A lot of you have been asking for weeks what’s up with The Duce. Is it open? Didn’t they have their grand opening already? Well, sort of. Yes, the building had a soft opening event two weeks ago, but many of the features of the warehouse’s “Chicago city block” were not yet ready for the crowds. Not to worry! The place officially opens this Sunday for the “Orange Crush the Lakers Bash” at 11 a.m. Be sure to stop by for awesome drink specials while you cheer on the Suns!
Join the DPJ crew for this month’s RadiatePHX event, taking place on the second grand opening night, Tuesday, May 25, from 5:30 to close. Come for the drink specials, good conversation and a Suns victory!
While Arizona State University’s relationship with its neighboring communities hasn’t always been the smoothest, the is making a determined effort to improve it. Simply put, ASU seeks to become a fully integrated member. One such way is through “Communities Connect Dialogues,” a new university collaborative designed to bring ASU together with the local community in the name of learning something new.
The Community Connect Dialogues allows faculty, staff, students and community members to share, connect and celebrate the spirit and diversity of ASU and its campuses. It is a collaborative effort coordinated by the Office of University Initiatives.
On April 1, ASU will hold the first of these dialogues at the Downtown Phoenix campus. It will take place at the A.E. England Building in Civic Space Park between 8 a.m. and noon. The event is free and open to everyone. The dialogue will continue April 2 with action, advocacy and arts, a day filled with gallery exhibitions, art activists and special guests. Subsequent events are being scheduled at the ASU West, Polytechnic and Tempe campuses.
According to Jacqueline Smith, university innovation fellow with the Office of University Initiatives, ASU is “hoping to provide a venue for participants to share their stories about collaboration and bettering our communities.”
The Downtown Phoenix campus dialogue will begin with a coffee meet-up, presentations and a photo display of examples of collaboration from local organizations such as Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk and the Herberger Institute Community School for Design and the Arts. Participants will then engage in internship development and strategies workshops before heading outside to the Civic Space Park for Lunch Unplugged, hosted by RadioPhoenix.org.
Laci Lester, a core member of the Downtown planning team and a second-year public ally serving at the Fair Trade retail store in Civic Space Park notes, “Both communities and institutions have so much to learn from each other and the dialogues are a great place to begin. We’re hoping people will come away with a greater understanding of the nuances of working with community organizations and larger institutes, such as ASU.”
The Arizona State Credit Union is serving as primary co-sponsor on all four campuses by providing refreshments, door prizes and marketing supplies. Other partners include the College of Public Programs, the Office of Public Affairs, the Office of Student Engagement, ASU Career Services and the Cultural Arts Coalition.
For detailed information about the Communities Connect Dialogues, included a schedule of activities, please visit community.asu.edu/dialogues. To RSVP for the events, visit community.asu.edu/rsvp/ or contact Jacqueline Smith.
RadiatePHX is a non-traditional networking group that meets once a month to support smart growth in our emerging city. It is intended to be an informal and fun forum for connecting people, ideas and vision.
RadiatePHX meets on the last Tuesday of every month,from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
February 1 marked the 16th annual DREAMR (Downtown Revitalization Effort Awards of Merit and Recognition) awards program at the Phoenix Convention Center. Sure, it’s great to get a bunch of Downtown visionaries under one roof to recognize the important efforts each have made for Downtown to be what is it today. But, it’s truly best to honor a few of the individuals that have been around the longest, seen the most and fought the hardest. That’s where the DREAMRs come in.
The DREAMRs “honor the individuals, projects and organizations that dare to dream and work to make those dreams come true.” That may sound a bit vague, but the basic premise of the awards luncheon, presented by the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, is to recognize those that have “cleaned up” Downtown — wiped away the blight and replaced it with shiny new buildings, commerce and business-minded tenants and retail space.
Downtown’s skyline is changing (now, to focus on mid-rise affordable living!), and that deserves to be recognized. Keynote speakers Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona and Matt Lehrman of ShowUp.com both urged the attendees to support locally owned businesses and explore all the hidden gems that Downtown Phoenix has to offer. After hopefully inspiring the room, the awards presentations got underway. Here is a recap of the day’s winners.
