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79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner Expands to Full-Day Fest & New Downtown Phoenix Location
Presented by APS, this event brings Valley Mayors & their chosen tamale-makers together for charity!
On November 15th, 2014, the 79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner will move into its new event location at The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and present an exciting day of family-friendly festival activities.
Presented by APS and organized by Friendly House, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that has proudly served the local community since 1920, their annual Tamale Dinner is the longest continuously running fundraiser in Arizona. Now with a new location and challenge to expand the event offerings, Friendly House hopes to bring a day of fun to downtown Phoenix from noon to 10pm. “Last year, we ventured into a partnership with 16 Valley Mayors to compete in the inaugural ‘Battle of the Tamales,’” says Lourdes Sierra, Tamale Dinner Chair. “This year, we are seeking Mayoral support again, only now with even more entertainment for attendees of all ages.”
Event committee members are striving to secure the participation of approximately 12 Valley Mayors, who will each in turn identify a selected hometown restaurant to showcase their tamale offerings to event-goers. These vendors will sell tamales of various types (chicken, pork, beef, etc.) along with side items to attendees. A selected number of restaurants offering unique twists on traditional tamales will be invited to participate in the festival as well.
At the event, a main stage will be erected at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren, facing a large grass area where attendees will be encouraged to lounge all day to watch bands, dance troupes, and other entertainment in between bites of tamales and related Mexican fare. A beer garden will be set up under a picturesque cluster of trees, adjacent to another large grass area where a majority of the tamale vendors will be positioned. VIPs will enjoy access to a lovely tiered promenade of the Arizona Center, where a private bar, catering stations, and other surprises await.
The Friendly House will raise funds through sales of tickets, beverages, sponsorships, and a portion of tamale sales. Collectively, the money raised from the Tamale Dinner & Festival will provide tools and resources for individuals of all ages that participate in their stellar programs which fall within four pillars: Education (Helping Children & Adults Succeed in Education), Family Services (Improving Families Health & Wellness), Immigration (Providing Legal Service, Outreach and Advocacy), and Workforce Development (Increasing Financial Stability and Workforce Readiness).
When: Saturday, November 15, 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: The Arizona Center, 400 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Cost: General Admission: $12 (includes 3 food & drink tickets)
General Admission Upgrade: $20 (includes 8 food & drink tickets)
VIP: $60 (includes 16 food & drink tickets, and access to VIP Lounge)
Kids 10 & Under: Free (does not include food & drink tickets)
Additional food & drink tickets cost $2 each
Parking: $5 in the adjacent garage; meters around event site; side street where available
Images courtesy of Friendly House.
Downtown Civic Space Park is coming to life this weekend with two free events.
On Saturday, celebrate Arizona music with the Crescent Ballroom folks as they present two stages of entertainment featuring Arizona musicians from 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the park. Los Dias de la Crescent is a free, all ages event featuring an amazing lineup of 17 bands, along with food trucks and a full no host bar. (No blankets or lawn chairs allowed)
“I’m very excited for our two days,” said Charlie Levy of Crescent Ballroom. “Civic Space Park is one of my favorite places in Phoenix, and it’s just one block from Crescent. It’s time for Arizona music lovers to enjoy bands playing in the park.”
Featured bands include Black Carl, Orkesta Mendoza, SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKES!, Dry River Yacht Club, Sincerely Collins & Miny,¡Caray!, Bogan Via, Playboy Manbaby, Gospel Claws, IAMWE, and more, more, more.
As the evening chill descends (around 9:00 p.m.) the festivities will move from the park to Crescent Ballroom and the music will continue until 2:00 a.m.
On Sunday night, Civic Space Park will play host to “Bike-In Movie at the Park,” another FREE event featuring food trucks, a full bar, and a screening of the Coen Brothers film Raising Arizona, along with “The Best of Dinerwood,” a collection of Phoenix short films presented by Welcome Diner. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to relax and enjoy the screenings. (Sunday event only, no blankets or lawn chairs on Saturday.) This event will also feature food trucks and a full bar.
What: Los Dias de la Crescent – all day music festival celebrating Arizona bands
When: Saturday, November 15, 1:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Downtown Civic Space Park (at 9:00 p.m. the show moves to Crescent Ballroom)
Cost: FREE (no blankets or lawn chairs allowed)
What: Bike-In Movie at the Park, featuring Raising Arizona and “The Best of Dinerwood” – Phoenix short films presented by Welcome Diner.
