This fall, ASU will open an ambitious education and community outreach program in the ground floor of the historic Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix. The ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions is leasing 15,000 square feet for 15 years and has some exciting plans for integrating their work into the Westward Ho community and strengthening their ties with downtown.
Dr. Michael S. Shafer, a professor of Social Work and the director of the Center, says they will relocate the faculty, student and staff offices to the Westward Ho and convert the historic Concho Room into the Community Education and Health Center.
“At the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy,” says Prof. Shafer, “we do a lot of continuing education work for all sorts of health and human services professionals – from judges and probation officers to drug counselors and mental health counselors.” He points out that over the nine years that the Center has been affiliated with ASU they’ve had a really hard time hosting these kinds of training events on the Tempe campus. “One of our design imperatives at ASU is ‘the power of the place’ and bringing the community into our space (at the Westward Ho) is part of that transformative experience.”
“The Concho Room will become our dedicated space for hosting community engagement meetings, continuing education trainings and smaller scale conferences and convenings,” says Shafer. “And most exciting,” he adds, “we are creating what we’re calling a supportive services clinic: a student-staffed, faculty-supervised clinic that will initially be restricted only to provide services to the 300 tenants that call the Westward Ho their home.”
The clinic will bring together four disparate academic units, including social work, nursing, recreational therapy, and nutrition and health promotion. They currently have faculty from each of these departments working together on the design for the clinic, which they plan to launch in August. “All four of those disciplines have requirements among their undergrad and grad students for practica and internships, etc. and it’s a very natural leap for ASU to meet the needs of that community,” says Shafer.
A doctoral student under Shafer’s supervision surveyed fifty of the tenants at the Westward Ho to assess their needs. “What we discovered was that, surprisingly, they have pretty good access to healthcare. 80-90% of the tenants surveyed reported that they’d had a scheduled physical exam in the last year, which is a very good marker of healthcare access.” They did find that tenants have a lot of chronic health issues that need attention, but, “more importantly, we discovered these folks were largely, isolated, self-isolated, cut off from community and forgotten.”
Rhode Island-based PAG-CDG has developed and operated the property as a HUD facility since 1979, and according to Shafer, they have done a terrific job in maintaining the building and providing a valuable service. But the HUD funding they receive is tenant-based vouchers, which means strictly vouchers to lease an apartment. They aren’t given any funding to provide supported services on site. Consequently, there is a lot of social disorganization and chaos.
“The most recent data we were able to get from the city police and fire departments indicated that in 2012 they’d had over 600 dispatches to the Westward Ho between them. 600! That’s more than two per day.” He adds, “I’ve worked for over 20 years in this public funded behavioral health space, and so we spend a lot of time around areas of homelessness, criminal justice systems, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. For years we’ve known that this (the Westward Ho) has been a kind of ‘no man’s zone.’ No one has tried to address the issues there.”
Shafer describes a three-fold agenda for the clinic.
“First and foremost we want to create a state-of-the-art, easily accessible training environment for our students. Second, we want to improve the quality of life for the tenants, and third, just like a teaching hospital, the tenants participating in the clinic have the potential, and I emphasize ‘potential,’ to become research subjects to secure federal funding to study how to improve the health and quality of life in the elderly living in place.”
Shafer sums it up this way – “the core of every university is the generation of knowledge that helps to transform community.”
He underscores that “the tenants will be front and center in helping direct the research. The questions and how we address those questions will be directed by the residents and the downtown community.” He ASU team is currently putting together an advisory panel of community leaders to help them effectively engage with downtown.
So what’s the current progress on the renovation of the space and the planned move? “We’re about 60% through on the demolition, so there’s still a lot to do before we go into soft opening and relocation in time for the fall semester.” They will probably wait until October to do any kind of big grand opening, but students, faculty and staff will be in the space when the fall semester begins.
And what about the historic nature of the Concho Room? How much will they preserve? Shafer assures me that they’ve embraced the preservation element. “The Westward Ho is on the national registry and you still have the art deco feel of the room,” he says. “In fact, If you blink twice you can almost see the Rat Pack up on the stage and – that’s going to stay. The basic shell will remain, and for people who were entertained in there – the dance floor will remain.”
It’s worth noting that as a result of ASU’s lease, the owners were successful in securing a supportive housing tax credit, so they are undertaking some pretty major renovations on their own, including replumbing the entire towers. They’ve also extended another 20-year commitment to HUD.
While they are still working out the details of how the clinic will be managed, for the last four or five years undergraduate nursing students have been staffing a clinic in the Westward Ho for one or two days a week. This new, greatly expanded program will incorporate social work, nursing, nutrition and recreational therapy.
