Russo and Steele Celebrates Twenty Years — Offers Super Rare Lamborghini at Scottsdale Auction

Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions returns home to Scottsdale Jan. 15–19 at the epicenter of Arizona Car Week at a new site, just south of the North 101 Freeway and Scottsdale Road.

Celebrating its 20th year, Russo and Steele will offer an ultra-rare 1985 Lamborghini Countach QV Downdraft at its 2020 Scottsdale auction.

Known as the most powerful Countach variant ever built, this particular model offers 455 bhp and was used as a factory press car and was the photo subject of the Downdraft brochure distributed at the 1985 Geneva Salon.

Fewer than one-third of all Countach models built were Downdraft variants and Russo Steele says that this model is without question the very best example of this variant to ever be presented at public auction anywhere.  It is 100 percent fully restored by California-based marque specialists at a cost of almost $300,000 to exact original specifications down to brand new Pirelli P7s and Ansa Sports Exhaust, which are all period-correct.  It even comes with original books and all tools complete.

Built in February 1985 in Iconic Bianco Polo Park with Rosso livery, this Countach Downdraft was the very first to be imported into the United States by Al Copeland, car enthusiast and multi-race winning offshore boat racer, and owner of Popeyes Chicken nationwide restaurants.  It was kept in Copeland’s New Orleans car museum for 15 years resulting in just 9,750 miles on the odometer.

“This is probably the most beautiful example of a Countach Downdraft you will see anywhere,” said Drew Alcazar, president and CEO of Russo and Steele.  “Even by today’s standards the car is quite powerful and even though it’s almost 35 years old, it’s design is time less and the stuff of supercar fantasy.”

Running Jan. 15–19, Russo and Steele will provide hundreds of top-quality collector cars for a variety of buyers at their new site in Scottsdale, just off the south side of the Loop 101 Freeway. Featuring the equivalent of five football fields of tents with easy access off the Scottsdale Road exit, acres of contiguous and close proximity parking will greet attendees along with valet parking directly at the main entrance.

For more information about Russo and Steele, visit www.russoandsteele.com or like them on Facebook and Instagram @RussoandSteele.

For more Arizona Car Week events, read: “49th Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction Rolls Into Town” on page 8.

How the Coop Stole Christmas — And Gave Back to Valley Teens

One of Phoenix’s signature holiday events, Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding Fundraiser, returns for its 18th year this month, and brings together Michael Bruce, Neal Smith and Dennis Dunaway from the original Alice Cooper band, Judas Priest front man Rob Halford, and Joe Bonamassa, one of the world’s greatest living guitarists, for an evening of music and mayhem. And just announced in late November, Johnny Depp of The Hollywood Vampires will join the fun. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the free music, dance, arts and vocational programs at Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center.

The annual fundraiser returns to the historic Celebrity Theatre at 7pm Saturday, Dec. 14, and will also include performances from the Solid Rock Dancers, The Bucket Brigade and the winners of this year’s Proof is in the Pudding Musical Talent Search, Cooper’s own version of “American Idol.”

Tickets prices range from $50–$220 for this all-ages show and are on sale at Celebrity Theatre or online at www.celebritytheatre.com. To charge by phone, call 602.267.1600.

“As always, Solid Rock is trying to put together a show with new and classic headliners. The uniqueness of this concert is that you’ll never see this caliber and variety of artists on the same stage again,” said Cooper. “Come join our ultimate Christmas party and help support the teens at The Rock Teen Center!”

Opened in May 2012, The Rock Teen Center aims to cultivate a love of the arts, inspire teens to grow through empowering programs in music, dance and art, and to help teens embrace artistic excellence and reach their full potential.

In a time when many public schools are faced with cutting funding for performing arts programs, the center provides vocational training in sound and recording, lighting and staging, and video production, as well as dance and art instruction, a computer lab and a supervised facility for the teens to engage with their peers. The center serves anywhere from 50 to 100 area teens, ages 12–20, daily, and all the programs offered are free — they even provide the instruments if needed.

The Rock Teen Center is located in North Phoenix at 13625 North 32nd Street, and is open Monday–Friday, 2–8pm. For additional information, call 602.522.9200 or visit www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.

Phoenix Art Museum Celebrates Sixty Years

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona since 1959. The largest art museum in the Southwestern United States, it hosts critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions, which are shown alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art and fashion design.

As the Museum marks six decades as a vibrant art destination in the Valley, it is celebrating with a weekend full of fun and special pricing — offering something for everyone from babies to seniors, history buffs, music lovers and art enthusiasts over three days, Nov. 16–18.

