December 05, 2014

Claire Cooper

Phoenix Festival of the Arts kicks off today

The Phoenix Festival of the Arts is bringing three days of live arts, entertainment and vendors to Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd Street in Phoenix, on December 12-14. Admission to the three-day festival is free and events are family-friendly. The events will be running on Friday from 12-8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The festival is a great way for people to view, appreciate and purchase art from over 125 exhibitors, or even to get involved in the Phoenix arts community by participating in The Phoenix Mural, a community art project organized by artist Hugo Medina.

Hensley Beverage Company is presenting a beer and wine garden for the festival in addition to food truck vendors including Waldo’s BBQ, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Cold Stone Creamery, Satay Hut, 2 Fat Guys Grilled Cheese, Mamma Toledo’s, Cactus Corn and more.

Other vendors include art vendors selling everything from photography to ceramics to jewelry, in addition to the live performances and entertainment.

On Friday from 3:15 to 8 p.m. mainstage entertainment will have Keli Rutledge, Scott Baker, Shaye Jennings and Lee Perreira performing in that order.

Saturday performances will run from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and will feature, in order, AZ Music Project- Variety Show, Phoenix Children’s Chorus, Levi Waskom, Flamenco del Sol- Spanish Olé, The Blue Goats, Adam Smith, Banana Gun and Captain Squeegee.

Shows on Sunday are running from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and artists are Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, Desert Sounds Mariachi, India Showcase, Donald Harrington, Carol Pacey & The Honey Shakers and Japhy’s Descent, in order.

A new feature to the festival this year is Third Street Theater programming, a series of mini festivals occurring at the Phoenix Center for the Arts Third Street Theater.

Third Street Theater’s programming is on Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15. Dance, Dance Saturday is taking place there from 1-4 p.m. and showcases young local dancers working with local dance companies to create a show. From 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, the film Netherbeast Incorporated, a hit at the Phoenix Film Festival, and the short film it was based upon, will be shown and a producer/writer will be in attendance.

Sunday’s Third Street Theater feature is Infuse-Open Mic, with sign-up at 5:30 p.m. and the event running from 6-9 p.m. Any artists looking to get some experience or express their creativity through performance is invited to come perform for other attendees of the festival. On Sunday from 2-5 p.m. the third annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts Poetry Slam is happening, where slam poets from all over Arizona come to show off their poetic skills and compete for cash prizes.

With an anticipated crowd of 10,000 or more parking is sure to be tight, and the festival is offering several park and ride locations throughout the Valley, a complete list of which is available on their website. There are also bike racks available and limited parking at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and 1st and 2nd Streets and the festival is easily accessible by light rail.

The Festival is sponsored by Lou & Evelyn Grubb, Arizona Community Foundation, APS, Hensley Beverage Company, City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation, Arizona Humanities and many more.

For more information, precise timing of performances and the location of park and ride spots, go to, or get additional information by emailing  or calling (602) 254-3100. More information can also be found on the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for Phoenix Festival of the Arts.