Arts & Culture
Last year, Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill property owners proposed developing a new Business Improvement District (BID) for their area to the City. In April 2014 the Phoenix City Council approved funding for the group to assess the viability of the opportunity. Read our previous story here.
Following months of work, the group is coming together to host a Community Forum on Thursday, May 28, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Roosevelt Community Church. The Forum will showcase the success of BIDs in other cities, and outline the proposed investment for Roosevelt.
With the help of long-time BID professional Nancy Hormann of Hormann & Associates, the property owners have been working hard to determine a work plan and budget that will both support the arts character of the area and encourage thoughtful economic development to support their collective vision.
“This is a peer-to-peer process,” says Hormann, “Over the last 12 months, through focus groups, surveys, one-on-one meetings, and group workshops, the property owners determined the type and level of services needed to make a difference in their district. This forum is the first time people who are not property owners are being invited to listen to what’s going on.”
The forum will feature an introduction by Dave Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix, Inc., a panel of three BID professionals sharing stories of the remarkable impact BIDs have had on their respective cities, and representatives from the Roosevelt BID Working Group, who will share the work they’ve done over the last year.
So what exactly is a BID and why is it important? A BID is a public/private mechanism that allows property owners within a defined area to fund district-specific improvements, services and activities through a self-imposed and self-governed property assessment. These assessments provide services that are above and beyond what the city can provide. And they’ve been very successful. Over 1500 BIDs are currently active in cities throughout North America and their success stories are impressive.
Currently, the only existing BID in Phoenix is the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, which covers 90 square blocks of the downtown core.
Dave Krietor articulates what this has meant for Phoenix. “The core BID came from a vision created by the Phoenix Community Alliance back in the late 1980’s. Downtown business leaders saw what was happening in other cities and recognized that creating a BID would be integral to revitalizing our downtown.” He adds, “You only need to look at what’s happened in downtown to see that the core has been reinvented. The BID created a focal point and a center of gravity to revitalize downtown. Now this powerful, effective tool is available for property owners in the Roosevelt/Evans Churchill district to take advantage of to improve and sustain their neighborhood.”
But “seeing is believing” and the BID Community Forum will provide an inspiring vision of what can be accomplished. Three BID professionals will share stories of how their districts have developed and the significant impact they’ve had on their respective cities, including: Jimmy Parker, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter executive director; Elizabeth Studebaker, Midtown Sacramento; and Allison Harnden, a longtime BID professional who has worked with 45 BID Districts nationwide. In addition, Roosevelt/Evans Churchill BID working group representatives including Greg Esser, Roosevelt Row CDC, Tim Sprague, Habitat Metro LLC, and consultant Nancy Hormann will provide a quick overview of the Roosevelt area work plan, budget and assessment, outline next steps, and take questions from the audience.
If you go:
What: BID Community Forum
When: Thursday, May 28, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Roosevelt Community Church, 924 N. 1st Street, Phoenix
Cost: Free and open to the public.
RSVP: Space is limited. RSVP requested here.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
“It’s a beautiful day!”
That’s right, U2 is coming to town and this weekend CityScape Phoenix is throwing the unofficial welcoming of the band with the “It’s a Beautiful Day Block Party”.
During the two-night, pre-concert block party at Patriots Park at CityScape and LUSTRE Bar at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix, guests will enjoy live music by Brazen Heads and Keltic Cowboys, a U2 concert ticket giveaway and special party discounts from various CityScape tenants.
• It’s A Beautiful Day Block Party at CityScape Phoenix
• Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 from 4pm-8pm
• Live music by Brazen Heads and Keltic Cowboys
• Locations: Patriots Park at CityScape and LUSTRE Bar at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix
• A U2 concert ticket giveaway, drink specials
• MillerCoors Party Bus and Uber VIP Area for guests 21 and over
• Yakitori by Squid Ink Sushi
• FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Also, enjoy special block party discounts from CityScape Phoenix tenants including:
• Grabbagreen: Combo meal deal – 2 meals, 2 juices and 2 bars for $25.