“We also look forward to helping the tenant advisory council have some functionality and robustness. With it being managed from Rhode Island, there is a real disconnect there,” says Shafer. “A lot of our work is going to be about asking ‘how do we create a sense of community among you and in support with you?’ Students in social work who are training to become clinicians will have a terrific opportunity to practice and learn their counseling skills.”
The average age of the tenants in the Westward Ho is 59-64. Tenants must meet the HUD criteria, which means they must be homeless or at risk of being homeless, and they must meet a low-income threshold. Shafer adds, “Up to 50% of the tenants have some form of diagnosable mental health condition, chronic disease, diabetes, hypertension, or are mobility impaired.”
The program should bring a tremendous benefit to the tenants and the downtown community. Shafer has also been in conversation with Dean Tepper of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts about the intersection between the arts and recreational therapy. “We’ve had some wonderful conversations about how we might also use the Concho Room as an event space for their students and faculty – perhaps for recitals, exhibitions, etc.”
The new Center will be great for ASU, for the Westward Ho tenants, and for downtown as a whole. It will be exciting to watch the program develop and discover new ways for the Westward Ho to better serve its tenants, be a useful training ground for students, provide potential research opportunities for faculty, and offer continuing education opportunities for social welfare professionals.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
COME CELEBRATE 4TH ANNUAL “INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY AZ” AT CITYSCAPE
Free outdoor concert is one of 196 global celebrations taking place on April 30
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY CONCERT FEATURES THE BEST OF “REAL JAZZ”
Downtown Phoenix joins more than 196 global “International Jazz Day” celebrations on April 30, the date officially designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to celebrate jazz and the role it plays in uniting people in all corners of the world. The FREE outdoor concert at CityScape features world-renowned jazz saxophonist Azar Lawrence, New Orleans jazz vocalist and Phoenix native Nayo Jones, and an all-star lineup of local, national and international jazz artists. This year’s concert includes a tribute to the centennial of Billy Strayhorn, a prolific composer and arraigner who is best known for his multi-year collaboration with Duke Ellington on songs like, “Take the ATrain,” “Satin Dolls,” and “Lush Life.”
- Azar Lawrence – world-renowned composer, arranger and saxophonist who has performed as a sideman to Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard and Woody
Shaw. He will be performing songs from his new CD The Seeker.
- Nayo Jones – Phoenix native and rising jazz vocalist star who has been signed by Universal Records. She performs in the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and is currently touring the country with Kermit Ruffins and wowing fans with her signature new-soul jazz style.
- Royce Murray – accomplished songwriter whose career includes collaborations with R&B icon Barry White; opening acts for Tony Monaco, Joey DeFrancesco and the legendary Jimmy Smith; and playing organ for ABC, CBS and NBC television soap operas.
- Dowell Davis – known as “D” to his fellow players, he has graced national and international stages with his drumming since 1983. He’s an accomplished artist who has played a variety of musical styles, and has an innate understanding of grooving.
- Carlos Rivas – International Latino jazz artist who has performed throughout the world. He is founder and director of Mex-Sal, one of Arizona’s most prestigious Latin groups.
- Kerry Campbell – Jazz saxophonist and former member of The Dramatics and famed band War. He has performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Joe Sample among others.
- William “Doc” Jones – Jazz saxophonist, keyboard artist, music educator, founder of NextStudent Academy, and proud father of Nayo Jones. His performances include stints with Aretha Franklin and The Temptations.
WHEN / WHERE: Wednesday, April 30, 4:00PM to 9:00PM, CityScape at 1 East Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
COST / PUBLIC CONTACT: “International Jazz Day” is FREE to the public, however donations are appreciated. VIP event seating is also available at Copper Blues with a $100 donation. Proceeds support the NextStudent Academy, a local 501(c)(3) organization that works with schools to make jazz music education and instruments available and accessible to students from kindergarten through college. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.nextstudentmusic.com or (602) 234-3397.
Spring in Arizona brings plenty of all-star players to the desert, but they aren’t all found on a baseball diamond. Some of them are found in the kitchens of Arizona’s best restaurants and this weekend, you’ll find an all-star lineup of the Valley’s top chefs at Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival at CityScape in downtown Phoenix.
Based on Eight’s award-winning, locally-produced dining show hosted by Chef Robert McGrath, the event will feature an impressive roster of Arizona’s culinary talent, along with samples from more than 25 local restaurants.
Get the stats on the all-star team of chefs slated to appear:
McGrath takes the manager’s role at the event, hosting the Culinary Leadership and James Beard Award Winners panel discussions.
