As Downtown Phoenix expands so do the various culture scenes within it. One that has experienced growth is the fashion industry. Within just the past few years, locals have taken it upon themselves to enrich the world around them with a focus on fashion.
The growth is in large part thanks to the educational programs that help develop the creative industry. Although Phoenix isn’t home to famed design schools such as FIDM or Parsons, it is the home for Phoenix College, which houses an exceptional fashion program for those looking to take a dip into the pool of fashion design.
The students who go through the program can thank Sylvia Phillips, instructor and chair of applied technology and family & consumer sciences. Phillips came to the college when it only offered a few fashion courses, and saw that students were interested in learning more, which drove her to enhance the fashion design program.
“It [the program] has changed a lot. We have added a lot of courses and our enrollment has grown a great deal,” Phillips said.
For a student to receive a degree they must successfully complete the two-year program of rigorous classes as well as complete an internship or a portfolio class. Phillips said, “When they complete the program they should be able to design and work in a costuming business as a costumer.”
Those who do not directly begin their fashion career often choose to further their education, with many Phoenix College graduates attending Parsons or the Fashion Institute of Technology after they complete the program. Phillips said she often hears from past students and loves to hear how they have furthered their careers.
“Our students are very diverse, very talented. They have a passion for fashion,” Phillips said of the roughly 300 students she sees each semester.
Although Phoenix College is not the only school to offer fashion design programs, they do believe they have something special to offer their students.
The program educates students in fashion design, pattern design, fashion illustration, apparel construction and costuming. Students learn various techniques first-hand, as well as they have the opportunity to work with some of the latest technology in computer-assisted pattern making and fashion design to further enhance their experiences at the college.
The students are also surrounded by fashion in their classrooms. Phoenix College has a fashion closet that has grown over the years thanks to donations from various donors, including the Phoenix Art Museum, that have helped to grow the collection to over a hundred items.
Here’s hoping the fashion closet grows, much like the program itself.
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.
Come and enjoy the sounds of saxophonist Chris Vadala at the Phoenix College Jazz Celebration Festival Concert on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. The concert also features the Superstition Jazz Orchestra and the Doublers Collective.
The performance will be in PC’s Bulpitt Auditorium, 1202 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix, starting at 8 p.m. The concert caps off a full day of musical instruction as part of the Music Department’s annual festival. Students from throughout the state travel to PC that day to get professional instruction at the school’s Sessions Recital Hall.
This year’s featured guest, Mr. Vadala, is the director of Jazz Studies at the University of Maryland, where he is also a saxophone professor. He played in the Chuck Mangione Band for many years and has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, including jingle sessions and film and TV scores. The educator and performer also plays the flute and clarinet.
He will be backed by the Superstition Jazz Orchestra, a dynamic big band made up of top professional musicians from Phoenix. Based in Phoenix College, the band performs under the direction of Milas Yoes, coordinator of Instrumental Music, Jazz Studies, and Humanities at PC. The Doublers Collective will also play with Mr. Vadala and specializes in woodwind instruments in a progressive jazz setting.
In keeping with the educational focus of the performance, students from PC’s Live Sound Reinforcement classes will handle the sound mixing and microphone duties for the live performance. And a group of young students from Rosie’s House, a Phoenix-based non-profit music academy for children, will be performing in the lobby prior to show time.
Admission is $5 and all proceeds will go to Rosie’s House, which provides music lessons and loaned instruments to low-income children.
“It should be a gala event,” said PC’s Yoes. “It will be a night of saxophone madness. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Rosie’s House for this performance.”
Following the concert, a reception at Hob Nobs Café and Spirits, 149 W. McDowell Road, from 10 p.m. – midnight will continue the celebration, with a jam session of PC students and others.
If You Go
When: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Where: Phoenix College’s Bulpitt Auditorium, 1202 W. Thomas Road
Sep 23, 2009 (Wed) 8:00AM – 9:00AM
Join Mayor Phil Gordon for a cup of joe and an update on stimulus funding. Hear the inside scoop on the city’s efforts to bring more federal funds to Phoenix and have your questions heard. Nothing beats starting your day with Mayor Phil and a look into our city’s progress.
