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Reminder: The 2011 Melrose on 7th Ave Street Fair is Saturday

Join the fun this Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 11am until 5pm

The 2011 m7 Street Fair is March 5th in Uptown Phoenix

[Source: m7 street fair]

Eleven years ago a group of Seventh Avenue Merchants decided to join together to improve their neighborhood. Plagued with crime and blight the Melrose District was struggling to stay alive. Armed with the mission to facilitate safety, community, revitalization and beautification, these pioneering business owners, through the help of the City of Phoenix’s Fight Back Program, partnered with the School of Architecture at Arizona State University to develop a master plan to revitalize the Melrose Curve.

Relying solely on funds generated by grants and the blessings of the surrounding neighborhoods, the Melrose District slowly began to rebuild itself. One year after the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association incorporated, they held a “street fair” to commemorate the building of the first lighted canopies on Seventh Avenue.

Originally consisting of a few six foot tables, a few dozen classic cars and a few hundred people the m7 Street Fair has grown to over 140 booths, food, rides and crafts for the kids, live music, over 200 classic cars, and almost 18,000 visitors. In ten years this award winning event has become one of the most anticipated events of the year! And this year is no different.

Come join the the fun on Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 11am until 5pm

More information:

It’s Artlink’s downtown/central Phoenix Art Detour #22, March 6-7

[Source: Rebecca Clark, Arizona Republic] — This Saturday and Sunday, about 15,000 people from across the Valley are expected to experience Phoenix’s art scene when they take part in the self-guided art walk and studio tour during the 22nd annual Art Detour hosted by Artlink.  “We have such amazing artists that are now producing art in the Phoenix area, some of which are now receiving national and international attention,” said David Appleby, an Artlink spokesman.

Jane Reddin, owner of Practical Art, on Central Avenue, has been a part of Artlink’s Detour since the first in 1989.  Once a volunteer guide for the event, she has seen how it has expanded across central Phoenix.   “Art Detour highlights that we have this extensive (arts) community that is all working together.  It’s not just focused in one area.  It’s not just Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, or Seventh Avenue/Melrose.  It’s all of those things and more,” said Reddin.

More than 100 artists and 60 galleries are expected to participate this year.  A free shuttle will run through the weekend stopping at galleries along Roosevelt Row, the Melrose District, and the Grand Avenue area, and a few satellite locations, originating from the walk’s headquarters at Phoenix Center of the Arts at Third and Moreland streets.

Art Detour is designed to reach a broad audience, and as such, hosts a Kids’ Detour where children can create artwork.  Kids’ Detour begins at Phoenix Center of the Arts where children can create art projects and enjoy story time.  There are also a designated number of kid-friendly art galleries on the art walk where they will stamp “passports” for the children as they pass through and earn a gift bag at the end of the walk.   Some galleries contain adult content; kid-friendly galleries will be marked on the maps that can be picked up at Phoenix Center of the Arts.  [Note: Read the full article at It’s Artlink’s downtown/central Phoenix Art Detour #22, March 6-7.]

Phoenix working to adapt vintage buildings for new uses

The city of Phoenix is working to simplify the process of adapting older buildings for new business uses on an all-new episode of Building Phoenix, premiering 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28, on Phoenix 11, the city’s news and information station available to Cox and Qwest Cable subscribers (for additional airdates and times, click here).

Program highlights: A 1940s firehouse in Sunnyslope becomes Bomberos Café and Wine Bar; coffee connoisseurs are filling up at Copper Star Coffee, housed within a vintage gas station in the Melrose on 7th Ave. area of midtown Phoenix (pictured at right); a former tire shop is transformed into Results Only, a facility to get pumped up and healthy; and the trendsetter who transformed a historic post office into Postino Wine Café is ready to do it again; plus appearances by Vice Mayor Tom Simplot and Councilwoman Maria Baier.

“Building Phoenix” is a production of the city of Phoenix Development Services Department.  Michael Hammett, host and executive producer, is an Emmy Award winner and former contributing reporter/producer for ABC 15’s Sonoran Living.  The program will be streamed live during the premiere.  The Building Phoenix show is available on-demand.

Melrose on 7th merchants planning March 7 street fair

[Source: Seventh Avenue Merchants Association] — The Seventh Avenue Merchants Association is now accepting vendor applications for the 8th annual Melrose on 7th Street Fair, March 7, 2009 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). 

Come and indulge in a unique and distinctive shopping experience highlighting local craftsmen and artists, eclectic food, children’s activities, a collectible car show, street performers, and live music.  The fair will take place on 7th Avenue between Indian School and Campbell.  For more information, visit the M7 Street Fair website, send an e-mail, or call 602-926-2758.

Mapping out downtown Phoenix’s First Fridays artwalk

First Fridays

Taking in Phoenix's First Friday. Photo source: Arizona Republic.

[Source: Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic] — First Fridays has been a tradition for more than 14 years in downtown Phoenix, growing into an event that sprawls across miles of downtown Phoenix and draws more than 10,000 people each month.   It can seem daunting for newcomers or those who haven’t been in a while.  It would be impossible to see every gallery or browse every booth in one night, especially those isolated in outlying areas.  For those, it’s probably best to check ahead of time to see if they are holding a show that might draw your interest, or whether they’re even open that night.

A lot of the action is centered around three main areas.  And a free city shuttle can get you to the outlying galleries.  It’s best to figure out what type of experience you’re looking for, then head to the spot that can give it to you.  [Click here for interactive map.]

Roosevelt Row.  The epicenter of First Fridays, the Roosevelt area has high-end galleries.  But it might be marked more for the row of vendors set up on Garfield Street between Fourth and Sixth streets, and along Fifth Street between Garfield and McKinley streets.  There, you can buy $5 sunglasses, $2 strings of beads, handmade necklaces, and small paintings.  “In the beginning (of the night), it’s families, high-school and college kids,” said Celia Chavarin, 34, who was selling homemade handbags at a recent First Fridays evening.

As the night goes on, the people become a little bit more colorful, a little more artistic.  “That’s a good way to put it,” Chavarin said.  She gestured toward her mother, Lupe, who makes the handbags.  “It was her first time, so it was a big of a shock.”  This is an area where families can wander with strollers.  They can catch a bit of art, browse affordable vendors and feel that they’ve been out to First Fridays.

Grand Avenue.  Fewer people, no vendors, and a little more space between galleries, Grand Avenue allows more time to concentrate on the art hanging on the walls, not the people walking up and down the street.  Gallery owners on the diagonal street call themselves the true artistic home of First Fridays.  “Here, people are looking at the art,” said Steve Gomph, owner of gallery Deus Ex Machina.  “There (Roosevelt Row), people are mainly there for the street experience.”

There is street parking along Grand Avenue.  And although there are a lot of galleries, they are a bit spread out. Expect to walk a block or two between stops.

Melrose.  This is the least concentrated of the First Fridays “areas” and the one with the fewest galleries.  But the night provides an opportunity to explore the funky shops and antique stores of this burgeoning corner of the city around Seventh Avenue and Indian School Road.  “I drive through it all the time, but I’m always headed somewhere else,” said Beth Brezinsci, 37, of Scottsdale, sitting at Copper Star Coffee, at Seventh Avenue and Heatherbrae Drive.  “This is a good opportunity to explore.”  

A dog-washing shop has animals out for adoption.  Vendors are set up in a parking lot outside the coffee shop and Revolver Records, at Seventh Avenue north of Indian School Road.  Some antique furniture stores stay open late.