DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Hop, Skip & Jump into Summer Reading will feature local and regional children’s authors, illustrators, musicians, and artists on Saturday, July 18th at the New City Church in Phoenix.
Families and children are invited to this free fun-filled event celebrating reading on Saturday, July 18th from 10:00am – 1:00pm at New City Church (1300 N. Central Avenue – Phoenix, AZ 85004). Families can meet local children’s book authors, hear exciting stories, participate in singalongs, enjoy tasty snacks, make art and crafts, take home books, and more! Discover Books is donating books so each child will receive a free book to take home. Authors will also be available to sign books available for purchase.
“Reading is fun, reading is essential. When you read you can learn about the world around you, and dream about places you have never been. Reading helps you think, grow and imagine the universe.” – Brenda Thomson, Executive Director, Arizona Humanities
Nancy K. Arnold – Patriotic Pups & Pioneer Pups
Kristin Cetone – Buckaroo Buckeye and Nuts About Reading
Gale Leach – Bruce and the Road to Courage
Conrad Storad – The Bat Book (Afraid of a Bat, What’s Up with That?)
Jacky Turchick – The Pancake Tree
Dianne White – Blue on Blue
In addition to interactive reading activities, this day will feature musical performances, book illustrations, and music by local artists including: folksinger Ted Warmbrand and illustrator Devon Meyer. BookPALS Arizona, an all-volunteer literacy program sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, will be on hand to distribute books, read aloud and act out stories for elementary school-aged children.
The event is free and open to all. No registration required. For questions or more information, call Ellie Hutchison at 602-257-0335 or visit www.azhumanities.org.
Members of the Bosnian and downtown Phoenix communities will gather at Civic Space Park Saturday to begin a “Walk to Remember” for the 20-year commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide.
The event will be the first of its kind in Phoenix, and will highlight some of downtown’s symbolic public art sculptures communicating the event’s message of peace, patience and healing.
“The walk will begin at Civic Space Park, under the Janet Echelman sculpture, ‘Her Secret is Patience,’” said Suad Mahmuljin, one of the event organizers. An active member of the downtown Phoenix community, Mahmuljin and his family were forced to flee their homeland, Bosnia and Hercegovina some 23 years ago.
Echleman’s woven aerial sculpture has become a civic icon, known for it’s subtle fluorescent glow in Phoenix’s dark night sky. According to Mahmuljin, the billowing structure provides an appropriate starting point for the walk, which will finish at the Burton Barr Central Library.
“(Echelman’s) sculpture really speaks to patience,” Mahmuljin said. “When tragedies like Srebrenica occur, patience is a virtue one must exercise.”
“Patience and healing go hand-in-hand,” he said.
While the “Walk to Remember” could be held anywhere within the community, Mahmuljin chose downtown Phoenix for its unique context.
“Downtown Phoenix is important because it is the nucleus of where activity happens,” Mahmuljin said. “There are cultural and artistic expressions in the downtown environment that you wouldn’t necessarily find in a suburban environment.”
Another such expression is made from 8.5 tons of metal and required a great deal of patience to fund.
“Release the Fear,” which serves as the second stop along the walk, is a sculpture by local Phoenix artist Robert Miley. According to the sculpture’s inscription, it is comprised of 8,000 pounds of weapons used in violent acts throughout Arizona and it took 10 years to source funding for the project.
“‘Release the Fear’ speaks to gun violence and how it harms our community,” Majmuljin said.
With more than 8,000 people put to death over a three-day period in Srebrenica starting July 11, 1995, Amela Gračanin, one of the original event organizers wants people to learn from this tragedy.
“The walk is to bring awareness,” Gračanin said. “Where we came from, what we went through, and to make sure that everyone is focused on what really matters in the world.”
“We are doing this for the people of Bosnia, our people,” Gračanin said. “It’s kind of a healing process for us.”
“(The event) is for us to never forget, so it never happens again.”
Author, psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor, Esad Boškailo, is the event’s keynote speaker. For Boškailo, his involvement with this historic event goes beyond obligation.
“With (my involvement in) any event like this, I do not even question myself,” said Boškailo. “I feel it is my duty.”
As well as practicing psychiatry, Boškailo is also an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona. After surviving six concentration camps, Boškailo has experienced the depths of loss and tragedy and wants to give back.
“I feel that it’s time for me to give back to society,” Boškailo said.
“I came from a place where everyone took everything away,” said Boškailo who lost almost everything, including his house. Many of his friends and family members were killed.
“I lost my best friend, my cousin, my aunt,” he said.
Event organizers emphasize that everyone in the wider Phoenix community is invited to join the historic “Walk to Remember.” Commemorative t-shirts will be available to purchase and wear on the day of the event the event.
All proceeds will go to the provision of basic necessities for families of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Boškailo’s own organization, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences is helping to make this possible. People may also make donations through the event’s GoFundMe page.
