Posts Tagged ‘First Friday’

September RadiatePHX Spotlights ASU Grant Street Studios

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


Stepping into the large atrium at Grant Street Studios with its natural light, metal doors, exposed brick and giant vintage motel sign – it’s easy to feel a tinge of creativity, excitement and wonder.

“It’s got that cool factor,” said George Harris, facilities supervisor for the ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

ceilingHarris watched this 100-year-old renovated factory transform into a state-of-the-art studio and gallery space for ASU graduate art students over the past year.

“When we needed to relocate, the burgeoning art community and increasing presence of ASU Downtown made this a really desirable location,” Harris said.

In addition to housing the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) student-run Step Gallery and a number of studio residency spaces, Grant Street Studios in the Downtown Phoenix Warehouse District is also becoming an arts and culture venue – hosting the September RadaiatePHX event on Tuesday.

Organized by the Downtown Phoenix Journal and Downtown Phoenix Inc., RadiatePHX celebrates the beginning of the fall arts and theater season with a free networking event and lecture series, while showcasing Downtown’s most innovative art space – Grant Street Studios.

studioAdriene Jenik, Grant Street Studios’ visionary and director of the ASU School of Art, is currently on sabbatical but wrote in an emailed statement that she dreamed of one day bringing the Step Gallery and MFA students under one roof, enriching their surrounding community and embracing public forums like RadiatePHX.

“We are buoyed by the excitement this project-in-progress has stimulated,” Jenik wrote.

In addition to opening for special events like RadiatePHX on Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 5-7 p.m., the Step Gallery is open First and Third Fridays and 12-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Roosevelt Row Debuts Vampire Hours

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

It’s First Friday. And today through Sept. 1, Downtowners and visitors alike can beat the heat and shop local during Roosevelt Row’s new Vampire Hours.

vamplogo_colorThe days of shortening business hours during our warmer months are gone. Instead, galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants in Downtown’s vibrant arts district are keeping their doors open later to cater to those night owls who’d rather not do their window shopping and bar hopping in the summer sun.

“The summer is actually a time when many shift their schedules to experience the uniqueness Phoenix has to offer after dark,” said Nicole Underwood, Director of Operations for Roosevelt Row CDC, a non-profit organization that serves area businesses. “Vampire Hours will be a great way for residents and visitors to explore our arts district any night of the week.”

During the Vampire Hours promotion, Roosevelt Row businesses will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. or later. For a list of participating businesses visit the Roosevelt Row CDC web site.

Project: Downtown Phoenix Stories – #DTPHXArtSpaces

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Every Monday we feature a few photos taken Downtown using the designated weekend Instagram hashtag. Thanks to everyone who shared their photos under the Project: Downtown Phoenix Stories theme #DTPHXArtSpaces!

You can join in the fun too – just follow @downtownphoenix and look out for the next hashtag on Friday!


@eplante – #firstfriday #dtphxArtSpaces #ernsthaeckel #pennatulida #umbellulaEncrinus #curiousnature #homedecor @downtownphoenix @curiousnatureshop


@skmac44 – I love this place. #curiousnature #dtphx #dtphxartspaces #phoenix #downtownphx #downtownphoenix


@quinncw – A cool old cotton trailer converted into a stage area on Roosevelt Row…added bonus: wood inlay of the AZ state flag! #DTPHXartspaces


@chucksterlp – Every First Friday the Downtown Information Center & Ambassador Suite hosts a little reception to showcase a different local artist’s work. Dubbed the Information Center’s Artist of the Month, the Artist’s work can be viewed the entire month during normal business hours at the Center. From first time artists to established and well known local ones, a big variety of great art has graced the walls here. May’s Artist of the Month is gallery & art school owner/instructor from Scottsdale, Diane di Bernardino Sanborn. #DTPHXArtSpaces, #Downtownphoenix


A First Taste of First Friday

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The month of August gave me my first taste of First Friday. Of the little I knew about the ins and outs of living Downtown prior to relocating, I had already heard and read plenty about First Friday before I had even crossed the state line. First Friday was also on the tip of every long-time Phoenician’s tongue when I had the chance to ask for recommendations.

Finally, on August 2nd, I had the chance to explore First Friday for myself. Though I do not have the memory or word count to detail everything I soaked in during my first experience, here are three venues especially worth wading through the crowd to see:

Monorchid1. The Nash
With free admission on First Fridays, the Nash offered a relaxing environment even though it was a packed with locals. The venue is known for showcasing jazz music most nights, week in and week out. Of the many live acts playing in and around Roosevelt Row, the quintet featured in August performed an energetic set fueled by a strong percussion line and the frenetic dueling of trumpet and saxophone. There is plenty of seating in the venue, but it was standing room only that night.

