Tag Archives: free events

No need to BYOC…

One of many families who took part in "Chalk It Up!" last April

Public art meets performance art. That’s how the fine folks presenting Prescott’s 4th annual “Chalk It Up!” event describe the melding of concrete with pastel chalks within a festival setting — something you can experience first hand April 21 & 22 in Prescott’s Summit Plaza. Those of you who’ve long suspected you’d never excel in either visual or performance art now have a fun opportunity to try your hand at both. The results might surprise you.

“Chalk It Up!” presenters note that this unique art form has been around since the 16th century, though most individual works survive for only a few days. Seems their annual event is “family-friendly, community-centered, artistic endeavor to cultivate and support the creativity in people of all ages and cultures.” But beware of putting chalk into the hands of little ones still mouthing everything that comes their way.

We once had a home where the spacious tree-shaded patio was covered in square tiles perfect for chalk art, and our children (now in college) used to love drawing all sorts of designs both alone and with friends. Looking back, I suppose I should have spent more time doing the same.

It’s hard to go wrong with a piece of chalk. It’s plenty affordable and easy to erase, and the “Chalk It Up!” website offers tips — both practical and artistic — for folks who attend. The event is free, and everyone gets a 12-piece box of pastels plus a 4 x 4 ft. space for working their magic. No need to BYOC, though water-based chalks (not oil-based pastels) are welcome. The uber-ambitious can preregister if they’d like a bigger bit of canvas.

Those of you concerned that your chalk art isn’t yet ready for prime time are free to practice at home. In matters such as these, the fun of making mistakes sometimes tops the thrill of achieving perfection. Or so I’m told. Folks fond of people-watching can hit the event to see how chalk turns the common man into artistic muse. Though you do run the risk of contagion.

BYOC -- Bring your own creativity to the 2012 "Chalk It Up!" event in Prescott

Lest the Prescott landscape get awash in a sea of stick figures, “Chalk It Up!” has secured a few featured artists who elevate chalk art to fine art. Watch for the work of Chris Brake and daughter Kimberly while you’re there. Also Cyndi Kostylo and Holly Lynn Schineller.

In the meantime, send me some photos of your family’s chalk art creations — whether crafted on concrete or construction paper. I’d love to feature them in a future post.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about Prescott lodging and events — plus library, theater, art gallery, music and other offerings.

Coming up: A playwright gets personal

Advertisements

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

Theater works

Happy campers participating in Youth Works Academy through Theater Works in Peoria, which hosts a free Summer Camp Expo this Saturday

Theater works in all sorts of ways. Think jobs, creative outlets for artists, shared experiences for citizens, positive experiences for youth and more.

Theater Works in Peoria is introducing folks to its summer camp options for children and teens this Saturday via their 2nd annual Theater Works Summer Camp Expo, which features drama-related activities for children and the opportunity to talk with Theater Works youth program staff about summer camp options for preschoolers through teens.

More fun with Youth Works Academy

The Sat, March 31 event takes place from 11am-1pm. Admission is free, and lunch (think hot dogs) is included. Sometimes theater works for tummies too. Folks who attend can enter for the chance to win a pair of silver passes to Castles N’ Coasters. If you’re game, just RSVP by March 30 to Athena Hunting at 623.815.1791 ext. 107. Theater Works, by the way, is located at 8355 W. Peoria Ave.

Theater works as well in forming community collaborations, like the Theater Works partnership with Ro Ho En (the Japanese Friendship Garden) in Phoenix to present “Sakura no Ne” (“Root of the Cherry Tree”) April 13-22. Also in helping us reflect on historical events and their meaning for our lives. Hence the April 13-May 13 Theater Works production of “All Through the Night,” a play inspired by stories of German gentile women during and after the Third Reich.

Jay meets giggling girls during Youth Works Academy

Theater Works recently unveiled their 2012/13 season, which opens with “Doubt” and wraps up with “Accomplice.” In between, there’s everything from “The Music Man” and “A Christmas Carol” to “Burning in the Night: A Hobo’s Song” and “Musical of Musicals.” This season’s “A Little Night Music” opens tomorrow night — Wed, March 28.

