Tag Archives: Tempe Beach Park

9/11 meets Arizona arts and culture

This work by Sam Irving is one of several you can enjoy at exhibits at two Gilbert libraries this week (Photo courtesy of Gilbert Fire Department)

The town of Gilbert is preparing for Sunday’s dedication of a 9/11 memorial to feature an 8-foot long beam from the World Trade Center.

Recently they invited folks to submit photographs, paintings and drawings with a “Memory of Hope” theme. Selected works are on exhibit through 9/11 at the Southeast Regional and Perry High libraries. www.gilbertaz.gov/911memorial.

One of several works currently on exhibit at the Tucson Jewish Community Center

Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona has created a mixed media 9/11 memorial called “3,000 Souls” that’s being exhibited at the Tucson Jewish Community Center through Sept 26. ww.tucsonjcc.org/arts.

The ceramics program and fine arts department at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix (part of the Tempe Unified High School District) presents a 9/11 memorial Thurs, Sept 9 from 6-9pm (room 149).

The event features “students from dance and theatre,
choir, speech and band, a special slide and musical tribute, the
signing of victims’ names into a tribute vessel to be delivered to New
York in December, and fundraising for the WTC Health Hospital.” The event is free and open to the public. www.desertvista.schoolfusion.us.

Several 9/11-related items, including a huge “National Unity Flag” designed and created in Arizona, will be exhibited Sept 9-16 in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts atrium.

A “9/11 Memorial Wall” with 2,996 full-color memorial cards featuring biographical information and photographs of 9/11 victims will be exhibited as well.

Scottsdale begins a “9/11 Day of Remembrance” program in the atrium at 1pm on Sun, Sept 11 with a reading of victims’ names.

Keynote speaker Ray Malone, a former New York police office and firefighter, follows in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at 6pm. The evening also includes performances of patriotic music by school bands and choral groups, as well as a candlelight vigil. www.scottsdaleaz.gov.

ProMusica performs with other Valley groups this weekend

ProMusica Arizona Chorale and Orchestra of Anthem will perform Mozart’s “Requiem” (a work being performed by groups throughout the country on 9/11) at two Valley churches on Sun, Sept 11. www.promusicaaz.org.

Mozart’s “Requiem” is also being performed at a “Remembrance and Renewal” concert at UA’s Centennial Hall in Tucson on Sun, Sept 11 at 3pm. It features the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Tucson Chamber Artists’ professional choir. www.uapresents.org.

The Damocles Trio, who met as doctoral students at The Juilliard School in NYC, will perform the “Requiem Trio” by Spanish composer Salvador Brotons (b.1959) at Tempe Center for the Arts at 2:30pm on Sun, Sept 11.

The work was “written especially for the group to commemorate the tragic terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.” The piece was first performed in Sept 11, 2004 in NYC.

Tempe officials note that “this concert will be linked to the Tempe Beach Park 9/11 Healing Field and other city commemoration events.” The concert also features the music of Dvorak and Villa Lobos. www.damoclestrio.com and www.friendsofTCA.org.

The Tucson Pops Orchestra, with guest conductor George Hanson, performs “Americana: Remember 9/11” Sun, Sept 11 at Reid Park in Tucson at 6:30pm. www.sept11tucson.org.

The National Unity Flag will hang in Scottsdale this weekend

Folks looking for additional 9/11 memorials and related events can check with local interfaith or religious groups, performing arts venues, universities or colleges, museums, local governments and community centers for local offerings.

If your Arizona organization is presenting a music, dance, theater or visual arts event in remembrance of 9/11, please comment below to let our readers know.

— Lynn

Note: Several 9/11 remembrance events will be televised, including a New York Philharmonic concert with Alan Gilbert conducting Mahler’s “Resurrection” (Sept 11 on PBS). Listen to KJZZ 91.5 all week for 9/11 memorial coverage (including 9 hours of live coverage on 9/11). www.kjzz.org. Watch the “9/11: 10 Years Later” concert live Thurs, Sept 8 and share your reflections with others at facebook.com/KennedyCenter by clicking on the 9/11 Livestream tab.

