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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 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.]