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How We Rebuild Neighborhoods After Foreclosures Explored by @ThePublicSquare

Zócalo Public Square foreclosure event PhoenixWhile the foreclosure crisis is starting to ease across Arizona and the country, neighborhoods still must reckon with the damage.

In what looks to be a great program, Zócalo Public Square and Arizona State University host an event on Monday, February 11, at the Heard Museum. The 6:30 pm event brings together a talented panel:

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis economist William R. Emmons
  • Arizona State University geographer Deirdre Pfeiffer
  • Mortgage Resolution Partners CEO Graham Williams

The moderator will be Fernanda Santos, Phoenix Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

More information is here.

Zocalo Public Square February 11 event Foreclosures LOGO

Heard Museum Opens Coffee Cantina This Weekend

[Source: Christen Bejar, New Times]

Coffee Cantina 1.jpg​The Heard Museum is about to get a little bit sweeter.

The downtown art venue announced this week that it will open a new book store and coffee shop (that’ll serve margaritas, too), dubbed the Coffee Cantina, with an opening bash on Friday.

​According to museum representatives, the cantina will serve up gourmet blended drinks, teas, and snacks. Added bonus: Every bean of Heard Museum brand coffee is grown organically in the Americas and locally roasted in Cave Creek.

Coffee Cantina 2.jpgPlaying towards the latter part of the its name, the Coffee Cantina will have a bar option available so museum goers can get themselves a nice margarita after perusing art exhibits.

Both the cantina and book shop will be officially opened for business after a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 11, followed by a book signing with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on February 12.

The Coffee Cantina will serve customers Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The Heard Museum is at 2301 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For more information, check out the Heard Museum website.

Midtown Phoenix’s Heard Museum shows its 3rd Friday holiday spirit

[Source: Kate Crowley, Heard Museum]

Luminaria, Choir Music and Apache Storytelling

The Heard Museum’s free Third Friday evening series, NU (Native + You), continues on December 17 with offerings sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Find distinctively Arizona gifts in the Heard Museum Shop, wander the Heard Museum’s luminaria and candle lit campus and enjoy a hot beverage.

Outside, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. enjoy Classical guitar music by Manny Perez (Yaqui). At 7 and 8 p.m. guests can listen to traditional Apache storytelling with Ken Duncan (Apache) in the Berlin Gallery.

Guests can also enjoy two special holiday themed performances by the Xavier Preparatory College Honor Choir from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and 7:30 to 8 p.m. One choir performance will be inside the museum, while another performance will take place outside on the Heard Museum’s campus, which will be list by candles and luminaries.

The Café at the Heard Museum invites attendees to arrive early and enjoy a $5 gourmet taco bar from 6 to 8 p.m. Work by Rick Bartow, Fritz Scholder and Nathan Hart are part of the show “Transformation” in the Berlin Gallery.

From 5:30 to 9 p.m., the museum galleries, courtyard, IKEA lounge and cash bar are open as part of NU. There is no admission charge for NU and the museum during Third Friday evening.

Jackalope Ranch’s Student Guide to Downtown Phoenix

Here is the latest installment in Claire Lawton’s series of great guides to downtown Phoenix!

[Source: Claire Lawton, Jackalope Ranch, Phoenix New Times]

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The first week is never about what actually goes on during class. It’s about figuring out what your schedule means by “the Brickyard,” checking out potential lag-time hangouts and figuring out which path will save you three more minutes.

Here’s a peek at our guide to ASU’s Downtown Campus …

Claire Lawton

Click on the image (or right here) for a full-size, printable version.

On the Map:

  • New vending machines, sweet couches and every news show you could ever want to see are up and running in the Cronkite Building’s First Amendment Forum (they also host pretty cool speakers every Monday).
  • Cheap/Free/Easy Date Night: Take a look at a ton of local art that’s featured on the second floor of the UCENT building and check out the view of the city from the eighth floor.
  • For caffeine and munchies, skip the Starbucks down the street and check out Fair Trade Cafe across Central Avenue, Royal Coffee Bar at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market on Pierce Street (Jackalope sighting!), Conspire on Fifth Street, or Cartel Coffee on First and Washington Streets.
Off the Map:
  • The Heard Museum is free for students on Sunday, August 15 (just show your Sun Card). Heard also hosts free admission events every third Friday.
  • Check out the Phoenix Public Library for refuge from the sun, a quiet afternoon, or a ride up and down the elevator (seriously).
  • Third Friday Concerts are back on at the Civic Space Park (under the large, flying blue object) at 424 N. Central Ave. from 7 to 9 p.m. (totally free). This space is also popular for bikini-clad sunbathers, who consequently create a popular activity for those on the fifth and sixth floors of every building that surrounds it.