When: Saturday, July 11
Walk: 8:30 a.m. at Civic Space Park 424 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Commemorative Program: 10:00 a.m. at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Contacts for More Details:
Amela Gračanin: 801-949-2090
Dijana Mujkic: 623-755-7917
Photography by Lauren Potter
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.
On June 17, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a new five year contract for Downtown Phoenix Inc. (DPI) to manage the core Enhanced Municipal Services District. Thanks to everyone who voiced their support to Members of Council. While the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP) remains a major partner overseeing services in the core, our new contract ensures we have a collaborative and coordinated approach to managing our increasingly dynamic downtown.
With the retirement of long-time Deputy City Manager (DCM) Rick Naimark, City Manager Ed Zuercher has announced the latest Table of Organization by promoting Karen Peters and Mario Paniagua to DCMs. In addition, the work of all deputies is now aligned by function: Public Safety (Milton Dohoney), Economic Development (Paul Blue), Community Services (Deanna Jonovich), Transportation & Infrastructure (Mario), Environment & Sustainability (Karen), and Administration (Toni Maccarone). Searches for Budget & Research Director and Aviation Director will commence soon.
In other downtown Phoenix news…
- American businesses flocking to downtown (just not in Phoenix)
- Arizona sees biggest population increase since 2008
- ASU partners with LinkedIn, Markle Foundation to help future jobs market
- Celebrate local businesses during Independents Week, through July 5
- Conference celebrated Phoenix’s independent side
- New Southeast Phoenix RAPID bus service connects commuters to downtown
- Phoenix plans to ride rails to economic prosperity
- Tallwave’s downtown program launches inaugural startup class
- Tiffe Fermaint’s Baby Teith fashion line finds Kickstarter success
- What 80 Orlando delegates took home from Phoenix (and it wasn’t t-shirts)
- Downtown workers coping with hot temperatures
- AIA placemaking series continues with “Shop in the City”
- Chilean developer building condo lofts, live-work units in Evans Churchill
- Filling in empty spaces: Portland St. condo developers look for renaissance
- Lafferty planning St. Ambrose condominiums at 12th St. & Van Buren
- Mitsubishi sells Downtown Phoenix tower for $94M
- New Uber center opening in downtown Phoenix
- Phoenix’s office buildings battle vacancy rates, downward pressure on rents
- UA, Banner to expand downtown biomedical campus
- Where are the architects, AIA panel asks?
- Arizona sports fans vote downtown Phoenix as Coyotes new home
- ASU research might change your mind about ticket scalpers
- Back downtown? Phoenix mayor reaches out to Coyotes
- Phoenix councilman pushes for dual Suns-Coyotes arena, mall, grocery store
- Super Bowl generated $295M in direct spending, $719M in overall impact
- The Sordid Travels Of A Cubs Fan: Phoenix
- The Upper Deck Tour: Chase Field, Phoenix
- Volleyball festival returns to Phoenix Convention Center
- Arizona Opera, Arizona Theatre Company raise $1.5M
- Downtown Phoenix gets new murals
- Go “Into the Woods” with Valley Youth Theatre
- Phoenix Arts and Culture Office seeks art educators
- Phoenix’s Central library becomes light spectacle on solstice
- Roosevelt Row holds Building Blocks fundraiser
- Summer art exhibits to catch at ASU
- Downtown Phoenix chophouse closing doors after 14 years
- Grocery store could be coming to downtown, ASU area
- Now Open: The Counter Custom Built Burgers
- 100 Favorite Dishes 2015: The 301 Pizza at Forno 301
- Phoenix entertainment district will allow alcohol sales near churches
- Ripe Festival and Awards showcase local culinary leaders
- Short Leash Hot Dogs to open in old Downtown Deli spot
- DeSoto’s Walrus & The Pearl: oysters & sparkling wine in downtown Phoenix
- Westin Phoenix Downtown overhauling Province restaurant
- Concert honors Phoenix refugee community
- Local families give out food, water at Phoenix shelter
- Phoenix & Blacksburg top 2015 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards
- RadiatePHX hosts “Let’s Move, PHX!” rally at DeSoto Central Market
- Teens become doctors, nurses in UA “Summer Scrubs” program
DPI’s What’s Happening Guide for the week of June 29 to July 5 is ready to go. It’s an excellent recap of, yes, what’s happening in our downtown. You can review and download a copy by clicking here. And that reminds me, when was the last time you visited our Facebook page? Nearly 35,000 Phoenix aficionados “like” it and we hope you do too.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture is pleased to announce the recipients of the Community Arts Support Grants Program for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This month the Office will award a total of $804,701 to 47 non-profit arts and culture organizations serving the residents of Phoenix through arts and culture activities.
