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Downtown Voices Coalition Minutes for August 14, 2010

Meeting held at Roosevelt Commons, 825 N. 6th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003

Attending: Kim Kasper, Tim Sprague, Suad Mahmuljin, Louisa Stark, Matt Tomb, Elise Griffin, John Saccoman, Beatrice Moore, Susan Copeland, Steve Weiss, Carol Poore, Erick Baer, Karla Grijalva, Margaret Dietrich, Jim McPherson, Reid Butler, Kate Benjamin, Sean Sweat, Bill Blauc, Tim Eigo

9:35 AM

Introductions and approval of minutes: Motion to approve Reid Butler, Second Tim Eigo, voice vote carried unanimously.


GRAND AVENUE FESTIVAL– Kate Benjamin, chair Grand Avenue Festival

September 25, 2010-All day and evening

Events include-5 stops on Historic Tour-15th Avenue/Grand area

$10.00 ticket for tour-fundraiser for Grand Avenue Merchants Association

Open Artist Studios-Trashy Sculpture Show

Evening Fashion Show Braggs Pie Factory

Oasis Motel renovation will be part of tour-hoping to start renovation in October 2010

Request for $250.00 donation by Downtown Voices Coalition to Grand Avenue Merchant Association for Grand Avenue Festival.

  • Motion to donate John Saccoman, 2nd Suad Mahmuljin, voice vote approved unanimously
  • Reid Butler will match DVC donation.


Initial stages developing nicely and she’ll be handing over preliminary soon

Carol discussed her dissertation on how Phoenix Community Alliance and Downtown Phoenix Partnership interact with other organizations in downtown-DVC is a player!

3 profound issues:

  1. Leadership changes
  2. With big projects done, street level activity and development needed
  3. Affordable and attainable housing

Erick Baer-Public funding initiatives=empty lots, Private no public funds=Grand Avenue


City asked for continuance of rezoning for parking lot. “Done Deal” says City Mgr.  David Cavazos.

10:15 am


Update Private Non-Profit Intervention Fund-Reid Butler

  • Example was given for creating new organization with capital seed money ($20 mil)
  • Phoenix-based organization intervenes and purchases older threatened buildings
  • Save money with more than advocacy, save with money!
  • Funding sources-Angles, non-profits, corporations
  • Use tax credits to finance end goal-Organization stabilizes structure, sells to preservation-     friendly developers-Or –Bank—gift building to non-profit.
  • Version of how not to do it-Grace Court


Motion to Publish DVC Minutes General Monthly Meetings to DVC website

  • Motion made by Suad Mahmuljin, Seconded by Tim Eigo, voice vote carries motion unanimously.

11:30 AM


John Saccoman, seconded by Tim Eigo, voice vote carries motion unanimously.


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Grand Avenue Festival brings funky fashions to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Emily Gersema, Arizona Republic (sidebar)]

A series of fashion shows is scheduled for the festival on Saturday, in addition to the live music and tours of revitalized buildings.

Parking is free along Grand Avenue for the festival and in the lot behind Bragg’s Pie Factory.

  • 2 p.m-6 p.m. Shop Devious Beauty Lounge & Boutique, 1229 W. Grand Ave. “Devious Indie Fashion Experience & Fashion in Motion” features designer items from aprons to dog clothes with accessories by Devious Wigs & Things.
  • 5 p.m. Soul Invictus Theater, 1022 W. Grand Ave. “It’s All About U” by Gallery Marsiglia, a jewelry and fashion accessories show, shows original jewelry in sterling silver in various styles.
  • 5 p.m. Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 W. Grand Ave. Models will march in the “Untrashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show” by Babsomatic to show clothes made of recycled materials and thrift-store finds. Garments will then be shown at the “Trashy Sculpture Show for two months. Trash can-drumming musicians and an orchestra of typewriters are the accompanists.
  • 7 p.m. Bragg’s Pie Factory. Fashion by the Dragonfly Boutique, Butter Toast Boutique and others will be in the “Local Boutiques Fashion Show,” with music by DJ Kris the Fist.
  • 9 p.m. Bragg’s Pie Factory. Local designers will stomp the runway in designs available at Wicked Wear by Cia Underwood, Arte Puro and Wiskc by Kelly Calabrese, MLE Jean by Emily Blanche, and Sticker Club Girl by Lisa Michelle Jacobs. Music by DJ Jared Allen.

