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Grand Ave Merchants Association Call for Agenda Items

[Source: Grand Avenue Merchants Association]

January Meeting

The Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association (GAMA) is soliciting items for the Wednesday, January 12th agenda.  The meeting will take place at the Moderncat Studio at 1301 Grand (enter from the entrance on McKinley). Meeting items are welcome from any GAMA member. Everyone is welcome to attend.

If you are not a member of GAMA but have an item that you think would be of interest to the group, they would like to hear from you as well. Please send agenda items to Beatrice Moore at by Tuesday, Jan 11.

GAMA meetings are the second Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm. If you are not personally able to attend, perhaps you can send a representative from your business/building.

New Steering Committee Members Needed

GAMA is looking for new Steering Committee members. If you have an interest in finding out more, please send an email.

About GAMA

The purpose of the Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association is to actively and collectively promote a distinct, pedestrian-friendly arts and retail district along the Lower Grand Avenue Corridor.  Also, to coordinate efforts that encourage both existing and new independent, locally-owned businesses while preserving our corridor’s unique, historic and diverse character.

“A Bunch of Crock: A Lesson in Futility” Continues at Bragg’s Pie Factory in downtown Phoenix

“A Bunch of Crock: An Exercise in Futility,” Safwat Saleem’s visually irreverant, and textually probing, installation continues through January First Friday.

This is your last chance to see this amazing, humorous KickStarter funded exhibit that pulls no punches in exposing the many faces of racism.

Pick up your quirky piece of collector’s paraphernalia while you’re there (button, bumper sticker)!

Open First Friday from 6 to 11 pm.

Bragg’s Pie Factory
1301 W Grand Ave

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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Art Detour, park fate on tap for Feb. 10 Grand Avenue Merchants Assoc. meeting

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.

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.

Filling an empty lot with sensitive design and use along Grand Avenue

grandaverenderebouras1Merchants and businesses along Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix continue to improve their own properties while encouraging the development of arts-related businesses, retail, and housing that’s sensitive to the existing character of the neighborhood.  Here’s one proposal for housing on the parcel where the former Desert Sun Motel sits.  For more information about the concept, contact Effie Bouras.

How to help ASU downtown Phoenix students, faculty, and staff know what’s downtown

[Source: Steve Weiss, Downtown Voices Coalition, and Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona] — ASU Downtown’s Student Affairs Office and City of Phoenix are working with downtown businesses and non-profits to provide information about their organizations via 1,800 “Welcome Wagon” handout bags stuffed with fliers, maps, and coupons.  The bags will be provided to incoming ASU students at their new dorm, in faculty lounges, and other places where the ASU Downtown community can be contacted.  If your organization would like ASU Downtown students, faculty, and staff as patrons, and you have not been able to market to them, this is your chance.

There is NO CHARGE to the organization other than providing 1,800 copies of your materials and bringing them to the bag stuffing party.  Volunteers from each organization are required to help at the stuffing party.

Several of these organizations have multiple listing maps and brochures.  If you already participate with one of these groups you do not need to bring your own materials, but are welcome to do so individually.  Any materials that won’t fit in the bags will still be put out on a table at the new ASU dorm and faculty lounges.  To track the marketing, it is suggested that a coupon or student discount be offered e.g., “$1 off with student ID.”  You are not required to do this, but it may help to see if the effort was successful.  For more information, contact Steve Weiss at 602-265-9524 or via e-mail.