During the three-day celebration, memberships are available for a season low of $60, guests are invited to take advantage of $6 general admission Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, and $6 special-exhibition pricing for the highly anticipated Legends of Speed starting Saturday, Nov. 16, through Monday, Nov. 18. And on Monday, in commemoration of the Museum’s official birthday, general admission is waived, and the Museum is open from noon to 5pm.

1961 Birdcage Maserati. Sunchase Holdings. Photo: Peter Harholdt

Legends of Speed (on view Nov. 3 through March 15) is the first major exhibition of racing cars presented at Phoenix Art Museum, and features more than 20 legendary cars by Maserati, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Ford and more. The landmark exhibition showcases an unprecedented collection of cars driven by some of the greatest drivers in the history of racing, including A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney and Stirling Moss.

Also on view are Antonio: The Fine Art of Fashion Design, a multimedia exhibition featuring more than 100 original drawings, photographs and magazines, and PhxArt60: The Past Decade, which features selected artworks from the departments of modern and contemporary art, Latin American art, American art, Asian art and fashion design.

Special programming for the three-day celebration includes a self-guided 60th Anniversary scavenger hunt, Make It! activities from noon to 4pm with a local artist, as well as special deals at The Museum Store and Palette. Sunday, during extended hours (10am–7pm), guests can explore the pop-up library in the Museum and digital interactive timeline. At 2pm, The Hip Historian, Marshall Shore will lead a fun 45-minute historical journey from 1959 to today regarding the arts in Phoenix, and from 3pm to 7pm, for one-night-only, musical performances will take to the PhxArt Amplified stage.

Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 North Central Avenue. For additional information on the anniversary event and other exhibitions and special installations, visit www.phxart.org, or call 602.257.1880.

Sparking Conversations That Inform, Educate and Resonate

Oscar buzzworthy film opens Scottsdale festival

Founded in 2001, the Scottsdale International Film Festival (SIFF) celebrates humanity by sharing stories from diverse filmmakers and connecting audiences with award-winning cinema from around the globe. During its 19-year history, the 10-day event has presented more than 700 films — ranging from major Academy Award winners to undiscovered indie gems — to more than 100,000 attendees.

The Festival returns for its 19th year by kicking off opening night Friday, Nov. 1, at 7pm at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Enhanced and expanded from previous years, SIFF will open with Noah Baumbach’s film “Marriage Story” starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Listed as one of this season’s most anticipated motion pictures, the divorce drama has already captured the attention of worldwide film connoisseurs at events such as the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.

“Scottsdale is now being recognized as a cultural film hub and having the opportunity to locally premiere buzzworthy films such as “Marriage Story” is a testament to how far we have come in the industry,” said SIFF executive director, Amy Ettinger. “SIFF is excited to showcase some of this year’s finest films and cultivate a broader audience.”

Attendees are encouraged to arrive at 7pm to enjoy a catered dessert reception featuring live entertainment from the Scottsdale Philharmonic. The screening of “Marriage Story” will begin at 8pm.

The Festival moves to Harkins Shea 14 from Nov. 2 through Nov. 3 and adds a third location at the Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square from Nov. 4 through Nov. 7. SIFF will return to Harkins Shea 14 Nov. 8, for the remainder of its film screenings.

Photos courtesy of Netflix/Wilson Webb

Showcasing more than 55 films from dozens of countries, originating from both first-time and seasoned filmmakers, the complete 2019 SIFF schedule will be announced Oct. 1. With a curated selection of comedies, dramas, documentaries, thrillers and more, audience members will be sure to find their niche. SIFF encourages all attendees to bring their critical thinking skills and appreciation for the arts and get ready to immerse themselves into the world of cinema.

Tickets for opening night may be purchased online starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, for $25, or at the door on the day of the event for $28. To learn more about the Scottsdale International Film Festival, featured screenings and ticket information, visit http://www.scottsdalefilmfestival.com.

Indulge in Ten Days of Culinary Discovery

2019 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week

 The Arizona Restaurant Association announces the arrival of its 2019 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW), which takes place from Friday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Sept. 29. During these 10 days, diners can take advantage of three-course meals and prix-fixe menus for just $33 or $44 per person at participating restaurants around the state.

 “Consumer demand for restaurants in Arizona has been the highest it’s ever been and that’s why we see such support each year during both Spring and Fall Restaurant Week,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are proud to be leading the charge in an initiative that helps diners discover some of the best local, chef-driven restaurants as well as support some of the most well-known restaurants in the state.”