Coming up: Remembering 9/11 with literature and love


Nifty photo opps

A tool of the trade for the Blue Bike Kids Show gang

Recently the Blue Bike Kids Show shared a few photos taken with their nifty Time-O-Portation device, which inspired me to go in search of photo exhibits around the Valley.

The Phoenix Art Museum presents “Pure Photography, Post Production and Mixed Media” through August 14.

Mesa Contemporary Arts at the Mesa Arts Center presents “Picturing Maricopa” through August 7. It features photographs by 15 photographers who worked with 15 non-profits to capture images of “crisis care for vulnerable populations.” If legislators continue their “slice and dice” approach to health and human services, the gallery will need a lot more exhibit space dedicated to this topic.

Dallin Branch photographed by the Blue Bike Kids Show gang

Shemer Art Center and Museum in Phoenix presents “Seeking the Source: Water in the Desert” featuring works by photographer Bryon Darby through July 28.

If art and desert environments are your thing, check out the “Desert Initiative” led by Greg Esser at the ASU Art Museum. The project supports “independent and collaborative research into desert cultures and environments through the arts and sciences.”

Ellie Branch photographed by the Blue Bike Kids Show gang

The Scottsdale Gallery Association presents a “Summer Spectacular Art Walk” Thurs, July 7, from 7-9pm — featuring artist receptions, live music and prize drawings. Several participating galleries exhibit photographic works.

Method Art Gallery, for example, specializes in “photography, contemporary art and local artists.” And “Ancient Light Gallery” features the fine art photography of Cheyenne L. Rouse, who uses digital techniques to “capture rusted, abandoned artifacts of The Old West.”

Rouse offers walking photo tours of historic Old Town Scottsdale, spending time at her gallery talking with participants about their goals for the tour before heading out for a one-hour shooting session.

Meet the Blue Bike Kids Show gang at Tempe Beach Park on Sunday

I’m still partial to photos captured in that funky Time-O-Portation thing operated by the Blue Bike Kids Show trio, but I’ll try to keep an open mind. Those of you who have yet to meet the Blue Bike Kids Show gang can head to Tempe Beach Park Sun, June 26 from 5-7pm.

They’re hosting a free picnic complete with hot dogs, root beer floats and purple cows — and tell me the BBQ will be fired up for those of you who want to bring your own fare for the grill.

Expect a celebratory vibe (and maybe even an “Old-Timey full body swim suit” sighting) since they’re off and running with production of their first full-length show. Though no RSVP is needed, you might want to let them know if you’re joining the fun. A massive run on purple cows could get ugly.

— Lynn

Note: If your venue or organization has a photography exhibit this summer, just comment below to let our readers know. And click here to learn about other exhibits in the Valley.

Coming up: Photos from Ground Zero

Bike shorts?

Elizabeth Peterson, Boyd Branch and Steve Wilcox, creators of the Blue Bike Kids Show

I heard from Boyd Branch, part of the Blue Bike Kids Show gang, this morning. He was excited to share that their new venture, a marvelous blend of science and technology for kids, has earned “Kickstarter” project of the day status — something akin to achieving “Freshly Pressed” status for those of us who blog.

I shot back a quick e-mail suggesting he send some photos of the Blue Bike Kids Show trio in their bike shorts for a “Bike shorts” post to follow today’s “Shakespeare shorts” post. But it appears they got a better offer — which means we’re all free to just use our imaginations on this one.

I visited their “Kickstarter” page after coming home from a morning spent at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where I enjoyed my first tour of a rooftop garden for families of young patients. It was the site of a “Sun and Heat Safety Event” — which I’ll feature in a future post. I was pleased to spot a bike rack in the hospital’s nifty new parking garage, where someone placed the real-life blue bike they rode to work that day.

