DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PHOENIX ARTS AND CULTURE COMMISSION
The city of Phoenix will mark the 30th anniversary of the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission with a celebration of the arts in downtown Phoenix on Oct. 3. The PHX Arts and Culture @ 30 Years Celebration, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center, Herberger Theater and on Monroe Street between Second and Third Streets in downtown Phoenix. The multi-site event will feature music, dance and theater performances, talks and art making demonstrations. This event is FREE to the public.
“The arts are the living heartbeat of Phoenix, and it’s been incredible to watch and help this community grow since the creation of the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission 30 years ago.” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “That is why we tripled funding for the Commission when I took office – creating a strong economy and a vibrant arts community go hand in hand.”
In addition to the contributions of the nearly 100 arts and culture organizations, the celebration will also feature downtown public art tours, food trucks and activities for people of all ages. Nominees for the fourth annual Mayor’s Arts Awards will be announced from the main stage.
PHX Arts and Culture @ 30 Years is sponsored by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Reimagine Phoenix, City of Phoenix Water Services Department, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and the Phoenix Convention Center and Venues.
The Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission was established in 1985 by the mayor and city council to “protect, enhance, serve, and advocate excellence in the arts for the people of Phoenix in their City.” Over the past 30 years Phoenix has experienced an exciting proliferation of arts and culture activity. The Phoenix Public Art Program has collaborated with artists and designers to create more than 180 major public art projects throughout the city.
The expansion and creation of cultural facilities, such as the Phoenix Art Museum, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Theatre, Ballet Arizona, Arizona Opera and Black Theatre Troupe, have dramatically changed the cultural landscape of Phoenix. A 30-year investment in a community grants program has nurtured the development of non-profit arts and culture organizations, which now number over 160 within the Phoenix city limits, and supported delivery ofcultural services to Phoenix residents in the form of community outreach and arts learning programming. The non-profit arts and culture sector has become a $300 million economic driver for the city of Phoenix.
For more information on PHX Arts + Culture @ 30 Years Celebration and a full list of participants, please visit phoenix.gov/arts or call (602) 262-4637. Please follow the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #PHXArts30.
Images courtesy of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
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.
What’s the go-to place when out-of-town politicos, like Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Elizabeth Warren, find themselves needing much larger space to hold their public events? Why, the Phoenix Convention Center, that’s where. It’s great to see our convention center recognized for “hitting its stride” in the world’s leading news and online resource for the trade show, exhibition, and event industry. Congratulations and thanks to Convention Center Director John Chan and his team for being a connected member of our downtown community.
Traveling from Tempe into Downtown Phoenix earlier this month I counted nine large construction cranes. A number of factors are contributing to this urban building boom. One of the most important is that more people – across the nation and around the globe – want to live, work, go to school, and play near public transportation. This makes passage of Proposition 104 in Phoenix critical to our future as a vibrant urban city. Click here to read a few more of my observations about Prop 104. Our mayor, Greg Stanton, weighs in on the matter in this Arizona Republic op-ed.
In this time of summer stay-cations, I now bring you other “-cations” on several different topics pertaining to our downtown…
- Be: Coffee, Food + Stuff now open on Roosevelt Row
- Blended & frozen cocktails with Ross Simon of downtown’s Bitter & Twisted
- Details announced for 2016 Devoured Culinary Classic
- Downtown centennial Old Spaghetti Factory gets face-lift
- Hidden Track Bottle Shop now open in Downtown Phoenix
- June restaurant openings, closings in metro Phoenix
- Mother Bunch Brewery’s Holly Arguello pairs food, beer, pickling & pork belly
- Westin’s Downtown Phoenix restaurant gets new chef, menu, look
- Real, Wild & Woody Summer Beer Festival showcases best of Arizona brewing
- Roberto Dadone & Luca Dagliano open Forno 301 in Downtown Phoenix
- Starbucks price increase deters few Downtown Phoenix drinkers
MONET-CATION (ARTS & CULTURE)
- Bomba Lucha! merges Mexican wrestling with burlesque at Paz Cantina
- Get your comic on at Comicon
- McDowell Mountain Music Festival announces 2016 concert date
- Need a little urban respite from the great outdoors?