More information:

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Grand Avenue Festival promises edgy fun in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Emily Gersema, Arizona Republic]

Photo credit: Diana Payan/The Arizona Republic

Alexis Ariana Hermosillo, 20, of El Mirage, is dressed in a pleated skirt of newspaper with a sweetheart top made of packaging paper. She crinkles whenever she takes a step, and as she tugs to pull the back together over her shirt, she asks her professor, “What am I going to do about the back?”

“Maybe it needs a bustle,” muses Melinda Bergman, an ASU West art faculty associate and artist with a studio in Citywide Studios, 701 N. 15th Ave. near Pierce Street, west of Grand Avenue.

Hermosillo, a senior at the Arizona State University West campus in Glendale, is one of Bergman’s 19 students who are turning trash into edgy fashion for the second annual Grand Avenue Festival on Saturday.

They, or friends who volunteer to model their trashy clothes, will take the runway for the “Untrashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show.”

The show is just one element of the all-day festival that celebrates artwork, music and businesses along Phoenix’s former diagonal streetcar route from Seventh Avenue and Van Buren Street to Linden Street and Laurel Avenue. The festivities kick off at 8 a.m. with a tour of old buildings made new by innovative developers. Tour tickets are $10 per person, and other tours are at 9 and 10 a.m.

Live music will kick off at 10 a.m. with the band Frequent Kings at the Paisley Violin Cafe, 1030 W. Grand Ave.

Kate Benjamin, a member of the Grand Avenue Merchants Association that hosts the festival, said business owners and artists started the festival last year to draw more people to the area, which is west of the more heavily frequented businesses that benefit from the light-rail ridership along Central Avenue.

Grand Avenue is used by many drivers to quickly escape rush-hour traffic downtown and head for the suburbs in the northwest.

“Our challenge with Grand Avenue is that’s such a thoroughfare,” said Benjamin, whose cat designer products shop, Moderncat, is one of the half-dozen studios housed in the Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 W. Grand Ave., near McKinley Street and 13th Avenue.

Grand Avenue has many surprises., 1229 W. Grand Ave., houses resale beauty items, including wigs, and a small-business center for computer repair. Soul Invictus Gallery & Cabaret, 1022 W. Grand Ave., is a combination theater and gallery.

The Trunk Space, 1506 W. Grand Ave., is full of art and handmade gifts. It also hosts performances.

The art studios and galleries along the avenue will be open to visitors throughout the festival.

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Get your Tickets for Grand Ave’s ReDapt Tour in Downtown Phoenix

The 2nd Annual Grand Avenue Festival will be held this Saturday, September 25, 2010! For those who missed last year’s events, it is a day full of art, music, fashion, and more that celebrates the vibrant culture of the Lower Grand Avenue arts & small business district.

Re-Dapt Tour

A central part of the Festival are the morning’s Adaptive Reuse,  aka Re-Dapt Tours. These special walking tours highlight some of the most interesting adaptive re-use projects on lower Grand Avenue.

Over the last 16 years new uses have been popping up in the Lower Grand Avenue district (from Van Buren to the 1-10 Freeway overpass) with many buildings reverting from industrial uses back to the original small retail and office uses that once lined this important connector to Wickenburg, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and points west. An influential factor in this renaissance has been the many innovative commercial adaptive re-use projects in the neighborhood: new owners have preserved parts of the existing vintage structures while making modern conversions that allow for more practicality in today’s world, including a myriad of hybrid uses.

Adaptive re-use of commercial buildings in older commercial districts is an important factor in creating true neighborhood sustainability. Many small, entrepreneurial businesses are attracted to the character these older structures lend to a neighborhood – and rents are usually more affordable than brand new construction can offer. The Re-Dapt Tours during the Grand Avenue Festival focus on celebrating the unique history of Grand Avenue, as well as the wonderful adaptive re-use projects in the neighborhood.