When you hit this Saturday’s Theater Works Summer Camp Expo, be sure and ask about other ways they’re making theater work for youth — from theater workshops and classes to puppet shows and special programs for homeschool students.

When theater works, we’re all better for it.

— Lynn

Note: Theater Works is seeking designers for the 2012/13 season — and Robyn Allen is accepting resumes at rallen@theaterworks.org. Also, a friendly reminder — The Arizona Governor’s Arts Awards take place tonight, March 27, at the Herberger Theater Center. Click here for details.

Coming up: Fun with freckles!

Let the Sun Devils shine in

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performs "Body Against Body" at ASU Gammage March 6 (Photo: New York Live Arts)

As proud Sun Devil parents, we often enjoy arts and culture on the Tempe campus where our daughter Jennifer studies cultural anthroplogy. Touring Broadway productions at ASU Gammage. Art exhibits at the ASU Art Museum and assorted galleries. Theater, dance and music productions at various on-campus venues. And festivals held outdoors where sunshine meets Sun Devil.

But ASU arts and culture is also easy to find in all sorts of community settings, from the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale to the ASU Night Gallery at Tempe Marketplace. Each offers a host of no-cost and low-cost arts experiences that make family explorations of art easy and affordable.

An exhibition featuring works by feminist artists runs March 5-16 at ASU in Tempe (Photo: Rosalind Shipley)

ASU faculty and students also perform at various venues throughout the Valley, including the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix — which presents musical offerings from UA as well as part of its “University Series.” Let the atheletes do their rivalry thing. In the world of music, it’s all good.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents “ASU Concerts at the Center” — featuring band, choral, symphonic and chamber music. Informal pre-concert talks are held before each concert, and tickets run just $10 (though all students can attend for free). This season’s remaining concerts are “Trumpet Festival” on March 5 and “Ocotillo Winds” on April 2.

You’ll find all sorts of arts and culture by exploring Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts events— or any given’s days listing of ASU events on the university calendar. Just this weekend, you can enjoy their “Night of the Open Door” festival, a Lyric Opera Theatre preformance of “Ainadamar,” a “Dance Annual” performance and a theater work titled “American Victory.”

The Herberger Institute also offers several community programs — in art, dance, design and music. And if you head to ASU’s Tempe campus on Mon, March 5, you can enjoy a reception for Jack Gantos, author of “Dead End in Norvelt” and recipient of the 2012 Newbury Medal.

A member of the ASU faculty performs March 11 at Tempe Center for the Arts’ “Sonoran Chamber Music Series: Violinist Stephanie Chase, Cellist Thomas Landschoot and Pianist Doris Stevenson” — and the seventh annual “ASU Student Film Festival” takes place April 23 & 24 at Harkins Theatres’ Valley Art Theatre in downtown Tempe.

Those of you with high school students exploring college options can click here to learn more about ASU offerings in art, dance, design, music, theatre and film — as well as arts. media + engineering.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about “Body Against Body” and here for information on “Troubling the Archive.” ASU in Tempe is also home to the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, which offers workshops, readings and more.

Coming up: It’s finally here!

Old ‘hood, new view

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Realizing there were several works of public art along the route we drive each Saturday morning getting our son Christopher to a volunteer gig, I decided to take my camera along and snap a few photos. Just a few photos, mind you.

But then I spied an unexpected sign opposite a park where my children often played while growing up in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix. We’ve downsized since then, so I’m always surprised when I drive through and discover new things.

The construction at Ingleside Middle School. Arizona Falls. Even the new restaurant near the corner of Thomas and 44th Street that warranted an urgent text to my daughter Lizabeth in NYC  — “OMG…Five Guys coming to Arcadia.” (Hooray! My hubby tells me it’s already open!)

