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 other chats here.
What is the latest regarding DPI’s organizational capacity?
Now that affiliate agreements have been signed between DPI and the City of Phoenix, Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP), and Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA), work has begun to pull together a consolidated DPI program of work for 2014. I have been meeting with DPI board members and leaders from the City, DPP, and PCA to brainstorm ideas on strengthening core programs and eliminating duplication and overlap. My goal is to present a program of work by the end of November. (Read about recent changes to DPP’s board.)
What are some examples of downtown’s economic and cultural vitality?
Margaret T. Hance Park. Hundreds of residents, including many individuals associated with DPI and its partner organizations, participated in a series of community workshops to help re-envision the 32-acre Margaret T. Hance Park just north of downtown. Design professionals from !melk, Weddle Gilmore, and Floor Associates led the workshops and garnered good ideas and valuable feedback. The team will start to formulate an initial draft design plan to present to the public on November 20. For more information, visit the Hance Park Master Plan Facebook page.
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
Project Rising Phoenix. Over one hundred downtown advocates attended the launch of Project Rising Phoenix, a non-profit urban infill incubator that will create a pipeline of viable redevelopment projects sourced from and for the benefit of the community. Matthew Meaker, a construction attorney with Sacks Tierney P.A., was named board chair and Leslie Lindo, CSBA, LEED AP was appointed executive director. I have been meeting with Project Rising Phoenix representatives and City of Phoenix staff to discuss priority projects that could benefit from Project Rising’s expertise and affiliations. For more information, visit the Project Rising website.
Adaptive Reuse. It was great to hear the Maricopa County is taking steps to support adaptive reuse of vintage buildings by approving a six-month trial permit for restaurants situated in buildings not specifically designed or constructed for dining. Several DPI board members have been long-time advocates of this economic development tool, most notably Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona who co-chaired a City of Phoenix task force on adaptive reuse. The task force’s recommendations were adopted by City Council and are now being implemented.
New Times Rankings. One indicator of the positive direction in which downtown Phoenix is heading is the significant number of “best of” rankings in the Phoenix New Times. It is gratifying to see “Best Farmers Market,” “Best New Gallery,” “Best Japanese Restaurant,” and many other “bests” right in our central city. You can view all of the downtown listings on the New Times website, and then jot down the winning shops, restaurants, and attractions to visit this fall.
Getting into the Holiday Spirit. For the second year in a row, JoMarie McDonald with Phoenix Community Alliance is spearheading a community-wide effort to brighten Central Avenue from Camelback Road to Baseline Road with winter holiday lights and decorations. Over 150 individuals and businesses have contributed to the cause. To contribute to the cause, visit the PCA website. In addition, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s “Holidays in Downtown” initiative is back for a second year. From the CitySkate Opening and Tree Lighting Spectacular to PJ’s In the Park and Spirits of the Season, these events are community builders and business drivers that are making downtown a destination for holiday activity. Terry Madeksza, Sara Anderson, and the entire DPP staff have worked extremely hard building holiday momentum.
What are some hot button topics emanating from this engaged downtown community?
Phoenix Bike Share. On September 25 of last year at a popular downtown Phoenix event – Pedal Craft – Mayor Greg Stanton announced the City’s intent to implement Bike Share, a healthy and affordable way for residents and visitors to make short trips around town. Making good on its promise, Phoenix is gearing up to launch bike share this winter. In the first phase, Cyclehop, the firm that won the local bid to implement the program, will distribute an estimated 500 bikes at kiosks near prominent downtown gathering spaces, recreation and cultural spots, light rail stops, and ASU campuses. The second phase calls for expanding the program in Phoenix and other cities, creating a regional system. Tempe and Mesa are moving forward to add 250 bikes in each of their communities in the spring of 2014. Corporate sponsorship is key to making Phoenix Bike Share happen, and I encourage anyone and any business reading this to support this important effort.
Improved Evans Churchill On Street Parking. Representatives of Evans Churchill Community Association and Thunderdome Neighborhood Association for Non-Auto Mobility have been working with City of Phoenix staff to finalize an on-street parking strategy for Evans Churchill. Based on a street-by-street analysis, it was recommended that the great majority of meters east of Third Street be removed and that many streets with “no parking” signs be corrected to allow parking. Sincere thanks to Ray Dovalina, Councilman Michael Johnson, Scott Logan, and Kerry Wilcoxon with the City and neighborhood advocates Greg Esser, Cory Kincaid, Jim McPherson, Matthew Taunton, Kevin Rille, Sean Sweat, and Nicole Underwood for working together to advance these much needed improvements.