This year marks the 12th anniversary of Arizona Restaurant Week, a twice-a-year opportunity (including Spring Arizona Restaurant Week, which takes place in May) for local food aficionados to indulge in some of the state’s finest menus and discover hidden local gems while also giving Arizona chefs a chance to showcase their culinary creativity beyond their regular menus. Here is just a sampling of current participating restaurants: Ajo Al’s, Barrio Queen, Buck and Rider, Chart House, Citizen Public House, Different Pointe of View, Fuego Bistro, Ghost Ranch Modern Southwest Cuisine, Kovo Modern Mediterranean, La Locanda Ristorante Italiano, Ling & Louie’s, Marigold Maison, Mowry & Cotton, Nobuo at Teeter House, Pasta Brioni, Salut Kitchen Bar, Southern Rail, T. Cook’s, The Dhaba, The Gladly, The Parlor Pizzeria, The Sicilian Butcher, Vincent on Camelback and Virtu Honest Craft.

Diners can view a complete list of restaurants participating in Fall Arizona Restaurant Week online at www.arizonarestaurantweek.com. New restaurants and menus will be added as participation grows.

Where Passion & Industry Intersect

Fall 2018 North Valley Arts Academy Theatre production of Spamalot; Photo: Christi Johnstone

 

Fostering the Arts in Arizona

By Kathryn M. Miller ~

In Arizona, arts and culture industries are more than just passionate undertakings that enrich lives — they are a force that enriches Arizona’s economy. According to the Arizona Commission on the Arts’ 2018 Report to the Governor, Arizona’s arts and culture industries contributed $9 billion to the state’s economy, employing 90,000 Arizonans who earned a combined total of $4.9 billion annually. In addition, arts-related retail trade contributed $1.6 billion to Arizona’s economy.

But the arts are unique in industry — they are passion driven and they enrich the lives of those who create and those who witness in ways that numbers cannot begin to quantify. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the performing arts.

This year, The Phoenix Theatre Company celebrates its 100th season. No institution reaches that milestone without a passion for its mission, which the Company says is, in part, “…inspiring hope and understanding through the arts…” So, where does this passion for performing begin? Look no further than North Valley Arts Academies at PVSchools.

Part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools), the North Valley Arts Academies (NVAA) program is the brainchild of the district’s recently retired superintendent, Dr. James Lee. The goal was to create a program that would be a draw for students wanting to explore their love of the arts. It began with fifth through eighth grade at Desert Cove Elementary and Shea Middle School, offering dance and theater. Soon, visual arts and music technology classes were added.

As the students progressed in their educational careers, the program eventually grew to include Shadow Mountain High School (SMHS). This school year, the NVAA Theatre program at SMHS will graduate its first four-year class.

Under the guidance of teachers Joseph Flowers and Dr. Teresa Minarsich, the Theatre program provides students with rigorous academic classes combined with a college-intensive theater arts emphasis. Accelerated movement, voice, acting, directing and playwriting courses are offered, in addition to a technical track that includes set design and construction, costume and makeup, and lighting and sound.

The programs at SMHS bring together a diverse student population with a singular goal — to create art collaboratively. And many students have found their calling and their ‘people’ within the program.

The NVAA Theatre program presents its fall musical, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. The production includes students from all three NVAA schools and runs Nov. 7–9 at SMHS, 2902 East Shea Boulevard. To learn more about NVAA Theatre, visit www.nvaadrama.com. For additional information about PVSchools, visit www.pvschools.net.

“High school is a really difficult time for most young people, especially given what’s happening in the world,” says Minarsich, who has been at SMHS for four years. “I think it’s vital that every student finds a place that they belong. That could be a sports program, it could be a club, and for a lot of kids it ends up being the arts. I think the arts give you the chance to find people who feel as passionate as you do about an art or expressing yourself in a certain way — singing, dancing, band…you have a sense of belonging and I think that’s really important.”

One of Dr. Minarsich’s students, SMHS senior Aunah Johnson, agrees wholeheartedly.

“As I have come into my senior year, I’ve realized that the thing I love most about theater is the diversity,” Aunah says. “I’ve worked with athletes, cheerleaders, scholars, emos, artists, political junkies; everyone, and they’ve all become people I love immensely because they are so vastly different but still belong to our theatrical family.”

The performing arts can also help young people put a sometimes-confusing world into perspective and provide them with tools that they will carry into adulthood.

“Theatre gave me, as a young high school student, a way to understand the world around me,” says Flowers, who is in his 13th year teaching at SMHS. “It provided me with viewpoints and experiences I didn’t have growing up in Glendale, Arizona. It taught me the power of collaboration and the joy and sweat that go into long-term, complex projects.”

