Mayor Greg Stanton
Hugo Medina is a force to be reckoned with; he’s not just a talented muralist and the winner of the Public Art Award category in the newly announced Mayor’s Arts Awards, he’s someone who can rally a community and make things happen.
In this case, that “something” is an extraordinary public mural that will emerge over this weekend at the inaugural Phoenix Festival of the Arts. The mural will be extraordinary in both size and scope and it took a dynamo like Medina to make it all work.
Using Facebook, Medina put out a call to artists to participate in the project. “I wanted a diverse group of artists to get involved,” said Hugo. “Everything from accomplished muralists, to fine artists, students, graffiti artists, and novice painters.” Over 80 artists responded to his call.
Medina’s concept created a simple but elegant way to bring artists into contact with each other and the public. Each of the 80 artists will have a 4’ X 8’ wooden panel (donated to the festival by Home Depot) to make their own. In between each artist panel will be a blank panel where the community will be invited to participate. The two artists working on either side of the blank panel will collaborate on an idea for the community to realize.
This allows for each artist to make their own work, but also gives artists who may have never met previously the chance to work together. The only restriction on the work is that it not be negative and that it is in some way focused on Downtown Phoenix. By placing the blank community panels between the two artist panels, Medina is hoping that a natural flow will develop from one panel to the next.
The mural will be completed during the three-day festival and when done, will consist of 160 four-foot high panels, stretching for 1,280 feet. There will be several mural stations throughout the festival where the public can watch the artists work, or grab a brush and participate. Everyone is invited to lend a hand and make their mark, including kids.
Bring the whole family down to Hance Park this weekend to the Phoenix Festival of the Arts to make your mark on this unique public art project that is bringing artists and the public together to create something everyone can be proud of and enjoy.
“Come Monday morning, I’ll be working with the City of Phoenix to pack up the panels and move them to the corner of Central and Indian School,” said Medina. This is the new PHX Renews site at Indian School Road and Central Avenue; a large empty space that has been activated into temporary multi-use public space. “I’ll curate the placing of the panels around the park,” he continued. “Some will be placed along the fence to make them visible from the street, and others will be scattered along the paths within the fenced space.” The panels will remain at the site for the next three years.
If you go:
Event: Community Mural at Phoenix Festival of the Arts
When: Friday, Dec 7 through Sunday, Dec 9
Times: Friday 2 to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What’s required: Your creativity. Paint, brushes and wood panel canvasses will be provided.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Mayor Greg Stanton will present the first-ever “Mayor’s Arts Awards” at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts this weekend.
Stanton launched the awards to highlight the cultural richness of Phoenix and recognize excellence from the visual and performing arts in the community. A panel of distinguished members from the arts and culture areas selected awardees in five categories based upon excellence and community impact.
Stanton will present the awards Saturday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. on the main stage at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd St. in Phoenix.
“Arts and culture are vital to the social and economic well being of our city,” Stanton said. “They improve our quality of life, uplift our spirits and help attract and keep talented employees and innovative businesses in Phoenix. The Phoenix Festival of the Arts is an important opportunity for all of us to celebrate the breadth and depth of the arts and culture community in Phoenix.”
The winners of each category include:
Dance Organization Award
Scorpius Dance Theatre
Formed in 1999 by choreographer, Lisa Starry, Scorpius Dance Theatre is observing its 11th season in operation. The contemporary dance company has been a constant presence in the metropolitan Phoenix arts community since its inception, combining the motifs of humor, drama and both organic and technical movement to form a very distinct brand of dance theater.
Music Organization Award
Downtown Chamber Series
The Downtown Chamber Series brings chamber music to distinctive art spaces in downtown Phoenix, showcasing professional musicians and the works of local artists.
Public Art Award
Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Medina immigrated to New York as a child, where his interest in art was fostered by his architect father. While completing his undergraduate work in New York, Medina volunteered to teach classes at a summer program at the Kumayya Indian reservation in San Diego, Calif. His experience at the reservation is what led him to become an art teacher. Hugo’s desire to give back to the community and his love of children led him to a teaching career. Medina’s great appreciation and admiration of the southwest brought him to Phoenix, where he has been the mastermind behind some of the city’s best murals.
Rising Youth Theatre
Rising Youth Theatre is Phoenix theater company founded by ASU grads Xanthia Walker and Sarah Sullivan to create youth driven theatre that is riveting and relevant, challenging audiences to hear new stories, start conversations and participate in their communities. Recently, the diverse company of students has created plays based on immigrant youth.
Visual Artist Award
Grigsby, 94, came to Phoenix following World War II to teach art at Carver High School. He joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1966 and served as a Trustee of Phoenix Art Museum. His public collections are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Printmaking Workshop in New York City, the Library of Congress, the Cape Coast Museum in West Africa and Philadelphia’s Brandywine Workshop, as well as art centers and galleries in leading universities and public venues across the nation.
