From fireworks to pool parties to baseball to music, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the 4th of July like a true downtowner. Check out our roundup of happenings in downtown Phoenix over the Independence Day weekend, and to give it that extra local touch, you can ride light rail or bike to any of these great events!
“Independence & Music” – An Evening of Music at The Newton: Continue the Independents Week celebration with independent music from North Brother Island, Longbird, Pageant, and Teddy’s Bullet at The Newton.
First Fridays at The Heard Museum – Native + You: The theme of this month’s Native & You is “Super Kids,” where kids become “super heroes in training.” You’ll find a DJ spinning Brazilian music, Capoeira demonstrations and an artist meet & greet with Joe Hopkins.
“Order, Chaos and Everything in Between” at monOrchid: Check out the opening reception for artist Ryan J. Carey’s solo exhibition, presented by Shade Projects.
Fabulous Phoenix 4th at Steele Indian School Park: This Phoenix 4th of July tradition is celebrating its 30th year with two stages of local entertainment, vendors, kids activities and one of the largest firework displays in the southwest.
AZ Diamondbacks at Chase Field: The Diamondbacks take on the San Diego Padres at Chase Field at 6:40 p.m., but there is plenty going on before and after the game. Tailgate Games start at 5 p.m., the first 20,000 fans will receive a stars and stripes t-shirt, a pre-game ceremony will honor our military and after the game, the ballpark roof will open for a firework spectacular.
Made in the USA Rooftop Pool Party: LUSTRE Rooftop Garden at the Hotel Palomar will keep their “100 Days of Summer” series going with a patriotic pool party on July 4th and 5th. Enjoy live music, specialty cocktails, a patriotic costume contest and a great view of the Chase Field fireworks display.
Red, White, & Booze at Copper Blues: Have a delicious 4th at Copper Blues with a $20 all-American, all-you-can-eat BBQ, live music, spiked snocones and beer garden games.
Bad Cactus Brass Band at The Nash: Celebrate America at Downtown’s premiere jazz venue with the Bad Cactus Brass Band and hot dogs from Short Leash. Rumor has it the band might even head outside during the fireworks!
Funky Soul 4th at Valley Bar: Keep it cool at Valley Bar with DJ MR PHX & DJ M.Rocka’s mix of funk, soul, new soul and old school jams, then follow it up with live band Southside Soul featuring Larry Bailey.
Featured image: Jennifer Stewart/Arizona Diamondbacks
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.
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.
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Exhibition features more than 70 stilettos transformed into art
INSPIRED SOLES – A WELL-HEELED EXPERIENCE
The 4th Annual “Inspired Soles” art show and auction features the inspiration of local artists – using stilettos as their blank canvas – manifested into works of art. More than 70 participating artists and designers have volunteered thousands of hours in this annual event that has become an organic showcase of local soul.
The Arizona Republic photographers’ works are also incorporated into the show, featuring “Inspired Souls” they have captured over the years and favorite digital images. Photographers will be on site to capture images of event attendees at their photo booth for an online photo series, which will appear on AZCentral.com.
The one-of-a-kind pieces will be sold to the highest bidders in a silent auction that takes place Thursday, April 2. The shoes will remain on display First Friday, April 3.
Proceeds benefit Artlink Inc. a nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, businesses and the public to better understand, appreciate and promote a thriving arts community in central Phoenix.
Luhrs Tower City Center, 11 West Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix, 85003
Thursday, April 2 2015, 5 – 8 p.m.
Inspired Soles Silent Auction to benefit Artlink Inc.
Open to the public, but for serious buyers only! This is your opportunity to mix and mingle with artists who created this year’s Inspired Soles works of art, and bid on your favorite piece.
Refreshments and appetizers will be served
First Friday, April 2, 2015, 6 – 10 p.m.
Inspired Soles Exhibition
If you’re an art aficionado on a tight budget, this night is for you. You can look, without the temptation to buy. If you really want to buy, come on Thursday so you don’t miss out!
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT “INSPIRED SOLES”
“Inspired Soles” was the very first show hosted by 6th Avenue Gallery in downtown Phoenix.
Now in its 4th year, the show has outgrown the quaint, lower-level gallery and has moved to the space at Luhrs City Center to accommodate the growing number of participating artists and attendees. Over the last three years, the event has raised more than $6,000 for the organization. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.inspiredsolesaz.org and view updates on the 6th Avenue Gallery Facebook page.
An ephemeral Art Detour pop-up space reveals long-covered DeGrazia murals and showcases plans for a new Lauren Lee mural.
Iconic Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia is most widely remembered for his commercially popular paintings of large-eyed children, faceless angels, and Southwestern-themed imagery. But two murals he left behind in downtown Phoenix—hidden under protective sheetrock for years—reveal a glimpse of DeGrazia’s other subjects, and his unique mark on the community.
“A lot of times, DeGrazia would go into a place and someone would say to him, ‘Oh, here’s a sandwich and a pitcher of beer,’ you know, ‘Would you paint me a picture?’ and he’d do it for lunch,” says DeGrazia Foundation Executive Director Lance Laber. “Now, this is a pretty extensive mural, so I know he didn’t do it for lunch,” he continues with a laugh. “This mural is 12 feet tall and it’s 40 feet long.”
Laber is describing a mural covering a large expanse of interior wall at 222 E. Roosevelt in the former greenHAUS Gallery. “The establishment was a bar,” he says, and explains that the murals were most likely painted around 60 years ago. “….They go along with the way DeGrazia’s style was in the ‘50s.”
On the Roosevelt walls, a smaller mural shows a dancer twirling in a glass, while the huge 40-foot work depicts scenes of alcohol production, from loincloth-clad figures gathered around a cauldron to a hillbilly moonshine still. “Everybody’s making some kind of booze,” says Laber. “That seems to be the theme of the mural.” Both pieces feature opaque greenish-turquoise backgrounds, and while the dancer is painted on drywall attached to wood studs, the alcohol scenes were applied directly to a very thin layer of plaster adhering to a double- brick wall.
For years, the artwork was covered and protected by sheetrock and Laber learned about the murals when building owner Baron Properties contacted the DeGrazia Foundation back in September 2014. “I had never seen anything by DeGrazia that looked like that—truly amazing,” says Laber. “The murals are kind of old…they’re a little faded from time, but they’re very interesting.”
“We learned of the two pieces as we were conducting our due diligence to buy the property,” says Baron partner Scott Fisher. “We called Lance [Laber] to understand what the murals were and what they stood for and their importance.” He continues, “We wanted to do the right thing and…donate the paintings, so that’s why we called the DeGrazia Foundation.” Baron has owned property in the Valley since 2004 and intends to build a new building on the Roosevelt site, but the company has worked out a rare opportunity with Artlink in which the DeGrazia murals will be open to the public during March First Friday and Art Detour 27 from March 6-8. “We don’t just share a desire to preserve the DeGrazia artwork,” says Fisher. “We want to do what we can to actually enhance and expand a great arts neighborhood with additional efforts too.”
Laber has been working with Baron and an art conservator to determine how the murals can be preserved, and believes the smaller mural can be saved. “That’s on a piece of sheetrock that we believe can be removed from the wall,” he says. The larger mural is a different story. No one has yet devised a method to protect such an expansive piece against the torque exerted on a thin layer of aging stucco. “If you start trying to peel it off or get behind it and get it off, you’re probably just going to break it into a thousand pieces,” says Laber.
“In either case, we plan on having a professional photographer take very high-definition photographs and donate those to the Foundation and whoever else is interested,” says Fisher. “We understand that the Roosevelt Arts District is very important, and so our new projects on Roosevelt…we plan on displaying and highlighting local art from local artists. Our plan is to have more artwork, not less.”
And the beautiful Lauren Lee mural “Three Birds” on the building’s outside east-facing wall? Lee recognized that it was going to be difficult to save the piece, so she approached Baron Properties about the possibility of producing a new piece for the new building.
Fisher said, “When Lauren Lee approached us with her idea, the answer was a resounding yes. That’s because our goal is to create a combination of the preserved art along with the newer works and contribute to a great success story in the heart of Phoenix.”
Lee said, “I’ll be painting three massive birds in flight on the five-story-high new building that will be called ‘iLuminate.’ Given their name, the developer suggested that we illuminate the birds from below so that they can be seen from far away, which I think will be spectacular.”
Lee added, “The new concept design will be displayed at Art Detour this weekend in a pop-up art gallery hosted by Artlink in the greenHAUS building. I’ll be there answering questions with the new painting and design rendering of the ‘Three Birds in Flight,’ as well as offering prints of the ‘Three Birds’ mural for sale. It’s difficult to convey my happiness about this, but I am truly happy that the ‘Three Birds’ get to live on in a new way, in a new stage of their evolution.”
Take advantage of this final opportunity to see the DeGrazia murals and Lauren Lee’s “Three Birds” at Art Detour this weekend.
If You Go:
What: Artlink Pop Up Gallery – Art Detour 27
Where: 222. E. Roosevelt St.
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 7 & 8, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Update: Recently released, DeGrazia: The Man and the Myths is a new biography of DeGrazia by James W. Johnson and Marilyn D. Johnson from The University of Arizona Press. Both authors join DeGrazia Foundation Executive Director Lance Laber at the Tucson Festival of Books on Sunday, March 15 in the Student Union’s Kachina room on the U of A campus for a panel discussion from 1 p.m.-2 p.m., followed by a book-signing.