Grant funds support the general operating costs of major, midsize, and small arts and culture organizations, specific arts projects related to festivals, as well as arts learning activities. Funds are also allocated to a rental support program operated by the Office of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Phoenix Convention Center.
Approved by Mayor and Council on July 1, 2015, the funding allocation remains the same as was made available in 2013 and 2014. “Our arts community is such a point of pride for this City – they bring people together, they enhance our lives and perspectives, and they provide a real competitive advantage economically,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “I am confident the recipient organizations will leverage these grants to continue doing great work, and I applaud my colleagues on the Council for their continued commitment to supporting arts and culture in our City.”
According to Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Executive Director, Gail Browne, arts and culture organizations in Phoenix provided approximately 7,000 performances, 300 exhibitions, 2,500 classes and workshops, and 3,000 school programs last year. This year the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission approved two new policies for the grants program.
Organizations without legal nonprofit status were allowed to apply with a fiscal agent in the arts learning and festivals categories. Also organizations applying in the capacity building General Operating Support III category were allowed to also apply for a project grant. “This helped to widen our reach and increased the number of submissions to the grants program this year,” said Browne.
All grants are dollar-for-dollar matching grants, requiring grantees to raise funds from corporations, foundations and/or individuals in the city of Phoenix. Organizations that received general operating support provide substantial outreach and education programs to the community.
General operating support grant recipients include Alwun House, Arizona Opera, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Ballet Arizona, Black Theatre Troupe, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Cultural Coalition, Desert Botanical Garden, Free Arts of Arizona, Grand Canyon Performing Arts, Great Arizona Puppet Theater, Heard Museum, Jazz at AZ/The Nash, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Boys Choir Association, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Phoenix Chorale, Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix Symphony Association, Phoenix Theatre, Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children, Roosevelt Row CDC, Scorpious Dance Theatre, Shemer Art Center & Museum Association, Valley Youth Theatre, Young Arts Arizona, and Young Sounds of Arizona.
Arts learning grant recipients partner with schools, school districts, after-school programs, or other community based organizations that serve youth, seniors, or special target populations. Festival projects advance, preserve, or celebrate cultural expressions of diverse populations, or present multiple performances dedicated to a specific art from, such as a theatre, dance, film, etc.
Festival and arts learning grant recipients include the Arab American Festival, Arizona Matsuri, Center Dance Ensemble, Childsplay, Cultural Coalition, Cyphers Center for Urban Arts, Essential Theatre, India Association of Phoenix, Phoenix Blues Society, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Phoenix Children’s Chorus, Phoenix Chinese Week, Phoenix Film Foundation, Red Rocks Music Festival, Release the Fear, Rising Youth Theatre, Rosson House Heritage Square Foundation and Guild, Shemer Art Center and Museum Association, The Rag Collection, and Young Arts Arizona. (Cultural Coalition, Shemer Art Center and Young Arts Arizona received grants in two categories.)
Through the Rental Support Program a total of $250,000 is awarded to major cultural organizations that help revitalize the Phoenix downtown corridor through their presentations in city-owned performing arts facilities. Grantees include Arizona Opera, Arizona Theatre Company, Ballet Arizona, Center Dance Ensemble, iTheatre Collaborative, Phoenix Symphony and Valley Youth Theatre.
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, established by the Phoenix City Council in 1985, works to foster a sense of cultural identity, celebrate diversity and ensure an outstanding quality of community life. The Office is advised by a 22-member Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission. For more information on the Office of Arts and Culture, visit phoenix.gov/arts or call 602-262-4637. Follow the Office of Arts and Culture on Facebook: www.facebook.com/phxofficeofartsandculture.
Click here for the full list of award recipients.
Downtown Phoenix’s own Valley Youth Theatre is closing out their 2014-2015 season with a production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fractured-fairy tale musical, Into the Woods.
The production opened on June 12 at the Herberger Theater to positive reviews and the final run of the show begins Thursday, June 25, with multiple performances through Sunday, June 28.
It is the first time the production has run locally since the release of the 2014 Oscar-nominated film version starring Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick. According to Valley Youth Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, Bobb Cooper, “This is the largest and most lavish production of Into the Woods that has been produced in years in the valley.”
The cast includes 22 local young actors and features the overall high production values that Valley Youth Theatre is known for. According to Cooper, “It is the best entertainment value for the dollar! (Audiences) will love and enjoy the production and will want to come back for more.”
Theater is a key part of downtown Phoenix’s arts and culture landscape. “There is nothing like a live theatrical production,” says Cooper. “It is so important to the experience of visiting downtown and it is imperative to attracting business and retail thereby impacting the economy in a dramatic (pun intended) way.”
If You Go:
What: Into the Woods presented by Valley Youth Theatre
Where: Herberger Theater Center, 222 E Monroe St, Phoenix, 85004
When: Thursday, June 25 – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 26 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 27 – 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 28 – 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20 – $39
Photos courtesy of Valley Youth Theatre