This year the Re-Dapt Tours will include La Luz Del Mundo Church, the Gonzalez Heating and Cooling buildings, The Oasis Motel and future home of The Grand Oasis multi-use project, the Rodriguez Boxing Gym corner, and the Grandevelt Complex, home to Kooky Krafts Shop, The Bikini Lounge, Sweets & Beats, and The Trunk Space.  Click ‘more’ below for  descriptions of these buildings.

Each tour is led by an expert Phoenix historian who will reveal the past uses of these unique buildings and the history of how Grand Avenue developed into a major transportation corridor to points west.

Tours will begin at 8:00 am, 9:00 am, and 10:00 am and last approximately two hours. Tours will start at the Rodriguez Boxing Gym at the corner of Roosevelt and 15th Ave. (map) All tours will include the same five buildings.

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased in advance at Sapna Cafe, Paisley Violin Cafe, Kooky Krafts Shop, and Sweets & Beats, or online by clicking HERE. Tickets can also be purchased the morning of the festival starting at 7:30 am at Kooky Krafts Shop, 1500 W Grand Ave.

2010 Re-Dapt Tour Stops

Read the rest of this entry

Turn your Trash into Treasures

[Source: Grand Avenue Merchants Association]

As a fundraiser for the Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association (GAMA), the Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 Grand Avenue (map), will host the 2nd Annual Trashy Sculpture Show on Saturday, September 25 as part of the quirky 2nd Annual Grand Avenue Festival.  The Trashy Sculpture Show will be one of many events taking place during the all day event along the Lower Grand Avenue Corridor.

Source: Grand Avenue Merchants Association

All work for the exhibit must be made primarily out of trash or recycled materials, with a limit of 3 pieces per contributor and an entry fee of $ 10 per piece.  Works can be for sale (or not).  The entry fees will go directly to GAMA, and if work is sold, 70% of the proceeds will go to the artist with 30% donated to GAMA.  Children’s projects are welcome; entry fees will be waived for school groups.

The work should reflect a person’s ability to go out in the world in search of trash and discarded materials, fashioning discards into unique and interesting sculpture.  Creative, funky, fun, whimsical and unique are encouraged. The purpose of the show is to highlight the ingenuity and creativity used in finding and adapting trashy, throw-away materials into one-of-a-kind hand crafted sculptures.  Work that aspires to be “fine art” or work that is mass produced for sale elsewhere is discouraged.

The exhibit will be on display at the Pie Factory for the festival as well as during October and November for the First Fridays and 3rd Fridays of the month.  Work must be delivered to the site September 20 from noon to 4 pm. All work that meets the above criteria will be exhibited.  For more information contact Beatrice Moore at 602.391.4016.

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Celebrating art, music, history, and adaptive reuse in Phoenix’s Lower Grand


Click me to learn more!

Grand Avenue Festival schedule finalized

FestivalButton[Source: Grand Avenue Merchants Association] — The Grand Avenue Festival, to be held on Saturday, September 26, 2009, has finalized a schedule of events including live music performances, fashion shows, adaptive re-use tours, open studios, and other special events throughout the day.  The festival will focus on the theme of neighborhood sustainability and adaptive re-use of the Lower Grand Avenue arts and small business district. Everyone is invited to this free (except for adaptive re-use tours), day-long celebration.

Adaptive Re-use/History Tours. Guided walking tours of some of the historic buildings on Lower Grand Avenue will focus on interesting adaptive re-use projects.  Tours will start at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am and will last approximately 1.5 hours.  This is a walking tour so participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat.  Tour tickets can be purchased at Tilt Gallery for $10 per person on the day of the festival, or in advance online.  Tour stops will include Tilt Gallery (all tours will start at Tilt Gallery), 919 W Fillmore; Jordre Studio, 1007 W Grand Ave; Paisley Violin Cafe & Paisley Town, 1028 W Grand Ave; Motley Design Group building, 1114 W Grand Ave; Arnold’s Auto Body Shop building, 1209 W Grand Ave; and Bragg’s Pie Factory building, 1301 W Grand Ave.

