[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, The Arizona Republic]
Next weekend, Valley residents will take to the streets to learn about art and architecture in their community, and honor Jane Jacobs.
Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighborhood walking tours that takes place around the world on the first weekend of May to coincide with Jacobs’ birthday, May 4, 1916.
Former Phoenix resident Yuri Artibise, who relocated to Canada this month, helped organize Jane’s Walks the past few years. Artibise said Jacobs was an activist who championed the interests and knowledge of residents over a centralized approach to city building.
“It’s meant to promote and celebrate walkable urbanism,” Artibise said. “Last year the walk in Phoenix’s warehouse district had 90 people.”
Christina Plante and Ed Lebow are guiding the walk in Sunnyslope on May 7.
Plante, who lives and works in Sunnyslope, and Lebow, Phoenix’s public art director, will offer a personal take on the history and planning of public art in north central Phoenix.
The 2-mile walk begins at the Sunnyslope Transit Center, 8927 N. Third St.
Besides offering a look at public art along Dunlap and Central avenues, the walk will provide a lesson on the history of city-financed public art.
In the late 1980s, the Junior League of Phoenix initiated a canal beautification project. Financial support came from a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Salt River Project, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler and Gilbert. Phoenix committed to five demonstration projects along canals.
“The canal project came out of a long, long effort,” Lebow said. “The Junior League of Phoenix wanted to show how the canal banks could be better public space for the public. It took a lot of planning for Sunnyslope residents to accomplish that.”
The Calle 16 Jane’s Walk will feature an up-and-coming arts and culture district on 16th Street, focusing on the Hispanic population of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Mesa Jane’s Walk will highlight downtown and historic Mesa.
Jane’s Walk Details
Three walks will take place May 7 and 8th:
- Sunnyslope: May 7th, 8 to 10 a.m., Sunnyslope Transit Center, 8927 N. Third St. Information: christina. firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-870-6060, Ext. 1174.
- Mesa: May 7th, 9 to 11 a.m., meet at the south end of the Mesa Arts Center’s Shadow Walk, 1 E. Main St. Information: email@example.com
- Calle 16: May 8th, 8 to 10 a.m., begin at Way Cool Hair, 1524 E. McDowell Road, and end at Barrio Café, 2814 N. 16th St.