Streetscapes. Significant streetscape improvements are now occurring in and around downtown on Grand Avenue from Seventh Street to Roosevelt, on First Street from Washington to Moreland, and on Fifth Street between Fillmore and Garfield.
Historic Preservation. Some unfortunate news in our Garfield Neighborhood… one more piece of our architectural history is gone. The owner of the historic W.L. Bobo House demolished the building, as she could not get her asking price for the property.
In closing… I was heartbroken to hear of the passing of Jerome Miller, a long-time colleague during my tenure in the public sector. Jerome was a gift to the City of Phoenix. He genuinely cared about the people he worked with and the people who lived in our city. He exemplified all the best qualities of what we should expect from our public employees.
Choreographer Lisa Starry prides herself on the suggestive, sexy appeal of A Vampire Tale, Scorpius Dance Theatre’s trademark autumn production. Each season, Starry changes costumes and choreography. In 2012 she successfully took Vampire Tale to England’s Bram Stoker International Film Festival.
This year’s updated version (on stage through October 19) also features more goth rock music by local composer Kristofer Hill, 28 dancers, and a new aerial pole routine, but the most significant milestone is the impending retirement of Lisa’s husband, the originator of the lead male role.
For ten years David Starry has performed as Victor, the Vampire King, partnering Nicole Olson in the role of the Queen. His character also seduces a young female dancer known as Eve, or The Innocent.
These performances find Starry dividing the role with Billie-Joe “J.” Bouey. “A dancer’s body has an expiration date,” explains Starry, “and this is a good time to pass the torch on to another Scorpius dancer.”
Meanwhile, The Movement Source Dance Company offers an alternative Halloween-themed show at monOrchid Gallery on October 26 & 27. Led by director and founding member Mary Anne Fernandez-Herding, who chairs the dance department at Xavier College Preparatory, Movement Source performs Danse Macabre, described as “unsettling music, movement, and illusion.”
If you go:
- A Vampire Tale
Scorpius Dance Theatre
Through October 19 at Phoenix Little Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd.
602-254-2151 or www.scorpiusdance.com
Discounted tickets available for patrons in vampire costume
- Danse Macabre
The Movement Source Dance Company
October 26-27 at monOrchid, 214 E. Roosevelt St.
602-957-6561 or www.movementsourcedancecompany.org
A 2009 photograph of the nearly-finished bridge at Hoover Dam gleams in a color-saturated digital print, hanging not far from an image of a grinning Ansel Adams leaning against a table in his own home gallery. Nearby, the clear, haunting image of an animal skull glimmers on a rusty can.
“This is a really exciting moment in the history of photography,” says Becky Senf, “because we still have people who are working in a wet darkroom — they’re using gelatin silver, which is the main type of black-and-white print.” This is how the 1982 picture of Adams was created.
“But we also have people who are working in platinum printing, color printing,” Senf continues. “We have people who are doing daguerreotypes, which is the very oldest type of photograph ever made…. And then there’s this digital moment that’s happening, so there are all kinds of photographers…taking advantage of new technologies to produce work that would have been impossible if you were working with film.”
Senf serves in a joint position as the Norton Family Curator of Photography at both the Phoenix Art Museum and Tucson’s Center for Creative Photography. She’s explaining her choices for the INFOCUS PhotoBid silent auction and raffle at the Museum, where the exhibition continues through Friday, October 18 and culminates in the auction that evening.
“It’s imperative that all the work…in [PhotoBid] is of the same museum quality as everything else we show,” Senf says. “I try and create an auction exhibition that relates to those things that have come before and after but also provides variety and…contrast.” She elaborates, “One of the things that I think about with the INFOCUS auction is getting lots of different kinds of work — so there are portraits…landscapes…urban scenes…nudes… I really want to touch upon as much of the diversity and the dynamism that’s happening right now in the medium as possible.”
Among the auction pieces — donated by the artists — you’ll discover the found-object artwork of David Emitt Adams and a potent image of human frailty from David Maisel titled Library of Dust 3278.
Debra Bloomfield, whose award-winning work hangs in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, depicts a suspended moment between ocean and land with Wilderness. Jamey Stillings chronicled the construction of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge, while Jerry Spagnoli, who spoke at Phoenix Art Museum in January, created a small treasure of a still life: a daguerreotype of drinking glasses.
