate those that stay with us to all the hidden gems, all the local flavor, the best places to sip, savor, shop and see that you wouldn’t otherwise know about if someone local didn’t tell you.”
The most integral local component that the Renaissance has incorporated into its décor, programming, and overall mission is the local arts scene. The guestrooms are filled with photographs that resulted from a student competition with the Phoenix Union High School District; the chandeliers in the ballroom were made by local artisans; and most recently the hotel added its very own gallery, Shade West.
Located in the west wing of the hotel, the non-profit gallery space is run by Shade Projects, with exhibitions changing every four-to-six weeks. The gallery was a natural progression of the partnership the Renaissance has developed with the downtown arts scene. While Lund does not have a formal arts background, she notes that Lead Navigator Jesse Perry is an artist. Many other staff members are well versed in the arts, while others have earned an arts education through their time working here.
The partnership between Shade Projects and the hotel was cemented during a nearly eight-month video project for the hotel that was directed and photographed by Wayne Rainey. The video deftly portrays the relationship Renaissance strives for—a luxury hotel within the heart of a vibrant downtown.
Of the video, Rainey says, “We wanted to create a sense of place. We wanted to create something that said, ‘Check this out. Here are the people of our neighborhood.’ … It’s authentic marketing. It’s almost a lost art, but it’s so cool, and it’s honest, and it works.”
Event Manager William Stratton sees a successful payoff already in terms of the perception of the hotel’s guests. “People have started to identify us with knowledge and being well versed in the arts, generally speaking.”
Says Stratton, “I appreciate what art does to a person. I appreciate how it makes you think independently and critically. Art represents what it represents to the individual regardless of what is on that canvas, regardless of what is being molded, it’s what does that represent to yourself. … I love how people see different things. I love how it’s not the same, ever.”
Understanding and integrating the arts extends throughout the Renaissance. Lund was recently honored with the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association 2014 Hotelier of the Year award, showing how downtown Phoenix is being recognized at the state level.
For everyone in Phoenix, in the hospitality industry or otherwise, the big focus is next February’s Super Bowl. Lund indicates that the hotel is already booked by the NFL. “This is Phoenix’s chance to really show everyone what we’re about.”
Between block parties and local community partnerships, the Renaissance is establishing itself as the downtown venue to showcase the urban core of the Valley. “We’ve just really chosen to embrace what this brand stands for,” Lund says of the boutique hotel. “They give you a great foundation, what you do with it is what’s so important. We have just chosen to do it on steroids.”
If you go:
Renaissance Second Annual Birthday Bash
Date: February 22, 2013
Time: 7 to 11 p.m.
Location: 50 E. Adams St.
Featured image courtesy of Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel
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NO FESTIVAL REQUIRED PRESENTS NEW FILM SERIES
“Sunday Matinees at Phoenix Center for the Arts”
FIRST FILM- “SWEET DREAMS”
A film by Lisa Fruchtman and Rob Fruchtman
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16 2014, 1:30 PM (DOORS AT 1 PM)
Location: Third Street Theater, Phoenix Center for the Arts
1202 North 3rd Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
Tickets $7.00 (advance online ticket details at- http://phoenixcenterforthearts.org/events/)
Synopsis: Rwanda’s first and only all women’s drumming troupe is called Ingoma Nshya. Made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the troupe offers a place of support, healing and reconciliation. When the group decides to partner with two young American entrepreneurs, Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen of Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream, and open Rwanda’s first ever ice cream shop, these remarkable Rwandan women embark on a journey of independence, peace and possibility. SWEET DREAMS interweaves intimate, heart-wrenching stories with joyous and powerful music to present a moving portrait of a country in transition.
Running time – 84 minutes
THE REST OF THE SERIES, ALL SUNDAYS 1:30 PM MATINEES!
April 13-REGGAE GOT SOUL-The story of Toots and the Maytals