• Copper Blues: Show your U2 concert ticket and wear any U2 gear to receive a penny pint.
• Lucky Strike: With a U2 ticket, get a 2 for 1 drink special at Happy Hour pricing. After the concert, receive a half-priced appetizer from the regular menu.
• Verizon: $5 off any power accessory. Coupon available via MBF app.
• The Corner: 20 percent off any regular menu items with U2 tickets and a $20 pizza and 2 draft local beers for those without tickets.
• V’s Barbershop: Haircut, straight razor shave, shampoo, shoulder massage, hot towel service for $39. Add a facial or face massage for an additional $20.
• Yogurt Time: 15 percent off total purchase.
• rePose Salon & Spa: 20 percent off a service of your choice at repose Salon and Spa.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Spirit of the Arts
A Unique Community Project to Beautify Downtown
Phoenix Center for the Arts, in partnership with The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Roosevelt Row CDC, and State Representative Ken Clark, is excited to announce Spirit of the Arts, a fun and creative collaboration to repair and beautify one of the most visible buildings in Downtown Phoenix, Phoenix Center for the Arts. Spirit of the Arts will be held Saturday, August 15, from 6-9pm, at Phoenix Center for the Arts to raise funds for important building repairs in a very creative way.
Local and nationally acclaimed artists from all mediums have been commissioned to convert discarded rum bottles from The Breadfruit & Rum Bar into works of art. These works will then be auctioned at the Spirit of the Arts restoration gala. A portion of the proceeds will go directly towards the improvement of the building.
Over the past year, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar has collected hundreds of these rum bottles, which would have otherwise ended up as trash, to support this endeavor. “These bottles came from rum-producing regions all over the world, says The Breadfruit & Rum Bar Co-Owner, Dwayne Allen. “Each bottle has been carefully considered and crafted to embody the spirit its origin. These bottles have intrinsic value and can serve to inspire and delight just as they did when they were filled with rum. As they collect dust, their labels fade, they crack and chip from neglect. Similarly, the Phoenix Center for the Arts campus, though well-used and well-loved, is cracked, chipped, and faded. It deserves to be ‘dusted off’ and given a chance to shine as our front door to downtown Phoenix.”
Phoenix Center for the Arts is a non-profit operated City of Phoenix facility that borders Margaret T. Hance Park (also known as the Deck Park) on Third Street, just north of Roosevelt. The City acquired the campus – a former Baptist church – in 1975 when construction of Interstate 10 began. Since then, the facility has continued to serve thousands of Valley residents each and every year. The Center has truly blossomed in the past 4 years since “going nonprofit,” having grown by nearly 500% since 2011. Most recently, the buzz behind the new Hance Park Master Plan has increased the Center’s visibility and bolstered community awareness of Phoenix Center for the Arts’ role in shaping our local culture and arts community.
The southbound Third Street corridor has long been considered a major gateway to downtown Phoenix. It offers a magnificent view of the Downtown skyline that ushers motorist and pedestrians into the urban heart of the City of Phoenix, as well as the State of Arizona. One cannot help but notice the historic red brick building, which boasts a majestic staircase and monumental pillars. The mere sight of it conjures memories of downtown Phoenix in its formative years.
“Unfortunately, as it sits today, this great piece of our community’s history is in a state of relative disrepair, says State Representative, Ken Clark. “We are excited to work with community leaders to bring back the building’s original charm in support of arts in Arizona.” The building itself is 84 years old and has served the community as an Arts Center for nearly 40 years. In fact, the Spirit of the Arts event will serve as the first of many Anniversary events.
Joseph Benesh, Director of Phoenix Center for the Arts states: “This is about placemaking and historic preservation. Our objective is to return the Phoenix Center for the Arts facade to a state that accurately represents the value of its history, the importance it holds for our community today, and the potential it will possess in years to come.”
