Arts & Culture
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Roosevelt Row Activates Phoenix Alley Way for New Year’s Eve Celebration
While the east coast celebrates the ball drop in New York Times Square, downtown Phoenix locals will ring in 2015 in their own creative style – with the first ever New Year’s Eve Flannel Ball, hosted in an art-activated alleyway in Roosevelt Row. With attendees dressed head to toe in flannel under the Phoenix night sky, this event is poised to become a favorite downtown tradition, celebrating the uniqueness of the downtown Phoenix arts district.
“Arts is the foundation of this community,” said Nicole Underwood, Director of Operations for Roosevelt Row CDC. “This inaugural art-activated celebration will be a fantastic way to ring in the New Year, with so many reasons to celebrate our area’s local creative culture.”
To date, Roosevelt Row CDC has created vibrancy in downtown Phoenix by activating typically vacant spaces with art, such as converted dirt lots into community gardens, repurposing shipping containers into art galleries, and now hosting an event in an alley way with music, art and local culture.
Roosevelt Row will bring together Arizonans and visitors from across valley to activate an alleyway in the arts district, where people can congregate for New Year’s Eve to hear a lineup of up-and-coming local musical acts, experience “New on Old” Art Show with over 50 proud participating artists from Phoenix, enjoy food trucks, lawn games, a photo booth, a beer garden provided by New Belgium Brewing Company and other notable traditions that make the Flannel Ball a unique New Year’s Eve experience.
From 9:00 pm to 2:00 am New Year’s Eve night, an alleyway on 6th street and Roosevelt will come to life to ring in 2015, with an original New Year’s countdown hosted by Phoenix Mayor’s Art Award 2014 Recipient and host of Phoenix Storytellers, Dan Hull. The climax of the year concludes with the drop of an odd and campy Lawn Gnome Pinata.
Tickets are $15 and available for purchase at Lawn Gnome Publishing on 5th Street and Roosevelt or online at www.eventbrite.com. Admission is $20 day of the event. Tickets are limited.
The inaugural New Year’s Eve Flannel Ball & Art Show is “plaidly” brought to you by Lawn Gnome Publishing, 909 Housing Collective, Roosevelt Growhouse & GrowOp, and Roosevelt Row CDC.
For Tickets: http://bit.ly/
Downtown is more than a grid system of streets and square miles. It is an experience made up of the sights, sounds, feel and tastes unique to the place. In this short series, DPJ contributor, Colin Columna hones in on the five senses as his guide to explore the distinct qualities of downtown Phoenix.
Setting our sights on the Burton Barr Library, near the intersection of Central Avenue and McDowell Road, we visit one of Phoenix’s most invaluable, yet often overlooked, resources. The Arizona Room, located on the second floor of the eye-catching Will Bruder designed landmark, houses a meticulously curated collection of books, periodicals, journals, letters, maps and other materials relating to the city of Phoenix, the state of Arizona, and the geology, archaeology, and natural history of the desert Southwest.
The glass sided enclosure is a pre-Wikipedia time portal of first-hand accounts, primary sources, old school sleuthing and, due to the nature of the materials, writing in pencil. Within the archives are newspaper stories and handwritten letters of the westward facing pioneers, fortune seeking miners, prospectors and dreamers, and civic leaders and city boosters who homesteaded, staked out claims and labored to build a new city in the Arizona Territory of pre-1914 statehood.
Arizona Census data on mircofilm from 1870-1930 and extant city directories to 1892 provide researchers and genealogists with the names, relationships and addresses of early Phoenix households. Highly detailed citywide Sanborn maps of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, originally drafted for insurance companies to determine potential liability, today provide urban planners with insight into the historic platting of Phoenix’s streets and neighborhoods and the city’s population patterns of growth and mobility. Historic preservationists reference the maps to determine a building’s significance and historical context.
U.S. Army Headquarters records from Fort Verde, Interior Department territorial appointment papers and historic surveyor and topographical maps offer details into the government’s effort to gain control over Arizona’s challenging environment and Native populations. However broad the scope of the collection, each archival document adds to our understanding of Arizona’s progression from Territory, to admittance as the 48th state of the union, to today’s geographic ranking the sixth largest state in the country.
The foundation for the collection began with the 1934 bequest of the personal papers and photographs of James Harvey McClintock. Journalist, historian and member of the Rough Riders, McClintock’s life and exploits read like the stuff of a nineteenth century wild west dime novel. At fifteen, he joined a traveling circus headed for Phoenix and worked as a “barker” in front of the tents erected on an empty lot on West Washington Street. He directed this talent for creating “buzz” in tirelessly promoting his new hometown as President of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, President of the Arizona Folklore Society, President of the Arizona Archaeological Society and State Historian. Energetic and ambitious he was member of the first graduating class of Tempe Normal School in 1887, also the town’s Justice of the Peace, one of the three surveyors of the future Roosevelt Dam site, lifelong friend with President and fellow Rough Rider Teddy Roosevelt and 25 year correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. As a journalist he reported on events as he lived them and as a historian he carefully archived all of the clippings.