Both teachers say that this power of collaboration brings students a deep sense of satisfaction when they successfully create something that is meaningful to them.

“The performing arts are so collaborative, and the skills you learn from taking an idea that you have, then fleshing that out and creating something that you can then share with the public teaches students so much,” says Minarsich.

The skills that students develop go far beyond the marketable, though, and into the deeply meaningful. Flowers says that students are hungry for an “analogue form of communication” that allows them to connect with each other and the audience, and theater can provide this artistic outlet.

“There is such a disconnect with our society’s use of technology to communicate and our need as humans for face-to-face storytelling and connection. I’ve found both students and community members really respond to getting back to the basics of storytelling with heart.”

Minarsich adds that the art of storytelling also helps students develop empathy — something she believes is severely lacking in the world right now.

“Especially in acting,” she says, “learning how to put yourself in other people’s shoes and live their stories and understand why — their motivations for things, why people do things the way they do — and to see outside yourself.”

“Theater is an art form that brings people together in places where they would otherwise tear each other apart,” agrees Aunah. “I used to believe that it would be impossible for a nerdy, religious girl like me to find a social home, especially in a highly liberal community. Yet here I am, repeatedly embraced by my fellow artists and friends for who I am because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it only matters that you joined our ensemble in this cast called life.” | CST

Taliesin West Inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List

Joins seven other Wright sites

With 11 of his buildings in the Greater Phoenix area alone, most Valley residents are familiar with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s visionary work cemented his place as the American Institute of Architects’ “greatest American architect of all time.” And in July, the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, officially inscribed The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, which includes eight major works spanning 50 years of Wright’s career, on the UNESCO World Heritage List (whc.unesco.org).
The sites include Unity Temple (Oak Park, Illinois), the Frederick C. Robie House (Chicago, Illinois), Taliesin (Spring Green, Wisconsin), Hollyhock House (Los Angeles, California), Fallingwater (Mill Run, Pennsylvania), the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House (Madison, Wisconsin), Taliesin West (Scottsdale) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, New York).
There are more than 1,000 World Heritage sites around the world, and the group of Wright sites is now among only 24 sites in the U.S. The collection represents the first modern architecture designation in the country on the prestigious list.
“This recognition by UNESCO is a significant way for us to reconfirm how important Frank Lloyd Wright was to the development of modern architecture around the world,” says Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. “There are nearly 400 remaining structures designed by Wright. Our hope is that the inscription of these eight major works also brings awareness to the importance of preserving all of his buildings as a vital part of our artistic, cultural and architectural heritage. All communities where a Wright building stands should appreciate what they have and share in the responsibility to protect their local — and world — heritage.”
Here in Arizona, Taliesin West, also a National Historic Landmark, is nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains. It serves as the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin. Wright’s beloved winter home, and the bustling headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship, was established in 1937 and handcrafted over many years. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations.

“These sites are not simply World Heritage monuments because they are beautiful,” said Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “It’s so much more than that. These are places of profound influence, inspiration and connection.”

To learn more about the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation or to tour Taliesin West, visit www.franklloydwright.org.

 

Blast Off With Arizona Science Center

Celebrate 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

The partly illuminated Earth rising over the lunar horizon; Photo courtesy of NASA

Arizona Science Center is celebrating one of the greatest achievements in science — human’s first steps on the moon.

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin into an initial Earth-orbit of 114 by 116 miles. An estimated 650 million people watched Armstrong’s televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” July 20, 1969.

All month long, the Science Center will be commemorating this historic mission with events and space-themed programming. All leading to a 50th anniversary celebration Saturday, July 20, when residents are invited to join the Science Center for an out-of-this-world celebration of man’s first steps on the moon on that monumental day in 1969 as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar mission. From exploring the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibit to engaging in hands-on space and moon-themed activities, the Science Center hopes to spark curiosity in what’s next in innovation and exploration through a fun-filled day for the entire family.

Apollo 11 liftoff from launch tower camera; Photo courtesy of NASA

The month-long Apollo 11 50th anniversary celebration includes the following events and programming:

  • July 16: Global Rocket Launch Day
    10am–5pm — Rocket building and launches in CREATE at Arizona Science Center
    5–9pm — Observe the Moon Family Night
  • July 19: Apollo 11 Anniversary Family Celebration; 10am–5pm
  • July 19: Science with A Twist; 6–10pm (adult 21 and over event)
  • July 20: Continuing Apollo 11 Anniversary Family Celebration; 10am–5pm
  • July 27: Teen Night at CREATE; 6–10pm

Arizona Science Center is located at 600 East Washington Street, Phoenix. For additional information, call 602.716.2000 or visit www.azscience.org/apollo11.