“It’s this old process where you actually make the photograph on a polished sheet of silver-coated metal,” explains Senf, “and so it’s this very reflective, mysterious surface. And the process dates back…right to the beginning of the invention of photography in 1839, and yet this artist continues to use this process to make these new, very modern works.”
The raffle offers a more affordable option for collectors, she says. “It’s an opportunity to spend a little less — the tickets are $20 a piece; you can get three for $50, or seven for $100, and then you get to choose which one of the raffle items you want…so if there’s one of the pieces that you particularly love, you can load all your tickets in that bin.” Options include three prints and signed books — Richard Avedon’s In the American West, and Mark Klett’s Saguaros. Appetizers, a cash bar, and live music by celebrated Valley pianist Charles Lewis round out the evening.
Since the auction’s host group INFOCUS was founded about five years ago as the photography support organization for the Museum, it’s contributed nearly $100,000, says Senf. The money helps pay for guest speakers, brochures, and photography exhibitions, while perks for INFOCUS members include visits to private collections and artists’ studios.
The Phoenix Art Museum’s photography exhibits come from the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, which was founded in 1975 by Ansel Adams and then-University president John Schaefer. “We’re unusual in that we don’t just collect masterpieces of photography, but we really are an archive collection,” Senf says. “So for instance, Ansel Adams — we have around 3,000 of his prints. I’m not even sure how many W. Eugene Smith prints we have — thousands and thousands of his works.”
She continues, “And then we also collect things like correspondence, negatives, printing notes, teaching materials, unpublished manuscripts…all kinds of documentation and materials that help us understand the creative process. So the Center is a pretty unusual institution.” With justifiable pride, she adds, “We have about a hundred thousand photographs in our collection, and…we estimate somewhere around five million of those archival objects.”
With a smile, Senf says, “The collaboration with Phoenix Art Museum was really spectacular, because…it expanded what the Center was able to do in terms of sharing this incredible wealth of photography with the world.”
If you go:
Event: INFOCUS PhotoBid 2013
Exhibition Dates: October 5-18; Silent auction and raffle Friday, Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave.
We’ve seen many different opinions of where the real estate market is heading, and what effect the present government shutdown will have on it. So what is actually happening on the street, and why?
Let’s start with the shutdown.
Confidence is the #1 reason people decide to look for a home to buy, it usually goes hand in hand with demand. A government shutdown and a potential further battle over the debt ceiling are not exactly positive news. Our collective confidence is still fragile as we celebrate exactly two years since the official bottom of the market. The worst recession for generations is still a clear and painful memory. The result is that the average buyer is holding back and waiting to see how this all works out. But are they right to do so?
Lending is the main casualty of the shutdown, with some delays/inabilities in getting information and approvals from point “a” to point “b” in the system. If you have any concerns on this, call your mortgage broker for an expert opinion on how the shut down is effecting your lending product. Although one can’t rule it out completely, I’d be surprised if many deals fail in the short term due to these issues. Sellers will probably understand, and in any case, they may need to listen a little more carefully to their buyers than they have been of late.
So how does the market look right now?
The local market has cooled in all but the $2m sector (not many of those in downtown), and specifically in the sub $500,000 market, which has slowed strongly in the last month. This is the key market for downtown Phoenix. There are great stats that explain this. It’s not bad news, we are simply heading back to balance and that’s healthy.
Here’s what’s happened. The market has increased at a stunningly fast rate for the last couple of years with prices climbing quickly. Buyers have outnumbered sellers, the result being that really great deals have dried up along with foreclosures and short sales. We’ve actually done so well that according to Michael Orr (WP Carey School of Business/Cromford Report) we will probably hit the $130/sf long term trend line around about December of this year. In other words, we are nearly back to exactly where we should be price wise if we hadn’t had the massive overheat of the pre-recession market.
This month’s report by Orr clearly outlines our trajectory. We still have very low inventory in most sectors, but we also have low demand. Additionally, investors have pulled back sharply from purchasing. 28.7% of homes a year ago were investor purchases compared to 19.9% of homes today. Second family home purchases are also down from 18.3% to 12.5% year over year. That’s a lot of buyers that are no longer in the market, and it’s great news for the majority of normal buyers, simply looking for a home to live in.
The big picture is bright. Have confidence in Phoenix which is about to change it up yet again. Developers are finalizing plans to bring some really exciting new townhome and condominium product to downtown in 2014. Warren Buffet just bought a major national real estate company. The smart professional money is clearly on real estate. Even if you don’t have confidence in government right now you probably should in Warren Buffet. He’s usually right.