*     *     *

Read the full post here.

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The Heard Museum gets a makeover

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

Photo credit: Daniel Greene on Flickr

The Heard Museum is undergoing renovations and is using a recent Piper grant to help pay for the work.

The $300,000 project will include a coffee bar, shop and bookstore with a $150,000 from the Virginia G. Piper Trust helping to finance the renovation, said Heard spokeswoman Deb Krol.

The project will relocate and expand the museum’s bookstore and create a coffee bar and cantina, which will offer up drinks and food in a casual atmosphere. The Heard Museum Cafe will continue its operations as a full-service sit-down venue.

As part of the project, space will be created for live artist demonstrations, while the store will be able to feature more works from Native American artists.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year with the new area to open in 2011.

In addition to this project, the Heard’s auditorium is getting a head-to-toe renovation that will includes audio visual upgrades. A confidential financial gift from the late Marjorie Blum is financing that work, said Krol.

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7 healthy signs for the metro Phoenix arts scene

[Source: Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic] — There’s no point in soft-pedaling it: The great financial panic of 2008-09 sent Valley arts organizations into a tailspin.  Cautious consumers sat on their wallets instead of opening them up at the box office, and big corporations had less cash to send trickling down to the non-profits.  So performing companies canceled shows, slashed production budgets and cut staff.  MyArtsCommunity.org, a high-profile campaign to raise donations, fell flat.  The latest bad news comes from the West Valley, where the Heard Museum plans to shutter its satellite gallery and the West Valley Art Museum has closed its doors while scrambling to raise $150,000 to keep it afloat.

With the 2009-10 season revving up this month, anxiety about ticket sales and charitable giving remains high.  But the show must go on, and there are hundreds of dedicated individuals, in the spotlight and behind the scenes, who are working to make sure that the crisis doesn’t spin into an arts apocalypse.  To counter the gloom and doom, here are seven reasons to be optimistic about the state of the arts:

  1. Up-and-coming companies: Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona remain strong, but they are no longer the only game in town.  The upstart Phoenix Opera has brought in top-notch singers for two years of traditionalist stagings, while Novaballet, entering its second season, is committed to cutting-edge choreography that brings dance into the 21st century.
  2. New works: For theaters, the temptation might be to rely on familiar titles to fill seats.  Yes, there’s a bit of that in the coming season.  But in addition to the return of “The Phantom of the Opera,” ASU Gammage is bringing in-the-now Broadway hits “In the Heights” and “August: Osage County” (last year’s Tony winners for best musical and best play, respectively).  Actors Theatre has four Arizona premieres on the bill, while Arizona Theatre Company will be staging a new adaptation of “The Kite Runner” and commissioning a world-premiere comedy, “The Second City Does Arizona.”
  3. Investments in venues: The building boom that gave us new performing-arts venues in Mesa, Tempe and Peoria isn’t over.  The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Herberger Theater Center are undergoing extensive renovations, while future projects, including an expansion at Phoenix Theatre, are in the works.  The economic downturn is sure to slow the pace of big capital projects, but the momentum hasn’t been lost.
  4. Fresh blood: The Scottsdale center’s rebuilt theater comes with a new artistic director, Jeffrey Babcock, who promises to reach out to a broader audience with splashy events, such as its first Festival of Latin Jazz & Culture.  New leadership always presents an opportunity to rethink ways of doing things, which means we could soon be seeing innovative programming at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, ASU Art Museum and Heard Museum: All are on the lookout to fill director positions this year.
  5. Experienced leaders: Shaking things up can be good, but there’s also something to be said for a steady hand on the tiller.  That’s what many major companies have: savvy executives with track records for success.  At the Phoenix Art Museum, Jim Ballinger has been in charge since 1972, growing it into a multimillion-dollar company that attracts well over 200,000 visitors a year and overseeing two major expansions.  On the artistic side are such leaders as Ballet Arizona’s Ib Andersen, a Balanchine protege who in 10 years has elevated the company to one of the most respected ballets in the country.
  6. International networking: The arts community forms a web that crosses all borders, and some of the greatest performers in the world are Arizona-bound this season.  There’s the incomparable cellist Yo-Yo Ma, of course, at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, which also will host top dance troupes, including the pioneering Paul Taylor and Martha Graham companies.  Then there’s the conducting world’s biggest superstar, the charismatic Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, who will bring the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Phoenix’s Symphony Hall for a performance that’s sure to be a highlight of the season.
  7. Grass roots: Even if the unthinkable happened and every major company in the Valley were forced to close, that would not be the end of the arts.  There will always be actors and singers and dancers, and art lovers who want to see them.  In good times and in bad, every generation breeds a crop of optimistic entrepreneurs who aren’t satisfied with how everybody else does things.  Just one example is Chyro Arts Venue, which opened last year in south Scottsdale and offers provocative, independent-minded theater without the benefit of a six-figure budget.  Many such companies come and go, but some will thrive and move to the next level, becoming the Nearly Naked Theatres and Center Dance Ensembles of tomorrow. The future is always unwritten.  [Note: Read the full article at 7 healthy signs for the metro Phoenix arts scene.]