Spirit of the Art tickets cost $75 each and can be purchased by visiting phoenixcenterforthearts.org/spirit
For more information about Phoenix Center for the Arts, visit phoenixcenterforthearts.org or call 602-254-3100.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
While the weather remained wildly unpredictable in other parts of the country these past few weeks (i.e., snow, hail, wind, twisters), Phoenicians enjoyed sunny skies and balmy temperatures enough to hold many Valley Bike Month, Phoenix Urban Design Week, and Earth Day events in the great outdoors. Even Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton led hundreds of cyclists around downtown on Bike to Work Day. Time to get your GRID on…
Home Sweet Home
According to the Arizona Republic, “For the first time, metro Phoenix is growing up more rapidly than out. A record number of high-rise, townhouse, and loft housing developments are shooting up in central Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, and selling out quickly. Condominium sales are climbing faster than regular home sales in the Valley, a reversal of the region’s growth pattern since the 1950s.” People seem to characterize downtown as “cool” or “hot.” For us longtime advocates this is a really exciting time.
- 44 Monroe, Arizona’s tallest residential building, sells for $51M
- Building a vision for downtown living
- Roosevelt Row highlights downtown’s growing pains
- Shipping container housing in Baton Rouge? It’s happening in Phoenix
- APS buys Phoenix land for new downtown, midtown substations
- Banner Health’s new headquarters may give boost to midtown
- Big plans in works for Hance Park downtown
- Grand Avenue hosts street cleanup in hopes of revitalization
- New south Phoenix Park-and-Ride connects commuters with downtown
- Roosevelt Row shipping container art galleries in downtown to move
- Uber won’t confirm downtown “Global Command Center”
- Valley cities work to fight blight along stretches of Grand Avenue
- Girls in Tech national conference held downtown
- Innovation-focused companies fuel downtown, midtown growth
- Innovative, independent entrepreneurship grows downtown, in the Valley
- Phoenix High Tide announces 5 new downtown startups
- Phoenix on its way to becoming a tech hub
Each spring, the Phoenix New Times Big Brain Awards recognizes 15 emerging creative individuals in the areas of Culinary Art, Design, Music, Performing Art, and Visual Art. This year’s winners (one from each category) were announced on Saturday, May 9, at Monarch Theatre during Artopia, the New Times’ annual soiree of art, music, food, and drinks. In other downtown art related news…
- Creating architectural memories
- Downtown band, Black Bottom Lighters, celebrate release of first album
- Focus. Flash. Phoenix: Ineffable Artifacts
- Latina-owned ad agency christens downtown studio, gallery & culture lab
- Midtown museums benefit from recent large gifts
- New downtown exhibit, “El Sabor,” celebrates influence of Latin music
- Phoenix arts leaders celebrate 30 years of progress, look to future
- PHXFLAMEnco launches monthly arts and entertainment programs
- Steven Tepper talks about how ASU art students are changing downtown
- Third Friday becoming more than great works and art lovers out and about
New Food Spots
- DeSoto Central Market displays variety of cuisines, with more to come
- New Phoenix food truck focuses on French fries
- New life for old downtown church; plans include restaurants and the arts
- Short Leash hosts Pinewood Derby for adults in downtown
- Songbird re-opening pleases customers in century old downtown house
- Valley Bar, new music venue opening, hiring in downtown
- Vote for Ripe Awards up-and-coming chefs, spirit maker, and bartender
- Wednesday downtown open air market to move, expand to Thursdays
- County OKs contract to shelter homeless sleeping in lot
- Our homeless deserve more than a parking lot
- Phoenix fights blight with plastic windows
- Phoenix named among America’s least bike-friendly cities
- Two openly-gay pastors aim for inclusion downtown
Mark Your Calendars
- Urban Wine Walk, May 16
- Slide the City, May 16
- Creative Placemaking: Transforming Communities Through the Arts, May 20
Over at the ASU downtown Phoenix campus, student journalists with Cronkite News and the Cronkite Public Insight Network Bureau want to understand how the downtown Phoenix community sees itself. Through an online survey, they’re asking downtown stakeholders what they would like to see happen in our city. They’re asking how city leaders, business owners, community leaders, residents, and the media can best discuss the issues that concern everyone the most. If you have a connection to downtown Phoenix, feel free to share your thoughts here.
Featured image courtesy of Downtown Phoenix Inc.
With its deft characterizations and non-stop flow, the one-man show Buyer & Cellar (B&C) is far more than a funny riff on the quirks of a celebrity.
The entirely fictional story is set in a fantastic — but surprisingly real — location: the private shopping mall of actress-singer-composer Barbra Streisand. The Academy, Tony, Golden Globe and Grammy award-winning artist wrote My Passion for Design in 2010. Her book includes a description of the mall, built in the basement of her Malibu home and housing Streisand’s personal collections in settings including a doll shop and a boutique of antique clothing.
Fascinated with what he calls an “artificial utopia,” playwright Jonathan Tolins (The Twilight of the Golds, If Memory Serves, The Last Sunday in June, and Secrets of the Trade) spins the comical tale of a struggling actor hired to work as the mall’s sole employee.
“The set is very simple and classy, leaving a sort of blank slate for creative lighting, projections, and imaginative storytelling,” says actor Toby Yatso, the star of Phoenix Theatre’s production. “And there are only two props: an actual copy of My Passion for Design, and a cell phone in my pocket.”
Fresh from an athletic performance as Bert in Mary Poppins, Yatso teaches musical theater at Arizona State University, works as a member of the Megaw Actors Studio and an artist-in-residence at Phoenix Theatre (PT), and directs PT’s summer Musical Theatre Intensive program.
Buyer & Cellar is directed by Ron May, who himself stars in the upcoming Phoenix Theatre production of One Man, Two Guvnors running May 20 through June 14. May is founding artistic director for Tempe’s Stray Cat Theatre, and brings to B&C his considerable expertise with unusual shows like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Pluto.
Although Streisand is a cultural icon, B&C promises equal entertainment to devotees and new fans alike with no need for deep background knowledge, says May,”…no more than an audience has to have any kind of knowledge of, like, Danish royalty to enjoy Hamlet.”
“I suppose knowing about the ins and outs of Barbra’s life may give you a deeper appreciation of a handful of references, but there’s nothing that’s going to really leave anyone in the dark,” May explains. “It’s a comedy about our worship of celebrities – Barbra just happens to be the target.”
“She’s funny, she’s warm, she’s wildly quirky, she’s vulnerable, she’s demanding, she’s caring…” he says. “I actually liked her more after working on this show.” May adds, “If Barbra Streisand in real life is anything like the Barbra in this show, I totally want to be friends with her.”
“The script does a superb job of teaching as it goes,” agrees Yatso. “All you need to know is that Barbra Streisand is a force of nature in the entertainment industry, so that covers just about everyone in America.”
“I think our obsession with celebrities is twofold,” he continues, “…and the play touches on both halves – what makes her untouchable and what makes her perhaps like everybody else.”
Although Yatso’s six roles in B&C don’t take him strolling up and overhead around the proscenium arch as in Mary Poppins, they demand lighting-fast character changes. “Let it be known that I am not flipping in the air or tap-dancing on the ceiling in this one,” the six-and-a-half-foot-plus actor says with a laugh. “But I try to use my body expressively and creatively however and whenever possible.” He adds, “There’s a lot of body there, so make it count, right?”
“It’s actually a very physical show,” says May. “It’s just one guy creating a number of different worlds and characters and environments and situations, and all he has is his voice and his body.” The director explains, “All it takes is a little subtle shift of his physicality and you instantly know which character just showed up on stage. Those skills are a godsend in a show like this.”
“I have a lot of conversations ‘with myself,’” Yatso says. “Maybe it feels like playing Ping-Pong with yourself, but both sides really want to score the point…?”
“The challenge is really for Toby,” declares May. “He has to keep the ball up in the air for the whole 100 minutes. The amount of focus and concentration and energy that takes is pretty insane.” He continues, “My satisfaction honestly comes from watching him absolutely kill it night after night and audiences going wild over him.” May chuckles and adds, “I feel like a purring cat watching him.”
If you go: