The next Grand Avenue Merchants Association (GAMA) meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 10, 5:30 pm at Moderncat Studio, Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 Grand Avenue (enter through the gray hallway door on McKinley). Here’s the agenda:
- Introductions and Sign-in
- Review of Minutes for the January 13, 2010 GAMA meeting
- Request for reimbursement for web and domain expenditures incurred by Kate Benjamin, GAMA Communications Director
- GAMA Logo, Kate Benjamin, GAMA Communications Director
- Outdoor Advertising Structure Permit, Adam Baugh from Withey Morris
- Proposed “Gift and Thrift Boutique Gallery-Studio”
- Art Detour Plans and Suggestions
- University Park/GAMA Letter of Support, Beatrice Moore
- Old Business
- New Business
Note: GAMA meetings are always the second Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. and take place at varying locations. If you would like to be on the GAMA e-mail list, contact Beatrice Moore or Kate Benjamin.
Every weekend during the month of March, arts events will be hosted in downtown Phoenix and surrounding neighborhoods, along with events, exhibitions, and performances on other days throughout the month. In recognition of the local arts community and these public festivals, Mayor Phil Gordon has proclaimed March as “Phoenix Arts Month” and invites everyone to attend and celebrate.
- March 7-8, Art Detour: The city’s First Fridays art walk of local galleries and art spaces organized by Art Link. Free shuttles run beginning at Phoenix Center for the Arts, and take guests to destinations throughout downtown Phoenix.
- March 7-8, Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market: One of the nation’s most acclaimed gathering of Native American artists.
- March 12-15, West of Western Culinary Festival: Celebrating Arizona’s chefs and culinary arts at the Phoenix Art Museum
- March 15, Phoenix Art Museum: Spring exhibition “In Contemporary Rhythm” opens.
- March 21-22, Valley Fever Art Festival: Phoenix’s newest festival celebrating visual and performing arts, including music, dance, poetry, theater, street painting, and more at Heritage Square.
- March 28-29, Phoenix Fringe Festival: Innovative, experimental and provocative theater by local, national, and international artists.
For a full calendar of events during the month of March, click here.
Art Link, Inc., is one of the oldest artist-run, all volunteer arts organizations in downtown Phoenix. Since 1989, it has organized Phoenix’s biggest annual artwalk, Art Detour. This year’s facts and figures:
- What: Free self-guided tour of 60 downtown Phoenix galleries and studios.
- When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 8, and Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 9.
- Where: Free shuttles will run three routes during event hours. The hub is Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave. Maps available at participating art spaces.
In 1994, Art Link created First Friday, which has grown to become the largest monthly artwalk in the U.S. With dozens of arts venues open free to the public each month, Art Link’s First Friday succeeds in bringing people back to downtown Phoenix.
[Source: Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic] — In 1989, Phoenix looked more like an urban wasteland than the beating heart of a growing metropolis. Back then, Art Detour was all too apt a name for a trek into downtown to visit galleries and studios. An Arizona Republic report called the five-hour self-guided tour, with 18 stops, an “unusual scene”: “Women in sun hats and men in walking shorts ambled along usually empty city streets. Some said they hadn’t been downtown for years.”
Next weekend, the non-profit Artlink Inc. hosts its 20th annual event in a very different city — although the Detour tag still fits, thanks to a proliferation of construction zones ranging from high-rise hotels to light rail. The current building boom is the latest stage in a two-decade-long process of revitalization, one that the art community has nurtured and simultaneously has been threatened by. The pattern is familiar: Artists move into blighted urban areas to rent affordable spaces where they can live, create, and show their work. The art attracts visitors, who in turn attract cafes and other small businesses. Property values rise, developers take notice, and soon the artists are priced out of a community they helped create.
It’s a perennial paradox, but it’s one that gallery owners and public officials are working to reconcile as they make plans for a diverse downtown where art has a permanent place. “We have the best relationship now than we’ve had in the past 20 years with the city of Phoenix,” says artist and activist Beatrice Moore, who owns a studio on Grand Avenue and rents several spaces to other artists.
No one would know better. Moore organized the first Art Detour in March 1989 as a coming-out party for the budding art scene in the warehouse district. A month later she was spearheading a protest of city plans to develop a basketball arena that would level her studio on South Second Street, as well as Madison Studios, home to 10 art spaces. She lost that fight to the future home of the Phoenix Suns, America West Arena (now renamed after US Airways). After she set up shop farther west, real-estate speculation in the district persuaded her to move again in the mid-’90s, this time to Grand. There she repeated her role as pioneer of urban revitalization. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]