- New public art dedicated on Roosevelt Row
- Phoenix metro art institutions poised for change
- ”Phoenix Loves Sci-Fi” film event celebrates Arizona scenery in movies
- Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture awards over $800,000 in grants
- Rosemarie Dombrowski on Phoenix’s literary scene
- The Nash on Roosevelt Row sets jazz offerings for July
- ASU downtown academy mentors next generation of public service leaders
- ASU downtown camp helps high schoolers get hip to health
- ASU downtown group works to create community for Native American students
- Construction of ASU’s law school is expected to bring tax revenue & jobs
- Higher density housing key to downtown Logan (UT) revival
- In a place: former Post Office in Downtown Phoenix
- New ASU nursing degrees include holistic, community-health focuses
- Game CoLab gets new grant, seeks developers for next incubator program
- Inside Roosevelt Barber Shop, where old school meets modern
- Local tech firm, WebPT, makes employee health, fitness a priority
- The history of the YMCA in Downtown Phoenix
- Theranos, ASU team on Downtown Phoenix lab testing site, open to public
- Startup PHX challenge winner to relocate to Monroe Building
- Velo Bike Shop looks to build Downtown Phoenix cycling community
- AIA Phoenix Metro holds “Make a Place” downtown design competition
- Christine Mackay takes bold steps for Phoenix’s economy
- Coyotes tell fans they want to stay at Gila River Arena
- $18.25M financing secured for development of Edison Midtown
- How economic developers plan to boost job growth in the new fiscal year
- New Downtown Phoenix arena could bring end to Coyotes’ bumpy desert road
- New RAPID bus service connects local commuters to Downtown Phoenix
- Once-hazardous South Phoenix lot opens to development
- Phoenix creates shade on Roosevelt Row with giant planters
- Recent sale of One North Central high rise a good sign for downtown Phoenix
- Shipping container developments make their home in Downtown Phoenix
- Campus police say bike thefts dropped significantly in Spring semester
- Charities house displaced homeless from closure of CASS overflow shelter
- Congressional leaders urge U.S. Senate to help phoenix fight the FAA
- Downtown Phoenix security increased with Muslim holiday, liberal convention, and immigration protest
- Drinking from sprinklers, Phoenix homeless scrabble to survive heat wave
- 20 years after Srebrenica, Phoenix holds first ever ‘Walk to Remember’
DPI’s What’s Happening Guide for the week of July 20 to July 26 is hot off the presses. It’s an excellent recap of what’s happening in our downtown. You can review and download a copy by clicking here. And… you can find the “latest and greatest” listing of downtown events at our online events calendar and Facebook page. Have an event that should be promoted in the What’s Happening or online calendar? Submit it here.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
AZ’s 100% nonprofit music festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix for a 13th annual celebration on March 11-13, 2016; the 2015 Festival raised more than $120,000 for charity.
Listen up music fans, the 13th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF) will take the stage on March 11-13, 2016 for three full days of music, food, art, culture and more in the Arizona sun. Can’t wait to get your groove on? Presale ticket packages for MMMF 2016 will be available for purchase at a discounted rate starting on August 1, 2015. Plus, the first 150 presale purchasers will receive a special limited edition ticket package directly from the festival organizers, with all details about the package deemed “top secret.”
Boasting a soon-to-be-announced lineup of both top national and local bands (with previous headliners ranging from Widespread Panic to The Roots), the McDowell Mountain Music Festival annually lures thousands of music fans nationwide to the grass-lined fields of Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.
Even better, the MMMF is Arizona’s premier charity-based music festival, with 100-percent of all profits donated to worthy local charities. In fact, with help from contributors, donors, sponsors and, most important, loyal fans, MMMF 2015 donated $120,000 to benefiting charities, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers, the largest shelter for homeless families in the state.
Previously hosted in late March, the 2016 McDowell Mountain Music Festival was moved up to take advantage of Arizona’s mild spring weather and hopefully ensure the perfect mix of sunny days and cool nights, said MMMF founder and organizer, John Largay. “Spring is an outstanding time in the Valley. We want festival-goers to enjoy the sun and music all the same, and early March is certainly the month for both.”
