Tag Archives: first friday

Jazz Girl

This week: Jazz at the Nash, Bike ‘Prom,’ First Friday

Jazz at The Nash

Jazz Appreciation month kicks off April 1 and the Nash has a number of events scheduled throughout the month. The first in this series of events is “Exploring the Jazz Masters of the Tenor Saxophone.” Taught by ASU jazz instructor Dr. Jeffrey Libman, this class is aimed toward those who want to learn more about jazz. The event will include guided discussion as well as listening to recordings of jazz. Instruments are not required.

The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, April 1, $25

The Maine

Local band The Maine will be taking of the Marquee Theatre on Friday. The band has entered the alternative music scene with a force since they began in 2007. Their debut EP, “The Way We Talk”, reached the number six spot on the iTunes Top 100 Alternative Chart. Their new album, American Candy, was just released this week. Friday’s show is the start of their tour for their new album before they head off around the country for the summer. The tour also feature Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and the Technicolors.

Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, April 3, $20

Movies in the Park

Bring a blanket or chair and spread out on the lawn at Biltmore Fashion Park to catch a movie. This week’s movie is Eat, Pray Love. The park shows movies outside in the springtime with weather permitting. Movies are shown in their original format. The screening starts at 7:30. If you can’t make this week’s screening, the movies go through the end of April on every Friday showing a variety of classic films.

Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, April 3, Free

First Friday

This monthly self guided tour showcases the businesses that inhabit Roosevelt Row and the surrounding area. Art galleries are open for visitors to check out. If it’s your first time to First Friday, Artlink Phoenix hosts a First Friday Trolley Tour, which takes participants around Roosevelt Row as well as Grand Avenue. There is also live music, food trucks, and vendors posted along Roosevelt Row.

Roosevelt Row, Downtown Phoenix, April 3, Free

Bike “Prom”

Valley Bike Month kicks off with Phoenix Spokes People Bike Prom. If your high school prom wasn’t the best or you just want an excuse to get dressed up, this event is for you. Participants will meet at Civic Space Park at 6p.m. before biking over to the Phoenix Ale Brewery. There will be snacks and desserts in addition to alcohol to purchase. There will be a prom king and queen as well as awards for best dressed and best dancers.

Phoenix Ale Brewery, 3002 E. Washington St., Phoenix, April 4, $15 solo/ $20 couple

Phoenix Art Museum

Paper! Exhibit On Display At Phoenix Art Museum

Now on display in Steele Gallery, Phoenix Art Museum’s Paper! exhibition includes works on paper and about paper, featuring fashion, photography and pieces from four continents.

Rarely-exhibited work from the Museum’s collection is on display, along with special loans and commissions from area artists and collectors.

The exhibition attempts to broaden the understanding of paper both as a material and a subject for artists.

Manufactured paper dates back to China in 2 A.D. Now, it is mostly associated as being made from trees, but can be made from a variety of materials such as cactus, grass, bamboo, cotton or even jeans. A prevalent part of daily life, paper usage has increased by 400 percent in the past 40 years, according to ecology.com.

Phoenix Art MuseumWith paper as such a ubiquitous material, Phoenix Art Museum began to consider paper’s role in creating art.

Lead by Jim Ballinger, Phoenix Art Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director, the Museum’s curatorial and education departments sorted through thousands of works in the Museum’s collection, identifying close to 200 pieces that best captured the impact of paper in art.

“It was exciting to bring every curator to the table, to work together in this way,” says Ballinger. “It was also exciting to create a dialogue among different works of art in the collection with the assistance of our educators and installation team.”

The exhibition also provided an opportunity to open up a conversation about art with the local community. At a First Friday at the Museum, a community event that invites people of all ages to attend the Museum at no cost the first Friday of each month, visitors responded to a simple question: What do you think of when you hear the word “paper”? Responses filled hundreds of sticky notes with everything from money and trees to the NBC television show “The Office” and a drawing of toilet tissue.

“As we sorted through their responses, we noticed many of their ideas fell into several natural categories,” Blake says. “We used those categories as a basis for how we then organized the exhibition.”

The result is a complex collection from big names like Norman Rockwell, as well as relative unknowns. Works include delicate, hand-painted Asian scrolls; Pop Art paper dresses from the 1960s; a white, steel sculpture emulating crumpled paper by Phoenix metal sculptor Pete Deise; and papier-mâché sculptures by Tucson artist Michael Cajero.

On view until September 23, 2012, Phoenix Art Museum’s Paper! explores the impact on the world of art of something as seemingly simple as paper.