Private Sector Individual: Mike Ratner. Ratner owns Tom’s Tavern, which has sat inauspiciously on Washington Street for 80 years. It has survived countless recessions, building booms and busts and many plans for the zero/zero block at Central and Washington, and it has survived because it gives combines elements so few places can — friendly service, comfortable atmosphere, quality food and good bargains. Ratner is hoping to see a spike in customers (and hours of operation) once CityScape‘s phases are up and rolling.
Public Sector/Non-Profit Individual: Don Keuth. Keuth is the President of the Phoenix Community Alliance, which is responsible for a number of private sector advances in Central Phoenix. In short, PCA has helped our skyline grow, our infill projects sprout up and our streets get clean. With Keuth at the helm, the advancement will surely continue.
Organization: Phoenix Mercury. You can’t argue that the Mercury is our most consistent franchise. Don’t forget that they’re the ones hoisting the championship banners, not the Suns, D’Backs, Cardinals or Coyotes. The Mercury has experienced steady growth over its 13 seasons in the WNBA, and the success is apparent. There are few other markets that can draw the kind of WNBA crowds the Mercury consistently does.
Program/Project: Freeport McMoRan Center. It was once called Central Park East, but with Freeport McMoRan moving a bit north to occupy the new build project on Central and Van Buren, the glassy tower has established a true identity. Coupled with a forthcoming Westin business-class hotel, the building will further advance Downtown Phoenix’s business reputation.
“Unsung Hero”: Frank Fairbanks. Fairbanks saw more than his fair share of blight during his two-decade tenure as city manager. He accomplished so much, most notably helping to revitalize Downtown Phoenix with ASU’s Downtown campus, the Convention Center expansion and light rail implementation. It’s safe to say the city core is a better place thanks to all of Fairbanks’ efforts.
Visionary: R. Neil Irwin. Irwin, an attorney by day, is the only chairman in the Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s 20-year run, so his announcement to leave his post earlier this year is certainly a big deal. Irwin oversaw countless advancements in the organization and Downtown’s revitalization, earning the DREAMR’s highest honor.
CenPhoCamp’s inaugural run showcased some great discussion and important opinions about Phoenix, media, communication, the Web and so much more. DPJ is encouraging those that attended to tweet their thoughts on the event (respond to @dtphxjournal or use #cenphocamp). We’ll post the responses here, in hopes that the discussions continue and connections are furthered.
@andrewkfromaz: it was a good resource for businesses to learn about social media and how to access their customers who use it.
@Chris_Coffel: best part about #cenphocamp was everyone drunk after at the Turf! Well except for me, I had my Sprite.
@kbump: That was some good networking y’all!
@SusanBaier: Nice to see so many folks from outside central Phoenix come to help, support, guide, build community at #CenPhoCamp.
@tdhurst: BEST EVENT OF ALL TIME.
@MoLo_: It was nice hearing local business owners give their opinions on what is important to them and how they are using “new media”.
@ModernRoots: Mixing social media with downtown Phx culture was a great idea. We loved the un-conference concept. Lack of corp BS appeal.
@KnitFrogger: Panel discussions needed more intro, and to stay on topic, though I got good struff from biz strategy at day’s end.
@cartelcoffeelab: [Great things:] Drinking copious amount of toddy, mingling w/ others, & the format of the un-conference which fostered great discussions.
@conrey: #cenphocamp was well organized, run, and had more than the usual twitter crowd show up – all successes in my eyes
@MissAnnieJ: I really enjoyed #cenphocamp – Helped me rethink how I use social media.
@FamilyPlanning: It was a great experience, as one of the few Non profits in attendance, it opened up the doors of possibility
@TheBrettWalker: #cenphocamp was really cool. I learned alot about how local businesses are adapting to social media to reach more people!
@matthewpetro: It was great to have a diverse collection of CenPho and non-CenPho residents get together and communicate at #cenphocamp.
@wconeybeer: @coneybeer convinced me to go to #cenphocamp, and I’m happy he did. Met some great new people and got some good biz insight!
@JoeManna: Great mixture of social media and non-social-media types. Enjoyed the small business owners’ input.
@srumery: #CenPhoCamp was a well organized event bringing together local business owners with technology innovators. A perfect match.