Okay, so Arizona Falls isn’t all that new. But for some reason, I never got around to exploring it when my kids were younger. So when I spotted the sign signaling an Arizona PBS event, I had to stop and check it out.

Turns out the Arizona SciTech Festival is holding an event there through noon today. I was delighted to meet festival program consultant Robin McNulty and tried not to flinch when she asked,  ever so nicely, whether I could solve the Rubik’s Cube sitting on their display table.

“Nope,” I said, “but I can spell it.” And if you gave me another hundred of them, I could make a nifty work of art. I’m even less gifted with the object featured in the “Spring Training Festival,” complete with “The Mad Science of Baseball,” taking place closer to my new ‘hood this weekend. (It’s a baseball.)

But that’s the beauty of art, science and technology. They help us explore ideas both more and less familiar. Let us experience things we rarely encounter in the everyday. Encourage us to learn new skills and stretch to reach new goals.

And inspire us to see the old in new ways.

— Lynn

Note: This post will be updated with additional photos after I return from today’s Raising Arizona Kids Magazine Camp Fair — where I expect to find more art, science, technology and other gems. (Mission accomplished on the new photos.)

Coming up: I brake for art

Art meets valentine

A work by Sherry Maguire of Tempe exhibited at the "Made in Arizona Festival"

Tucson artist Toni Matison-Horn won’t be spending Valentine’s Day with her husband because she lost him to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, back in 2005. But she’s creating art and selling art that benefits those living with the devastating neuromuscular condition.

These whimsical "Sofa Chicks" are the work of Tucson artist Toni Matison-Horn

I met Matison-Horn while strolling through the “Made in Arizona Festival” with my son Christopher on Saturday. The event runs through Sunday, so folks still have time to enjoy it. Matison-Horn is sharing a booth with two other artists, located near the Silverland shop that houses a museum called the “House of Broadcasting.”

Toni Matison-Horn works exhibited at the Made in Arizona Festival in Scottsdale

Her husband was a news anchor, making the loss of speech that eventually comes with ALS especially heartwrenching. I imagine it’s like being a writer who can no longer hold a pen, or a painter unable to wield a brush. Seems he had a large collection of ties, which Matison-Horn decided to incorporate into whimsical works of fabric art.

Toni Matison-Horn's "Tie Chicks" Angel Ties benefit people with ALS

Friends suggested she save Harry’s ties, and began gathering and sharing other ties for her creations. Together they donated about 1,ooo ties to the cause. Those of you still searching for Valentine’s Day gifts should explore the festival’s “Ties 4 ALS” booth where Matison-Horn is exhibiting her works.

Sherry Maguire of Tempe repurposes old materials to create works of art

It’s a lovely reuse of items that would otherwise find their way to burgeoning heaps of trash. So too are the works of artist Sherry Maguire, with Eye 4 Art of Tempe. She’s sharing a booth with Matison-Horn, and also creates works by reusing discarded materials. Sometimes, Maguire told me, she find just a single piece of an old toy or other object — and gives it a home until it fits into something she’s working on.

Christopher loved this work by Tempe artist Sherry Maguire

One of her artworks is a black rectangular frame, about the size of a sheet of notebook paper. It’s filled with items that washed up on a beach in Japan — before the devastating earthquake. Some look like fishing lures my dad used to keep in his tackle box. Other look like small parts of brightly-colored plastic toys — something the ocean habitat certainly doesn’t need floating all over the place.

This Sherry Maguire work is perfect for a valentine who loves Dr. Seuss

Like Matison-Horn, Maguire sometimes creates works of art with items donated by friends. Seems several of them know to gather washed up beach fare and bag it for her to add to her collection of materials. Once, she told me, a friend shared tiny starfish washed up in polluted waters. She’s keen on recycling objects that might otherwise land in oceans or other habitats.

A third artist, offering beautifully colored sets of pitchers and margarita glasses, is sharing their booth as well. We actually met her first, and were so pleased to find that all were truly gracious and committed to doing work that makes a difference for people and the planet. Her glassware would make a lovely Valentine’s Day gift for someone who loves to throw parties or entertain friends.