Unlike the library’s Rare Book Collection, no reservations are needed to access the Arizona Room’s 33 linear feet of archival materials, which include the McClintock papers, 25,000 volumes, 2,500 maps, and 73 moving images. The room keeps the same hours as the library and is overseen by Arizona Room Librarian, Maria Hernandez. Possessed with an encyclopedic knowledge of the collection’s holdings and a storyteller’s gift for bringing history to life, Hernandez is more engaging tour guide than academic custodian. She describes the archives as an “ongoing project” and encourages the community to help fill in the gaps within its bookshelves.
“Personal history, family history is the history of Phoenix,” she explains. “High school yearbooks, community cookbooks help tell the story of what it was like to live here. They are valuable records and need to be preserved.”
Next spring the library launches an oral history project to record the memories and life stories of the people who are the life of the city.
“We want to hear from the voices of those who grew up in Phoenix during wartime, the Vietnam War era, who took part in our community’s civil rights movement. We want to hear from people who got up everyday and went to work, who lived their lives in Phoenix. Who remember Royal Wax Museum, who grew up cruising on Central. We want those stories. The city is based on personal experiences.”
If You Go:
What: Arizona Room
Where: Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
When: Open during regular library hours
Please Note: Due to the nature of the collection, materials may only be used in the room. Copying of most materials is available at 20 cents per page and pencils only may be used for writing. No food or drink is permitted in the Arizona Room.
All this talk about the Arizona Room at the library reminds us of a whole host of stories from DPJ’s own past. Check out our From the Arizona Room stories to learn more about the fascinating history of downtown.
Early this morning Actors Theatre (ATOP) announced the sad news of its closure. “The simple truth is that the company is out of money,” says a letter sent to supporters.
Operations will cease and assets will be liquidated over the next couple of months. Planned productions of Annapurna, Stage Kiss and The Year of Magical Thinking are cancelled, and ATOP won’t be able to afford to refund tickets. “We’re hoping that our patrons and supporters will consider taking the expense as a tax deduction,” says the company.
Actor Theatre has teetered on the brink for the past few years, sending out several pleas for help and reorganizing. Despite drastic cost-cutting measures — ending its resident company status at the Herberger Theater Center, downsizing administration to two full-time employees, and operating on a shoestring budget — ATOP maintained its high production quality, offering powerful shows with minimal stage dressing.
Organizations including Arizona Opera, Phoenix Theatre and Black Theatre Troupe provided support and venue assistance, while a devoted audience base continued to offer encouragement to the struggling company.
In the end, it just wasn’t enough. ATOP’s board unanimously voted to close, and will work with Managing Director Erica Black and Producing Artistic Director Matthew Wiener to wrap up business.
Wiener spent nearly 20 years leading the troupe after coming from a four-year stint as Arizona Theatre Company’s associate artistic director in the early 1990s.
Actors Theatre’s legacy includes almost 29 years of great productions, which often emphasized the company’s dedication to working with talented local actors.
“Among our strongest guiding principles is to pay everyone — and that includes artists and arts workers — a living wage,” said ATOP’s announcement. “…But our donor base and individual and season ticket sales were not substantial enough to provide the financial resources to support the cost structure of professional artists….”
Never afraid to present work written by less-famous playwrights, ATOP took pride in kindling thoughtful conversation and inciting visceral reactions in audiences. The company will be missed.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
McDOWELL MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2015 BANDS
The lineup is as follow:
Widespread Panic, Passion Pit, Thievery Corporation, Phantogram, Portugal. The Man, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Beats Antique, Trampled by Turtles, StrFkr, Robert Delong, and Break Science.
The three-day festival will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, March 27-29, 2015. VIP, three-day and single-day tickets are now on sale at www.mmmf.com. After hours event passes will also be on sale at a later date. For more information about concert details and ticket prices, visit www.mmmf.com.
John Largay, President of Wespac Construction, which has produced the festival since 2004 says, “This festival is a party for the people. It’s a community effort, engaging music enthusiasts to come out to enjoy an eclectic mix of talents and also to support notable charities in the Valley.”
As Arizona’s only 100 percent non-profit music festival, McDowell Mountain Music Festival McDowell Mountain Music Festival is proud to continue its alliance with two local, family-based, non-profits beneficiaries: Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and UMOM New Day Center, which provides homeless families and individuals with safe shelter, housing and supportive services. Over the years, the festival has raised more than one-million-dollars in funds for charity.
Images courtesy of McDowell Mountain Music Festival.
Whether you prefer to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit or rebel against the trappings of the season, you’ll find your fun downtown with a few of Phoenix’s quirkier activities. Adults-only theater pushes the envelope with A Bloody Mary Christmas while unique Christmas light tours appeal to all ages, and puppetry and dance shows keep kids jolly.