2. Eye Lounge
Farther east down Roosevelt Street, Eye Lounge is divided into two rooms to showcase separate exhibits. On this particular Friday, the two rooms displayed two very different collections, including burned sketches of bird feathers and topographical maps by Alexandra Bowers. I could feel a distinct buzz about the place as soon as entered. The venue is small and well-lit but a little congested when nearing capacity. That night, groups intently surveyed each collection while sharing observations and opinions excitedly. In a venue like Eye Lounge, the artists and their displayed work were the center of attention.

3. Monorchid Gallery
Compared to Eye Lounge, Monorchid Gallery is a much larger space. The gallery, located on Roosevelt between Second and Third streets, dominates the back half of a larger building that houses private office spaces, chic minimalist conference rooms and Songbird Coffee and Tea House. Though large in space, the gallery aims to highlight one larger collection at a time. Both of the gallery curators were friendly and available during my stroll through the gallery. Though the gallery was filled with people, the open layout facilitates both art enthusiasts and groups looking for a place to chat.

My first taste of First Friday revealed an entirely different perspective on Downtown Phoenix. While Downtown is often a relatively quiet place for a city of this size, First Friday has all the energy and variety one should expect from a city’s urban core. There is a little of something for everyone, provided you’re ready to welcome it all. The variety of art exhibitions, live music acts, and street vendors make First Friday certainly worth a second, third, or fourth visit in the coming autumn.

Friday Fun for the Little Ones

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

children's museumWell, hello summer!

Are your kids bored yet?

Good news, we have a few remedies for Friday night. And – even better news – they’re all free!

The monthly art walk that is First Friday slows down a touch during the summer months, but it’s a great chance for kids and kids at heart to get out and enjoy the city.

If you have little ones 10 and under, head to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for free entry from 5 to 9 p.m. The hands-on, highly interactive exhibits are sure entertain the younger crowd and burn off some energy. Don’t skip the Noodle Forest.

If you need some outdoor space, Civic Space Park will have free kid’s activities, live music and performances from 7 to 10 p.m. Bonus, they also have a splash pad.

Finally, if you’re over 18 but young at heart, venture over to the Arizona Science Center for Adults’ Night Out – free admission to four floors of hands-on fun and a free lecture on medical ethics by Dr. David Beyda, MD, at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

VYT Mural Reveal Set for First Friday

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

What’s all the colorful commotion over at Valley Youth Theatre?

Photo Courtesy of Estria Foundation

A team of local artists have been working feverishly for the past week to complete one of 12 water-themed murals sponsored by public art purveyor the Estria Foundation.

Each city selected to host a #WaterWrites mural–from Palawan, Philippines to Phoenix–were identified as communities most impacted by water issues.

Downtown Phoenix’s mural, “Water Is Life,” will incorporate an array of imagery designed to inspire and educate–on the way in which water is delivered from from Northern Arizona into Phoenix, the impacts of wasteful water policies and sustainable energy alternatives.

Somehow, some way, the team of artists will complete the mural in one week’s time and just in time for a First Friday unveiling that begins at 4 p.m. The community celebration will include DJs, public art demos, screenings of #WaterWrites videos from other host cities, arts and crafts (water jar decorating), artists Q&As and more.

Note: This event is BYOWB [Bring Your Own Water Bottle].

Come check out Downtown’s newest piece of public art during your First Friday frolicking!

If you go: #WaterWrites Mural Unveiling

When: Friday, May 3 at 4 p.m.

Where: Valley Youth Theatre 525 N. 1st Street


Art Detour Turns 25

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

artlink-25Twenty-fifth birthdays aren’t high on the scale of birthday greatness – the ability to rent a car just doesn’t compare with voting, drinking, or, well, driving a car in the first place.

Twenty-fifth anniversaries, on the other hand, are a big deal. So trot out the silver, everyone, because Art Detour is celebrating a quarter century of art walks!

Fitting for such a big celebration, Art Detour will coincide with March First Friday – one of the biggest First Fridays of the year – resulting in three full days of art. “Detour-ists” will be invited to visit galleries and artist studios, learn about public art and murals from artists and docents, and much more.

There’s a Silver Gala, a circulating shuttle, music, performance art and, as always, a lot of great people watching.

Here’s a schedule of events:
Feb. 23Silver Gala. Fun, formal affair to toast the arts community and kick off the 25th Anniversary in style.
March 1 – First Friday.
March 2 -3 – Self-guided tours. A map and shuttles will guide visitors to the open art stops.
March 2 – Walking Public Art Tours. Docents will guide visitors to points of interest.
March 3– Guided Studio Tours. An intimate look at working studio spaces.

The weekend event is free and offers programming appropriate for all ages, including the family-friendly “Kids’ Detour” presented by Phoenix Center for the Arts, which will also serve as Art Detour’s First Stop, offering free parking.

Art Detour 25 guests can also enjoy a special rate of $159 a night at Hotel Palomar Phoenix. Click here to book: Art Detour 25 – 2013

For more information, visit Artlink’s official Art Detour site.

