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PHOENIX PHABULOUS EXPERIENCE AND PHOENIX CENTER FOR THE ARTS HOST LIVE OPEN MIC STORYTELLING SHOWCASE ON DEC. 11 TO CREATE PHOENIX COMMUNITY HISTORY MURAL
On December 11 in Downtown Phoenix, storytellers will gather to share their personal connections to major Phoenix time periods at an open mic event designed to help local artists create the first, comprehensive Phoenix history mural.
The public is invited to join celebrity storytellers Bob Boze Bell, Jana Bommersbach, Frank Barrios and Marshall Shore at the Phoenix Phabulous Storytelling Showcase on Wednesday, December 11 at Phoenix Center for the arts. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with open mic hosted for live storytelling from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free and space is limited to the first 200 attendees.
“Stories will enhance downtown Phoenix place making, spotlighting nine major periods in Phoenix history,” said Hugo Medina, artist and mural curator. “Storytellers will help local artists shape a Phoenix history mural to be created the following weekend at Phoenix Festival of the Arts held at Margaret Hance Park.”
Once completed, organizers will install the community history mural at a Downtown Phoenix gallery in spring of 2014, with plans to produce a 3-D animated story of Phoenix.
At the Dec. 11 event, top storytellers will be selected by a panel of listeners and invited by The Arizona Republic to speak at an Arizona Storytellers Project event in 2014 when the community mural is installed in Downtown Phoenix.
Audience participants are invited to share three-minute personal stories connected to life in Phoenix, focused on one of the following Phoenix time periods.
Pre 1867 (ancient Phoenix) – Hohokam heritage and ancient desert life.
1867 to 1880 – Phoenix early pioneer years and the Wild West following the U.S. Civil War.
1881 to 1911 – Phoenix pre-statehood.
1912 to 1945 – Statehood and early Phoenix expansion.
1945 (post World War II) to 1960 – Phoenix economic growth beyond Five “Cs,” including manufacturing.
1960 to 1980 – Boom/bust years and growth away from Downtown Phoenix.
1980 to 2000 – Expansion of sports, culture and early Downtown Phoenix revitalization.
2001 to Today – Biosciences, higher education, more sports and major downtown revitalization.
Imagined Future – Storytellers share ideas for the future of Phoenix.
About Phoenix Phabulous Experience™
Phoenix Phabulous Experience™ is a spectacular, community storytelling experience in Downtown Phoenix founded by Dr. Carol Poore, showcasing Phoenix to the world with the ultimate goal of combining civic engagement, storytelling, and family-friendly entertainment. In attracting residents and visitors to enjoy and explore downtown, Phoenix Phabulous Experience™ forges community-based collaboration through its production.
About Phoenix Center for the Arts
The Phoenix Center for the Arts is the heartbeat of Phoenix’s arts community. Phoenix Center for the Arts produces Phoenix Festival of the Arts, to be held December 13-15, 2013 at Margaret Hance Park. Located in downtown Phoenix and directed by Joseph Benesh, the Center offers Phoenicians an exciting variety of performing and visual arts, both educationally and as a presenting organization. The Center was started in 1975 and run by the City of Phoenix until 2011.
About Hugo Medina, artist and Phoenix history mural curator
Hugo Medina is a renowned Phoenix-based artist and art instructor who specializes in mural storytelling. At Phoenix Festival for the Arts to be held December 13-15, 2013 at Margaret Hance Park, Hugo will coordinate the work of nine participating mural artists to create the first, comprehensive Phoenix history mural.
If you go:
Event: Storytelling showcase by Phoenix Phabulous Experience and Phoenix Center for the Arts
Date: Wednesday, December 11
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Practice your chicken dance, don your favorite walking shoes, and gather your fowl-loving friends for the Valley Permaculture Alliance’s Sustainability Festival and fifth annual Tour de Coops this Saturday at PHX Renews.
Organized in partnership with Keep Phoenix Beautiful at a 15-acre vacant land repurposing project at the northeast corner of Indian School Road and Central Avenue, the free festival features live music, food trucks, raffles, kids’ activities, and sustainability classes along with contests for best chicken call, best chicken dance, and coop design. Bring your mesquite and carob beans for milling into nutritious, tasty flour (continues on November 17).
Visit Valley chicken coops and talk with urban farmers about their feathered flocks and sustainability ideas on the self-guided Tour de Coops. Tickets are $20 for adults ($15 in advance; free for kids 14 and under with adult ticket-holder), and the tour includes a printed guide and map to participating coops throughout Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, and Glendale, along with a bike tour option.
Past tours have featured friendly, helpful chicken owners willing to discuss everything from feed to coop construction to flock-friendly gardening and water harvesting.
All photos courtesy Tour de Coops.
If you go:
- Tour de Coops (adult tickets $15-$20; free for kids 14 and under) and free Sustainability Festival
- Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at PHX Renews and coop sites around the Valley
- Visit tourdecoops.vpaaz.org or call 602-325-1230
- Resources for poultry information and supplies:
One of the best ways to revel in the season is at Local First Arizona’s Certified Local Fall Festival. In its ninth year, the festival continues the tradition of connecting the community with the local businesses that make Arizona special.