Fashion Shows. Three fashion shows are planned for the afternoon and evening of the festival.  The shows will feature the work of local artists, designers, and boutiques.  “Recycled Wearable Art” presented by Lee Berger will be at 5pm at Bragg’s Pie Factory and will feature fashions made from reused materials.  At 7pm “Local Boutique Fashions” will be presented at Bragg’s Pie Factory with fashions from Dragonfly Boutique, Wicked Wear, and Butter Toast Boutique, and music by Silver Medallion.  At 8:30pm, Gloria Marsiglia will present “The BoHo Haute Hippie Movement” at Soul Invictus Theatre.  This accessories fashion show will fuse Bohemian Hippie fashions, late 60s music, a light show, and special effects.  All fashion shows are free.

Live Music Performances. A variety of music performances will be presented free of charge as part of the festival activities at The PHiX, Sweets & Beats, Rockin’ A, and The Loft. Bands include Flyaway Tigers, The Boys, The Super Funk All-Stars, The Chandails, Great Job, River Jones PRESENTS!, The Complainiacs, Snake Snake Snakes!, Liam and the Ladies, Ray Reeves & the Phoenix Sons, Boys and Frogs, Bolt, Some Never Sleep, The Package, Scorpian vs. Tarantula, Azul, Flux Manifesto, Haunted Cologne, Somber Sounds, Man About a Dog, and The Skinwalkers.  Performances will start at 4:00pm and continue through midnight.  A complete schedule of music will be available on the day of the festival.

Open Studios. Fifteen artist studios will be open to the public on the day of the festival from 10am to 6pm.  The public is invited behind the scenes at these working studios: Jordre Studio, The Lodge Art Studio, Lucky Rabbit Studio, Studio of Jen Urso & Christy Puetz, Studio of Lee Berger, the ambient studio, Deus Ex Machina Gallery, Phoenix Fall Space, Studio 8, Moderncat Studio, Barry Sparkman Studio, Brad Konick Sculpture Studio, R. Booker Studio, Chris Caufield Studio, Trillion Clarke Studio.

Other Special Events. Businesses all along Lower Grand Avenue will host special events throughout the day including “The Trashy Sculpture Show” at Bragg’s Pie Factory; “Celebrating Woodstock” with acoustic music starting at noon at Gallery Marsiglia; glass blowing and pottery demonstrations, live music, and exhibits at Paisley Violin and Paisley Town; mural painting in the parking lot at Bragg’s Pie Factory; and free snowcones at  There will also be a raffle for art, jewelry, pottery and more hosted at Paisley Town.  Neighborhood cafes and bars will be open for festival goers to purchase food and beverages. Parking is allowed along Grand Avenue on the day of the festival.

The Grand Avenue Festival is a project of the Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association.  The 2009 Grand Avenue Festival is being sponsored by Downtown Voices Coalition, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, Downtown Phoenix Journal/Urban Affair, New Times, Capitol Litho, Grand Oasis, Habitat Metro, CenPho.TV, and Yelp. For more information about the festival, please visit our website or follow the festival planning on Twitter.

GAMA calls for entries for Trashy Sculpture Show, Sept. 26

[Source: Beatrice Moore] — The Bragg’s Pie Factory building at 1301 Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix will host several special exhibits as part of the September 26, 2009 Grand Avenue Festival, which will celebrate the history of Lower Grand by highlighting interesting historic commercial sites, adaptive re-use projects, neighborhood sustainability, recycling, and the diverse small business community.

Suite 2, the main vaulted room in the Pie Factory building, will host the Trashy Sculpture Show, and will exhibit all manner of work made primarily from trash and recycled materials. Works can hang from the rafters, be free standing, be attached to the walls, be attached to the parking lot fence outside the building, or be hung from the trees in front of the building.  An entry fee of $10 per piece will be charged (proceeds go to the Grand Avenue Merchant’s Association); however, in the case of school groups the fee will be waived.  Work must be ready to install by September 24.

For more information on how to participate, contact Beatrice Moore at 602-391-4016 or e-mail.  Advance notice will be needed for projects slated for fencing outside the building or for tree sculptures.










Work can be for sale (or not).  Seventy percent of the sales price will go to the artist with the remainder to the Grand Avenue Merchant’s Association.  All work must be delivered ready to hang or exhibit in whatever manner it was intended.