Tag Archives: Father’s Day

Fun finds for Father’s Day

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Folks eager to find unique gifts and experiences for celebrating Father’s Day need look no farther than local arts and culture. Museums make for fun family outings, and many have gift shops filled with fascinating fare making gifts like striped ties look purely passé.

Got a dad who’s into science? Hit your local science center. Got a dad who’s into art? Treat him to time at your local art gallery or museum. Got a dad who’s into history? Take him along for some time at the nearest history museum. And remember all those neighborhood arts districts with funky fare it’s hard to find elsewhere.

Military dads and their families can enjoy free admission to museums that participate in the Blue Star Museums program. Most museums participate from Memorial Day through Veterans Day — but some offer free year-round admission (with specified I.D.s) to active military personnel and up to five family members.

For dads who enjoy making art, consider taking a Father’s Day walk together in search of found objects for future art projects. Or looking around the house for boxes and other recyclable objects you can turn into forts, musical instruments and works of art. Or get dad a gift certificate to your favorite small business featuring art supplies or classes.

Remember studios in your community that offer hands-on arts experiences like painting pottery, folding origami, recreating famous art masterpieces and such. Check your local libraries, independent book shops,community centers and parks and recreation facilities for activities of special interest to fathers and families.

Also theater companies that offer family-friendly fare — plus performing arts venues that offer fun film, music, dance, poetry and other options. You’ll never know whether the dad in your life is hot for hip hop until you give it a try together.

— Lynn

Note: I’ll be updating this post with more photos as I discover more Father’s Day fare

Coming up: Art meets wild west, Getting to know Jimmy

Update: I’m now blogging as “Stage Mom Musings” at www.stagemommusings.com. Please find and follow me there to continue receiving posts about arts and culture in Arizona and beyond. Thanks for your patience as the tech fairies work to move all 1,250+ posts to the new site. For the latest news follow me on Twitter @stagemommusings. 6/13/12


Feelin’ jazzy

The Musical Instrument Museum recently opened this exhibit of jazz instruments

Folks who favor feelin’ jazzy can head over to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix to enjoy a new exhibit featuring all things jazz. Located in the museum’s United States/Canada gallery, the exhibit features “some of jazz history’s most noteworthy instruments.” I’m told its one of the largest genre exhibits in the museum.

The new jazz exhibit includes approximately 20 instruments, many played by jazz greats. Also original, unreleased performance footage of Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Mann, Spyro Gyra, and others from Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. As a Smithsonian affiliate, the MIM was able to collaborate with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to display several loaned objects that’ll be on view through 2014.

Loaned objects featured in the new MIM exhibit include a cornet associated with Louis Armstrong, a clarinet played by Benny Goodman, a trumpet played by Harry James, a clarinet played by Artie Shaw and a trombone played by J. J. Johnson. Also a trumpet mouthpiece and mute used by Miles Davis, a guitar played by Charlie Christian, a drum set played by Lewis Nash and a guitar played by Pat Metheny.

Mesa Arts Center is premiering a new project by Metheny called the Pat Metheny Unity Band, noting that it’ll “feature some of the most sought after young musicians on the pop and jazz scene today.” Think Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez and Ben Williams — who’ll perform at MAC with Metheny on Sat, Sept. 29.

Early Jazz exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

A spin through the MIM makes for fun Father’s Day fare, so consider treating dad to an afternoon of jazz if that’s his vibe. While you’re there, buy him a lovely brunch at the MIM Café — and treat him to something jazz-inspired from the MIM Museum Store. Remember too that the MIM’s Music Theater presents concerts featuring jazz and other musical stylings.

While you’re exploring all things jazz, check out jazz offerings at other Valley venues — including those noted below:

  • Tempe Center for the Arts is home to the Lakeshore Jazz Series. Upcoming concerts include Lorraine Feather and Shelly Berg (Sept. 28), Turtle Island Quartet and Tierney Sutton (Oct. 27), and Denise Donatelli (Nov. 16).
  • Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts features several jazz concerts during its 2012-13 season — including Béla Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio (Nov. 23), Chick Corea and Gary Burton (Jan. 18), the John Pizzarelli Quartet (Feb. 14), and McCoy Tyner and his quartet with special guest Joe Lovano (May 4).