Check, Please! Arizona. Eight, Arizona PBS’s #1 most popular program airs Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Nominated five times by The James Beard Foundation as “Best Chef in America: Southwest” HE WON THE HONOR in 2001.
- Created the Roaring Fork.
- Touted in Food & Wine as one of the Ten Best Chefs in America.
- Author of the popular cookbook, American Western Cooking from the Roaring Fork.
- Chef de cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin; executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston; and chef/owner of Sierra Grill in Houston, and Brio Vista in Austin.
McGrath won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame in 2013.
Pizzeria Bianco, Bar Bianco and Pane Bianco locally; Union Jack’s in London
A James Beard Award-Winner in 2003 and creator of the “Best Pizza in the Country” according to publications like Bon Appétit and Vogue, as well as many celebrity aficionados. Bianco is currently on a mission to bring his organically grown Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes to food-lovers everywhere.
- Bianco won the James Beard Foundation Honor of Best Chef in America: Southwest in 2003.
- Pizzeria Bianco named best pizza in the country by Bon Appétit, Vogue, and Rachel Ray
- Chef Bianco also travels to London to check in on his restaurant Union Jacks – created with Jamie Oliver.
- His latest endeavor is Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes. Their mission is to bring you the very best tomatoes that Mother Nature and human ingenuity has to offer. Organically grown, hand selected, grown and processed in California.
Bianco recently birthed a Pizzeria Bianco in Tucson, and a daughter!
Nobuo at Teeter House, 622 E Adams St, Phoenix
Fukuda is a 2007 James Beard Award Winner. Originally hailing from Tokyo, Japan, he’s been delighting Arizona foodies with innovative Japanese cuisine for the past 30 years. At Nobuo, he is famous for his omakase dining experiences, which leaves the menu selection up to the chef.
- Chef Nobuo first gained recognition for his East-meets-West approach at Restaurant Hapa and went on to win the James Beard Award in 2007 when he opened his restaurant Sea Saw.
- At Teeter House, in Heritage Square, Chef Nobuo comes full circle, elevating (and sometimes re-inventing) Japanese cuisine, while offering the same wildly inventive omakase for which he’s famous.
The historic Teeter House is located in the must-see Heritage Square.
Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, 2502 East Camelback Road #102, Phoenix
A longtime Arizona culinary staple, who brings experience from around the world to his kitchen.
- Gross was awarded the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in America: Southwest” in 1995.
- He has become a dominating figure in the culinary world, consulting regularly for Club Med, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Lines, Disney and others.
- Featured on panels with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
- He and his recipes have appeared in numerous cookbooks, including the Julia Child PBS TV series and cookbook “In the Kitchen with Master Chefs.”
- He was a featured chef for the James Beard Foundation Dinner of the Decade, “A Salute to Peter Kump”; and the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games.
Gross has cooked for at least 3 presidents, and many other global leaders.
Crudo, 3603 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix
Campbell’s Crudo has received national acclaim and was named “Chef of the Year” by the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.
- Chef Cullen Campbell, of Crudo, has quickly made an indelible mark on the Arizona dining scene.
- Since opening In April 2012, Phoenix Magazine named Crudo the #1 new restaurant in Phoenix and food critic Howard Seftel of Gannett’s Arizona Republic gave the restaurant 4.5 stars out of 5.
- USA Today’s 10best.com wrote, “Sushi sensibility meets traditional Italian flavors at Crudo, Phoenix’s hip Italian cafe specializing in sashimi-style seafood,” while the LA Business Journal raved, “Crudo is a culinary oasis in the Arizona desert.”
- In April, 2013, Chef Cullen was invited to cook dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in NYC as well as named “Chef of the Year” by the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.
Campbell is set to debut another restaurant this Summer. Stay tuned!
POSH, 7167 E Rancho Vista Dr #111, Scottsdale
Hebert honed his skills at the world famous Zuni Cafe and Cafe Kati in San Francisco and opened Cafe California in Japan. Upon returning to Arizona, he opened POSH, known for its “improvisational cuisine.”
- Chef Joshua Hebert became enamored with food at an early age. And he already was cooking professionally while in high school at a corporate Italian restaurant. But he had his sights set on fine dining.
- He spent five years as a line cook and sous chef at Tarbell’s developing his skills.
- He opened POSH Restaurant on New Year’s Eve 2008, and continues to receive accolades for his innovative approach. The Arizona Republic has named POSH one of the top 10 gourmet restaurants in the Phoenix area.
Hebert is a certified sommelier, and serves on the Arizona Restaurant Association board of directors.