Artist Mary Beier also has several small paintings featuring hearts

We met plenty of other artists too, all in white booths lining either side of Fifth Avenue in Old Town Scottsdale. Artist Mary Beier is showing works from Metalworks Art and “Nana” is rocking adorable knits hat for babies and children. Her handmade Cutie Pie Hats include Elmo, hedgehog, cupcake and many more designs.

On our way out, we stopped for kettle corn. It’s standard festival fare that always looks yummy but sometimes doesn’t taste nearly as tasty as it looks. But these folks made the best batch of kettle corn I’ve ever tasted. It was hot, fresh, lightly salted (on request) — and they served it with genuine warmth and enthusiasm.

Shopping for Valentine’s Day is all good and fine, but there’s no reason we can’t treat ourselves to a litte something too. Plenty of small shops throughout Old Town Scottsdale, featuring everything from fashionable baby gear to turquoise jewelry, are welcoming folks to explore their wares during the “Made in Arizona Festival.”

Folks shopping for tiny valentines have lots of Cutie Pie Hats choices

The area is also home to all sorts of art galleries and restaurants, so it’s easy to make a day of it. Just promise me you won’t go home sporting a kitten hat.

— Lynn

Note: The “Made in Arizona Festival” takes place 10am-5pm through Sunday on Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale between Scottsdale Rd. and Goldwater Blvd. Feel free to bring your old ties along — Toni Matison-Horn of “Ties 4 ALS” is happily accepting tie donations.

Coming up: Along the parade route, More fun with festivals

Scottsdale Street Fair

I love the way exploring arts and culture always leads from one remarkable path to another. Thursday I attended the “Visions of Arizona” reception at the Arizona Capitol, where an artist told me about the Arizona Art Alliance Gallery in Scottsdale.

While checking out their website, I learned of a new Scottsdale Street Fair being held Sundays at The Pavilions at Talking Stick. I hit the gallery on Saturday, and the fair on Sunday — where I met more artists who’ll no doubt lead me to more art adventures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I took my son Christopher along, and the first folks we encountered were sharing news of an upcoming performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts of China at ASU Gammage in Tempe. I’ve had China on the brain of late — thanks to a documentary titled “A Boy in China” starring Andre Magnum of Phoenix.

Next we stumbled on the Jan’s Pies booth filled with homemade cheesecake slices, fresh fruit turnovers, miniature loaves of bread and more. I noticed a harmonica laying off to one side of a table and asked about it, launching a wonderful conversation with the man working the booth about his daughter’s love of all things music and Elmo.

I made sure he knew about the “Being Elmo” film and the Valley’s own Musical Instrument Museum (complete with hands-on “experience gallery” where kids love trying all sorts of exotic instruments) before moving on.

We chatted with a woman who creates copper works of art that look like they’d be lovely in both commercial and residential settings, and spoke to several people offering foodie fare — fresh produce, dried beans, flavored pasta, unusual spices. Then we went in search of street fair staples like Indian Fry Bread and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Next time we’ll try the pulled pork and Italian ice.

I was delighted to find several fun options for busy bodies — including a great assortment of bounce houses, a trio of giant balls allowing kids to make like hamsters and a tall climbing wall. Also face painting (featuring exquisite colors and designs) and other kid-friendly fare.

Several booths featured clothing, handbags, jewelry and such — and there was even live entertainment. A singer/songwriter was doing her thing when we arrived, but dancers dressed in costumes akin to those of Arabian dancers in “The Nutcracker” were taking the the stage as we left.

I suspect the Scottsdale Street Fair will grow as more vendors and visitors learn of its existence. You can check it out from 10am-4pm every Sunday at The Pavilions at Talking Stick through May 2012. To learn more, visit them online at www.scottsdalestreetfair.com.

— Lynn

Coming up: All thumbs, A revolution in Scottsdale?

Photos: Lynn Trimble