When: Sunday, November 16, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Downtown Civic Space Park.
Cost: FREE (bring blankets and lawn chairs.)
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Highlights of the Grand Avenue Festival and Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts
The free Grand Avenue Festival, November 8th from 11am – 9pm, produced by the Grand Avenue Members Association, is ramping it up this year with their partnership with the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts (PAPA). Complete Festival information, including a Festival Guide, can be found at the main info table at 1501 Grand Avenue (corner of Grand/Roosevelt/15th Avenue); in front of Bragg’s Pie Factory (1301 Grand), and at the La Melgosa building(1023 Grand). Visitors can also print their own Festival Guides at: www.grandavenuephx.wordpress.com
The Grand Avenue Festival and PAPA have similar missions of bringing the arts and community together. The combined events will be a celebration of the vibrant culture, art, history and adaptive re-use of the Lower Grand Avenue Arts and Small Business District, as well as an audience participatory arts and performance parade.
Free on-street parking is available on both sides of Grand Avenue from Roosevelt to Van Buren; in the lot just east of Treehouse Bakery (1348 W. Roosevelt); on the west side of the PAPA staging area; Bragg’s Pie Factory parking lot (1301 Grand – ONLY after the craft fair ends at 5:30); and various side streets and smaller parking lots. Free pedi-cabs will be available during the day; visitors are encouraged to bike and use the temporary bike racks installed by Valley Metro for the day at – Thirdspace, 1028 Grand; La Melgosa,1023 Grand; and Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 Grand.
The PAPA staging area is at the lot south of the Oasis on Grand (1501 Grand), and will host Otherworlds Faerie Festival, the Goblin Market, and the Moon Mermaid, as well as other eclectic and magical entertainment. Visitors can make their own masks and costumes for the PAPA parade and also participate in a variety of children’s crafts at the PAPA lot and in the courtyard of the Oasis on Grand.
The Untrashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show, a festival highlight each year, will take the stage at 4pm, and travel south to Mckinley to show off fashions made primarily from trash and recycled materials. Judging and prizes will take place at 4:30 at the PAPA stage.
The actual PAPA parade, complete with Taiko drummers, stilt walkers, fabulous costumes, and creative, non-motorized floats, leaves the staging area at Roosevelt and 15th Avenue at 6pm, and heads south on Grand, continuing to Van Buren, then returning to the stage for judging and prizes around 7:30pm. Parade and fashion show participants can register on-site the day of the event at the PAPA info table. The section of Grand from Roosevelt to Van Buren will be closed to through traffic from 6 – 7:30pm ONLY.
Historic building tours will take place at 11am and 2pm (meet your tour guide at the info table in front of Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 Grand) as well as tours of the new artist-decorated planters, at 11am and 3pm (same start location). Visitors can also pick up planter and building maps for their own self-guided tours.
The planters were installed in 2013 as part of a streetscape re-design that included enhanced lighting, new asphalt, artist-designed crosswalks, green bike lanes, and permanent on-street parking. Artists who decorated planters include Tammi Lynch-Forrest, Bill Dambrova, Mindy Timm, Denise Yaghmourian, Dave Jarvinen, Michelle Legler, Villa Montessori School, Michele Hill, Tosca Kerr, Melinda Bergman, Lara Plecas, husband and wife team Art and Jenny Zelov, Robert Gentile and many others. Various artists and local schools have created fantastic plants and flowers that will be displayed in the planters the day of the event, using recycled materials. Two free, audience participatory mosaic projects will be taking place from Noon – 5pm at the intersection of Grand and Fillmore, led by local artists Tammi Lynch-Forrest and Kris Kollasch.
Over 50 bands, with a whole range of sounds, will be featured at various venues throughout the day (pick up a schedule at the info tables or in the Festival Guide). Other highlights of the day’s activities include the “Retro Vintage – Yesterday Today” fashion show at Gallery Marsiglia, 1022 Grand, from 4 – 5pm, featuring unique jewelry designs, a flamenco performance, and a sidewalk runway show; the Grand Avenue Craft Fair from 11am – 5:30 pm, 1301 Grand, with over 40 vendors of unique handmade arts and crafts; and the Peace Train, an artist-designed and furnished ‘train’ with interactive rooms, a colorfully lit exterior at night, and a message of peace – sponsored by Walter Studios. A live mural painting project will take place at 1015 Grand (between La Melgosa and Grand Avenue Garage). The “CHill on Grand Scavenger Hunt” will begin at 1818 Grand, where festival-goers can pick up scavenger clue cards and then have fun finding items hidden within the Festival.
