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7th Avenue Streetscape – Call to Literary Arts Teaching Artists
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture is seeking two (2) experienced and accomplished Literary Arts Teaching Artists to work with a classroom of youth to write poems that broaden public thinking about reuse, recycling and a greener environment. The poems will be featured as part of an annually-changing outdoor exhibition of poetry and art at 7th Avenue and West Glenrosa Street.
Literary Arts Teaching Artists will lead 6-8 workshops with students (ages 10-18) to create poems that will be read at a culminating community event and exhibition at the Public Art Program’s 7th Avenue site of changing art and poetry panels. Literary Arts Teaching Artists chosen for this project will be expected to:
- Work with the special recycling initiatives of the City of Phoenix Public Works Department to develop a project curriculum.
- Teach creative writing and build mentoring relationships with young people.
- Develop poems that feature student writing on the topic of recycling and a greener environment.
- Select poems to include in the art panels displayed at the 7th avenue site.
- Participate in a community poetry reading of works created during the project.
- Use assessment and evaluation tools given to document impact of residency.
Selected works will be enlarged and displayed on three double-sided translucent Lexan panels at the project site. A graphic designer will be hired to design the layout of each poem and panel. The Office of Arts and Culture will purchase reproduction rights, not the original works created through this project. The city will retain rights to reproduce the art and poetry on the Lexan panels and use them for promotional and educational purposes.
The Office of Arts and Culture encourages applicants to visit the site at Seventh Avenue and West Glenrosa Street to view the current art panels. A project description is also available online at https://www.phoenix.gov/arts/public-art-program/public-art-tours/7th-avenue-streetscape.
There will be a presubmittal meeting held on September 11, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Burton Barr Library auditorium, 1st floor, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004.
To learn more about this project please go to www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/93. For more information about this project please contact Jeanine Garcia, Public Art Project Manager at email@example.com, 602-534-5084. Go towww.phoenix.gov/arts to learn more about the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, or call 602-262-4637.
Image courtesy of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.
Downtown is more than a grid system of streets and square miles. It is defined by something more. In this short series, new DPJ contributor, Colin Columna hones in on the five senses as his guide to explore what makes downtown Phoenix unique.
With our ears attuned to the nuanced sounds of downtown Phoenix, from the distinctive “ding ding” of an approaching light rail train, to the sounds of laughter from people on their bikes and a radio playing from the open window of a passing car, we begin. Our first stop on this downtown sensory tour is along Phoenix’s cultural highway, Central Avenue, at the intersection with Roosevelt Street. On the northwest corner stands the landmark Trinity Cathedral, spiritual home of the Episcopal congregation and secular home to the renowned Phoenix Chorale.
The Cathedral, completed in 1920, provides a graceful connection to Phoenix’s history, but visit during First Friday Art Walk and the space is filled with the sights and sounds of contemporary urban life. The Cathedral Center for the Arts provides the visual experience in the Olney Gallery and Phoenix Chorale’s Artistic Director Charles Bruffy conducts the surround sound of the Grammy Award winning ensemble during Open Rehearsals.
“I love our open rehearsals,” says Bruffy, “they allow us an opportunity to invite people who may be familiar with their own church choir but unfamiliar with what we do, to drop in and experience something new and hopefully surprising.”
At the center of downtown’s thriving Roosevelt art district, and easily accessible from Central and Roosevelt Metro Light Rail station, the free rehearsals add an element of accessibility to classical music while giving Phoenix Chorale serious “street cred.”
Bruffy explains the rehearsals allow for the audience to actively engage with the process. “Our singers have trained and perfected their gift and talent to sing from the heart. The casual atmosphere of open rehearsals allows us to not only sing but talk to our audience, answer questions, tell stories about the songs and tune their ears for the adventure of choral music. Our goal is make it possible for as many people to explore and enjoy the music and just as important to have fun.”
Choral music evolved from the earliest form of musical expression, telling stories through folk songs and devotional chants. Charles Bruffy plays a significant role in that evolution: appointed Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chorale in 1999, Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988, Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008 and an impressive list of other gigs around the country. His exhaustive schedule ensures that chorale music remain relevant and at the top of the charts.
Under his leadership the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale have ten Grammy Award nominations and each garnered two Grammy Award wins. The latest Phoenix Chorale recording, Northern Lights, spent a lucky 13 weeks on the Billboard charts and of special significance to Bruffy, “We were named “Best Classical Vocal Album of the Year” on iTunes Best of 2012, how cool is that?”
Adding to the richness of the Chorale’s sound is the unique qualities of Trinity Cathedral. “Many of our concerts are performed in sacred spaces, like the Cathedral.” he says, “It may be that they are usually of older construction, of stone and hard acoustics that singers enjoy. But there is something very special that occurs when we perform in the sanctuary, a reverb is applied creating an added element to the performance, as if the voice is singing a duet.”