The Blue Bike Kids Show is working hard to meet their funding goals via Kickstarter before June 29

Looks like the Blue Bike Kids Show has just seven more days to reach their funding goal on “Kickstarter” — an enterprise that describes itself as “a new way to fund and follow creativity.” So far they have $2,829 in pledges, which puts them at 56% of their goal. Folks who help with pledges of $5 or more get fun prizes.

The $5 gift earns you a digital download of their wacky mustaches and a $10 gift earns you a fixitology guide. Gifts of just $18 earn a nifty Blue Bike T-shirt (a fun way to celebrate “International T-shirt Day“).

Click here to learn how your child can get a slot in the pilot episode of the Blue Bike Kids Show — or enjoy the Blue Bike Kids Show gang at an upcoming birthday party or school event (in the Phoenix metro area).

I haven’t run this by Boyd, Steve or Elizabeth (E.P.) yet — but I’m guessing that a big old gift to put them over the top might entitle you to a blue bike shorts shot. There are plenty of reasons to support their Blue Bike Kids Show adventure, especially if you’ve got ties to ASU. All three studied theater at Arizona State University (their full bios are on the “Kickstarter” website).

I think they’re going to go big with this baby, and early supporters will get to do their “I told you so!” dance.

— Lynn

Note: The Blue Bike Kids Show will only be funded through “Kickstarter” if they reach $5,000 in pledges before Wed, June 29, at 1:07pm EDT

Coming up: Pondering “Peanuts”

Update: Meet the Blue Bike Kids Show gang Sun, June 26, at Tempe Beach Park when they hold a FREE nostalgic-style picnic from 5-7pm.

Sleuthing for weekend adventures

I kicked off my weekend a bit early with last night’s performance of Susan Zeder’s The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes” at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe campus.

I was eager to see the work of Valley musician and designer Todd Hulet, who teaches Lizabeth’s production studies class at Arizona School for the Arts–especially given his experience in everything from “traditional opera and contemporary musicals to experimental theatre and grand straight plays.” Hulet’s scenic design didn’t disappoint.

Hulet managed to make a single set look like several different backdrops–with different shapes, colors and patterns coming to the fore as the show’s lighting shifted thanks to exceptional lighting design by Chris Peterson. I enjoyed Peterson’s lighting more than any I’ve seen since Arizona Theatre Company’s “The Glass Menagerie.”

The show has a charm best appreciated by those who know at least a little something about Sherlock Holmes and his creator. Its strongest appeal may be to writers and those who love them. The work is every bit as much about author Arthur Conan Doyle’s relationship with Holmes as Holmes’ own sleuthing strategies or the ordinary-by-comparison folks who populate his world.

I’ll be seeing four other shows this weekend—featuring saguaros and satire, teaching in the trenches, an oversized optimist and a coddled child. Had I mastered the pesky time/space continuum, I’d also attend some of the following arts-related events your family might enjoy…


Dancing with the Docs features Valley physicians paired with professional dancers competing for audience votes ala “Dancing with the Stars.” Sat, May 1, 6pm at Chandler Center for the Arts. $45-$85 (benefits Chandler Regional Medical Center).

Levanto features Calo Flamenco music and dance performance with Chris Burton Jacome. Sun, May 2, 3pm at Chandler Center for the Arts. $25 (includes signed CD).


A Taste of Greece features Greek music, dancers and more. Fri, April 30 and Sat, May 1, 11am-11pm (plus Sun, May 2, 11am-7pm) at Tempe Beach Park. $2 (ages 12 & under free).

El Dia de los Ninos features hands-on activities, live entertainment and more. Fri, April 30, 9am-1pm at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Free.


Los Texmaniacs features a blend of Texas rock, conjunto and well-cured blues from 2010 Grammy winners with a “unique Tex Mex groove.” Sun, May 2, 2:30pm at the MIM Music Theater in Phoenix. $32-$36.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park features live music in an outdoor setting perfect for family picnics. Sun, May 2, 7:30-9pm in Scottsdale. Free (Train/carousel rides $1-$2/each).