According to Erica Pedersen of Local First Arizona (LFA), the largest alliance of independent businesses in the country, “the Certified Local Fall Festival celebrates everything local to Arizona, and brings the community together in a unique environment that draws attention to the importance of the Buy Local movement in Arizona.”
The Certified Local festivities take place this Saturday, November 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Phoenix on Portland Parkway, located at 10 W. Portland St. This is the second year the festival has taken place in its downtown location, which is conveniently adjacent to the Roosevelt and Central light rail station.
You’ll find food, drinks, entertainment and shopping from much-loved local businesses like Postino Wine Cafe, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Zia Records and Bunky Boutique. Plus, you’ll likely find a few new favorites along the way from among the over 100 participating businesses.
This family-friendly event will have plenty to keep the kiddos happy, including a bounce house, arts and crafts and face painting. And well-behaved pooches are invited, too!
The festival is free to attend and food and drink tickets are $1 each. To sweeten the deal a bit more, the first 500 attendees at the festival will receive a gift bag filled with goodies donated by LFA businesses.
New to this year’s event is an online silent auction. All items were donated by LFA members and include things like staycation packages from around Arizona, spa and beauty packages, local art and sports memorabilia. Bidding is currently underway and wraps up on Saturday at 3pm. Check out items and register to bid online.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community for this annual event,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona. “When we first started nine years ago, it was just 25 vendors and several hundred attendees, and now it’s grown into an integral community event. This shows that each year, more and more people are making the connection between our communities’ well being and the strength of our local businesses.”
If you go
When: Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Charitable outreach is an ongoing interest for Fox Restaurant Concepts (FRC). In many different ways — financial, culinary, and more — the Arizona-based restaurant empire supports groups ranging from the American Heart Association’s Phoenix Heart Ball to notMYkid.
Saturday, October 19, FRC presents the music festival YardStock, with a portion of certain proceeds going to the Phoenix Girls Chorus, a nonprofit music education organization welcoming singers from 7-18 and offering six different concert programs this season.
Running from noon to 11 p.m., YardStock features sets from seven local artists: country-tinged rockers 36 Cents and a Dream, singer-songwriters AJ Odneal and Sam Kiles with Sol Trak Union, blues band The Sugar Thieves, Led Zepplin tribute group Song Remains the Same, alternative blues guitarist Lee Perreira, and indie rock duo Vinyl Station.
All performances take place at The Yard, a 53,000-square-foot repurposed central Phoenix motorcycle dealership housing FRC’s Culinary Dropout and Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend restaurants. Other amenities include a shared outdoor patio-courtyard space offering ping-pong, foosball, shuffleboard, and cornhole. Meanwhile, representatives from Slippery Pig Bike Shop plan to tune bikes on site during the festival.
Fundraising opportunities for the Phoenix Girls Chorus will come from the sale of t-shirts provided by Tempe-based Brand X Custom T-Shirts as well as a special promotional offer from luxury transportation provider Uber.
If you go:
Where: The Yard, 5632 N. 7th St.
Date: Saturday, October 19
Time: 12 noon to 11 p.m.
David Krietor has served as President/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 first chat here.
The Fall semester is now in full swing. By the numbers, how many students do we now have in downtown?
Yes, school is back in session and joining us in downtown Phoenix are over 20,000 students.
- 18,500 students in a variety of disciplines at Arizona State University downtown Phoenix campus.
- 1,300 future attorneys at Phoenix College of Law.
- 289 future scientists and researchers at Phoenix Union Bioscience High School.
- 282 future physicians at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.
- 172 future allied health professionals at Northern Arizona University’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus facility.
- 90 Grand Canyon University students happen to reside at the just-opened Roosevelt Point.
Let’s welcome them with open arms and strive to ensure their “home away from home” is the best possible experience.
What is the latest regarding DPI’s organizational capacity?
The Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) Executive Committee approved its affiliate agreement with DPI similar to the agreement signed with the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP). The agreement designates PCA as DPI’s membership affiliate. PCA’s Executive Committee also reviewed a revised PCA mission statement that is focused in part on broadening and deepening their membership base consistent with the makeup of our emerging downtown community. An active group of PCA members and friends drafted the new mission statement.
With agreements in place with our two key affiliates, DPI now must produce a consolidated DPI/PCA/DPP program of work and budget for 2014 that creates synergy, fills in program gaps, and eliminates overlap and inefficiencies.
What are some examples of downtown’s economic and cultural vitality?
