Arizona Arts Education Access Is Improving, But Still Pretty Abysmal

Categories: News, Visual Art

Courtesy of Arizona Commission on the Arts
Student performing with the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts.
Take note if you're keen on assuring the metro Phoenix art scene survives and thrives: Kids aren't getting equal or adequate access to arts education.

So says the analysis and recent report prepared by Quadrant Arts Education Research on behalf of the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Their 2014 update to a 2010 census of arts education in Arizona reveals that more kids had access to arts education in 2013 than in 2009. That's the good news. But there's bad news, too. More than 115,000 K-12 students don't have access to arts instruction by highly qualified arts teachers.

If Arizona isn't teaching kids to create and appreciate art, how can citizens expect them to grow up and become the next generation of artists and art lovers?

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Aziz Ansari Is Coming to Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix

Categories: Comedy, News

Wikimedia Commons

The cast and crew of NBC's Parks and Recreation recently finished shooting its final season. Which is a bummer. The final season will air two back-to-back episodes at a time. Which means it'll go by super fast. And NBC canceled pretty much all its new comedies. Which makes a post-P 'n' R world look all the more grim.

But ah, a glimmer of hope.

Aziz Ansari has announced a brief tour for January and February of 2014. And Phoenix is one of just six stops.

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TopGolf to Open Second Location in Gilbert

Categories: Fun, News

Josh Chesler
Look familiar? Maybe that's because the Gilbert location seems like it's pretty close to an exact replica of Scottsdale's TopGolf.

TopGolf is opening its second location in the Valley on Friday, December 12, and it's more or less exactly like the first.

TopGolf Gilbert will be located at 1689 S. SanTan Village Parkway, which will be far more convenient for the southern half of the Valley than the Talking Stick location.

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Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West to Open in January 2015

Categories: News, Visual Art

Courtesy of Scottsdale's Museum of the West
The "after" vision for Western Spirit, scheduled to open January 15, 2105.
There's no shortage of Western art in Old Town Scottsdale, where folks encounter the city's official nickname: "The West's Most Western Town." Best known is Ed Mell's Jack Knife sculpture anchoring the intersection of Main Street and Marshall Way.

But soon you'll find works by Mell and more than 150 additional artists inside the city's soon-to-open cultural destination -- a two-story, 43,000-square-foot museum dubbed Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West.

It began as the dream of former Scottsdale mayor Herb Drinkwater, according to museum director Michael Fox. The museum, which is owned by the city of Scottsdale and operated by a nonprofit called Scottsdale Museum of the West, is scheduled to open to the public on January 15, 2015.

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Breaking Ground 2015 Artist Lineup Announced

Categories: Dance, News

Katrina Montgomery
Anna McClellan's casting your imagination to the depths of sleep at Breaking Ground 2014.

Though this winter's dance calendar promises much in the way of tradition and holiday spirit, those looking for more cutting edge offerings have something to look forward to in the spring.

CONDER/dance founder Carley Conder has announced the artist lineup for the eighth annual Breaking Ground contemporary dance festival, slated for March 20 and 21.

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Arizona State Library Now Offers Digital Versions of 500-Plus Books About Arizona

Categories: Books, News

Reading Arizona offers digital copies of hundreds of books about Arizona.

Believe it or not, things got pretty wild at the Arizona Library Association conference, held November 13 and 14.

During the event, the Arizona State Library launched Reading Arizona, a new ebook platform which allows members to "check out" digital copies of hundreds of state-centric published works.

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Grid Bike Share to Launch in Phoenix November 25

Courtesy Grid Bikes
Grid BIke Share launches Tuesday, November 25.

Gird Bikes is finally launching in Phoenix on Tuesday, November 25. The bike share program was first announced back in July 2013 and then officially unveiled by city of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton back in October 2013. And though it was originally set to launch earlier in 2014, its release was delayed due to to vendor issues.

But now the lime green bikes have been given the green light. Founding members and Grid ambassadors have already begun testing out the new rides this week while the rest of the Grid team has been setting up bike stations throughout the Phoenix area.

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Amada Cruz Named Phoenix Art Museum Director

Categories: News, Visual Art

Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum
Amada Cruz will replace Jim Ballinger at Phoenix Art Museum.

Amada Cruz will be Phoenix Art Museum's new director, the museum's board of trustees announced in a press release on Monday, November 17.

Cruz will take on the role on February 1, 2015, replacing longtime director James Ballinger, who announced in April 2014 his intention to retire after nearly 40 years with the museum.

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Phoenix Art Museum Board Rescinds Offer to Hire New Contemporary Art Curator

Categories: News

Thumbnail image for phoenixartmuseum.jpg
Photo by Bill Timmerman
Phoenix Art Museum is in a state of flux.
UPDATE: Jennifer Sudul Edwards is the applicant whose curator job offer was rescinded.

Phoenix Art Museum will be without a curator of contemporary art for a bit longer.

The museum's human resources department was in the process of hiring an applicant to take on the curatorship, confirms museum public relations manager Stephanie Lieb. That applicant was Jennifer Sudul Edwards, who has worked at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. However, the museum's board of trustees took back the offer. Its decision to do so was announced in a November 10 memo sent by HR on behalf of Jim Patterson, chairman of the museum's board of trustees, to the museum's staffers and its 11 support organizations.

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Graduate Hotel Now Open in Tempe; Here's a Look Inside

Katie Johnson
There are many things to love about the Graduate lobby, but this little area may be our favorite.
Put away the blowup mattress and clear that couch, because your out-of-town guests have a new place to stay in Tempe. Graduate Hotel opened its doors two weeks ago, and while the complete remodel of what was once the Twin Palms is still in progress (management expects the finishing touches will be complete before the end of the year), guests have already begun filling the 140-room establishment.

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