Maps for the quirky Hanging Garden and Woven Fences project, a project sponsored by the Kooky Krafts Shop each year, are available at the info tables (or enclosed in the Festival Guides). Projects this year include an 8 ft. long papier mache dragon by Carolyn Watson Dubisch (this year’s poster designer); a Metallic Dream Tree by Denise Yaghmourian; a fence weaving “You Are Grand” by the Confetti Club; a mixed media fence installation by XPLFNT called “FMRL”; whimsical Wig and Petticoat Flower Gardens by Beatrice Moore, and many more.
Visitors can also take a self-guided tour of some of the unique working art studios in the neighborhood. A list of art studios is available in the Festival Guide. And several exhibits of note during the day include the ArtFarm Collective inaugural exhibit at the Oasis on Grand, 1501 Grand; “WEARizona” at Bragg’s Pie Factory (1301 Grand), a showcase of Southwest historic and contemporary fashion curated by Arizona’s favorite Hip Historian Marshall Shore; and “Disappearance”, by S. Gayle Stevens at the Tilt 2 Community Gallery (915 W. Fillmore), featuring wet-plate tintype photograms of bees depicting the bee colony collapse disorder.
For those interested in transportation issues, visitors can find out more about the proposed Grand Avenue Rail Project, by visiting their info table at Motley Design Group, 1114 Grand. Or get info on the new Grid Bike Share program, including some demo bikes, at the new racks in front of the Bragg’s Pie Factory building.
Grand Avenue Festival sponsors include ABC Scapes, Downtown Phoenix Journal, Grand Avenue Members Association, New Times, Oasis on Grand, Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts, and the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation.
Featured planter art by Michelle Legler.
Images courtesy of Grand Avenue Members Association.
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2014 CALA International Festival Returns to Phoenix
Announcing new offerings of unique Latino cultural experiences
Celebración Artística de las Americas [CALA] International Festival returns to the heart of downtown Phoenix on November 7 & 8, exploring and celebrating the dynamic fusion of Latino cultural expression through the arts. This year’s focus will be on the evolution of Cumbia music. Cumbia, described by some as “the musical backbone of Latin America,” is an energetic style of music with multinational roots in Africa and Latin America.
The 2014 CALA International Festival is the marquee event of CALA Alliance. This unique organization is dedicated to creating an ongoing international festival showcasing the Valley’s Latino cultural heritage and highlighting Arizona’s ties to Latin America. This cutting-edge celebration of the arts and culture of the Americas will feature local, national and international performances by musicians, a series of talks engaging visual and performance artists, art exhibitions, and culinary experiences. The festival takes place November 7-8, 2014 at Civic Space Park in downtown Phoenix. CALA Lab launches the festival from 7-9 p.m. on Friday night, and entertainment continues on Saturday from 2-10 p.m. with CALA Cumbia, a free outdoor concert.
Curated by ASU Art Museum’s Julio César Morales, this year’s festival incorporates talents from throughout the Americas. “The festival extracts from our own multi-cultural experience to suggest the ways we are all shaped by our time and place,” Morales says. “Rather than push for a big picture of globalized society, the festival attempts to uncover something subtler and more illuminating to connect with – a dynamic fusion of cultural expression and new traditions of experiencing Latino culture as a gateway to broader international connections.”
“The CALA board is thrilled to be entering into its fourth festival year and pleased by its ongoing collaboration with local and international artists that celebrate our ties to Latin America. This is set to be the best festival yet,” said CALA Alliance President Rubén Álvarez.
CALA Alliance values the importance of collaboration with its different partners, including APS. “APS is honored to serve as a principal sponsor for the CALA 2014 International Festival,” said Miguel Bravo, APS manager-Strategic Partnerships. “The APS team wholeheartedly supports the CALA Alliance’s continued initiative to showcase the importance of Latino cultural heritage and diverse, artistic expression within this community. We are equally privileged to serve as an advocate for Latino culture throughout our great state. Latinos are an integral part of our customer base and our community. It benefits all of our customers when we support organizations that enhance the lives of our friends and neighbors.”
