Tag Archives: Artlink

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton at Art d'Core Gala at Crescent Ballroom.

Stanton lauds downtown Phoenix for creativity, growth at Art d’Core Gala

Crescent Ballroom played host to the second annual Art d’Core Gala Saturday night.

Art d’Core Gala was presented by Artlink, Downtown Phoenix Inc. and the City of Phoenix’s Office of the Mayor. The event celebrated the arts and culture of downtown Phoenix and kicked off the festive season that will occur over the coming weeks.

Attendees were encouraged to dress in creative formal attire and each guest did not disappoint. From bright cocktail dresses to decorative suits, Crescent Ballroom was adorned with sea of creatively styled outfits.

The Phoenix Theatre opened the gala with a musical number. The tap routine was pulled from its current show Anything Goes, which premiered over the weekend.

Artlink President Catrina Kahler delivered opening remarks, followed by Downtown Phoenix Inc. CEO David Krietor. He expressed that downtown Phoenix is becoming more like the model downtown cities that Phoenix has aimed to become.

“If you want urban, and you want diverse, and you want interesting, downtown Phoenix and the core part of Phoenix have never been stronger than they are now,” Krietor said.

Mayor Greg Stanton then addressed the crowd for his annual “Celebrate Downtown Address,” which had the crowd cheering for all the things the city has accomplished.

Stanton highlighted the recent Super Bowl success as well as the landscape changes the city has been working toward. Last year, the city broke ground on more than one million square feet of commercial space.

“I have made it my No. 1 priority as mayor of this city to build an innovation based export economy that lifts everybody up and that starts right here in our downtown,” Stanton said.

He also lauded the universities in downtown Phoenix that are working together to bring a greater change.

Through partnerships with Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, the city is able to build and produce tech startups, medical advancements and other innovations downtown. As for the arts, Stanton thanked ASU for making an investment in the warehouse district that opened up more spaces for artists.

Music in the city has also bloomed including the upcoming Viva Phoenix festival as well as Crescent Ballroom, which plays host to a variety of shows every week.

Current construction on Roosevelt Row is aiming to make the area more walk able for pedestrians and more shaded than ever before. In downtown, the new Complete Streets policy has made the streets more accessible to pedestrians and bicycles, including the new Grid Bike Share.

In addition, he toasted the growth in events, the arts community, those who make downtown what it is and the overall improvement of downtown Phoenix.

The remainder of the night was filled with music, dancing, and mingling as well as a raffle.

Although the kickoff celebration is over, the main event is still to come. Art Detour 27 takes place in downtown Phoenix March 7 and 8. Over the weekend, this self-guided tour will allow people from all over the Valley to experience the arts and culture that downtown has to offer.

First Friday in Downtown Phoenix

First Friday In Downtown Phoenix

The First Friday evening of every month in downtown Phoenix will provide you with all flocks of life gathered around multiple forums of artwork. From dancing and singing, to high-priced artwork lining gallery walls and local street vendors selling their handcrafted delights, First Friday has every culturally stimulating experience you can imagine without having to leave the city.

Phoenix’s First Friday event started as an annual event in the spring of 1988 known as the annual Art Detour. Met with large crowds and a new life to the downtown art district, the annual event turned monthly in early 1994. Since then, huge numbers of Phoenix locals and city visitors continue to fill the streets of Phoenix’s art district to share and explore their interest in local art, making this First Friday art walk the largest monthly event in the United States.

Free to all attendees, arrive on the  Valley Metro Light Rail or park at the Phoenix Art Museum and travel to all the hot spots by a free shuttle to soak up all that the night has to offer. Comprised of more than 70 galleries, venues and street vendors, you’ll surely find something to please everyone’s interests with this self-guided walking tour.

For me, the event’s convenient location off the city’s beloved light rail system made First Friday a regular monthly outing here in my home away from home. Just four years ago I packed up everything I knew to move out of state for college and began looking for other off-campus experiences to take in what Phoenix had to offer. With several hits and misses, I quickly found refuge in the streets of Phoenix’s art district, as I became a familiar face at First Friday.

With every first Friday of the month, my frequent visits are met with new sights, smells and sounds. Although the usual, art-loving crowd is to be expected, you can never really predict what little wonders you’ll find that night. After attending a few times, I began to know which galleries are worth lingering in the longest, which shops have the best vendors in their yards and what artists will stimulate my desire for unique works of art.

Despite art snobbery stereotypes, First Friday is more about the “come as you are” philosophy while you comfortably stroll the town enjoying an evening of good art, music and food. As a poor college student in love with all artistic forms, this event has truly fed my hunger for great art without having to endure the stuffy galleries quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

Rather, in the streets, yards and galleries of downtown Phoenix, you are greeted with open arms despite your level of love or knowledge for art. As a safe haven for those looking for a lively event full of spirit and culture, First Friday has served as my regular form of entertainment along with being a must for any visitors asking for something to do around Phoenix. In that, I will continue to attend the monthly events and encourage all to join in on the evening of great festivities.

For more information about First Friday visit artlinkinc.wordpress.com.