Additional details will be released in the weeks and months to come, including enhanced experiences for 2016, ticketing options, lineups, partnerships, and more. For the latest information, visit www.mmmf.com, or Facebook (www.facebook.com/mcdowellmountainmusicfestival), Instagram (@mmmf2016), or Twitter (@mcdowlmtnmusic). #MMMF2016
Photos: Jacob Tyler Dunn
We’re looking for writers who can help us tell the story of downtown Phoenix: where we came from, where we are and where we’re going. We say “we” because at DPJ, we are more than just observers of downtown. We are active participants, engaged with the people and places that make it what it is and what it will be. We are invested in and excited about the future of this vibrant, fun and ever-evolving community. In short, we love downtown Phoenix. Do you?
If you would like to help tell the story of the people and places that make downtown Phoenix great, we invite you to apply to be a contributor to DPJ. You can find the application below.
We look forward to hearing from you!
A Little About Us . . .
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Now A Little About You . . .
On October 26, 2014, Christine Mackay started as the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix. It’s a big job overseeing several large divisions. She served in the same role for the City of Chandler for six years, but a city the size and complexity of Phoenix is a whole new challenge. We sat down with her to discuss her first ten months on the job and to learn what’s next.
DPJ: How do you see your role within the City of Phoenix?
CM: My role is to recruit companies and recruit the workforce that attracts those companies. My job is to help create the quality real estate that they want, a workforce that they want, an educational system that they want, and then they can’t say no.
For me, first it’s been about cataloging all of the assets that exist and really understanding those assets. I grew up here, I’ve been here my whole life, but I only came into Phoenix to go to GPEC meetings or a basketball game and then I went back to my suburb. No joke.
Two weeks before I got the call from Paul Blue asking me to coffee, my city council in Chandler was interested in looking at adaptive reuse on some of the old buildings in Chandler. Phoenix had done such a brilliant job with their adaptive reuse that we took a bus tour to see what had been done. I got to see Angels Trumpet, the Vig, Cibo, the Duce, and Luci’s Market. I got to see all this stuff and I went, ‘I’ve lived here my whole life, how did I not know this was here?’
Now, all I can think about is Phoenix. It’s a dynamic, exciting, cool market, and it just needed help telling its story. So many people are beginning to understand and tell the story: brokers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, etc. and doing a remarkable job. It’s become much more than just a local story, it’s getting national play and national attention.
DPJ: What is your approach and what steps have you taken so far?
CM: My approach is to ‘take no prisoners.’ This is a big, bold, vibrant city and it needs to take big, bold, vibrant steps. This is the sixth largest city in the country and it wasn’t competing as the sixth largest city in the country. So, in the beginning it was about getting a marketing plan done, getting our website done, and getting our strategy set.
This isn’t a ‘fire, ready, aim’ situation, this is very strategic. We got our website done so that it was more attractive to site selectors, corporate real estate executives, thought leaders, and decision makers. We also made it very attractive to that knowledge workforce that wants to find a new place to live.
DPJ: Tell us a little more about that knowledge workforce and what’s attracting these people to Phoenix.
CM: I represent all 517 square miles of Phoenix, but the central city is our unique environment, it is the heart of metropolitan Phoenix. When you look at the way things are going, where a workforce wants to live, where a workforce wants to be, where they want to evolve – it’s in an urban environment. The days of a large house with a pool and a backyard in a suburban market are few and numbered. People want to connect in lifestyle. They’re tired of spending their weekends taking care of their yard and their house. The central city offers an incredibly vibrant lifestyle that the suburbs can’t duplicate.
DPJ: How do you see the connection between Downtown and other parts of the central city, for example, Midtown?
CM: Let’s look at Midtown. When I started, the commercial vacancy rate in Midtown was 38% and now it’s 23%. It’s a nine million square foot market, so that means we’ve brought in 1.3 million square feet of tenants in just 10 months. By the end of the year we will be into the teens.
Midtown has been a kind of ‘red-headed stepchild’ of the central city. Downtown has sports, the central government, CityScape, the Orpheum, etc., but no one had really cataloged the assets in Midtown. It’s just as unique as Downtown, and just as cool as Downtown. Where Downtown is hip, vibrant, cutting edge, thought-leading, sports-minded and fun, Midtown is just a little bit more sophisticated. It’s arts, culture – the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Opera. The two areas complement each other incredibly well.
DPJ: What are the city’s plans for Midtown this next year?
CM: We have money in the city’s CIP (Capital Improvement Program) budget for 2015-16 for Midtown to really engage and connect with Central Avenue, and with the 3rd Street Promenade. Currently the buildings along Central, which were mainly built in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, turn their back on Central, but that’s not the way buildings succeed today.