Saxophone played by Illinois Jacquet, creator of Texas tenor style

Finally, another option for enjoying all things jazz on Father’s Day — the fourth annual “Father’s Day Big Band Dance” presented by Jazz in AZ. The event takes place Sun, June 17 from 3-7pm at The Scottsdale Plaze Resort — and features Dennis Rowland and the Extreme Decibel Big Band. Event proceeds benefit The Nash, a new Jazz in AZ nonprofit education and performance center located in downtown Phoenix.

Check with Jazz in AZ for additional jazz offerings throughout the state. Their website features links to folks specializing in jazz education, jazz for youth and more. And watch for jazz concerts at your local performing arts venues, schools and colleges. You don’t have to play jazz to dig it.

— Lynn

Coming up: Prescott welcomes bluegrass festival, Art meets antiques

The fine art of paper

Seems folks at the Phoenix Art Museum did a bit of “free association” on the subject of paper before opening the “Paper!” exhibition that runs through Sept. 23.

Escher. Harding. Toulouse-Lautrec. Warhol. All artists included in the “Paper!” exhibit just opened at the Phoenix Art Museum. I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon taking it all in, and thought I’d share a few highlights for those of you unmoved by the mere mention of the title. Paper is more fascinating than you think, as evidenced by the diverse collection of paper works included in this exhibition.

Think little black dress made of “Post-It” notes. A giant Chinese fan. Paper mache works that call to mind the mischievous “Gremlins” of film fare. DIY jewelry kits. A work inspired by cigarette packs. A shiny white sculpture resembling a polished piece of crumpled up paper. A work that screams “flower power.”

Paper!” runs through Sept. 23 at the Phoenix Art Museum’s Steele Gallery, which is just across from the The Museum Store where I spied plenty of unique and traditional Father’s Day gift fare after enjoying all things paper. Think ties, clocks, puzzles, architeture-theme LEGO sets, kitchen wares, office gadgets, books, posters and more. Sorry — no lawn movers or extreme razors.

A trip to see “Paper!” would make a lovely Father’s Day outing, especially coupled with Sunday brunch at the museum’s Palette restaurant. Also a fun start to “First Friday” come June 1. While you’re at the museum, explore a few of their other offerings as well — including four additional exhibitions and works in the museum’s permanent collection.

As you’re enjoying the “Paper!” exhibition, watch for details like which countries artists hail from and what sorts of materials they used. I found works created with chalk, paint, spirulina, chlorophyl, graphite, wire, steel, gold and more. Also a fascinating array of subject matter. Think politics, fruit, guns, landscapes, maps, summer camp, social commentary and such.

Exhibition walls are dotted with blurbs related to various ways we use paper, many shaped like yellow sticky notes. Watch for the large whiteboard as you exit the exhibition. It’s got notes you can use to leave your own “Paper!” perspectives (But alas, they’re not the clever sticky notes found in The Museum Store).

If you take the kids along, be sure you hit the dedicated children’s area, where they can draw with colored pencils at a long yellow table strewn with beautiful wooden stencils or sit at one of several wooden stools in front of sturdy easels topped with blank paper.

Take them for an outside spin too. The courtyard between the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Theatre is filled with trees offering ample shade and several sculptures that make for a lovely bit of “I-Spy” action. Then head home and give them lots of paper and other materials to work with. Because today’s parents are nurturing tomorrow’s artists.

— Lynn

Coming up: The power of the word

For Christopher

For our cherished son, Christopher, a sampling of powerful words and images exhibited by Young Arts Arizona at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center…

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For those not yet familiar with the work of Young Arts Arizona and their many community partnerships, click here to learn more. And please join me in thanking the children and teens who created these inspiring works.

— Lynn

Note: Thinking how amazing kids’ art looked when framed and exhibited? Consider framing your own children’s art for hanging at home or sharing as gifts (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner).

Coming up: Green Day meets ASA, Focus on Free Arts, Theater lingo: Greasepaint