If location is everything, Bruffy believes he could not be luckier. “I love being in the ‘hood. Our city is so culturally rich and there are so many flavors and cuisines to sample downtown.
I can leave work, get to my apartment, go to one of my favorite places Cibo Urban Pizzeria for a meal and still make it to rehearsals on time.” After performances Bruffy is often spotted at a few of his other favorites, including St. Francis, Breadfruit and Hanny’s courtesy of the Light Rail.
The musical dynamo believes the trains add to downtown’s vitality, “When I see the light rail go by, listen to the tone of the bell, I hear the sound of a twenty-first century city.”
Asked to imagine a concert that captures the flavor of downtown Phoenix Bruffy quickly, and expertly, whipped up this selection and provided a few highlights:
“Phoenix” by Ola Gjeilo, the Chorale’s 2010 Composer in Residence.
“In the Beginning” by Aaron Copland. “This piece reminds me of the mythical bird, and our city’s namesake, the Phoenix, always able to surprise, evolve and reinvent itself.”
“Cloudburst” by Eric Whitacre
“Mountains” by Steven Chapman
“Anasazi Women” by Anne Kilstofte. “This piece is selected from our 2014/15 season, Desert Song concert. A musical celebration of the beautiful Southwest landscape in which we live.”
To sample more of the Phoenix Chorale visit their website: www.phoenixchorale.org or call 602-253-2224.
Photos courtesy of Phoenix Chorale
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
ARIZONA RATTLERS CELEBRATE ARENABOWL WIN WITH PARADE, PRESS CONFERENCE IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX
WHAT: The 2014 ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers will host a parade and press conference for fans and media in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday to celebrate their third-straight ArenaBowl title. The players, coaching staff, Sidewinders dancers and mascot Stryker will be available to sign autographs and take photos with fans following the parade and press conference.
WHO: Members of the Arizona Rattlers team Ron Shurts, Arizona Rattlers Majority owner Kevin Guy, Head Coach Stryker D. Rattler, Sidewinders
WHERE: US Airways Center
201 E. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
INFO: The parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. on 1st street and Madison, heading west to Central Avenue then turn north. The parade will then head east on Van Buren and turn south on 1st Street and will conclude at US Airways Center pavilion for the ArenaBowl press conference.
Players, coaches and team executives will be available for interviews and photos following the press conference.
Last week, the City of Phoenix Community & Economic Development Department announced the results of the panel recommendation on proposals for the best use of the Barrister Building and adjoining property on the southeast corner of Central Ave. and Jefferson Street. Positioned just south of Cityscape and a block and a half west of US Airways Center, this key property sits along the proposed corridor for a light rail extension to south Phoenix and is a geographic linchpin between downtown and the warehouse district.
The Barrister Building, originally built in 1915 as the 125-room Jefferson Hotel, was famously featured in the opening scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 film, Psycho (see the Phoenix sequence starting at 2:20. The Jefferson Hotel is featured at 2:50). Over the years, the now “Barrister” building was converted to office space. The City acquired the building in 1990 to use for office space and the Police Museum. It was registered as a Phoenix History property in 2005, and in 2010 the City relocated operations and prepared the building for long-term inactivity.
Because of the historic designation of the building and its pivotal location, there were three primary contexts that developers needed to consider in their proposals: historic preservation, public transit, and city plans and ordinances. Ultimately the development parameters included eight specific criteria, and four “additional considerations.” Complete details can be found in the full RFP.
The RFP for this property was issued on April 25, 2014 and the deadline for proposals was July 7. Three separate public meetings in May, and a final public meeting on June 27 enabled proposers to tour the property and City staff to answer questions and explain criteria. Ultimately, six eligible proposals were considered by the seven member review panel that included four City staff and three members of the public. It was heartening to see that several of the proposers were downtown neighbors: integral, local participants in the ongoing creation of a more vibrant downtown.
How are the panels for these RFP’s formed? “With the continued growth of our downtown neighborhoods and increased interest in city projects, the city has taken steps to increase the transparency of our process and involvement of community members over the last year,” CEDD staff explained. “In forming the evaluation panel, the city carefully considers several factors unique to each property and the adopted evaluation criteria for the RFP. For this RFP, the city staff on the panel included representatives of the departments that purchased and own the property, along with specialists in historic preservation and development.”
Panel members met three times to discuss how well each proposal met the criteria and the top three proposers were invited to present to the panel in person. This gave both the proposers and the panel members a chance to discuss the highest scoring proposals in greater depth. In the end, a consensus was reached and the panel recommended accepting the PB Bell/Davis Enterprises Collaboration proposal for an adaptive reuse renovation of the Barrister Building and the addition of two new buildings to create a residential/retail “urban composition” that combines historic preservation, residential density, walkability, and small business site opportunities with a practical, sustainable business model.