Virtù Honest Craft, located in Old Town Scottsdale’s Bespoke Inn, Cafe & Bicycles, 3701 Marshall Way
With a focus on Mediterranean cuisine, seafood and pastas, Osso’s Virtù was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant and named in the 20 “Best New Restaurants” in the U.S. by Esquire Magazine.
- Chef Gio Osso’s already acclaimed restaurant, Virtù, was named one of the top 20 “Best New Restaurants” in the U.S. by Esquire Magazine and also was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant.
- Virtù Honest Craft is tucked inside Old Town Scottsdale’s Bespoke Inn, where his menu features contemporary cuisine inspired by his Mediterranean roots and global influences.
- At Virtù, the Machiavellian term for achieving excellence, expect a menu that changes almost weekly, featuring house-made pastas, superb seafood, new Mediterranean creations and rustic favorites.
The boutique Bespoke Inn also houses a boutique bicycle shop.
Game Time (Event Info)
What: Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival Click to link to see the full list of participating restaurants.
Where: CityScape, 1 E. Washington Street., Phoenix
When: Sunday, March 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets: $79 through March 21st; $89 day of event. Click to purchase online
As an independent chronicler of all things downtown, DPJ takes a comprehensive approach to covering the urban living movement in Phoenix and, with this Conversation series, spotlighting the people who make it move.
“Customers are seeing that things are happening quickly here”
Steve Moore, the President & CEO of Visit Phoenix (formerly known as the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau) has spent his career luring convention business to his city. After 14 years at the helm of the convention business in San Antonio he was recruited to Phoenix in March of 2002 and has spent the last 13 years watching the explosion of growth in our downtown. He brings a unique perspective to the “future of downtown” conversations around the DPI board table in that he is uniquely focused on customers who are, for the most part, not from Arizona, and not familiar with what he calls “the new city” that is Phoenix.
Visit Phoenix is an umbrella organization for hotels looking to fill rooms and their target customers are convention and conference planners of all kinds. The competition includes cities that many planners are familiar with: Las Vegas, San Diego, Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City and so on. Up until the last few years, Phoenix has largely been perceived as a resort destination and the convention center and hotel capacity in downtown was not competitive .
“Conventioneers like seeing young people downtown; it tells them that there’s a future here and maybe we should come back.”
My how things have changed! As Moore sees it, the “new downtown” is only about six years old because, in that short period of time, downtown has experienced a radical transformation. “There was a cacophony of activity that opened pretty close to the same time,” said Moore referring to the expanded convention center; hotel construction; the growth of a multi-faceted downtown research and higher education campus that includes ASU, U of A, and TGen; and the completion of light rail construction through the core that all came to fruition in and around 2009. “Cities don’t usually move that quickly,” said Moore. “People don’t mess around in Phoenix.” Looking out of his sixth floor conference room window on Van Buren and 5th Street he nods and says, “I see so much difference in just 12 – 13 years, sitting in my office and just looking out at what’s changed.”
And why is Downtown Phoenix Inc. an important organization to Moore? For Moore the impact of DPI is in its ability to get everyone in the same room to have ongoing dialogue about the future of the city, and the tremendous job DPI has done in activating downtown. Additionally, he sees tremendous benefit in having weekly communications from David Krietor and his team. Receiving reliable, aggregated information on everything happening in downtown is an important tool for Visit Phoenix to push out key and timely information to their clients and visitors to their site. He noted that many of the people who use the Visit Phoenix site are locals researching fun things to do with visiting relatives and friends, in addition to the meeting planners who are his target customers.
So what’s his strategy for selling our “new downtown” and raising awareness that Phoenix is a uniquely convention location? “It’s simple,” says Moore. “Seeing is believing. We need to get our customers here. They need to walk downtown and see it first-hand.”According to Moore, it’s all about orienting an audience that doesn’t live here.” Which means, in addition to the outsiders that he’s courting as clients, the millions of people who live in Phoenix and have not yet experienced the new downtown.
“Twelve years ago, I didn’t have to stop for people crossing the street. Now I have to stop all the time, and I love it.”
He wants to show prospective clients that downtown is “approximate, and like a campus with real nice ‘dorms’ (the hotels) across the street.” He is keen on having them walk at street level so they become more aware of their senses. “Convention planners are not staying inside as much as they used to,” says Moore. “Instead of hosting a golf or tennis tournament, convention planners are looking for social responsibility opportunities for their attendees. They are more focused on giving back to the communities who host them.” And Moore wants that street level experience to stimulate their senses and convey a real sense of place. And he also notes that as a part of the downtown campus experience, “conventioneers like seeing young people downtown; it tells them that there’s a future here and maybe we should come back.”