Community Coffee with Phoenix Mayor Gordon, Aug. 8

small_cup_of_coffeeJoin Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon for coffee and a chat on Saturday, August 8 at 8:30 a.m. at the Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave.  The Mayor’s “Community Coffee” offers you the chance to communicate with the Mayor one-on-one, pose questions, and provide feedback for him and his office.  This month the Mayor and Deputy City Manager, Ed Zuercher, will discuss the status of securing federal stimulus funds and what this means to residents, jobs, education, and the City’s Green Phoenix Initiative.

The Heard Museum will offer a special tour at 9:30 a.m, immediately following the event. Community Coffee and the tour are free.  To RSVP, click here.

March proclaimed “Phoenix Arts Month”

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.

Phoenix arts advocates scramble to protect at-risk groups

[Source: Arizona Citizens for the Arts] — Phoenix arts advocates, like supporters of numerous other programs facing the spectre of significant budget cuts, have expressed concern for the following programs “on the chopping block:”

Pueblo Grande Museum is facing proposed reductions including elimination of a museum curator, museum assistant, two museum aides, a secretary and a semi-skilled worker.  Special events, summer programs and lectures will be reduced by 50 percent; and school tours will no longer be available, and maintenance of landscaping and surrounding grounds will be reduced.

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture grants budget of $890,000 will be cut by 50-75% or more. These grants along with grants from the state arts commission are typically the only source of unrestricted funds these organizations receive and have been the only source of stable funding they could count on for years to help provide affordable programs to the community.  The city’s grants budget over the last 20 years has never been lower than $460,000.  These reductions will take us well below that number — and with the growth of the city population and inflation over these 20 years, the support given to arts organizations will be dismal, at best. (Imagine how long it would take to rebuild to the current level of support.)

The Heard Museum, which relies heavily on sales made at its famous gift shop has seen a significant reduction in sales, forcing huge budget cuts and program reductions mid-year.

The Shemer Arts Center, a community arts center and Phoenix Point of Pride, is facing closure.

The Phoenix Center for the Arts, an affordable arts education facility, serving local emerging artists and arts organizations and located in the heart of the city is facing budget cut of 70%, essentially shutting down most of its programs serving students and artists.

Many large and small arts organizations have begun staff reductions and layoffs including the Phoenix Art Museum, the Phoenix Symphony, Ballet Arizona, and Free Arts of Arizona which serves young children, among others.

Due to these drastic budget shortfalls, grant guidelines have been rewritten at the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.  These will result in elimination of funding to any organization that is not producing arts or located within the city will be cut.  Organizations who’ll see no further grants from Phoenix include Free Arts of Arizona, Herberger Theater Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, Habilitation Center, Artability, Childsplay, and local arts agencies such as the North Valley Arts Council and the West Valley Fine Arts Council.  [Note: For more information from the Arizona Citizens for the Arts, click here.  For City of Phoenix budget hearing information, click here.  For related Arizona Republic article, click here.]

Phoenix’s Midtown Museum District gearing up for Dec. 27 light rail event

[Source: Margaret Dietrich and Julia Tourville] — The Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association’s Grand Stuffing Party on December 13 was a tremendous success and we’d like to thank everyone for their incredible hard work throughout the day. We’d also like to thank all the businesses that took part, and the team at Doxa LLC for allowing us to use their building for the day. It took over 270 “person” hours to fill 10,000 bags with over 160,000 pieces of information about the Midtown Museum Neighborhood. The bags will be distributed at the Metro Light Rail Party on December 27, 2008.

The MMDNA has a booth at the Light Rail station at Central Avenue and Encanto and is partnering with others at the party at Park Central. The MMDNA booth will look resplendent with the fantastic banner generously provided by Fast Signs on Central. Please drop by to admire it. We still need volunteers for the booths at the Light Rail Party on December 27. Please email info@midtownmuseumdistrict.org or call Margaret on 602-758-3129.

The Heard Museum Guild has invited MMDNA members to a Cheese and Wine evening at the Heard Museum on January 13, 2009 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will be in the Berlin Gallery and will be limited to 50 people on a first come first served basis. RSVPs are essential. Please contact Beth Wickenden on 602-296-4263 to reserve your place.