Art Lover’s Delight: Chill Out at SMoCA This Summer

”KnightRise” Photo: Sean Deckert

Summer in the Valley is the perfect time to get out of the heat and into a museum. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) presents a wide range of exciting and diverse events, to keep art lovers cool in a 68-degree museum. This season is packed with artist-led talks and workshops and the return of fan favorites Mystery at the Museum and Art Handlers Triathlon. Additionally, several events relate to the 2019 summer exhibitions. These events offer guests the opportunity to engage with artists, the community and museumgoers to consider the questions and themes explored throughout the Museum. Schedule of summer events (subject to change):

June 6: Artist Talk — Aakash Nihalani and Daniel Rozin
7pm
Artists Aakash Nihalani and Daniel Rozin team up to talk about their work in the exhibition “Mutual Reality: Art on the Edge of Technology.” Guests will get a sneak peek of Nihalani’s new artwork inside SMoCA Lounge before it’s revealed to the public.

June 7: Summer Opening Party
7–9pm
Join SMoCA in celebrating another season of new exhibitions. Chat with curators, mingle with artists and explore the exhibitions. Cash bar.

June 21: Sunset in the Skyspace
7:30pm; $10
Spend the longest day of the year at SMoCA. Celebrate the summer solstice by watching the sunset in James Turrell’s “Knight Rise” Skyspace. Refreshments included.

July 6: The Studio @SMoCA — Simply Succulents with Dig It
Noon–3pm; $45, pair; $30, individual
Horticulture experts from Dig It Gardens in Phoenix will show participants how to create and care for their own succulent terrarium. Materials provided. Light refreshments included.

July 19: Beer ‘n Bingo
7pm; $15 (includes one drink)
Anwar Newton hosts an evening of craft beer and bingo with a SMoCA twist. This is not your grandmother’s bingo night. One free beer sample per person. Cash bar and snacks included.

All events are free and take place in SMoCA Lounge, unless noted otherwise. Free events at SMoCA fill quickly and are first come, first served; early arrival is encouraged. Visitors can RSVP and purchase tickets at www.smoca.org.

 

Three Ways to Help Keep Kids Safe Around Water This Summer

By Kathryn M. Miller

Summer is just around the corner and with it comes graduation parties, family get-togethers, holiday barbecues and, finally, back-to-school activities, and that means that distractions abound. When a swimming pool is added to the mix, summer fun can turn deadly — especially for young children.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in Arizona for children age 4 and under, generally in pool-related incidents; it is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 12; and nationally, three children die each day as a result of drowning.

May is National Water Safety Month and with summer vacation on the horizon it the perfect time to raise awareness about how to be safe around water, and the Valley of the Sun YMCA (Y) is leading the way.

“In Arizona, the Valley of the Sun YMCA is known as the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning,” said Jackie Gizzi, executive director of Leadership Development & Risk Management at the Y. “Our free swim lessons program and Water Watcher tags give us the ability to teach more children and adults in the Valley the importance of being safe around water.”

The Y offers these top three water safety recommendations:

1 Swim lessons. Children who have formal swim lessons are 88 percent less likely to have a drowning incident. The Y says that drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water but encourages parents and caregivers not to keep children sidelined. Rather, equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water.

Summer water safety programs at the Y include swim lessons (6 months to adults) and swim team (5–18 years old). They also offer a year-round member benefit of free swim lessons for children 6 months to 36 months. In addition, as part of National Water Safety Month, the Y will offer two weeks of free swim lessons to the first 2,000 registrants at 13 Valley of the Sun YMCA branches the week of May 13–23. Visit www.valleyymca.org.

2 Parent supervision. The importance of having an adult designated to keep a lookout when children are in and around water cannot be overstated. And while drowning can happen any time of the year, June through August is peak time for drowning in Arizona. One safety tool, especially for those summertime parties and outings, is a designated “water watcher” — the Y is distributing 13,000 Water Watcher tags to Valley residents.

3 Barriers. Children are naturally curious, and a backyard swimming pool can be an attractive draw. A physical barrier to pool access is a first line of defense against drowning. In addition to a pool fence, a door alarm can add an extra layer of access prevention.

Beyond swim lessons, supervision and barriers, parents can level-up their water safety game with CPR classes. The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) offers CPR classes around the Valley. For additional tips and resources, visit www.ymca.net/watersafety, www.apsp.org/nwsm or www.childrensafetyzone.com. | CST

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