The Performing Arts Season

An escape from everyday life

Catherine Walker and Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Catherine Walker and Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

By Kathryn M. Miller ~Arizonans are a resilient bunch – anyone who lives through a summer in the Valley can attest to that. Economic downturns are taken in stride. Housing bubble-bursts are recovered from. Budgets are cut. Belts are tightened. Yet somehow, progress is made, growth happens and in the midst of it all, art always finds a way – to be seen and heard, to exhilarate, to challenge, or as Pablo Picasso put it, to “wash away from the soul the dust of every day life.”

Earlier this year, when the state announced 2016 budget cuts to the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the organization came back with a positive message, with Executive Director Robert C. Booker saying, “We remain steadfast and determined, committed to the opportunity within our mission to imagine a future where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

Canadian Brass

Canadian Brass

Other arts organizations have faced similar challenges and risen to the occasion, as represented by their longevity, such as the Scottsdale Cultural Council, which is celebrating a number of milestones this coming year.

“This season we celebrate a number of milestones: the 40th anniversary of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the 30th anniversary of Scottsdale Public Art, SMoCA’s “Sweet 16” and the 15th Scottsdale International Film Festival,” says Neale Perl, president and CEO of the nonprofit Council.

Perl credits an “engaged board, experienced and committed staff and broad base support from individuals, businesses, foundations and government.” The Council is also firmly focused on serving its audiences now and into the future.

“In our case, it’s essential to have strong relationships with artists and programming that’s relevant to our community,” he says. “It’s going to be an extraordinary year for the arts in Scottsdale, and we invite everyone to be part of it.”

Arts organizations are also finding ways to breathe new life into old art forms. By introducing fresh works that appeal to broader audiences, Arizona Opera Company has had an overwhelming positive response to its Arizona Bold initiative, according to General Director Ryan Taylor.

The company introduced audiences to Cruzar la Cara de la Luna and Eugene Onegin this past season and it will continue its bold approach this upcoming season as the first U.S. opera company to present Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady.

“It has been rewarding to discover the depth of talent who have heard of the enthusiasm from the community and are eager to perform with us,” says Taylor. “Our artistic and production teams have taken particular joy in looking through the company’s 44-year history, discovering titles that have never been presented before, engaging some of the brightest singers, designers and directors whose vision promises to showcase the relevance of incredible masterworks, and invigorate new audiences as well.” |CST

Look for the 2015-16 Performing Arts Preview beginning on page 70.

 

45th Scottsdale Arts Festival

Jewelry by Jenny Christiansen, Bozeman, Montana. Photo by Jesse Tallman

Jewelry by Jenny Christiansen, Bozeman, Montana. Photo by Jesse Tallman

Long recognized as one of the top arts fairs in America, the Scottsdale Arts Festival is a weekend-long celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts. The event, held outdoors at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, features 175 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States and Canada, continuous live music and entertainment on two stages, local gourmet food trucks, an interactive art experience by Scottsdale Public Art, creative activities for kids at the Imagine Nation family area and free admission to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).

The event runs March 13-15; 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday. Admission is $10 ($5 for students) and free for members and children 12 and under. For additional information, visit www.scottsdaleartsfestival.org.

44th Scottsdale Arts Festival

Roderick Stevens (Booth #108)

Roderick Stevens (Booth #108)

The Scottsdale Arts Festival is a weekend-long celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts. The event features 200 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States, continuous live music and entertainment on two stages, an expanded roster of 15 local gourmet food trucks from the Phoenix Street Food Coalition, creative activities for kids at the Imagine Nation family area and free admission to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).

In collaboration with the Festival, Scottsdale Public Art will present the U.S. debut of Happy Rainbow by the Los Angeles-based artist duo FriendsWithYou.

The outdoor event will be held at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (7380 East Second Street) March 14-16, and runs 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Single-day passes are $8 for adults; children age 12 and under are free.

For more information, call 480.499.8587 or visit www.scottsdaleartsfestival.org.

Arizona SciTech Festival: Science, Technology, Innovation

Hundreds of the state’s business, science and education leaders will gather in Scottsdale for the Second Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference on September 4. The conference will be held 7:30am-6pm at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts located at 7380 East Second Street. The free, day-long event is open to those wanting to learn more about integrating STEM education into their communities. STEM education, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math, is the backbone discipline of Arizona’s new economy.

The Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference will include 16 thought-provoking panel discussions, a keynote address and roughly 50 interactive stations, where collaborating organizations from the Arizona SciTech Festival will demonstrate STEM activities. The conference offers a unique opportunity to network with some of the state’s top STEM professionals, learn best practices in communicating STEM, as well as strategies to engage communities, local schools and businesses.

The conference keynote presentation, beginning at 3:45pm, will feature Geoff Notkin, star of TV’s “Meteorite Men” and Skylab Astronaut Dr. Ed Gibson. Notkin and Gibson will team up to provide unique perspectives on how they’ve worked to make the understanding and appreciation of science part of mainstream living.

For more information or to register for the Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference, visit www.azscitechfest.org/conference.

Performance Artist Explores Climate Change Era

Photo by Bethanie Hines

Artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph uses hip-hop, poetry and movement to explore issues of social justice and the environment in his performance red, black and GREEN: a blues, at 7:30pm on January 20 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The Center is located at 7380 East  Second Street in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480.499.8587 or visit www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org.

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