This weekend’s Phoenix Festival of the Arts runs from Dec. 7 to 9 at Hance Park and is the city’s first signature arts festival. The free event features three days of live entertainment, arts vendors, a hands-on community mural, food trucks, Kidz Korner and more. Celebrate artists and arts organizations from across Phoenix’s cultural landscape. Hosted by Phoenix Center for the Arts and sponsored by Lou and Evelyn Grubb, this free festival will become an annual tradition.
Image of Eugene Grigsby by Dee Dee Woods
Some news items don’t need translation. That’s why DPJ launched the From the Wire series, so we could serve the destinations here by posting information and announcements – in their own words.
April 3 Event Features Community Leaders Addressing Crime and Blight
The Capitol Mall Association (CMA), in conjunction with its partner organizations, is launching a new initiative that will focus efforts on revitalizing downtown neighborhoods. The Capitol Neighborhood Coalition is designed to address issues, in a holistic approach, that affect neighborhoods surrounding the Arizona State Capitol area.
“The Capitol Neighborhood Coalition will be working to address global solutions for our communities by bringing issues and solutions to the table that will change the lives of our children and their families. We will address these issues together, as we know we are all connected and there is power in a united effort that creates a healthy community,” said CMA Executive Director, Shannon Dubasik.
A formal celebration to launch the initiative is planned for 6:00 pm on April 3, 2012. The community at large is invited to attend the event to be held at the Capitol School, 330 N. 16th Avenue, in Phoenix. It is anticipated that Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton may attend the event, along with Teresa Brice, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), who will be the featured speaker on the topic of sustainability efforts by engaging community members to design their own vision for quality of life.
Capitol Neighborhood Coalition partners include the Capitol Mall Association, Woodland Historic District, Oakland University Park Neighborhood, F.Q. Story Neighborhood and the St. Matthew’s Neighborhood, all bound by I-10 Freeway North and the railroad tracks South of Harrison Street; 27th Avenue to 7th Avenue. The Coalition will also include local law enforcement and the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services, Housing and Community and Economic Development departments. Phoenix Councilmember Michael Nowakowski (District 7) and Councilmember and Vice Mayor Michael Johnson (District 8), along with the Mayor’s office, will be key players in the Coalition as well.
This event also serves as the kick-off to the CMA Home Raffle to raise money in support of the nonprofit’s programs. Raffle tickets will be sold through May 29 for $20 each or six for $100. Prizes include two homes. The drawing for the homes and other prizes will take place May 31. For additional information and ticket purchases, visit the CMA website.
About Capitol Mall Association
Capitol Mall Association (CMA) is a 501 c( 3), non-profit organization that is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of residents, area property and business owners, and advisors from the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. CMA primarily serves the downtown Phoenix neighborhoods bound by I-10 Freeway North and the railroad tracks South of Harrison Street; 27th Avenue to 7th Avenue. In 2007, the Board of Directors voted to expand CMA’s housing services mission City Wide with a focus on underserved areas. For more information, visit their website.
A community conversation was held this morning at the Ro2 Lot, on the northeast corner of 2nd and Roosevelt Streets, to discuss temporary use projects for empty lots in Downtown Phoenix.
Over one hundred people showed up to hear Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and William McDonough (international sustainability expert and the author of Cradle to Cradle) discuss urban sustainability efforts both locally and internationally, with a particular emphasis on ways in which the City of Phoenix can create incentives for private property owners to participate in temporary lot activation projects.
Stanton noted that as the economy begins to improve, we have “a unique moment in time” to rethink development, to “do it right” and not go back to “the same old same old.” As one way of “doing it right,” he proposed using empty city lots as demonstration projects to show what can be done. Appropriate temporary use projects could include gardens, arts spaces, pocket parks and more.
Mayor Stanton was quick to point out that there is nothing anti-private property about encouraging these projects and that a savvy developer can develop a great deal of good will in the community by allowing appropriate temporary use. He hinted that he will be making an announcement within the next thirty days involving “a big empty lot project.” The where and what remains unknown for now.
Beyond the issue of temporary activation of vacant lots, Stanton addressed the next evolution of transportation in a regional environment and pointed out that all transportation systems need to be supportive of our aging population, and that development along the light rail and walkability are important quality of life factors as we grow older.
He also addressed the role of historic preservation in overall sustainability efforts, mentioning the A.E. England building as a “great demonstration project” of how an historic building can be adapted to new uses, and applauding Michael Levine’s work in restoring the historic warehouses just south of Downtown.
The Lot – What Should Go Here? is a “Phoenix-based community project to help creatively activate and transform one vacant lot at a time into temporary spaces the community can enjoy until they are later developed.” Community partners in this initiative include Roosevelt Row CDC, the ASU Global Institute for Sustainability, Urban Initiatives, Continental Shift, Edge Industries/The Funk Lab, monOrchid , Champion PR + Consulting, and Envirogreen.
When representatives went to pitch the Valley of the Sun as the 2015 Super Bowl host site this past fall, the playing field was vastly different from when the city hosted the last one in 2008. The site selection process had changed significantly, with the final choice narrowed down to only two cities: Tampa and Phoenix.
