Tag Archives: kites

Get out, get art!

After hitting just a single night of this year’s “Phoenix Film Festival,” I’m giving serious thought to running away from home. Not forever. Just through next Thursday when the festival comes to a close. With so many amazing offerings, it seems silly to drive back and forth from theater to laundry room and such.

All sorts of things caught my eye on this weekend’s festival schedule — including a free “Kids’ Day” for families presented by IFP Phoenix from 9am-2pm on Sat, March 31 (where you can also see three family films for just $5 each — including “Chimpanzee” from Disney at 1:05pm).

Also high school shorts, college shorts, animated shorts, a silent auction, a preview of Phoenix Comicon 2012 and plenty of live performance art by folks from Scorpius Dance Theatre to Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers. Even workshops on topics like “Casting Indies” and “Life as an Indie Actor.”

A film titled “Kerry and Angie” that’s part of a Saturday morning “Arizona Showcase” is directed by Amanda Melby, head coach and owner at Verve Studios in Scottsdale — one of many performing arts groups to participate in this year’s RAK Camp Fair. Folks who attend the Actors Theatre production of “Body Awareness” at the Herberger Theater Center will get to see Melby in action.

Those seeking more family-friendly fare have another great option in the “Children’s Day & Kite Festival” taking place Sat, March 31 from 10am-3pm at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix – which features martial arts, games, food, face painting and other activities. Families are invited to wear kimonos and bring a kite along (or make kites during the festival). Best they not offer kimono-making. I would only embarrass myself.

Fans of Rodgers & Hammerstein can enjoy a double dose of musical theater this weekend as Greasepaint Youtheatre performs “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and The Phoenix Symphony performs “An Evening with Rodgers & Hammerstein” (don’t let the name “fool” you — Sunday’s show is actually a matinee). The latter is a collaboration with Phoenix Theatre featuring direction by Michael Barnard and a collection of vocalists that bears a startling resemblance to my list of favorite people.

Your last chance to see the Scottsdale Community College production of “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson is Sat, March 31 at 2pm and 7:30pm — and I happen to know first hand that at least one of the show’s young actors is cuter than the dickens. If acting is hereditary, she’s also rocking her role.

– Lynn

Note: Family-friendly activities are always available in print and online calendars from Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

Coming up: Two of the most imporant hours of my life

Let’s go fly a kite!

The Japanese Friendship Garden presents a free Children's Festival this Saturday

The sky over Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix will be more colorful than usual this Saturday as kites take to the air during the annual Children’s Festival presented by the Japanese Friendship Garden.

It’s hailed as a combination of the Japanese traditions of Boys’ Day and Girls’ Day — customs which reflect the celebration of children’s health and well-being so important in Japanese culture.

The Children’s Festival takes place April 2 from 10am-3pm, and features all sorts of hands-on activities including anime drawing, face painting, traditional games and arts/crafts related to Japanese culture.

Students from Horizon High School will teach “the secrets of Kendama” (a ball and cup toy requiring great hand-eye coordination) and students from Central High School will demonstrate the art of folding origami cranes.

The Japanese Friendship Garden notes that the paper cranes “will be sent to the Bezos Family Foundation earning $2 each toward Japan relief efforts.”

It’s one of many ways the Japanese Friendship Garden is engaging people in supporting the people of Japan in the aftermath of devastating natural disasters.

Those who attend the event can enjoy “a showcase of colorful koi fish in tanks for an up-close view,” as well as the many koi living in the Garden’s lovely ponds. There’s even a statewide koi competition hosted by the Valley of the Sun Koi Club.

Those of you who prefer dogs will be pleased to know that the Arizona Shiba Inu Association “will have several furry friends on site.”

“Postcards to Japan,” a project coordinated through ON Semiconductor and their facilities in Japan, will “offer local kids the chance to write to Japanese children…offering their own words of encouragement and hope.”

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a truly lovely setting full of winding paths, beautiful stone and other natural materials, calming water features, blossoming flowers and other features that delight the senses of young and old. Enjoy it this Saturday, while the weather is at its finest.

It’s been far too long, I suspect, since your children heard you utter the phrase “Let’s go fly a kite!”

– Lynn

Note: The Children’s Festival takes place at Margaret T. Hance Park, which is adjacent to the Japanese Friendship Garden — so you can easily enjoy both in a single visit.

Coming up: Definition of a dream

Get a Q!

When the morning news turned too vitriolic last week, I knew just who to turn to – Elmo. The furry little puppet with the ever-happy face never fails to cheer.

But I’ll be enjoying puppets of another sort today as Lizabeth and I head out to see Phoenix Theatre’s production of “Avenue Q” — a Broadway musical with mature content and “full puppet nudity” you might not want to share with your little ones.

There are tons of competing activities out there this weekend — from the Scottsdale Arts Festival to the Ostrich Festival in Chandler. I’m making my choice about what to hit based on where the teen taxi takes me.

Lizabeth has a volunteer gig with “QSpeak” this afternoon, so I’ll be taking her there before heading out for a few art adventures of my own. Then we’ll meet back at Phoenix Theatre for the matinee performance of “Avenue Q.”

I’ll need to be quick, however, because there are quite a few things I’m eager to experience — including today’s “Devoured” event at the Phoenix Art Museum, just a short stroll from Phoenix Theatre.

Then I’m off to enjoy the quaint and quiet grounds of the Japanese Friendship Garden, where I’ll take some photos to share with you later as I preview their upcoming events — including the “Children’s Day Kite Festival” and “Zen Garden Music and Art Festival.”

Next I’ll experience some quintessential Irish fare at the Arizona Irish Festival, also taking place downtown. Think Irish food, music, dance and all-around merriment — plus another opportunity to whip out my camera.

If I haven’t yet inspired you to get out and enjoy the Arizona sunshine, perhaps you’ll find something else that strikes your fancy by browsing through today’s family-friendly events listed in the online calendar from Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

I suppose I should quit now and get on with my plans — quixotic though they may be. I certainly don’t want to quibble with my teenage daughter over whether or not the teen taxi will be running on time today.

– Lynn

Note: I came home with lots of photos, some of which are included in a slide show at the end of this post (“Avenue Q” logo courtesy of Phoenix Theatre). Watch for another post coming soon with some of the many adorable children who attended this year’s Arizona Irish Festival — as well as a future post with more highlights from the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Coming up: Charlie Sheen “is only for now”

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