The PB Bell/Davis Enterprises Collaboration aligns two longtime, family-owned investment and development companies in Phoenix. Davis Enterprises has been investing and developing in Arizona since 1948 and is currently being managed by the third generation. Davis’ expertise is in retail and commercial office space, with the emphasis primarily on high density infill redevelopment and multi-tenant space. PB Bell Companies was founded by Phil Bell in the mid-70’s with a goal of becoming a leader in the multifamily acquisitions, development and property management industry. Similar to Davis, PB Bell has only acquired and developed real estate in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
What are the next steps? Again, according to CEDD staff, “City staff will review the panel recommendation and begin negotiations with the developer. If mutually agreeable terms are reached, a Letter of Intent will be signed and those terms will be presented to City Council for approval. Council approval is typically a two-step process, going first to Subcommittee for approval, and then to a Formal Council meeting for a final approval.”
In cases like this, where the City owns the property and seeks proposals that best embody City development priorities, the RFP process is an excellent mechanism for getting diverse and engaged responses that address those priorities in detail. Some plans may be bold and dazzling, but leave critical questions unanswered, while others may seem less imaginative, but answer the criteria with specific and thorough detail. In the end, it is up to the panel to wade through the pros and cons of each proposal to arrive at a consensus that offers the best opportunity to achieve a workable, desirable project that will provide a long-term benefit to the area.
It’s a balancing act.
As Eric Johnson of CEDD puts it, “The city is looking for every project to be successful, especially when they involve city property through the RFP process. There are many variables that impact the viability of projects and, in the end, it is the proposers who must demonstrate the viability of their projects through the proposal process and balance the risk of the project based on the financial, commercial and real estate markets.”
We’ll keep our eyes on this project as it moves ahead through the process and keep you up-to-date on the progress of this important corner of downtown.
Details at a Glance:
Proposers (for specific details on each proposal, contact CEDD):
- Jefferson Hotel 1915, LLC (Michael Levine)
- PB Bell/Davis Enterprises Collaboration
- RED Development
- Crescent Bay Development Services, LLC
- Windsor Jefferson LLC (Equus)
- Ventra Group, LLC
- Craig Mavis, City of Phoenix, Planning and Development
- Jodey Elsner, City of Phoenix, Planning and Development/Historic Preservation
- Bradd Holcomb, Green Street Realty/Rosson House Board
- Jim McPherson, Evans Churchill Association
- Mark Roye, City of Phoenix, Public Works
- Molly Ryan Carson, Ryan Companies US, Inc.
- Robyn Sahid, City of Phoenix, Community & Economic Development
This cool street art project caught our eye and we definitely wanted to share it with you, so we reached out to the artist, Pete Petrisko, to get the scoop on what it all means.
Shiny Happy People Happening is a city-centered conceptual art street project, where anybody can “experience tomorrow’s art of downtown livin’… today” by spotting one (or more) of 93 silver and gold one-inch figures, semi-permanently attached to our urban landscape throughout downtown Phoenix. There is no specific list of locations, just this loose direction: “(From) Jackson to Roosevelt Streets, between the 7s (Ave/St).”
But for those who like spoilers: the fewest number are nearest the 7th Ave/Jackson corner, and the sculptural “population density” increases as you approach downtown center (which, for the sake of argument, let’s say is somewhere near Chase Tower) and/or when you near higher “pedestrian traffic” areas.
While everybody loves the street art you can see from a block away in downtown Phoenix, let’s not forget the joys of finding art that’s literally hidden in plain sight. Providing a more detailed map would kind of defeat that purpose. As far as where they could be sitting or standing, discovery is often found in the urban details.
Remember, one-inch folks will avoid actual benches and public walkways, because they don’t want to be accidentally crushed by a giant! However, just look around. Where on or near buildings, or other urban objects in our downtown-scape, might they be… hidden in plain sight?
There are no exact answers, but the best plan might include bringing a child with you. They are much better at spotting tiny shiny objects than your average adult, and this public art is family-friendly because the fun of “discovery in the details” has no age limit!
Shiny Happy Factoids
Total number of new sculptural residents downtown: 93
Time spent to install ‘em: Four hours
Cost of project: Under twenty bucks
With the above helpful hints and useless factoids in mind, you might be asking yourself, “Is this downtown adventure for me?” “Are pictures allowed?” or “Didn’t I read about something like this in Mary Norton’s The Borrowers?”
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Is this a memorial to artists migrating out of downtown as their actually-affordable-to-artists housing options dwindle?” or even “Does this have anything to do with culture becoming an ornament for gentrification, like in Jamming the Gentrification Machine: A Manifesto?”
Or, more likely you’re thinking, “Why are you telling me this? Did I ever even once claim to be a fan of conceptual art of any kind?”
These are all excellent questions. The short answer is “Quite possibly.”
And it’s the best possible answer when the spectacle of Shiny Happy People Happening awaits discovery!
Photos by Pete Petrisko.