For more information about the Phoenix Art Museum, visit:

Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Avenue,
(602) 257-1222

Free museums in Arizona

Free Museums In Arizona

Every year, the International Council of Museums chooses a day in May as International Museum Day. This year that day is on Friday, May 18. Many Central Arizona museums are hosts of special events during this month and offer discounted or free admission. However, getting your daily dose of culture doesn’t have to break the bank or wait until May each year. The following is a current list of free museums in Arizona:


  • Arizona Capitol Museum
    Free admission every day
    More than 20 exhibits help tell the story of Arizona’s growth as a state from its territorial days to the present.

    1700 W. Washington
    (602) 926-3620
  • Gallery at City Hall
    Free admission every day
    The City of Phoenix’s historic and contemporary art collection. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    200 W. Washington St.
    (602) 262-6213
  • The Phoenix Art Museum, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and First Friday
    Free admission every first Friday of the month
    The Phoenix Art Museum and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix grant free admittance during First Friday. Although not exactly your typical museum, First Friday is held every first Friday of the month, hence the name. Art exhibits are strewn throughout Downtown Phoenix, and local vendors sell their handmade crafts.

    1625 N. Central Ave.
    (602) 257-1222


  • Katydid Insect Museum
    Children under the age of 3, free
    Although not exactly free, this museum’s entrance fee is only $4 for adults. The Katydid Insect Museum is for the bug lovers and the non-squeamish. You can either take a guided tour or wander amongst the thousands of mounted bugs and insects in labeled display cases.

    5060 W. Bethany Home Rd., #7
    (623) 931 8718
  • The Bead Museum
    Free admission on Thursday after 5 p.m.
    This museum offers a collection of more than 100,000 bead-related artifacts that explore how beads were used in art and as currency throughout the years.

    5754 W. Glenn Dr.
    (623) 931-2737
  • Sahuaro Ranch Park Historical Area
    Free admission every day
    This 17-acre park/museum hybrid features 13 original historic buildings, a rose garden, a barnyard and historic orchards. The Sahuaro Ranch Park is one of Arizona’s oldest ranches.

    9802 N. 59th Ave.
    (623) 930-4200


  • African American Multicultural Museum
    Free admission every day
    The focus of this museum is on African American culture. Exhibits feature art and historical items that change quarterly.

    617 N. Scottsdale Rd., #A
    (480) 314-4400
  • Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
    Free admission all day Thursday and on Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, or SMoCa, has exhibits that present contemporary and modern art, architecture and design.

    7374 E. Second St.
    (480) 874-4665
  • Scottsdale Historical Museum
    Free admission every day
    “The mission of the Scottsdale Historical Museum is to present, preserve and interpret through research, exhibits and educational programming, the prehistory, history and cultural heritage of Scottsdale and the Southwest.”

    7333 E. Scottsdale Mall
    (480) 945-4499


  • Mesa Contemporary Arts Center
    Free admission every first Sunday of the month
    The Arizona Museum for Youth and Arizona Museum of Natural History grant free admission on the first Sunday of every month from noon to 5 p.m. Special activities are also held such as a create-your-own-artwork for kids area and free outside performances in the MCA’s courtyard.

    One E. Main St.
    (480) 644-6500


  • ASU Museum of Anthropology
    Free admission every day
    Exhibits showcase current issues related to culture and society as well as archaeology and human origin. The museum is open Monday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    900 S. Cady Mall
    (480) 965-6224
    ASU Tempe campus, building SHESC
  • Tempe Center for the Arts
    Free admission every day
    This performing and visual arts center is publicly owned and entrance is free. Includes a gallery with exhibits of two- and three-dimensional artwork by local and internationally recognized artists.

    700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
    (480) 350-2829
  • ASU Art Museum
    Free admission every day
    The ASU Art Museum has five modern galleries filled with contemporary art. The museum is located inside the Nelson Fine Arts Center and is closed on Sunday and Monday.

    Mill Ave. and 10th St.
    (480) 965-2787



Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix

A Stroll Through The Japanese Friendship Garden

Looking for a place to relax and de-stress? Then the Japanese Friendship Garden is the perfect place for you.

As you stroll down the path of this 3.5-acre Japanese garden, you’ll see a 12-foot waterfall, a koi pond with more than 300 colorful and friendly koi fish that you can feed, flowing streams, a stepping stone path, a tea house and more than 50 varieties of plants — including two types of bamboo. Once you’re inside this beautiful garden, it’s hard to believe you’re still in the center of Phoenix’s bustling downtown.

My trip to the Japanese Friendship Garden took place in January on First Friday; the entrance fee is free on the first Friday of every month. However, on any other day the entrance fee is $5 for adults and $4 for students, military, seniors and children over 6 years old; children under 6 years are admitted free of charge.