But the real game changer for the 49th Super Bowl, according to everyone involved, was that Downtown Phoenix had evolved from a sprawling construction zone to a world-class, truly Super Bowl-worthy destination. Among the changes:
- In the past four years, the size of the Phoenix Convention Center has tripled to more than 900,000 square feet.
- Light rail was completed and quickly became the transportation mode of choice, particularly for those attending downtown sporting events.
- More than 1,500 additional hotel rooms have come on line, with the total now well exceeding the requisite 19,000.
- CityScape was completed and has made its mark with top-notch dining, shopping and entertainment venues.
- And ASU now has a significant downtown presence, with thousands of students, including residents.
“The transformation of Downtown Phoenix was a significant part of our pitch.”
– Mike Kennedy, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
“Best Super Bowl Venue in the Country”
“We think we now have the best Super Bowl venue in the country, “ according to Mike Kennedy, who has been chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee for the past seven years. “The transformation of Downtown Phoenix was a significant part of our pitch.”
“All the team owners that were voting hadn’t seen downtown since 2008 so we did our best to describe it to them,” he said.
They were assisted by sophisticated marketing materials and a killer video, thanks to the efforts of the local marketing and advertising agency E.B. Lane.
“We really made a point of noting all the development – retail, entertainment, restaurants, housing and transportation – that has been finished since 2008,” said Beau Lane, chief executive officer of E.B. Lane, which represents the Super Bowl Host Committee, the Arizona Cardinals and the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“One of the concerns last time, even though it was very successful, was that the events were spread out all over the Greater Phoenix area,” he said.
“This time we see that heartbeat of all Super Bowl activity taking place Downtown. We have the capacity and the facility infrastructure to support it.”
– Beau Lane, E.B. Lane
“This time we see that heartbeat of all Super Bowl activity taking place Downtown. We have the capacity and the facility infrastructure to support it.”
Michael Bidwill Scores as MVP
However, according to Kennedy, the final host decision came down to which owner could gather the most National Football League votes.
Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill touted the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale to the 32 NFL team owners that were gathered in Houston. He also talked about the hotel, resort and tourism infrastructure. And, according to those in attendance, he was particularly persuasive when speaking about what Downtown Phoenix has to offer.
According to those in attendance, [Michael Bidwill] was particularly persuasive when speaking about what Downtown Phoenix has to offer.
Neither Arizona nor Tampa received the requisite 24 of 32 votes the first time around. With the second vote, only a majority was needed.
“It all came down to which owner could gather 17 votes – and that was Michael Bidwill,” Kennedy said.
A Stamp of Approval
Being a Super Bowl host site means a lot of things, not the least of these being an estimated $500 million economic impact to the state. There is also the opportunity to turbo charge the state’s tourism and visibility, bringing thousands of visitors from around the globe.
But for Downtown Phoenix, Super Bowl 2015 will play a unique role, a glamorous debut on the world’s stage.
“When a downtown is at a Super Bowl level, it says something to meeting planners, as well as everyone else,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “We have a world class facility with our convention center and the capacity for all the media outlets to make Downtown their home.
“Downtown Phoenix is already a great destination,” he added. “This is an extra stamp of approval.”
Agreed Jeff Moloznik, CityScape’s General Manager, “This is affirmation that Downtown has finally arrived, when you can tell a major international event that they will be hosted in Downtown Phoenix and that it is the epicenter of the Super Bowl.
Building on Infrastructure
Moloznik sees CityScape as being the “hub of the wheel” for all NFL festivities. In addition to all the activities that will be slated to take place at CityScape, it will be a central meeting place and clearinghouse for all Super Bowl-related information.
“When a downtown is at a Super Bowl level, it says something to meeting planners, as well as everyone else”
– City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
He noted he will be part of a group flying out to Indianapolis to see how it creates an NFL fan zone and experience. He pointed out that “a lot of infrastructure will be coming on line” in the next few years at CityScape, from temporary and permanent stage structures to large format, 40’ x 20’ screens, scheduled to be installed this year.
Then there is the matter of the estimated $18-$20 million that must be raised over the next few years, which covers the cost of taking care of the clubs, hosting the parties, securing facilities and other expenses. The funds that were raised for Super Bowl 2008 were solicited before the recession hit.
Mayor Stanton, who emphasized that Phoenix will be working in close partnership with its neighboring cities for all aspects of the Super Bowl, noted that Phoenix will have significant direct and indirect expenses, including the costs of security and police officers.
“This is affirmation that Downtown has finally arrived…”
– Jeff Moloznik, RED Development
“I’m sure we will be asked to pick up the phone and make a pitch to some of our large corporate donors,” Stanton said. “We also expect the NFL to be a partner during these difficult economic times.”
Lane said sponsorship packages are already being developed and there is usually a number of events that take place the year before the Super Bowl as well. “Our strategy is to provide significant value so they receive a return for their investment,” he said.
And while Kennedy referred to raising the needed funds as a “daunting task,” it is one which he also believes will reap major returns.
“Short of the Olympics, there is no other sporting event that has the visibility and impact of the Super Bowl,” he said.
Homepage: design by E.B. Lane for Super Bowl bid presentation. All images courtesy of E.B. Lane.