Top 13 Things To Do Downtown in 2013

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

facebook cover photo

As the new year rolls around we reached out to Downtowners to find out: what are your must-see spots Downtown? Over 100 people weighed in, creating the list of The Top 13 Things to do Downtown in 2013.

13. Experience the 2013 Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 9

It’s a parade, a festival and a pub crawl all rolled into one and at this day-long festival, anything goes. Dress up, dress down, grab a mask or a costume, whatever it is, just get out there. The outdoor festival kicks off at 3 p.m., the parade starts at 4 p.m. and the Pub Crawl starts at 9 p.m.

12. Take a break and get out of the office at a Pop Up Park

Soak up the sun, listen to some tunes, play a game or borrow a book during your lunch hour at a Pop-Up Park. With games ranging from Jenga to basketball, there’s never been a better time to get out of the office and enjoy the city. Pop-Up Parks take place at Patriot’s Square Park Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; The Arizona Center on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Civic Space Park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

11. Grab a brew at Angels Trumpet Ale House

One of the newest bars Downtown, Angel’s Trumpet Ale House offers a rotating cast of craft and unique brews as well as fun and seriously good eats. Combine a beer and upscale pub grub with an expansive outdoor patio and you’ve got yourself a little piece of hipster paradise.

10. Sip poolside at Lustre Bar

Head up the stairs or take the exclusive elevator to this semi-hidden bar at the Hotel Palomar at CityScape. Located next to the hotel’s outdoor pool, Lustre Bar is cool in the summer and heated in the winter and is an ideal location to sip a cocktail while enjoying some of the best views Downtown.

9. Take your kids to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The hands-on, highly interactive exhibits are sure to keep kiddos 10 and under (and parents) entertained for hours. Don’t skip the Noodle Forest or the fort building room. And, good news! Admission is free almost every First Friday.

ZombieWalk-3988. Zombie Walk Oct. 26

Last year over 5,000 zombies took to the streets of Downtown in the fourth annual Zombie Walk. This year the daylong festival and walk turns five – and we’re going for the Guinness World Record. Practice your limp, get your makeup set and join us for live music, vendors and – let’s hope – the largest Zombie Walk in the nation.

7. Experience the culinary scene Downtown on a Taste it Tour

Taste It Tours’ vision is to have its customers savor, learn, explore and connect with each guided tour and the ticket price includes food and drink from 5-8 restaurants, access to the talented chefs, plus tie-ins to architecture, historical insights, stories about the history of Downtown and the personalities that forged the region.

6. Comicon May 23 – 26

Nerds, geeks, zombies and aliens. This three day festival brings out the inner nerd and is the perfect time to celebrate that alternative comic book/movie/movement you’re into. And, if you aren’t a geek, there’s no reason to skip it. The festival is ideal for people watching and killer parties.

5. Check out the Arizona Science Center for free during Adults’ Night Out

The first Friday of each month, the Arizona Science Center turns into an adult’s only night at the museum. The fun includes a local DJ, cash bar and, did we mention, FREE admission to all four floors of hands-on science? And, each month, the Center hosts a new installment of their award-winning lecture series.

4. Speaking of First Friday, get out there!

It’s the largest art walk in the nation and on the first Friday of the month the entirety of Downtown is transformed into a street festival, gallery viewing hotspot and all-around outdoor party. If you haven’t experienced it yet, your next chance happens this Friday, Jan. 4.

3. Grab lunch at Food Truck Friday

Food Truck Friday has become a Downtown staple since kicking off in November 2010 and is still the place to check out the widest variety of food trucks in the Valley. By all accounts, these un-restaurants have become as big a part of the culinary scene as, well, restaurants. There’s just something magical about ordering high-end food from a truck. The fun takes place at the Phoenix Public Market every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Crescent2. Shop at the Phoenix Public Market

A bastion of all that is locally farmed, raised and produced in Arizona, the largest outdoor market in the Valley sells local goods, produce and results in all-around lovely way to spend a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening. After shopping, grab a meal at a food truck, grab a seat at a table and enjoy the community.

1. Catch a show at Crescent Ballroom

The top spot for indie and up-and-coming acts also features a killer kitchen that kicks out craveable burritos and expertly mixed cocktails. With music every night of the week and an intimate-but-not-crowded space, there’s no reason not to catch a show, eat dinner and dance the night away.

Downtown’s January First Friday Guide

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

As the monthly fun that is First Friday rolls around for January, we spent some time with a Sharpie and our events guide to cobble together a handy map of what’s going down January 4 and where you can catch all the action.

Click on the picture (or here) to see a full-size, printable version.


Happy First Friday, Downtowners!

Downtown’s First Friday Guide

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

As the monthly fun that is First Friday rolls around for December, we spent some time with a Sharpie and our events guide to cobble together a handy map of what’s going down December 7 and where you can catch all the action.

Click on the picture (or here) to see a full-size, printable version.


Happy First Friday, Downtowners!