Melody of China features a synergy between ancient traditions and American youth culture from San Francisco’s premier Chinese music ensemble. Fri, April 30, 7:30pm at the MIM Music Theater in Phoenix. $25-$30.

Phoenix Boys Choir features Academy-Award nominated songs during their “Hooray for Hollywood” spring concert. Fri, Apr 30, 7:30pm at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. $20-$25 (less for seniors/12 & under).

For other family-friendly activities, including several arts events at the Arizona Museum for Youth and the Special Olympics Summer Games, visit the Raising Arizona Kids magazine daily calendar online.

Have a great time sleuthing with your family for arts and adventures this weekend!


Note: The shows I’ll be reviewing next include Arizona Theatre Company’s “Second City Does Arizona, or Close, But No Saguaro” and  Actors Theatre’s “No Child” at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, as well as Childsplay’s “Big Friendly Giant” at Tempe Center for the Arts and Arizona Jewish Theatre Company’s “The Secret Garden” at Phoenix College. Stay tuned!

Coming up: A review of the movie “Oceans” from Disneynature, My 200th “Stage Mom” post—featuring more reflections on the beauty of blogging and how I decide what’s worthy of a bit of banter, A night of Shakespeare with Richard III and some of my favorite theater students

What’s your Jabberwocky?

Johnny Depp in Disney's "Alice in Wonderland."

My two daughters, both teens, admit to being a little ‘creeped out’ by all things Alice in Wonderland—all that growing and shrinking, all those talking and disappearing animals, all the playing card and chess piece soldiers.

I remember feeling the same way at one time. But the way we see things changes as we age.

I saw something entirely different when I took myself to see the film “Alice in Wonderland” Monday morning at the Harkins IMAX theatre at Arizona Mills in Tempe.

It’s not about a Mad Hatter and his tea party, though Johnny Depp’s hatter—and the teacup-tossing rabbit—are ever so endearing.

It’s about a young woman’s dreams, and her father’s insistence that she pursue them instead of merely populating the dreams of others.

In Tim Burton’s take on two classic Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) tales, Alice has grown from a girl who has fallen but once down a magical rabbit hole into a young lady taking a second tumble into a land consumed by a single question…

“Is she the real Alice?”

It seems that Alice has long had a single dream—of blue caterpillars and grinning cats—that recurs each and every night. Once she asks her father whether she might be going mad.

‘You’re mad, bonkers, off your head,’ he tells her. ‘But I’ll tell you a little secret Alice—all the best people are.’ Seems Alice’s father was himself a bit of a dreamer, prone to ‘doing six impossible things before breakfast.’

After her father’s death, Alice clearly recalls—and embodies–his optimism and adventurous spirit. Yet she has doubts.

After falling down the rabbit hole into “Underland” (no longer “Wonderland”), Alice learns that she is destined to win freedom for its people (and animals) by slaying the dreaded Jabberwocky (which looks a bit like a dragon crossed with creatures from the movie “Alien”).

“This is impossible,” Alice tells the Mad Hatter.

“Only,” he replies, “if you believe it is.”

Alice becomes more brave and sure of herself—more Alice—as she makes her way. When a traveling companion suggests to Alice that she may have lost some of her “muchness” since her first visit, Alice proves otherwise by bobbing over a bog full of heads severed by the Red Queen.

This movie might have been too intense for my children when they were younger. Still, I wish my daughters, now in high school and college, would give Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” a chance.

I love the positive portrayal of a strong young woman, the depiction of a tender father-daughter relationship, and the recognition that people who are different (like Alice when she ponders painting white roses red) are the most wonderful of all.


Note: Not all movies recognize that “mad” isn’t “bad.” Saturday’s post will feature artists battling stigma against those living with mental illness. To support the effort, sign up for NAMI WALKS, a 5K walk at 1pm (noon registration) on Saturday, March 27, at Tempe Beach Park on Tempe Town Lake. Info at www.nami.org/walk. Children and families are encouraged to participate.