Tag Archives: Governor Brewer

I’m just a bill…

Arts advocates gathered at the Arizona Capitol yesterday for the 2012 Arts Congress.

First, a heartfelt thanks to all of you who made it to yesterday’s Arizona Arts Congress — and to the legislators who took time to meet with all the lovely folks who care about arts and culture, and the role it plays in our economy, community, schools and everyday lives.

Thankfully, those of us who couldn’t make it can still weigh in with our legislators about just how much we value arts and culture. Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts has details about three issues noted on its website — and makes it easy for folks to send e-mails to the folks who vote on such things.

Arizona Representative Steve Farley meeting with arts advocates during the 2011 Arts Congress at the Arizona State Capitol

Seems there’s already a bit of good news on that front. Today the Arizona House of Representatives committee considering HB 2265 decided to move it forward for consideration by the larger legislative body. HB 2265 authorizes the continuation, for another ten years, of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

This makes me a happy camper, because they’re an invaluable resource for artists, educators and citizens. If you’re not getting their newsletters, you’re missing the latest and greatest news about arts-related events, arts education, funding opportunities, calls for student artwork and much more.

Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego meeting with David Hemphill of the Black Theatre Troupe during the 2011 Arts Congress attended by more than 200 advocates

But HB 2265 is just one of three arts-related issues working its way through this legislative session. Another, SB 1348, would establish an Arizona poet laureate. We need a state poet; don’t I know it. Finally, there’s a section of the governor’s proposed budget that would further cut funding for arts — and advocates can still weigh in on that prospect.

Those of you who remember the musical “Schoolhouse Rock” can probably still sing David Frishberg’s lyrics for “I’m Just a Bill.” But nothing is ever “just a bill.” Every piece of legislation working its way through both the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona Senate has the potential to impact our daily lives. Click here to join fellow citizens championing the arts in Arizona.

– Lynn

Note: If you have photos from this year’s Arizona Arts Congress to share, I’d love to see them — and you may find them featured in a future post. Click here to learn more about this weekend’s “Arizona Best Fest” Phoenix taking place at, and around, the Arizona Capitol Mall (and watch for a future post highlighting monuments your family can explore during your visit).

Coming up: Reflections from Catherine “Rusty” Foley, executive director for Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts

Photos: 2011 Arts Congress photos courtesy of Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts

The eight days of Chanukah

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chanukah celebrations are already underway in the Valley and beyond, as Jewish families across the globe commemorate the second century B.C.E. rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt against Greek rule. This year’s “festival of lights” begins at sunset tonight (Dec. 20) and runs through sundown on Dec. 28.

Governor Jan Brewer is scheduled to attend tonight’s “Arizona Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony” at 5pm, and plenty of Valley groups are planning to participate.

Youth who recently performed in the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company production of “Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.” will be joining Brewer in full costume to light the menorah, according to Janet Arnold, the company’s founder and producing director. They’ll also be singing a song from the musical that’s titled “Tradition.”

Chabad of Arizona begins their “Grand Menorah Parade” at 3:30pm today — traveling to Wesley Bolin Plaza at 1700 W. Washington in Phoenix from Chabad Lubavitch of Arizona at 2110 E.Lincoln Drive.

Their “Grand Menorah Lighting” celebration kicks off at 4pm — featuring yo-yo entertainment, donut decorating, a visit from Judah the Maccabee and more. Even door prizes for every child, a raffle with additional prizes and goodies like latkes, sufganiyot and hot drinks.

It’s a great way for parents eager to help children understand and appreciate a variety of traditions to help their children learn more about Jewish faith and culture. Remember, as you pass all those elaborate displays of Christmas lights, that friends and neighbors may be celebrating the “festival of lights,” mindful of a miracle that kept oil burning in a temple long ago.

– Lynn

Note: This post has been updated with photos of Wednesday’s celebration taken by Jeff Lynn, provided courtesy of Chabad of Arizona/Chabad of Downtown.

Coming up: Jewish arts and culture in Arizona — and beyond

Update: Those of you who missed the public menorah lighting on Dec. 20 will have other opportunities in coming days as various Chabad groups host lightings. Click here for a listing of these and other events compiled by Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. 11/21/11

Art adventures: Arizona Capitol Museum

When the Arizona legislature is in session, hardly a day goes by without members of the local or national media reporting on controversial happenings at the Arizona State Capitol. But this is nothing new.

When my oldest daughter (now an ASU student interested in history and cultural anthroplogy) was in grade school, she spent a year home schooling. We spent lots of time at the Arizona State Capitol — exploring museum exhibits and sitting in on legislative hearings.

Back then, the hot button issue was cash rebates and tax credits for folks buying alternative fuel vehicles or converting vehicles for possible alternative fuel use. While the practice sounded good in theory, it became a wildly unwieldy enterprise as costs of the program soared past expectations and spiraled out of control.

I was inspired to revisit the Arizona Capitol Museum after seeing the cast of Greasepaint Youtheatre’s “Schoolhouse Rock” do a run-through of the show the night before opening their May 6-15 run in Scottsdale. It was a lot more fun than watching some of those House hearings back in the early ’90s.

The musical “Schoolhouse Rock” is based on an animated educational TV show that ran on ABC-TV during the ’70s and ’80s. Topics treated by “Schoolhouse Rock” included grammar, science and math — as well as history and civics.

Hence songs like “Just a Bill/The Preamble,” “Great American Melting Pot,” and “Sufferin’ Till Suffrage” — which you can enjoy all over again with your kids at Greasepaint Youtheater this weekend.

I took oodles of photo during my latest trip to the Arizona Capitol Museum just last week, when Christopher and I went to explore the exhibits and grab a bite in the Capitol Cafe, located in the basement of the executive tower.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watch for a future post featuring photos of children’s artwork displayed along the corridor connecting the executive tower, where Governor Jan Brewer’s office is located on the 9th floor, and the Arizona Capitol Museum (with doors that open into a courtyard flanked by the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives buildings).

There’s plenty of material in this slide show for crafting your own version of an “I-Spy” museum adventure or scavenger hunt of sorts. There’s even a Press-A-Penny machine on the museum’s first floor where you can treat your children to one of three nifty designs if they’re successful with your homemade game (you can define success any way you like).

Of course, my children would have preferred viewing the slide show themselves, then coming up with a list of objects for me to identify or locate. And I’d never settle for a single pressed penny as my prize. I’d insist on all three.

– Lynn

Coming up: A trio of Shakespeare posts — featuring new seasons, teacher reflections and student reviews