Once there, the atmosphere made me forget all my worries. The scenery of the sunset against the picturesque tree tops and the sound of the cascading waterfall transported me to another world. The garden path took about 15 minutes to complete, unless you’re like me and stop to “ooh” and “aah” at every flower, stone and tree, then it will probably take you half an hour.

Feeding the koi fish was an experience like no other. The fish were very amicable and would swim up to the surface with open mouths, waiting to be fed. They were certainly not afraid of people; instead, they greeted them excitedly.

In addition to taking a stroll along the garden’s path, you can also take part of the Japanese Friendship Garden’s public and private tea ceremonies. Public tea ceremonies take place the second Saturday of the month at $22 per person, admission included. Private tea ceremonies require a minimum of 10 guests, and the cost is $25 per person, which includes admission and a guided tour. Reservations are required for both public and private tea ceremonies.

The Japanese Garden took several years to complete. More than 50 landscape architects from Himeji, Japan designed the Japanese Friendship Garden. The plants were brought from Himeji, a Phoenix sister city, while many of the rocks in the garden were found locally.

Although all plants species were chosen by designers to withstand the desert environment, the garden closes from May to October, during the hottest months of the year, to protect the plants.

The garden is not only a beautiful place, but it is also one that expresses the cultural acceptance and shared view of Himeji and Phoenix. This makes the Japanese name for the garden — Ro Ho En — an appropriate one. Ro Ho En is a combination of three words: Ro means Heron; Ho means Phoenix, the mythical bird; and En means garden.

I left Ro Ho En feeling refreshed and tranquil, and I find myself wanting to go back whenever I need a break from everyday life.

Japanese Friendship Garden
1125 N. 3rd Avenue
(602) 256-3204

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.

Galeria de los Muertos

The Spirit Of Art Is Surely Alive At Galeria De Los Muertos

The Spirit Of Art Is Surely Alive At Galeria De Los Muertos

If you’re not a fan of First Fridays crowd, Roosevelt Row is hosting virtually the same event, except it’s on the third Friday of each month. Don’t worry about your favorite local artist not being there; if an artist is on the roster for First Friday, they must attend Third Friday as well.

Cindy Dach, executive director of Roosevelt Row, CDC, explains that “Third Friday is less about the crowds and the people watching; it’s focused on the art in the galleries — meeting the artist, celebrating an opening reception … where as First Friday is an arts walk, and it’s as much about the art in the spaces as it is the art on the street — the crowd, the performances, etc.”

“Roosevelt Row’s goal is to become a destination more than one night a month,” Dach says.

However, she says the “attendees are resistant” to transition into nights outside of First Friday because most attendees enjoy attending more crowded events.

“The community needs to be part of the process and not just wait for the end result,” she says. “It’s a transformation that will happen in partnership with the galleries, businesses, restaurants and the community at large.”

Galeria de los Muertos: One-Year Anniversary

Galeria de los Muertos

At October’s Third Friday extravaganza, there will be a special event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Galeria de los Muertos. The gallery combines traditional Mexican macabre art with rowdy events, and its birthday party will prove no different.

The infamous Dr. Reverend Stephen Strange, leader of the Strange Family Circus, will be hosting the event. It also happens to be the opening of the gallery’s Dia de los Muertos exhibit and the debut American exhibition of award-winning Italian artist Natascia Raffio.

Strange has been a major part of the Phoenix art community for years, and as the ringleader of The Strange Family Circus, his blend of freak and funk is what ultimately lead to his hosting of Galeria’s first anniversary.

The Stange Family Circus — or as an audience member dubbed “Penn and Teller meets Jackass meets Cabaret” — will also be performing their sideshow act, reminiscent of early 20th century circus road shows.

Galeria de los Muertos

Other events include a fashion show by local Phoenix designers, such as MissConstrued, Modified Minds and El Vaquero Muerto, an art raffle benefiting the Brenda Casten Leukemia fund and a fire dance by Burden Blossom, which will complement Romantasy Cabaret’s sensual burlesque act.

Photographer Tommy Pemberton, who will be running a photo booth, is delighted to be part of the celebration because the gallery has held his attention from the moment he walked in.

Catering will be provided by the Tamale Store and Mama Toledo’s pies, for a night of food, fun and funk.


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If You Go: Galeria de los Muertos

905 N. 5th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(818) 802-2002



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The Row also has live music nearly every night at places such as Lost Leaf, Carly’s, Turf, Revolver, Modified Arts, etc.

For more info on Roosevelt Row and a calendar of upcoming events, visit their website.