The city is looking for ways to make those connections, including public sidewalks that go right up to the entrances of the buildings; crosswalks in mid-blocks so people don’t have to go all the way down to the next light to cross to the other side; small landing places with shade; and comfortable seating spaces. For the 3rd Street Promenade, which is anchored by Steele Indian School Park on the north, we’re focused on creating shade and trees and making it both walkable and bikeable.
DPJ: What about the northern end of Midtown and into Uptown. How would you describe what is happening there? Where do you see the boundaries?
CM: Any developer would say Midtown goes between the 7s from McDowell to Camelback. So to me, Midtown stops at Camelback and then Uptown starts on the north side of Camelback. When you go into Uptown, you go into a much more suburban market that includes single story houses, and ranch houses with big lots and mature trees.
But look at the area around the Camelback and Central intersection, with all the activity that’s going on there today, like Vintage Properties (Uptown Plaza), the Newton, the BMO building. There’s just so much.
The city owns a little strip of land in that area near the light rail station, on the western side of the empty triangle parcel at the southwest corner of Camelback and Central. We’re going to put out an RFP to dispose of it. Starting in July and August we’re going to hold neighborhood meetings in that area to let everyone know what will be happening on that site.
In addition, the developer who owns the southwest corner is looking at some new development plans for there. The neighborhood had some opposition to what he’d wanted to do before, so he’s really scaled it back to make it more palatable, but the neighborhood will need to have their input, so we’ll see what they say.
DPJ: We’ve heard that there is a comprehensive parking concept being developed. Can you tell us about this?
CM: When I got here the thing I kept hearing from the brokers and the building owners was that they couldn’t bring companies down here because they couldn’t park them. These buildings used to have 300-500 square feet per person and park at two to three per thousand. But, today, even the financial institutions only have 170 square feet per person in their new model and you’ve got to be able to get five to seven per thousand in your parking to make it work. And, until the central city is the favored darling of urban development, we’re still competing with places like Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Places where they can surface park for free.
We have a lot of vacant space – 2.6 million square fee. of vacant space between Midtown and Downtown. And we don’t want to just fill the buildings, we want to bring the right companies with the right work force. To attract these companies we need temporary solutions until public transportation becomes more common place. We’re getting closer and closer to that, but in the interim we have to provide places for these people to park within four minutes of their building or the companies won’t look at you.
We decided to catalog all of the parking in Downtown and Midtown: everything from Buckeye to Camelback and between the 7s. Now, when a building owner calls and says ‘I can do this lease but I need 200 parking spaces for five years,’ I can say ‘here’s six places within a four minute walk where you can buy parking and here’s who you can call.’ And they do.
We’ve now done six transactions where we’ve helped people find parking. We’re going to the city council in September to ask permission to post private transaction information on a public website. Then we will be able to post all of the contacts for all of the buildings, along with rings around the buildings to show a four minute walking distance, and information on who to contact to lease parking in those areas.
Over time we won’t need as much parking, because people will get so used to mass transit that it will do what it is intended to do. But, we’re not there yet because we don’t have all the mass transit connections. As time goes on and we finish making those connections, everyone, or at least a great proportion of people, will move around by mass transit.
DPJ: Are you taking a similar approach to parking in the Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill area?
CM: In Roosevelt Row for certain….I’m working with Councilman Nowakowski to identify some city-owned sites where we can get some parking up for the next three-to-five-year term while we figure out a structure and what needs to go there. Businesses will die if we don’t get them some parking by end of summer; it’s a ‘now’ priority.
DPJ: What are the main challenges/opportunities you see coming next?
CM: More parking is the challenge that we need to overcome first. It will be a game-changer. Then, I believe what you’ll see next is downtown pushing to the south. When you look at the Warehouse District…that’s the next cool, hip place. The development of the Warehouse District is going to be amazing. Absolutely amazing.
DPJ: Any final thoughts about your first ten months on the job?
CM: I am so excited. There’s so much opportunity. The city has done an amazing job since 2007-2008 in driving downtown development, but the vibrancy of downtown really changed with the Super Bowl. Our own citizens in metro Phoenix got on light rail to come downtown for the Super Bowl events and figured out how cool that part of town is.
So, that’s what we’ve been doing for the last 10 months: setting the stage for what we want to accomplish and putting the tools in our tool belt to say ‘now we’re ready, let’s go!’