Downtown is connected to a diverse collection of neighborhoods whose vibrancy is vital if we are going to have a true downtown “community.” I was reminded recently how diverse we are when I attended the Grant Park Neighborhood Association meeting. The cultural heritage and sense of commitment to a strong urban core are very evident in Grant Park. While there are challenges more complicated than in other downtown neighborhoods, there is also a sense of optimism. The meeting was held in the Grant Park gym. As I was leaving the evening meeting the park was filled with young families and kids playing basketball. In some ways it represents what our aspirations are for community engagement and activity at Margaret T. Hance Park. DPI Advisory Committee Member Eva Olivas and her organization, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, are very much involved in the Grant Park community.
An easy way to get involved? Attend or support an Event!
Here are just a few as event season kicks into high gear:
Downtown, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row
Hance Park/Historic Roosevelt
A.E. England, Downtown
The Duce, Downtown
Downtown, Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row
I also had an opportunity to attend the Central City Village Planning Committee and Evans Churchill Community Association meetings since my last communiqué to you. At the latter, Nichelle Zazueta-Bonow with the City of Phoenix Community & Economic Development Department provided a timetable on sidewalk and shade improvements for Fifth Street from the Phoenix Biomedical Campus to Roosevelt Row. This project, conceived with significant stakeholder input, will improve walkability in the neighborhood. In addition, Bob Diehl of the City of Phoenix Complete Streets Citizens Advisory Committee encouraged interested individuals to review and comment on the City’s Draft Complete Streets Policy. A “complete street” is a design concept that offers guidelines to ensure roads, sidewalks, and other streetscape elements are accessible, convenient, and safe for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The Hance Park Master Plan Design Team, comprised of internationally recognized design experts, held a series of community and stakeholder workshops to seek ideas for an improved Margaret T. Hance Park.
In other good news… Did you hear that the Phoenix Public Market was just rated the fourth best farmers’ market in America by The Daily Meal website? Also, word on the street (Jefferson to be exact) is that the crane over the Hotel Palomar came down and leasing for CityScape Residences atop the hotel will begin soon.
Historic preservation is a hot button issue for many in the community. How is this type of advocacy and leadership carrying over to other development issues?
While the City of Phoenix has a long-standing and nationally recognized ordinance supporting historic preservation, we continue to have instances where buildings that represent our past are demolished or threatened. One only needs to look at the Orpheum Theatre, Bentley Projects, Ellis Shackelford House, Winship House, and Hanny’s to see how historic properties can contribute to the richness of downtown.
Circle K wants to abandon their current store on the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Roosevelt and expand on the block south on an empty lot where a vintage warehouse once stood. Over significant neighborhood objection a year ago, Circle K rescinded their plan. The company is back with a revised plan and application for a liquor license. Councilman Michael Johnson and DPI have strongly encouraged Circle K representatives to communicate with the impacted neighborhood associations.
Why are neighborhood and downtown advocates opposed to Circle K’s expansion? Linked here are letters from numerous downtown and neighborhood groups, including several DPI partners (City of Phoenix, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Downtown Voices Coalition, and Phoenix Community Alliance) outlining concern about crime, noise, traffic congestion, and/or lackluster building and site design at the northeast gateway into our downtown. View the proposed site plan here.
Several City-led efforts are underway that may help the situation in the future:
- Mayor Greg Stanton is seeking the advice of historic preservation advocates, urban planners, and developers with significant experience in historic rehabilitation on finding additional incentives for preservation, refining city procedures and processes to encourage preservation, and prioritizing key preservation projects citywide. I’m happy to serve on the informal panel, and I’m learning a great deal about our city’s heritage, including our “place in the sun” with nationally acclaimed post-World War II architecture.
- This spring and summer, two citizen panels examined the strengths and weaknesses of existing urban infill policies, programs, incentives, and requirements. On October 9 at the A.E. England Building in Civic Space Park, these Infill Advisory Groups and city Planning and Development Department staff will present the groups’ discussions, work plans, and Phase I recommendations. I encourage you to attend the public meeting if your schedule permits.
What do you hear from the Downtown Voices Coalition?
For over nine years, the Downtown Voices Coalition, today chaired by DPI Board Member Tim Eigo, has met on the second Saturday of each month to discuss downtown issues from a grassroots and neighborhood perspective. A diverse group of 25-plus community members attended Saturday’s meeting and their agenda was lengthy and lively (which they readily admit is usually the case).
- Richard Stanley from ASU previewed plans to move the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law from the Tempe campus to downtown Phoenix into a new Arizona Center for Law and Society on the site of the demolished Sahara/Ramada motel.
- Ray Dovalina with the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department provided an update on the city’s move to approve a Complete Streets Policy and news of upcoming improvements on Grand Avenue and First Street between Washington and Moreland.
- Catrina Kahler of Artlink Phoenix outlined several significant organizational moves to further engrain art – and Artlink – into downtown’s revitalization. (Kahler is also publisher of DPJ)
- Sean Sweat of Thunderdome Neighborhood Association for Non-Auto Mobility outlined a street parking plan for the Evans Churchill neighborhood that is now being vetted by local stakeholders and city officials for adoption.
There are few “sounding boards” like the Downtown Voices Coalition, and the open exchange and frank debate have made for a better community.