Ballet Arizona offers the usual fairies and sugarplums at Symphony Hall with its spectacular, highly acclaimed production of The Nutcracker (through December 28), reinvented a few years ago by artistic director Ib Andersen. Tchaikovsky’s familiar music performed by The Phoenix Symphony can’t be beat, and a family four-pack includes parking, premium seats, a photo with the Sugarplum Fairy and hot cocoa.
If you prefer the music of a different Russian, try Snow Queen at Herberger Theater Center’s Stage West (through Dec. 21), choreographed by Frances Smith Cohen and presented by Center Dance Ensemble. Hans Christian Andersen’s tale comes to life with melodies by Sergei Prokofiev. Take a midday work break, buy or bring your lunch, and sample the Lunch Time Dance Theater option for only $6.
In addition to the occasional wickedly subversive 18+ puppet slam, Great Arizona Puppet Theater provides a steady stream of funny shows for children young and old. The Night Before Christmas (through December 28) features joyful music and stories.
For those who love cinema, FilmBar offers a glorious month full of movies in an intimate 70-seat venue with the added bonus of a beer and wine bar (alcohol with popcorn — what could be better?). December’s options include The Captive, The Babadook, Bad Santa and Free the Nipple (both on the Naughty & Nice Film Series), Awake: The Life of Yogananda, and the incomparable Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Foreign films include Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador) and Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le metro as a double feature. And don’t miss Opera at FilmBar — December 19 brings Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) from the Gran Teatre del Liceu, starring a sparkling Joyce DiDonato and the yummy Juan Diego Flórez.
The calendar’s packed at Crescent Ballroom, where Cocina 10’s food and drink are complemented by the stories of Chow Bella’s Eating Christmas (December 16). For a canned food donation you’ll hear food-themed tales of holiday adventure (for ages 21 and older). Otherwise, try “Life’s a Drag. Party Like a Queen” (December 18) with interactive games, “Truth, Drag or Dare,” and drink specials all hosted by Olivia Gardens.
Phoenix Theatre serves a full plate of seasonal cheer with Holiday Classics From Screen to Stage (December 18-21), when Arizona Opera singers croon holiday favorites from films like Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Love Actually, A Charlie Brown Christmas and more. Vocalist Dennis Rowland takes the stage with the Greg Warner Project and special guest Diana Lee for the Holiday Jazz Cabaret (December 22-24) and a range of Christmas classics. And you’re sure to have a jolly holiday with Mary Poppins (through December 28), an eye-popping fast-paced feast of color, song, dance, and special effects including Valley favorite Toby Yatso as a tap-dancing, levitating chimney sweep.
Back in the realm of adults-only entertainment, Space 55 pulls out all the stops for the fifth year of A Bloody Mary Christmas (through December 21), in which Sun City retirees sing, dance, and battle a heartless homeowners’ association. Set to original music by Dangerville and Samson Says, Bloody Mary showcases Toni Jourdan, Lee Quarrie, Paula McKenny and Bob Peters. 7 Minutes Under the Mistletoe (December 20) gives local performers their seven minutes in the sun with an opportunity to do whatever they want — interpretive dance, dinosaur burlesque, competitive doughnut eating, action figure battles…even naked stage magic. Who knows what you’ll see?
Other Space 55 shows include Storyline: A Winter’s Tale (December 19), part of a monthly storytelling showcase, and Resolutions! A new show for an old year (December 31), a good warm-up for your New Year’s Eve party or downtown’s Flannel Ball.
“Hip Historian” Marshall Shore brings a big yellow school bus to The Clarendon Hotel as the launch point for his Christmas Lights Tours (December 16, 18 & 23). “We cruise through Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa,” says Shore. “I curate for the most jaw-dropping displays that I can locate.” Join in the caroling and live music with your very own kazoo (provided), or sit back and enjoy Shore’s talents as a storyteller while you see commercial, private home and religious displays.
If you go:
- Ballet Arizona: The Nutcracker (through December 28)
- Center Dance Ensemble: Snow Queen (through December 21)
- at Herberger Theater Center’s Stage West, 222 E. Monroe
- visit centerdance.com or call 602-252-8497
- Great Arizona Puppet Theater: The Night Before Christmas (through December 28)
- in the GAPT’s lovely renovated historic 1929 LDS 2nd Ward Church, 302 W. Latham
- visit azpuppets.org or call 602-262-2050
- 815 N. 2nd St.
- visit thefilmbarphx.com or call 602-595-9187
- Crescent Ballroom and Cocina 10
- 308 N. 2nd Ave.
- visit crescentphx.com or call 602-716-2222
- Phoenix Theatre
- 100 E. McDowell Rd.
- visit phoenixtheatre.com or call 602-254-2151
- Space 55
- 636 E. Pierce St.
- visit space55.org
- “Hip Historian” Marshall Shore: Christmas Lights Tours (December 16, 18 & 23)
Schedules are subject to change. For more holiday diversions visit DowntownPhoenix.com: