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.
For the past year, Phoenix residents have provided thoughtful feedback on the City of Phoenix’s future investment in the Move PHX transportation plan (Prop 104) and the General Plan (Prop 100). At our next Radiate PHX networking event on Tuesday, June 16 at the DeSoto Central Market at Central and Roosevelt, the Downtown Phoenix Inc. (DPI) board of directors invites you to rally in support of these important initiatives and their beneficial impact on Downtown Phoenix at the ballot box on August 25.
We’ll hear from Shawn Connelly, general manager of the wonderfully-restored DeSoto Central Market; Mo Stein, board chair of the Phoenix Community Alliance who has been instrumental in developing the General Plan; and District 8 Councilwoman Kate Gallego, who co-chairs the Move PHX Campaign. In “Rock The Vote” spirit, an official voter registration ambassador from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will be on hand to register voters and answer questions. For more information about RadiatePHX and to RSVP, click here.
On Wednesday, June 17 at 3 p.m., the Phoenix City Council will consider a new five-year contract for DPI to manage the core Enhanced Municipal Services District. While the Downtown Phoenix partnership (DPP) will remain a major partner overseeing services in the core, the new contract ensures we have a coordinated and collaborative approach to managing our increasingly dynamic downtown.
In other recent news about our downtown…
- Retiring Deputy City Manager Naimark Looks Back and Ahead
- ASU downtown charter school graduates first class
- Charlie Rose receives Cronkite Award from ASU Downtown
- Deserving good neighbors to be awarded artistic front porch benches
- Randy Johnson receives key to the city
- Kimber Lanning saves vintage Wurth House on Roosevelt Row
- The Counter Custom Built Burgers opens in Downtown Phoenix
- Freak Out Dinner at DeSoto Central Market to feature 13 top Valley chefs
- Restaurants open and close in May in metro Phoenix
- Short Leash Hot Dogs opening second Downtown Phoenix restaurant
- Surge in seafood restaurants hits Phoenix area
- The Duce on first episode of new Food Network show
- Bentley Gallery creates intimate Warehouse District art space
- Comicon takes over Downtown Phoenix
- Could the Arizona Coyotes move back to Downtown Phoenix?
- First Friday music guide for June in Downtown Phoenix
- Phoenix featured on Snapchat
- Soak up thriving art scene, great food in Phoenix and its suburbs
- 10 cool things we saw in Downtown Phoenix during June’s First Friday
- artHAUS brings artful residential infill to midtown Phoenix
- Business execs, change agents & localists attend national BALLE conference
- Center 8 Townhomes planned for 8th Avenue
- Community forum highlights opportunities for proposed Roosevelt BID
- Construction firms, engineers betting on Phoenix light rail expansion
- Cutting edge, arts-oriented infill coming to Downtown Phoenix
- Developers ask for more time to buy, redevelop Barrister Building project
- Forum explores Phoenix’s rapid growth and future
- Four Phoenix coworking spaces among top 100
- Orlando leaders look to Phoenix for downtown inspiration
- Phoenix one step closer to creating downtown entertainment district
- Phoenix poised for $3.2B capital investment; experts say it’s not enough
- Phoenix ranked Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community
- Topping out ceremony signals ASU law school’s downtown arrival
- City of Phoenix suing FAA over aircraft noise
- Phoenix shelter needs a lot of water to help homeless during summer
- Power surge disrupts experience for downtown Hyatt guests
- Residents long for fix to Downtown Phoenix’s business problem
Downtown Phoenix Inc. recently launched a new mobile-friendly website with bright colors, a visually rich design, and expanded content. We realize it’s a big shift from the old website and through this transition, we want to ensure you have the best experience possible. To continue providing you the latest and greatest Downtown Phoenix events, news, research, maps, and information, please click here and take five minutes to fill out the questionnaire. We feel this new resource better showcases our vibrant urban center, and hope you love the new website as much as we do.
The newest What’s Happening Guide for the upcoming week is hot off the presses. You can download a copy by clicking here.
I wanted to share with you an interesting perspective and commentary from former Arizona Republic reporter Eugene Scott about the significant downtown changes and community building he experienced during his time in Phoenix. Whether riding a GRID Bike Share bike, walking our neighborhoods undergoing transition, or taking in the First Friday arts and music scene, Eugene reported from a refreshing “ground up” approach. Congrats to Eugene on getting his Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard and now reporting from our nation’s capital on all things politics.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture has a number of opportunities available for ArtsBuild, a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education program within their Arts Learning and Public Art Programs. Learn about the available opportunities and application deadlines below. For more information, contact Ashley Hare at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-262-6164.
Teaching Artists Services for ArtsBuild
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture is issuing this Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) to develop a qualified vendor list (“QVL”) for Teaching Artists services for ArtsBuild, a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education program of the Office of Arts and Culture’s Arts Learning and Public Art Programs. Through a series of community workshops ArtsBuild engages Phoenix residents of all ages in the creative and collaborative process of designing and building a modern city. Each workshop focuses on one of the five areas of S.T.E.A.M., utilizing teaching artists and public art design team members to instruct and lead activities to deepen participant knowledge of art, architecture, landscape design, construction, engineering, and other career fields. To see the full call go to https://www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/359.
Each residency consists of 1-5 workshops.
Deadline: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 12:00 noon (local Arizona time).
For instructions on how to apply go to https://www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/359.
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture is seeking one (1) ArtsBuild Program Manager to oversee ArtsBuild, a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education program of the Office of Arts and Culture’s Arts Learning and Public Art Programs. Through a series of community workshops ArtsBuild engages Phoenix residents of all ages in the creative and collaborative process of designing and building a modern city. Each workshop will focus on one of the five areas of S.T.E.A.M., utilizing teaching artists and public art design team members to instruct and lead activities to deepen participant knowledge of art, architecture, landscape design, construction, engineering, and other career fields. To see the full call go to https://www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/361.
Deadline: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 12:00 noon (local Arizona time).
ArtsBuild Program Manager contract includes: Estimated 12-15 hours a week, August-December 2015.
To learn more about this call and to apply go to: https://www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/361.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Big Changes Coming to Bentley Gallery
Bentley Gallery will be dramatically changing its 25,000 sq ft facility this summer to allow for a more intimate space to exhibit artwork. Brian Stark of Scottsdale architecture firm STARKJAMES is heading up the design of the gallery and wayfinding.
Another major driving force behind the gallery scaling back on physical space is that brick and mortar art sales have increasingly shifted to the Internet over the past few years. According to Bentley Calverley, “Art collectors today expect galleries to have a robust online presence as more and more art sales are moving to the Internet. In fact, online trade is expected to more than double by 2018. As reputable art sites continue to vet the gallery for inclusion, responding to online requests for information and preparing international shipments has altered how we do business.”
A recent article on Artsy noted that in a survey of collectors on Instagram, more than half had purchased works from artists they originally discovered through that platform. Although the respondents were all active on Instagram, these were significant findings. Experienced art collectors and neophytes are both increasingly using websites to find original contemporary works and ordering them for delivery. This is especially true with younger people, who are quite at ease using online resources. They can do their own research and feel they can be involved in a world that even five years ago may have seemed daunting.
Bentley Gallery director John Reyes agrees that the Internet business has taken off. “I think we’ve reached a turning point,” he said. “People feel more comfortable buying expensive things online. There is growing confidence among collectors that digital images can inform enough about works of art to spend comfortably. We have staff whose time is dedicated to our online presence on our website, our social media platforms, and art-specific sites. We are making great art available to a far wider audience.”
Reyes makes it clear that the gallery will continue to be an art destination in Phoenix, and a beautiful exhibition space. “Though the art world has entered a new era, there are certain things the online experience can never deliver,” Reyes clarifies. “Bentley Gallery is not turning its back on traditional exhibitions or showcasing artists’ works in a gallery setting. We know it’s important to keep the traditional gallery intact because often buyers need context, and we’ll continue to offer that. Our exhibitions today and those planned for the future are as strong as ever, and we house all of the artwork here on site.”
The gallery will be closed during the month of July and will reopen on August 1. Construction on the new space will be completed by late summer.
Image courtesy of Clutch Photos.
Trellis kicks off new “Good Neighbor Initiative” with art show featuring artistically designed front porch benches that will be awarded to 12 deserving individuals
GOOD NEIGHBOR INITIATIVE – WHO DESERVES THE BEST SEAT ON THE BLOCK?
Trellis and the 6th Avenue Gallery are kicking off a new “Good Neighbor Initiative” at a First Friday event that features 12 creatively designed, one-of-a-kind front porch benches that will awarded to 12 deserving good neighbors, once a month, throughout the year. Trellis, a 40-year old Valley nonprofit dedicated to making stable homes and communities possible, is launching the “Good Neighbor Initiative” in conjunction with National NeighborWorks Week (June 6-13). Come see, and sit in these warm and welcoming benches that have been designed by local artists, and nominate a good neighbor to win one for his/her front porch. The front porch bench exhibition includes a backdrop of captivating images from the lenses of photo journalists at The Arizona Republic.
- Nominate a “Good Neighbor” to win a unique, one-of-a-kind front porch bench created and donated by Grizzly Iron.
- Meet the artists who generously donated their time to create these works of art.
- Find out how you can purchase a “Good Neighbor” bench for your home too
- Participate in the creation of a community “Front Porch” bench
- Pose for “Good Neighbor” photos that will be posted on AZCentral.com
- Tell us what traits make a #GoodNeighbor in 140 characters or less for chance to win a custom porch bench. Winner drawn on June 5 at 6th Avenue Gallery. Must be present to win!
First Friday, June 5, 6 – 9 p.m.
6th Avenue Gallery, 650 N. 6th Avenue in downtown Phoenix, 85003
Images courtesy of 6th Avenue Gallery.
It’s unusual to see a Broadway musical enriched with a full symphony orchestra onstage behind the actors, but Phoenix Theatre’s fifth collaboration with The Phoenix Symphony promises the best of both worlds.
“It’s something so unique for an audience, because you’re basically watching a symphonic concert at the same time you’re witnessing a semi-staged production, so it’s just a very cool experience that you’re not going to get anywhere else,” says Phoenix Theatre Producing Artistic Director Michael Barnard, who directs Oliver! at Symphony Hall this weekend. “You can walk out going, ‘Wow — I’ve never seen this show done that way,’ you know? …And it only happens once a year and it’s a really neat collaboration with two arts organizations working in sync with each other.” He adds, “And Tito’s been great.”
“Phoenix Theatre is a great company, and the way we’re collaborating in Symphony Hall is very unique to both institutions,” agrees Tito Muñoz, who’s wrapping up his first season as music director of The Phoenix Symphony. “The wind parts for a lot of musicals are written for a small complement, but it’s the strings that we can augment and have much more than there normally would be,” he says, anticipating a full, lush sound.
“When we do a show at Phoenix Theatre – and even on Broadway any more – pit orchestras aren’t much bigger than 14,” says Barnard, “so to be able to have 56 pieces is quite remarkable. It definitely has its challenges, but it’s really quite lovely, and you don’t get that opportunity.” He continues, “It’s just completely unaffordable other than this kind of concertized version.”
Before his appointment in Phoenix, Muñoz served as music director for France’s Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy. “Between opera and musical theater…the only big difference is that everything is amplified,” he says. “And generally speaking, in opera the stage and the theater are vehicles for the music, so the music is the most important part of the art in opera. In musical theater that’s not necessarily the case.”
Muñoz grew up conducting musical theater throughout high school and college before playing as a violinist for Broadway shows in New York. He explains, “I think there’s a little bit more balance between the storytelling, the production itself and of course the musical numbers, but there’s a lot of underscoring dialogue, there’s a lot of scene change music.”
Although this is his first official pops concert with The Phoenix Symphony, he’s confident in the musicians’ expertise. “The orchestra does so much pops that this kind of thing is nothing new to them, actually…they’re well versed in musical theater.”
First produced in London in 1960, Oliver! was written by Lionel Bart, who based his musical on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The novel was Dickens’s social commentary on the Poor Law of Victorian England, and was published in serialized form between 1837 and 1839. As a 25-year-old author Dickens drew on his own experiences working in a shoe-blacking factory as a child when his family was trapped in debtors’ prison. His misery during those years was aggravated by a bullying coworker named Bob Fagin, after whom Dickens named a villain in Oliver Twist.
Set in England, the plot follows the orphaned Oliver’s difficult and abuse-filled journey from workhouse – where we hear the famous tune “Food, Glorious Food” — to a dangerous community of pickpockets overseen by Fagin (“You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”). After a kidnapping and a murder, Oliver ultimately finds his way to better fortune in a comfortable household thanks to a kindly benefactor.
This production’s cast includes familiar Phoenix Theatre favorites D. Scott Withers as Fagin, along with Toby Yatso, Johanna Carlisle, Yolanda London and David Simmons. Sixth-grader Vincent Jacovo stars as Oliver with 12-year-old Asher Angel as The Artful Dodger, a youthful criminal.
“It’s so easy with these kids,” says Muñoz. “They’re unbelievably well trained; they’re fantastic onstage.” Adds Barnard, “Hats off to their parents, and hats off to the other youth theaters that have helped prepare them for an experience like this…they’ve done a good job.”
He continues, “I think the challenge is always in making sure that you can get the best out of the kids without losing your ability to get the best out of the adults as well. Molly Lajoie has been the choreographer in particular for the kids, so she’s been a big help in that regard.” Phoenix Theatre’s technical team also features music director and rehearsal pianist Jeff Kennedy.
Other challenges include timing and staging constraints. “The entire show has to come in with intermission under two hours and 15 minutes [due to the Symphony’s contract with its musicians],” explains Barnard. “Second – and probably one of the bigger challenges – is [that] we only use the apron of the stage because the symphony is occupying the bulk of the stage.” Muñoz elaborates: “We’re having the staging…in front of the proscenium, and so the orchestra’s onstage but behind all the action…so it’s a very big symphonic sound.” He says, “I’m not facing the action, so we’re doing it very much electronically – the singers have a couple of monitors so they can have a visual of my baton…and then I also have a monitor in front of me that shows the stage.”
Barnard continues, “Scenically speaking, we want to just do just fragmented or suggested locales because we want the audience to see the symphony orchestra – that’s part of the fun. So you just have to sort of think it out – necessity becomes the mother of invention. But since this is our fifth collaboration we’ve sort of learned a lot about how this might work.” He adds wistfully, “This also could be our last. I’m not really sure why, but from what I understand it’s not part of the Symphony’s calendar for next season, so this may be the swan song. I’m sad about that because I love that collaboration.”
If you go:
- The Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Theatre perform Oliver!