For Moore and his clients, our downtown is one of our city’s largest lobbies. “We see each other, we are out walking the streets. We want to make visitors aware of their senses when they leave the convention center and walk out on our streets.” He laughs, saying “Twelve years ago, I didn’t have to stop for people crossing the street. Now I have to stop all the time, and I love it.”
As for the specific challenges ahead for downtown and Visit Phoenix? “More hotel rooms,” says Moore. “That, and we need to have marketing resources in place for quite a while.” He is clearly confident about his ability to sell Phoenix as a conference destination well into the future, noting that “customers are seeing that things are happening quickly here – this is a business climate that does move forward and a very pro business community.”
The mural in the above image was painted by El Moises
As you probably know by now, this weekend is the 27th annual Art Detour event. It’s a free, two-day arts celebration in downtown. Started back in the late 80’s by a group of artists who invited people into their working art studios, it has grown and evolved over the years and now includes individual artist studios, pop up art spaces, galleries, and arts-friendly shops, restaurants and bars. Everyone throws out the welcome map. Many spaces are easily accessible along a route that is serviced by Artlink’s free circulating trolleys, however, there are wonderful spaces that take just a tad extra effort to find and we’re here to help you navigate your own “Detour” off the beaten path and into the Warehouse District.
CityScape, 1 E. Washington St.
CityScape is our jumping off point for this adventure. This pedestrian complex covers two blocks bounded by 1st Ave. and 1st St. between Washington and Jefferson. A central hub for downtown Phoenix, you’ll find restaurants, shops, open air seating, as well as an Artlink Information Hub stop staffed by friendly, knowledgeable Downtown Ambassadors, where you can pick up a Detour map and get any questions answered. The Warehouse District is just a few blocks south of CityScape, so you can either walk, or grab a GRID bike from one of the several GRID stations in and around CityScape. If you are a GRID member, you can reserve a bike online.
It is in the Warehouse District that Art Detour first got started, and there are well established artists who still call it home. Additionally, ASU recently moved their ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to the Warehouse District, bringing even more creative energy to this part of town.
First stop on your Warehouse Detour:
Once you’ve chosen whether to grab a bike or apply shoe leather for this adventure, head south on 1st Avenue or Central to Jackson Street (two blocks south of CityScape). Once you reach Jackson, head west to the IceHouse.
The IceHouse at 429 W. Jackson.
If you’ve never been to the IceHouse, you must go. Once active as a ice storage facility in the days before refrigeration, it houses various artist studios, along with exhibition and performance spaces. With its thick slabbed walls and concrete rooms, it is unlike any building you’ve ever been in and well worth the trip. Its large rooms, tall ceilings, and unique feel have made it a popular wedding destination.
After you’ve explored the nooks and crannies in the IceHouse, head back east to the Jackson Street Studios.
Jackson Street Studios, 15 E. Jackson, #206 – Linda Ingraham Mixed Media Photography
The Jackson Street Studios building has been home to many renowned Arizona artists, including Linda Ingraham, who has been in her second floor studio for more than twenty years. A critically acclaimed artist, her work includes evocative images of botanicals, figures and surreal landscapes, as well as art-inspired jewelry that Linda describes as “Bohemian Elegance.” Linda is warm and welcoming and her studio is full of beautiful finished work, as well as works in progress.
After you’ve explored Jackson Street Studios, hop on your bike for the next leg of your Warehouse Detour. If you’ve been walking up to this point, you may want to grab a bike from one of the nearby stations for this part of the adventure. Head south on 3rd Avenue to Grant Street and east to the Step Gallery/Grant St. Studios at the aforementioned ASU School of Art and Design.
Step Gallery/Grant St. Studios, 605 E. Grant
The Step Gallery serves as both an MFA thesis exhibition space and a proposal-driven, student run gallery. In the renovated warehouse building known to locals as the Levine Machine, this unique art space is worth exploring both inside and out.
Head back over to 3rd Street and cycle north back to CityScape, where you can hop a trolley to discover the rest of the Art Detour spaces. For the more intrepid urban explorer, use your Detour map to continue your bike adventure to Roosevelt Row to the north or over to the Grand Avenue arts district to the west.
Please note that both Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue will be hosting their own neighborhood festivities during Detour this year: Roosevelt Row will be hosting the PAINT PHX block party, with music and a beer garden, on 5th Street on Saturday, and the No Festival Required outdoor screening of Stop Making Sense, on the west wall of Monorchid. On Sunday, Grand Avenue will present Detour de Grand, again featuring “bikes, beer and bands” along with open artist studios and galleries.
Whether you choose to connect the dots for a great Detour adventure on Saturday, Sunday or both days, there will be plenty of outdoor art adventures to discover at this weekend’s Art Detour 27.