The meeting will be held at Phoenix College Downtown.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The future is being invented in Downtown Phoenix. While much recent attention has been focused on CityScape and the Downtown ASU campus, a few blocks away, some of the brightest high school students in the state are pushing the boundaries of science and math. Working alongside Phoenix’s advanced education and bioscience communities, these students are helping to solve the problems of tomorrow.
Here, rising from the empty lots south of Roosevelt Row, is Bioscience High School. While officially a part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, Bioscience is quickly forging a unique identity of its own and becoming an integrated part of the Downtown community.
In the fall of 2006, Bioscience High School opened its doors at the Phoenix Prep Academy to 43 freshman, seven teachers, two staff and a principal. A year later, the school’s new building opened at the corner of 6th Street and Pierce. By 2008-09, enrollment grew to 180 students. This fall there are 253 students, including its first senior class that comprises all of the original 43 students. Next year, the school expects to achieve its full capacity of 400 students.
According to Bioscience principal Dr. Deedee Falls, the aim of Bioscience High School is to work with students to “invent the future” by preparing students for jobs “that don’t yet exist” and to solve problems that “we don’t yet know about.” Judging by their early academic success, this approach is working well. In 2008, 97% of its 10th graders meet or exceed the AIMS math exam, which is the highest public (non-charter) school percentage in the Valley, and second best in the state. Its science scores were third best in the state among non-charter schools. Moreover, in its first two years of eligibility, the school earned two consecutive AZ Learns ‘Excelling’ Achievement Profiles from the state, the highest a school can attain.
Even more impressive: Bioscience has achieved such outcomes with a high percentage of traditionally under-represented students. The school is part of the Phoenix Union High School District, but enrollment is open to all students in the Phoenix area; the main requirement is a passion for science. “Science is for everybody,” states Dr. Falls. “We give more weight to motivation than grades.” The composition of the student population illustrates this philosophy. Bioscience has one of the most diverse student bodies in Arizona, with 57% Hispanic, 11% African American, 6% Native American, 4% Asian and 21% Caucasian students. But, while they come from diverse backgrounds, their love of science has brought them together and forged a strong community dedicated to creating knowledge.
The school’s Downtown location plays a role in its success. As part of the Phoenix Bioscience campus, the school is in immediate proximity of some of the most advanced scientific research organizations in the Valley, including TGen, Arizona Science Center, ASU Downtown and Phoenix College. Bioscience students benefit from this concentration of local scientific and academic resources through site visits, guest lectures and student internships.
Bioscience’s connection to the Downtown community is not just limited to scientific collaboration. The school has also woven itself into the social fabric of Downtown as well. A great example of this has been the school’s involvement in First Fridays. Not only does the school rent out spaces in its parking structure to those participating in the monthly artwalk, but the students also set up a table to sell their own arts and crafts. Proceeds from these activities help fund school projects.
Additionally, the school is paying respect to the history of its Downtown location. It has recently received a $2.4-million grant from the city of Phoenix to renovate the historic McKinley schoolhouse for a biomedical program. This site has been connected to education since 1902, when a school was built (the current building was completed in 1919). When complete in the fall of 2010, the renovated schoolhouse building will include administrative offices, classrooms, a library/community room and student demonstration area. The renovated facility will act as a historic foil to the modern architecture of the rest of the Bioscience campus. The renovations will maintain the schoolhouse’s green space along Pierce Street, acting as a pocket oasis for students and local residents alike.
To find out more, contact Bioscience High School at 602-764-5600 or go to www.biosciencehs.org. The school is located at 512 E. Pierce Street.
All photos by Paul Valach
The Contemporary Forum and Phoenix College present the next installment of the Eric Fischl Lecture Series on Tuesday, April 14 at the Phoenix Art Museum. The evening will also include the presentation of the 2009 Phoenix College Student Art Awards.
David Salle will present “An Aptitude For Metamorphosis,” a highly subjective interpretation of his work and how it has and hasn’t changed and evolved over the last 25 years. Salle’s work helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. Major exhibitions of his work have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1986, Salle received a Guggenheim fellowship for theater design, and he is a long time collaborator with choreographer Karole Armitage designing sets and costumes for many of her ballets.
Admission is free, and everyone is welcome. Light refreshments will follow the program, which begins at 7PM in Whiteman Hall. The Phoenix Art Museum is located at 100 East McDowell, directly adjecent to the light rail stop at Central & McDowell.
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