CALA Lab offers music, art and engagement, creating a fluid evening of talking, seeing and learning. Featured is an enriched dialogue with three expert panelists: Tijuana-native chef Javier Plascencia, new Phoenix Symphony Virginia G. Piper Music Director Tito Muñoz, and renowned Mexico City curator Aldo Sánchez. Topics discussed include the explosion of new food and wine movements in Baja California, international artists’ place in the Valley’s artistic community, and a presentation on the evolution of one of Mexico’s most visited museums, Museo del Estanquillo. Josh Kun, contributing writer for The New York Times, Annenberg professor of Latin American art, and the founder of the USC Annenberg distinguished Lecture Series on Latin American Arts & Culture, will moderate the evening’s discussions. A series of art exhibitions will be displayed in the A.E England atrium constructed around influences ranging from traditional art to contemporary photography and installation, with works on paper and video. The exhibition will include international, national and local artists such as Ana Teresa Fernández, Rogelio Gutiérrez, Ashley Macías, Alejandro Almanza Perada and curatorial collaborations with Palabra Collective, a unique community of visual and performing artists.
Tickets: $35 for the CALA Lab and $15 for the After Party.
2014 CALA International Festival
Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, 2 – 10 p.m.
Civic Space Park
Featuring distinct elements – CALA Cumbia (music) and CALA Arte (art exhibitions) brings a fun fusion of food, cultural experiences and fun for all ages. Silk screening and mask-making workshops led by local experts are available from 2-5 p.m. in the A.E. England Building, along with a unique mural and storytelling project with Childsplay and other youth activities outside in the park. CALA Cumbia takes center stage from 5-10 p.m. with featured musicians Chucha Santamaría from Puerto Rico/San Francisco, DJ Juan Camaney, Tucson’s Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, Los Angeles’ DJ Lengua, and Camilo Lara of the Mexican Institute of Sound from Mexico
Images courtesy of CALA Alliance.
On the tiny, intimate stage of Space 55, director Charlie Steak and the cast of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play create a surprisingly convincing environment of impromptu community clinging to the familiar after the unthinkable occurs.
“It’s a fantastic choice for us,” says Steak. “At Space 55 what we really want to do is new, innovative work; usually that means doing original scripts.” He continues, “In this case…this script is something that most of us wish that we had written.”
At the 50-seat venue, says Steak, “we want what we do to be affordable and within reach, but that’s not our mission by itself. Our mission is to allow artists to do things that the gatekeepers at traditional theaters prevent.”
Steak, who wrote the play Woman and Girl and an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, came to Phoenix seven years ago from PlayMakers at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He’s worked extensively with Rising Youth Theatre, Essential Theatre, and Space 55, where he’s currently serving as Associate Artistic Director and troupe member. Steak’s upcoming productions include another installment of the interactive Captain Jack’s Space Attack, with its signature drinking song and audience participation, and Space 55’s 7 Minutes shows, which give local performers seven minutes in which to do anything they want.
Why choose playwright Anne Washburn’s very quirky Mr. Burns? “The Simpsons survive the apocalypse,” Steak explains succinctly. “That’s enough, just by itself.”
He laughs and adds, “The basic idea is you have a group of people after the power grid has gone down — they’re living in a small group for mutual protection, a lot like the people in The Walking Dead, and so they’re sitting around a campfire trying to remember this episode of The Simpsons — that’s the first part…almost like a jigsaw puzzle. And what’s truly fascinating is the bits that they get right, and the bits that they don’t quite get right.”
“And then they go on to become a group of people who start performing episodes of The Simpsons. And this is when perhaps 99% of the population in America is gone, yet The Simpsons survive.”
With an eight-person cast ably supported in the third act by three musicians — Lali Breen, Jeremy Brunansky, and Ron Foligno — Mr. Burns uses the “Cape Feare” episode as its focus. “It’s like going inside an onion,” says Steak. “You’ve got the original [1962 Gregory Peck] Cape Fear movie, you’ve got the  DeNiro version of the Cape Fear movie, then you’ve got the Simpsons’ spoof of the DeNiro Cape Fear movie, and then you’ve got this show, so that’s a lot of layers.”
Washburn joined composer Michael Friedman for Mr. Burns, creating a thoughtfully realistic first act taking place immediately after the power failure, a second act set seven years later, and a completely surreal musical-theater third act following 75 years later. The ensemble includes Cynthia Elek, Brianne Holland-Stergar, Rebecca Brosnan, Toni Jourdan, Cody Goulder, Robert Peters, and Lee Quarrie.
“I’m interested in popular culture,” says Steak. “After the apocalypse these people are…preserving it, and you think about everything you have to deal with…food, water, shelter, safety — but no, there’s room for The Simpsons!” He chuckles. “This is pretty amazing.”
If you go: