Dennita Sewell Takes The Stage

Southwest Shakespeare Company presents its upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Feb. 21 – March 7 at Mesa Arts Center.

Dennita Sewell, formerly known as The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design at Phoenix Art Museum, served as costume designer on this production. Shakespeare’s fantastical romantic comedy filled with lovers, dreamers, fairies, magic and laughter offered a great source of inspiration. She answered a few questions below.

Sewell currently leads the new fashion degree program in the School of Art at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The first-of-its-kind degree program for ASU offers a fashion focus on topics ranging from textiles to wearable technology to merchandising.

Dennita Sewell

How did this collaboration with Southwest Shakespeare Company happen?

The collaboration was fostered through Mary Way, executive director of Southwest Shakespeare Company. Over the years, we have had many really fun conversations about the fashion exhibitions at Phoenix Art Museum—especially Hollywood Costume and costumes generally. A couple years ago, Mary hosted a lecture with Jane Greenwood, my mentor and professor at the Yale School of Drama. All of these experiences naturally evolved into a conversation about designing costumes for one of the productions at Southwest Shakespeare Company. I am really enjoying the process and being involved with the dedicated group at Southwest Shakespeare Company. The strong passion theater professionals have for their craft evokes true admiration for the spirit of collaboration. Everyone involved in the production has tremendous respect for the creative project and has such fun in rehearsals.

Will it happen again?

As for the future, the project has reignited my love of theater and strengthened my appreciation of Southwest Shakespeare Company’s mission and breadth of activities that serve the community. They rotate creative participants to keep their programming active and varied, but I would look forward to working with them again.

Have you encountered any specific challenges during the design process?

Shakespeare’s play is set in Athens, Greece. The director of this production, Louis Farber, selected modern Athens, Vermont, as the location. So, all of my fashion magazines were pushed to the side of my worktable and I began looking at the Vermont Country Store and Duluth Trading catalogs. I researched New England clothing manufacturers and designers, photographs of people at county fairs, and artists renderings of the people and place to gain a sense of their world and establish a color palette. It had been a long time since I had done costume sketches—about 30 years now.

To start the project, I bought a new set of colored pencils and a new pad of drawing paper. There was a warmup period, but I had a really fun time. The end goal of the drawings is not to “make art,” but drawing is the real design process. It’s how you think the ideas through—how you create. In the end, even though I haven’t been practicing my drawing over that last few years, it felt easier. The hands-on experience with clothes I have gained over the last 30 years helped me draw my ideas with greater freedom. Because the production is modern, but with a fantasy element, parts of the costumes are shopped and part of them are made. I have been all over the Valley at a wide diversity of stores to shop for the costumes. It was very interesting to see what is out there—it felt like field research for teaching my contemporary fashion class.

How different is theater costume design compared to fashion design?

This is such an interesting area to think about. In essence, a costume design is the result of a collaborative vision that the designer has with the script, the director and the actor/actress. It is guided by the vision for the production set by the director. Fashion designers are guided by the cultural zeitgeist and create their own vision of what that is. Fashion serves a consumer base and a costume is for a character. They are two unique fields but have shared interests. —Interview by Perrine Adams

Fabric for Oberon’s costume (left) and fabric for the fairies (right)

PHOTOS (at top and bottom): Sewell’s renderings of costumes (Fairies; Mechanicals; and Fairy King Oberon, Queen Titania, and Puck). COURTESY SOUTHWEST SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

New Musical Stages True Story of Arizona DREAMer

Tony Valdovinos walked into a Marine Corps recruiting station in Phoenix on his 18th birthday to enlist, only to discover his parents hadn’t told him he was an undocumented immigrant. But he didn’t give up on serving the only country he had ever known—he did it in other powerful ways instead.

This is the true story behind Americano!, a timely new musical opening Jan. 29 in Phoenix.

Americano! is based on the life of Valdovinos, a graduate of Camelback High School in Phoenix who was brought from Mexico by his parents when he was two years old. Now 28, Valdovinos says the experience and process have been surreal.

“Imagine someone calling you out of the blue and then a year later you hear about 20 songs involving the most important and intimate details of your life? But this journey is worth it to get people to think more about what DREAMers and their families are going through. And it will also put a smile on their faces,” Valdovinos says. 

DREAMers’ are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. In 2012, the Obama Administration established a program called Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals to give these immigrants temporary relief from deportation. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of DACA in mid-2020.

Over four years in the making, Americano! is a collaboration between The Phoenix Theatre Company and Quixote Productions, owned by Scottsdale public relations executive Jason Rose. The musical is the Company’s latest contribution to the cannon of new American theater and is the heart of its 100th anniversary season.

Ken Davenport

The production announced Ken Davenport has joined the team as executive producer. He is a Tony Award-winning producer of several blockbusters including Altar BoyzGodspell,MacbethKinky Boots and Once on This Island.

“From the moment I heard that the story of Tony Valdovinos was going to be a musical, I wanted to be involved. Because it’s about the new American hero. And I’m thrilled to join a team of such passionate and unique voices and look forward to helping them tell this important and timely story to audiences in Phoenix, and hopefully, all over the world,” Davenport says.

Also central to the creative team is Michael Barnard, The Phoenix Theatre Company’s artistic director and co-author of Americano! Throughout his career Barnard has directed more than 600 shows at various theaters across the country.

“I believe Americano! has a chance to be the most emotionally resonant musical to ever come out of Phoenix. That’s why the creative team wanted to hire someone more experienced in the ways of Broadway to help get us there,” Barnard says.

The music was composed by Carrie Rodriguez, a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. Rodriguez has never before been engaged with a musical, perhaps a key reason for the novelty of the sound and lyrics.

“I was a little surprised to be approached about this work, but was intrigued and excited at the same time. I have a real passion for the subject matter and I hope people hear that when Americano! debuts,” Rodriguez says.

Her songs are being arranged with Sergio Mendoza, a native of the Arizona border town of Nogales. He is a member of the indie rock band Calexico and the leader of his own highly regarded band, Orkesta Mendoza.

The musical is co-written by Jonathan Rosenberg, a San Diego resident whose first musical, 33 1/3: House of Dreams, concluded a critically acclaimed record-breaking run there in August.


Jan. 29 – Feb. 23, 2020

The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit or

Run Raises Money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Walk. Run. Fundraise. for Phoenix Children’s Hospital patients on Oct. 5 raised $175,000 for patient care. Two thousand participants joined the family-friendly 3.1-mile walk/run, with proceeds benefiting the Hope Fund, which supports more than 60 of the programs and services funded solely or significantly through philanthropy.

The event began with festivities at First Avenue and Washington Street in downtown Phoenix, where participants could warm up to music provided by iHeartRadio, visit sponsor booths for free giveaways and join in multiple team photo opportunities. The Joint Chiropractic Kids’ Dash ended the morning, with all participating kids receiving a commemorative finisher’s medal.

It was a special moment for all when 16-year-old patient Porter Trythall took his first steps since being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 2018, leaving him unable to speak, swallow, move or smile. After extensive rehabilitation therapy at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Porter independently walked at the start and the finish line for patients like himself.

Racers had the opportunity to raise additional funds for Phoenix Children’s by creating a fundraising team or raising funds as individuals. Sponsors included RSM, The Joint Chiropractic, KNIX and Capilano Properties.


Canal Convergence Receives National Honor

Americans for the Arts today honored “Reflection Rising,” a Canal Convergence installation by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, among 50 outstanding public art projects created in 2018.

The recognition came through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled this morning at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Minneapolis. This is the 18th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public artworks.

“As an artist, I am driven by the way people interact with and experience my art,” says Shearn. “Working with Scottsdale Arts to present ‘Reflection Rising’ was a profoundly rewarding opportunity to bring art to the people, and I was humbled by the appreciation of the people I met in Scottsdale. It’s a blushing surprise to be honored by PAN in this way as well.”

Shearn and his Poetic Kinetics team from Los Angeles installed “Reflection Rising” as a temporary, site-specific artwork above the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront. “Reflection Rising” was the centerpiece of Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light in February 2018. The first phase of the artwork was installed in November 2017 with the second phase completing the project three months later. It remained on display through March 5, 2018.

After it was fully installed, “Reflection Rising” soared above the canal from Marshall Way Bridge to Soleri Bridge, near Scottsdale Road. Thousands of brightly-colored streamers — suspended by a lightweight, virtually invisible net — allowed the kinetic sculpture to move fluidly in the wind. The second phase included a large section of silvery streamers that rose up from the canal to envelop a section of the beer and wine garden at Soleri Plaza during Canal Convergence.

“Reflection Rising” is part of Shearn’s Skynet series — designed to evoke the movements of nature. The series began with “Liquid Shard” in 2016 in downtown Los Angeles, where the 15,000-square-foot piece made its surprise debut overnight. Shearn has since exhibited other large installations from the Skynet series across the world, including Germany and Russia.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns and communities we inhabit and visit,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed at and will be displayed throughout the Annual Convention. Two independent public art experts — artist Seitu Jones of Saint Paul, Minn., and Aaron Ott, curator of public art at Albirght Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N. Y. — discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions for the Year in Review. Their complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of all 50 projects, will be available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.

Shearn, who worked for three decades in the film industry as a creature-maker and visual effects supervisor, is chief creative officer for Poetic Kinetics, which designs, fabricates and implements a wide range of artworks that encourage audience participation. The studio has shown its work at Burning Man and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, as well as Canal Convergence. Canal Convergence is managed by Scottsdale Public Art, a branch of the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts.

Canal Convergence transitioned from a spring event to autumn in late 2018. It will return to the Scottsdale Waterfront this year from Nov. 8–17 with a new selection of interactive and light-based temporary art installations, innovative and educational programming, live music, food and more. Details about Canal Convergence 2019, including the selected artworks, will be released later this summer.

Canal Convergence

Nov. 8–17

Scottsdale Waterfront

For more information, visit

The Power of Music

Music is a universal language with a power to unite people in collaboration and in love. Once, a Tony Award-winning musical, tells the simple story of a guy, a girl and the music that brings them together. The actors, serving as the orchestra, play instruments live on stage and take the audience on an emotional journey. Once runs live at The Phoenix Theatre Company May 22 through June 16.

Once began as a music-filled movie in 2007 with songs from one of Ireland’s most beloved and prolific songwriters, Glen Hansard, and Czech singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova. Their song Falling Slowly won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Adapted for the stage in 2011, the Broadway production was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won eight of them, including Best Musical.

The musical closely mirrors the movie. Over the course of a week, Girl convinces Guy to believe in the power of his music and his love for the woman who inspired his songs. Together, they recruit a motley crew of street performers and scrape together enough money to record a demo album. Their friendship evolves into a love story — with a twist.

“At its core, Once is about connection,” says Pasha Yamotahari, The Phoenix Theatre Company’s associate producing director and director of Once. “Two strangers meet and through the music they create together, they explore these tender moments of vulnerability and courage. Through the medium of music, they discover an unexpected kind of love. It’s simply beautiful.”

The Phoenix Theatre Company production stars two familiar faces: Michelle Chin, last seen as Nina in the theater’s production of Airness, and Kyle Sorrell, seen in last year’s production of Million Dollar Quartet as Sam Phillips.


May 22 – June 16

The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

In celebration of this year’s 50th anniversary of NASA’s successful Apollo 11 mission, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West presents Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon. This exhibition shares the rich artistry of Calle’s work documenting epic moments in American history including Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, pioneers of the West, Major League Baseball World Series games and portraits of famous people including President John F. Kennedy, General Douglas MacArthur and the Beatles.

The exhibition, on view through Oct. 20, 2020, is among the first to commemorate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary this year. A quote from Calle in the book Celebrating Apollo 11, The Artwork of Paul Calle, written by his son Chris Calle and published in 2009, can sum up this show.

Paul Calle, Neil Armstrong Suiting Up, 1969, pen and ink; The Chris Calle Collection

“I have always likened the image of mountain man John Colter, his moccasin-clad foot first stepping on the newly fallen snow of the Yellowstone valley, to the moon boot of Neil Armstrong, stepping in the dust of the moon’s surface at the Sea of Tranquility …two worlds apart, yet each at the edge of a new frontier. …”

The exhibition presents the vast range of Calle’s artworks, his unique engagement with NASA and the U.S. Postal Service, and Calle’s position as a renowned sketch artist and realist painter.

The Artist, Paul Calle

This retrospective exhibition – the first-ever major showing of the artist’s work – traces the career of American artist Calle (1928-2010), who was best known for drawing and painting the historic American West featuring mountain men, fur traders and Native Americans, as well as NASA artwork and postage stamp designs including the iconic 1969 First Man on the Moon artwork and stamp.

While traveling in the American West for many years, Calle established friendships with Native Americans and observed some of their events and ceremonies. Early in his journeys, he witnessed a Hopi ceremonial dance, and he always remembered that moment, which shaped how he painted and depicted the Native American people throughout his entire career. Calle sought to honor their lives and culture through his artworks.

Calle was also an official NASA artist for many decades. In 1962, he was chosen as one of the original eight artists of the newly established NASA Art Program, with a mission to chronicle history and space exploration through the eyes of artists. Calle artistically covered pre-launch activities at Cape Canaveral, aircraft carriers picking up astronauts in the ocean, lift-offs and more across all NASA missions from Gemini to Apollo. His detailed paintings and powerful drawings became synonymous with the NASA program.

Calle was the only artist present on July 16, 1969, during the pre-launch activities of the successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon. That day he sketched various scenes including the crew’s breakfast, suiting up and the walk-out to the space craft – visual records of the historic day and these pre-flight activities. Several of these exclusive sketches will be included in the exhibition.

In addition to his work with NASA, Calle’s prolific career included numerous artworks of distinction created for renowned individuals and entities such as the U.S. Department of Interior Artists in the Parks program, the White House Historical Association, Schering Company, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Air Force. He also created works for Major League Baseball, as well as a variety of medical and sports journals and popular titles such as Ladies’ Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Post.

Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon
Through Oct. 11, 2020
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale
For more information, visit

Childhelp Wings to Honor Tiffany Quayle

On April 28, the Phoenix Wings Chapter of Childhelp will host its 13th Annual Childhelp Wings Fashion Show Luncheon. Co-chaired by Jennifer Archuleta and Alexis Earnhardt, the event at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia will feature live and silent auctions, and fashion trends on the runway presented by local celebrities, Wings members and their children and grandchildren. ABC 15’s Nick Ciletti will emcee, along with actress Laura Marano, best known for her role as Ally Dawson in the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally.

A highlight of the day will be the presentation of the Childhelp Heart of An Angel Award to Tiffany Quayle. This is the fourth year this award has been given. Previous honorees include Laurie and Bill Eckholm, Marilyn and Dan Quayle, and Ivy and Joey Ciolli.

Tiffany and her husband, Ben, are parents to three daughters, seven-and-a-half-year-old Evie, five-year-old Willa, and eight-month-old Tori. The family – including the girls, whether biking or in strollers – actively support Team Taylor in the Arcadia Family Fun Run, which raises money for SIDS research and will be held Sun., April 7. In addition, Tiffany has been involved in PANDA for 15 years.

She first learned about Childhelp from former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn – her in-laws and longtime supporters of the organization. Her first experience with Childhelp was at Drive the Dream, its signature fundraiser, when the gala affair was held in the big white tent at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Then she moved on to become part of the Phoenix Wings Chapter, whose fundraising efforts specifically support Childhelp programs in Arizona and the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona Dedicated to Linda Pope. Here, more than 600 abused and neglected children are served each month.

Participating in Wings benefits both the members and the children at the Advocacy Center, Tiffany explains. Founded in 1982 by Carol Hebets, who is referred to as the “Wings Founding Mother,” the Phoenix chapter celebrates the relationship between parents and children as they serve together. Throughout the year, various activities – such as creating holiday decorations for the Advocacy Center – are available for the generations to work together. The activities are fun and promote the value of serving others. For example, one all-chapter service project involved creating “Love Bags,” filling them with candy, toys and other trinkets. The bags were later distributed to children receiving Childhelp services.

“My in-laws are the reason I knew about Childhelp, but my own family experience makes me want to be involved. When my parents married, they made family their No. 1 priority,” she says. Her mother was always there for Tiffany and her three siblings to the point where they took her presence for granted. In addition, her parents were kind and took in anyone who needed a safe haven, whether it was a child, a relative, or a wounded or homeless animal. “Mom wanted to take care of everybody.”

When Tiffany chaired the Childhelp Wings Fashion Show Luncheon in 2016, her mother was battling cancer. She passed away shortly after that event. “Part of why I wanted to be involved in Childhelp was to honor my mother, to pay it forward for my mom.”

A significant contribution Tiffany has made to Wings is a sustainable pattern of leadership for the luncheon. When she was asked to be chair, she realized she probably didn’t have the experience necessary for the task. She asked her friend Addison Brown to co-chair the event with her. Then in 2017, she served in an advisory role as co-chair for Abby Traister (now Abby Leadon), the next chair. The pattern has carried over from year to year.

Recently Tiffany, who has been professionally involved in the technology sector throughout her career, has scaled back her work schedule. “I thought I would be more like my father than like my mother. I would work and be successful professionally. And I probably am more like my father. Now I want to be more like my mother. I want to ‘be there’ as my mom was there. Kids deserve to take that kind of unconditional love and support for granted. I’m always there for my girls – and always will be.”


Piaf! The Show Returns to Scottsdale

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents the internationally acclaimed Piaf! The Show on March 27. The show returns to the Valley after a first visit as part of the center’s 2016–17 Discovery Series exploring the arts and culture of France.

Starring vocalist Anne Carrere, Piaf! The Show celebrates the life and music of legendary French actress and singer Edith Piaf (1915–1963), one of the 20th century’s greatest performers.

In two 45-minute acts, the multi-media show narrates the rags-to-riches story of the Parisian singer’s career through her classic songs and never-before-seen photographs. Carrere and a quartet of musicians on piano, percussion, accordion and double bass take the audience on a journey through the streets of Paris during the time of “La Vie en rose.”

Conceived and directed by the Nice-based theatrical maverick Gil Marsalla, Piaf! The Show premiered in 2015 as a tribute to “The Little Sparrow of Montmartre” on the centennial of Piaf’s birthday. It has become a worldwide success, packing theaters and earning rave reviews, with Carrere hailed as “Edith Piaf’s legitimate musical heiress.”

Piaf! The Show

March 27

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale

For more information and tickets, visit

Face-to-Face With Mummies

The largest collection of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled is coming to Arizona Science Center. Premiering the evening of Feb. 9, with the Center’s Galaxy Gala, the exhibition will be open to the public Feb. 10 through Sept. 2.

“Mummies of the World: The Exhibition” features 40 real human and animal mummies and 85 rare artifacts from across the globe. This blockbuster exhibition, viewed by more than 1.8 million visitors across the world, is arriving in Phoenix straight from Budapest, Hungary. It provides a window into the lives of ancient people from every region of the world including Europe, South America and ancient Egypt, offering insights into past cultures and civilizations.

Egyptian Sarcophagus

The show will captivate guests with dramatic displays of the mummies and their personal stories, as well as multimedia stations that will take visitors on a 4,500-year journey to explore the mummies’ history, origins and how they were created.

“’Mummies of the World: The Exhibition’ has everything we look for in an exhibition of this scale – science, history, culture and intrigue,” says Chevy Humphrey, the Arizona Science Center Hazel A. Hare president and CEO. “I don’t know anyone who isn’t fascinated by mummies, and Phoenix will now have an opportunity to get face-to-face with these people from the past. I cannot wait to open the doors for visitors to experience the magic of mummies.”

Through modern science, “Mummies of the World: The Exhibition” demonstrates how mummification can take place through both natural and intentional practices. Included in the collection are the Vac Mummies, a mummified family from Hungary believed to have died from tuberculosis, preserved in a small church until the remains of 265 mummies were discovered by a bricklayer during repair work in 1994; Baron Von Holz, a German nobleman found tucked away in the family crypt of a 14th century castle wearing his best leather boots after perishing in the castle while seeking refuge from the Thirty Years’ War; Egyptian animal mummies including a cat, falcon, fish, dog and baby crocodile, many of which were deliberately preserved to accompany royals for eternity.

Also on display is MUMAB, the first authentic replication of the 2800 year old Egyptian mummification process, performed on a deceased Maryland man in 1994 using the same tools and methods as described on ancient Egyptian papyrus.

“Most people think mummies come from Egypt and are wrapped, but mummification has happened culturally throughout history as well as naturally, in various climates and circumstances across the globe,” says John Norman, IMG Exhibitions’ president. “This exhibition changes centuries-old perceptions about what the general public thinks about mummies, providing insight into lives and cultures of these ancient people. Inside every mummy is a story waiting to be told, and ‘Mummies of the World: The Exhibition’ is here to tell those stories.”

Arizona Science Center hosts this exclusive exhibition on the heels of the record-breaking attendance generated from “Pompeii: The Exhibition,” which drew more than 150,000 visitors before concluding its run at the Center in May 2018.

In addition to regular business hours, the Science Center will offer Mummies of the World: The Exhibition After Hours events giving guests evening opportunities to explore the exhibition.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition 

Feb. 10 – Sept. 2 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix

For more information, visit

Mountain Shadows Hosts the Fortoul Brothers

Mountain Shadows presents new works created specially for this exhibition by Gabriel and Isaac Fortoul, the Fortoul Brothers, whose art is influenced by their preoccupation with dreams, mystery and evocative symbols. “The Oasis Emerges,” curated by John Reyes, showcases a variety of charcoal and acrylic pieces never before seen.

The Fortoul Brothers’ paintings, murals, sculptures and installations are indebted to cubism with their bold lines, blocks of color and flattened perspectives. They also read like vibrant, wordless comics about relationships, emotions, spirituality and culture.

Their pieces are the product of philosophical meditation on the ultimate meaning of human existence and on how to live closer to nature and in touch with the elemental forces of the cosmos.

“From the land of Arizona, we absorbed the strength required to survive in an apparently harsh environment. In the desert we found a treasure of minute exotic life forms and in the community we found the support to follow our dream,” the brothers say.

The result is a combination of the ordinary with suggestions of the extraordinary in a single piece of work, leaving final interpretation open to debate but always touching the deepest emotional fibers of the viewer.

“Our goal with our artwork is to really show that our community is all from the ‘same.’ From the earth that we stand on to the food that we eat, we exist collectively, and once we realize that we break down barriers. We are very excited to show our work to a new group of people that might not be aware of what we do and how we aim to connect and provide harmony through a highly positive experience,” the brothers say.

The Oasis Emerges

Jan. 5 – Feb. 28

The Gallery at Mountain Shadows, 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley

For more information, visit

Brophy Fashion Show

The Brophy College Preparatory Mothers’ Guild hosted its annual fundraising luncheon at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn. The event, themed “Men for Others,” included Art in Fashion, a runway show presented by Neiman Marcus. In addition, more than 250 members of the Class of 2019 modeled fashions from Valley retailers and the Brophy Varsity Shop. The luncheon raised more than $1 million for the Brophy Financial Aid Fund. Joo Cantor and Pam Kolbe co-chaired the occasion.


Sarah LeFevre, Ginny Sweeney, Tinker Shannon, Monnie Calfee, Robin LeFevre and Ann Goldsworthy

Laura Barnes and Wendy Lentz

Cindy Good, Pam Kolbe and Patti Tucker

Brophy College Preparatory President Adria Renke, Principal Bob Ryan and Stacy Thomas

Seated: Connie Moore, Jackie McGuire and Lucy Gordon. Standing: Carol Brown and Shirley Michaels.

Fashions presented by Neiman Marcus on the runway

Fashions presented by Neiman Marcus on the runway

Ethan Bertenshaw and Sean Cooper

Van Scott and Anthony Manzur

Andrew Onyepunuka and Jaden Cons

Standing: Laura and Pat Barnes, Kathy and Art Rowland, Caroline and Tom Sullivan. Seated: Ava Chafee, Lulu Castro, Kathleen Chafee and Chris Chaffee

Jackson Underwood and Jack Sklar

Garrett Metzler and Eric Lin

Ryan Orr and Richie Hernandez

Tour for Hope

Valley residents will have access to go behind the doors and into some of the most beautiful and unique homes across the Phoenix Metropolitan area Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in support of the International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS.

Work of art at chef Gabe Bertaccini’s residence

Local chef Gabe Bertaccini and his ‘Chef’s Den’ will be one of highlights of eight luxurious homes. Known for his personalized culinary experiences, the walls inside his ‘Loft Living’ display artworks to complement his large galley-style gourmet kitchen and fourth-floor roof deck.

Other notable features during the self-guided tour will include a 1.5-acre villa boasting a timeless French rural flair that has been featured in several magazines, and also a contemporary glass retreat nestled against the head of Camelback Mountain with its own private hiking trailhead, a 3-acre estate and a 20-car garage.

The International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS was founded in 2004 by Arizona college students inspired by community focused health initiatives to combat the spread of HIV. With branches in the U.S. and in India, the IAPA provides community based HIV education services, support to individuals who are HIV positive, advocacy services and health development programs.

Participation in Tour for Hope – A Parade of Homes helps the International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS fulfill its mission to prevent the global spread of HIV through education and volunteerism.

For more information or purchase tickets, visit


Taliesin West Honors Photographer Pedro E. Guerrero

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation presents a rarely seen original photography collection from well-known architectural photographer, Pedro E. Guerrero, at Taliesin West from Oct. 18 through Nov. 14.

The collection is a work of 14 original, signed photographs taken by Guerrero at Taliesin West between 1940s and 1950s when he served as Frank Loyd Wright’s official photographer. The prints will be on display in situ, meaning within the places they were taken, at Wright’s winter home in Scottsdale. This year, the National Historic Landmark celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Wright and Guerrero. PHOTO BY KENEJI DOMOTO

“I’m delighted that Pedro’s work will be shown at Taliesin West, the place he really became a photographer back in 1939 when Wright hired him on the spot to document the work there. He was fresh out of art school and had never seen anything like it. He said he approached it as if it were sculpture and that seemed to please Frank Lloyd Wright,” says Dixie Guerrero, Guerrero’s widow.

Guerrero was one of the country’s most distinguished architectural photographers of his time, known best for his work with Wright, Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson. He was 22 in 1939 when he drove from his home in Mesa, Ariz., to a new architecture school housed in a low-slung complex of buildings to inquire about a job and show his portfolio to the head architect. That architect was Wright who took an amused look at his portfolio of photographs and hired him to document his work. Thus, began a 20-year friendship and the result produced some of the most powerful photographs ever taken of Wright and his work.

“Wright’s vision for Taliesin West was of a simple, but sophisticated winter camp for his family and the Taliesin Fellowship. It was both primitive and eloquent, made up of angles and patterns created by stone, wood, and canvas and brought to life by light and shadow,” says Margo Stipe, the foundation’s curator of collections. “Pedro Guerrero was here when both he and Taliesin West were very young and he said he found photographing the site both challenging and enchanting. At least some of that enchantment is clearly seen in these wonderful photographs that capture the rhythm and the rugged romanticism of these spaces and the landscape in the early years.”

2018 Pedro E. Guerrero Archive 5

In celebration of the showing, a lecture by Dr. Emily Bills will take place the night before the collection’s unveiling about the significance of Guerrero’s work on Oct. 17.

Notable Arizona photographer Andrew Pielage will also host “Photographing Wright,” a two-day photography seminar at Taliesin West on Oct. 26 – 28. Participants will learn the tools needed to best utilize a camera and apply creative approaches to composition, image framing and the challenges of light and shadow, including capturing sunrise and sunset.

“For me, Guerrero’s iconic, timeless images are where it all began. The pairing of Wright and Guerrero amplified Wright’s reach and captured his buildings in ways that are still emulated today,” says Pielage. “With Guerrero’s images, we can gain insight into how Wright wanted us to view these spaces and how we can best portray them.”

Guerrero Collection

Oct. 18 – Nov. 14

Lecture by Dr. Emily Bills • Oct. 17, 7 – 8 p.m.

Photographing Wright (photography seminar) • Oct. 26 – 28

Taliesin West, 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale

For more information/tickets, visit


Colorful Art Fills Scottsdale Fountains

Instead of water, the fountains in Scottsdale Civic Center Mall are now filled with art. Sun Lanterns by Eli Richard is an art installation featuring 23 solar-powered, multi-colored plexiglass and steel lanterns. In February, Richard installed the lanterns in the nonfunctioning fountains directly north of Robert Indiana’s Love, near the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The fountains were shut off to prevent water from further damaging the bridge that spans Drinkwater Boulevard. The city plans to renovate Civic Center Mall, but because construction will not start for more than a year, Scottsdale Public Art was asked to find a creative design solution for the inactive fountains during the redesign phase. The city allocated $30,000 of Community Arts Trust funds for the project.


Scottsdale Public Art then released an open call for project proposals and eventually selected Richard, an emerging artist based in Tempe, Ariz. Richard’s proposal included plans for solar-powered, multi-colored lanterns of varying sizes to be installed throughout the fountains at multiple elevations. The solar panels would absorb energy from the sun during the day and use it to illuminate the plexiglass lanterns at night.

Richard’s design was inspired by the quiet beauty of the desert, including the dramatic colors of the local landscape, from verdant vegetation to multi-hued sunsets. “The color was also meant to bring a lot of energy to the space,” says Richard.

Color is found not only in the lanterns themselves but also in the shadows they cast on the fountains during the day — as the sun shines through them — and at night, when they are illuminated by the solar lights within their structure. Triggered by solar sensors, the lanterns flicker on, one by one, around twilight each night and turn off each morning with the rising sun.

Because of the redesign plans for the Civic Center Mall, Sun Lanterns is not a permanent installation. It is expected to remain in place for 18–24 months. It will then be donated to the City of Scottsdale for future public display.

Sun Lanterns

Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale

For more info, visit

Cavalia Gallops Into Scottsdale

Cavalia brings its horses to the Valley for new performances of Odysseo starting Feb. 21 and continuing through March 4. Odysseo marries equestrian skills, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects. The production will be presented under its signature White Big Top near Red Mountain 202 at McClintock Drive in Scottsdale.

Odysseo features 70 horses of 12 different breeds – Appaloosa, Arabian, Canadian Horse, Holsteiner, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Percheron Hanoverian Cross, Quarter Horse, Selle Français, Thoroughbred, Spanish Purebred (P.R.E.) and Warlander. No less than 50 riders, acrobats, dancers and musicians perform with the four-legged stars.

The $30-million production has grown considerably in size and scope since its world premiere in 2011, without losing its soul. The stage itself is nearly twice its original size, enabling larger-scale and even more cutting-edge performances.


The new scenic space includes a 3-story-high mountain, recreating nature on stage. The vast space of freedom allows the horses and artists to display their intimate collaboration.

During the finale, a vertiginous virtual waterfall overhangs a lake. This was made possible by an underground drain system that releases 40,000 gallons of recycled water onto the stage, in which horses, riders and artists join to frolic.

Normand Latourelle founded Cavalia, a company that reimagines the equestrian and theatrical arts, in 2003. With its headquarters in Montreal, Cavalia is an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage and the largest Canadian-owned cultural enterprise. Its expertise in high technology, multimedia and special effects creates unique experiences. Its first show, Cavalia, has been seen by more than 4 million people across North America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia since its 2003 debut. Odysseo, the company’s second show, has toured to rave reviews and public acclaim since its 2011 premiere.

Cavalia Odysseo

Feb.  21 – April 2

Under the White Big Top in Scottsdale, raised near Red Mountain 202 at McClintock Drive, Scottsdale

For more information/tickets, visit or call 1-866-999-8111.


Artists Give Icons of the West a Contemporary Twist

Frida Kahlo viewing an artwork by Picasso, a horse working out with an exercise ball and the iconic road trip – with people and animals at the wheel – are portrayed in fanciful artworks in a new exhibition entitled “Western Edge: Humor and Playfulness in Contemporary Western Art” at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. The exhibition in on view through May 27.

Ryan Hale, Frida Views Picasso, acrylic on panel.

Presented in partnership with the Scottsdale Gallery Association, the juried exhibition features a selection of artworks by 11 emerging artists of the greater western region who are pushing the boundaries of contemporary art.

Seventeen artworks in diverse mediums carry on the tradition of art history, but also break or bend the rules in compelling ways to open the viewer’s mind to new possibilities and methods of seeing.

The artworks include paintings, a series of three bronze sculptures, a photograph, a mixed media collage and a mixed media sculpture. Phoenix-based artist and museum exhibition designer Bill Dambrova is guest curator of the exhibition.

Artists featured in the display include Jeffrey Berryman, Melissa M. Button, Carol Ruff Franza, Lisa M. Gordon, Ryan Hale, Stephen Morath, Andrea Peterson, Jerry Salinas, Connie Townsend, Zoe Marieh Urness and Sarah Webber.

The artworks, which are available for purchase, are on loan from Scottsdale Gallery Association members Altamira Gallery, Amery Bohling Fine Art Gallery, J Klein Gallery, Tilt Gallery and Wilde Meyer Gallery.

“Western Edge: Humor and Playfulness in Contemporary Western Art”

Through May 27

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Derek Earle Emergence Gallery), 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale

For more information, visit


Chrissy Metz to Speak at Florence Crittenton Luncheon

Florence Crittenton has announced that Chrissy Metz will be the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Teaming Up for Girls Luncheon on March 22 at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn. The event annually invites a speakers and honorees who relate to the young women they serve and their struggles.

Metz plays Kate, a woman struggling with her weight, eating habits and body image,  on the critically acclaimed hit NBC series This is Us. From Homestead, Fla.,  Metz is the middle child of five siblings. She moved to Japan as an infant and lived there for nine years before moving back to the U.S., speaking Japanese before she even spoke English. After being discovered in Gainesville, Fla., at a local talent event that she originally attended as a chaperone for her sister, she packed up and moved to Los Angeles to find her way into entertainment.

More information

Tracey and Larry Lytle at the Helm of Galaxy Gala MMXVIII

From shark attacks, gridiron glory and color-changing cocktails to the genius of Da Vinci, Arizona Science Center’s Galaxy Gala historically promises stimulating surprises – and fun – for guests. This year, the committee is set to raise the bar. Again. Think Vesuvius, 79 A.D. On Feb. 3, Galaxy Gala MMXVIII will feature A Night In Pompeii. The theme coincides with Pompeii The Exhibition, now on display at the Arizona Science Center. The center is one of a limited number of institutions around the country selected to host the exhibition, which is on loan from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples in Italy.

Terry and Larry Lytle at Teen Lifeline’s Connections of Hope gala

Prolific Valley nonprofit supporters Tracey and Larry Lytle are chairing the occasion, with Susie Wesley and McKenna Wesley as their vice chairs.

In Tracey’s words, she and Larry are “boots on the ground” when it comes to supporting Valley nonprofits. Larry has been engaged in philanthropy since he was just out of college, when he started his first nonprofit organization in Indianapolis. A financial advisor, he is certified as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy and speaks to individuals and groups on how to make a difference through their giving. Tracey has been rolling up her sleeves to chair events, create centerpieces and bring new faces into the philanthropic fold for many years.

They put their efforts where their hearts lie: health and human services and culture. Larry has served on several Valley nonprofit boards, among them Florence Crittenton, Banner Health Foundation and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. The couple chaired Florence Crittenton’s Teaming Up for Girls Luncheon in 2014, and in her hands-on fashion, Tracey made all of the 80-some centerpieces. Last year she made the colorful butterfly-bedecked centerpieces for Desert Botanical Garden’s Dinner on the Desert. They are members of 5 Arts Circle, and lend support to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and House of Refuge in Mesa.


Centerpieces for Desert Botanical Garden’s 2017 Dinner on the Desert                PHOTO COURTESY DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Arizona Science Center has been part of their blended family of three sons and one daughter since they married seven years ago, and they are excited about the special opportunity for gala attendees to walk through the Pompeii exhibition, a collection of more than 200 artifacts. Larry points out that amid the selection are beautifully artistic pieces of glass and pottery in perfect condition. And there’s more: wall-sized frescoes, mosaics, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, statues, coins and body casts of adults and children.

Since there are limited artifacts at Pompeii in Italy because they are dispersed in museums, “you’d have to travel to several different collections around the world to see something of this quality,” he says.

After guests enjoy their one-on-one time with the exhibition, they can expect some fun, Tracey says.  A raffle will be held, but there will be no silent auction and no live auction. Tables will be invited to participate in the Fund-A-Bus Initiative, which will provide Arizona’s low-income elementary schools with free round-trip transportation and general admission to visit Arizona Science Center on a field trip. Each school will also receive a professional development workshop for two teachers. A DJ will keep things lively on the dance floor before, during and after dinner, and guests will enjoy the Pompeii night sky in the Dorrance Planetarium.

“The best thing we can do for any charity is to bring new people to the table,” Tracey says.

The Lytles plan not only to bring new people to the table but also to keep them there.

Galaxy Gala
Arizona Science Center
Feb. 3, 6 p.m.
For more information, click here

Pompeii The Exhibition
Arizona Science Center
Through May 28, 2018
For more information, click here


White Christmas Décor

The elegant centerpieces and décor at White Christmas, the gala to benefit Ryan House, were incorrectly attributed to White House Design Studio. Jennifer Grant, who co-chaired the evening with Karrie Pierson, designed and contributed all of the décor through her company, Petals.


9th Annual PhotoBid Exhibition and Auction

Phoenix Art Museum hosted the ninth annual INFOCUS PhotoBid Gala Art Auction on Nov. 16. The live auction and fundraising event benefits exhibitions and educational programming at the museum. Sponsored by INFOCUS, the museum’s photography support group, the auction invited collectors to bid on signed, limited-edition photographic prints donated by photographers from Arizona and the United Sates, as well as a selection of photography books. The featured works were on display from Oct. 21 to Nov. 15 prior to the event.

The photographic works were selected by Rebecca Senf, Ph.D., the Norton Family Curator of Photography at the museum and the chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson. Featured artists included Kōzō Miyoshi, Hiroshi Watanabe, Kate Breakey and Mark Klett.

As he has each year, Richard Laugharn, owner of Fine Art Framing, donated the framing for auction pieces.


INFOCUS board members Paul Heim and Jeff Brooke

PhotoBid artists Rita Maas and Renata Aller

PhotoBid artist and INFOCUS board member William Fuller with Mary Johnson and Karen Hodges

Photographer and collector Susan Berger, PhotoBid artists Rita Maas and Christopher Colville, with photographer Aaron Rothman

Scottsdale Fashion Square Hosts An Evening of Luxury

Scottsdale Fashion Square hosted An Evening of Luxury in the Neiman Marcus wing Sept. 29 to support the fight against ovarian cancer. The exclusive cocktail reception and shopping event featured culinary selections by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alex Stratta of Match Restaurant & Cocktails and signature cocktails by Rattle & Rum Cocktail CateringThe Ferrari Band provided live entertainment throughout the evening.

Model wearing Salvatore Ferragamo

Participating retailers included Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Escada, CH Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo and Salvatore Ferragamo. A percentage of the evening’s sales from participating retailers was donated to Colleen’s Dream Foundation to support research in early ovarian cancer detection.

During the event, Colleen’s Dream Foundation co-founders Nicole and Billy Cundiff presented local research establishment Translational Genomics Research Institute with a $100,000 check for their ongoing research in ovarian cancer treatments.

Colleen’s Dream Foundation is a qualified nonprofit organization dedicated to funding investigational scientific research with the primary goal of developing an accurate early detection test for ovarian cancer. Currently, no such test exists, making ovarian cancer the deadliest of all gynecological cancers.

Since its launch in 2012, Colleen’s Dream Foundation has garnered unfathomable support and has quickly become the largest privately funded ovarian cancer-specific nonprofit in the state of Arizona.



The Drury sisters: Danielle Kamm, Billie Fratt, Nicole Cundiff and Michelle Batschelet; 
Veronique James and Dustin Gaskey 

Models from Ford/Robert Black Agency; Craft drinks created by Rattle & Rum Cocktail Catering

T.J. Isaacs, Dr. Jessica Lang and Dr. Will Hendricks, TGen with Colleen’s Dream Foundation’s co-founders Nicole and Billy Cundiff 


‘Memories of October and November’

Memories of October and November, an exhibit of two- and three-dimensional art, will open Oct. 6 on First Friday at the Herberger Theater Center. The public is invited to the free opening reception, where they will meet the artists, and enjoy music and a no-host bar in Bob’s Spot Lounge. The reception is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Guest curated by Hazel Stone and featuring 22 Arizona artists, the work in this exhibit represents meaningful, authentic and creative recollections about the months of October and November.

The artwork is on display and available for purchase through Nov. 27. A portion of each sale benefits the Herberger Theater Center’s Youth Outreach Programs. Sponsored by Billie Jo and Judd Herberger, the Herberger Theater Gallery is a self-funded exhibition program that promotes contemporary art by Arizona artists.





Freedom by Nicole McCaigue

Memories of October and November

Oct. 6 – Nov. 27

Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix

For more information, visit


Ballet Arizona Welcome Party

More than 75 Corps de Ballet and Prima Circle donors enjoyed a refreshing happy hour at Ballet Arizona’s studio location Sept. 12 to help kick off the 2017-2018 season. Guests mingled with dancers and artistic staff while enjoying light appetizers catered by Fabulous Foods. Beverages were partially donated by Phoenix Ale Brewery.

The evening also included a brief interview with Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona artistic director. He shared how he spent his summer traveling around the world from New York City to Lisbon. He also gave a brief preview of the season. Donors were able to learn more about the some of the dancers. Returning dancer Connor Cohen will be completing his college degree in a few months, and new dancer Aubrey Kazimi wishes to be a child life specialist in the future.

Corps de Ballet and Prima Circle are Ballet Arizona’s giving Circles. Corps de Ballet membership begins at $50 and Prima Circle memberships begin at $1,500.


Giselle Alexander, Derek Kaczmanek, and Kay and Ed Nadel

Dancer Annier Navarro and Richard Monast

Dancer Ethan Price; Joseph Nusairat; Kaelyn Magee, dancer; and Eric Pittman

Dancer Annier Navarro, Thad Leininger and Paula Nadell

Dana Manners; Gilat Ben-Dor; Jessica Phillips, dancer; and Jim Smith

Mitzi and Bob Olivere


Save the Family Receives 2 Grants Totaling $200K

Save the Family Foundation has received two grants totaling $200,000 to support its mission to help homeless families.

A $50,000 grant from the BHHS Legacy Foundation will fund a new Save the Family program to help homeless families transition into stable and permanent housing and address physical and mental health needs by helping individuals navigate the lengthy Social Security Administration disability application process.

In collaboration with Experience Matters, Save the Family will design a sustainable volunteer-driven model for the Helping Homeless Families SOAR project “that has tremendous potential to be replicated locally and nationally,” says Jacki Taylor, Save the Family CEO.

Save the Family has hired Tom McLaughlin from the Experience Matters Encore Fellows Program to manage Helping Homeless Families SOAR and guide development and implementation of the business model alongside Nicky Stevens, Save the Family chief programs officer.

Experience Matters matches experienced professionals with the diverse needs of nonprofit organizations. McLaughlin has more than 40 years’ senior-level experience in strategic planning and management in public and private-sector organizations.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has awarded a $150,000 grant to Save the Family Foundation to assist 100 additional homeless families with housing and services to help alleviate the regional backlog of families waiting in shelters to access services. The program helps homeless families quickly stabilize by moving them from shelters or emergency situations into housing, and then providing wraparound supportive services.

Taylor says the grant will be used for the organization’s Rapid Re-Housing program, a model that has successfully worked to reduce family homelessness in the Valley community and across the country. Through Rapid Re-Housing, Save the Family provides homeless families with help locating an affordable apartment in the community and provides assistance with move-in fees, utility set-ups and rental stipends that are stepped-down over time as the family increases their ability to pay for their own housing.


Franco Brothers Find Inspiration in Phoenix

Creativity runs in the Franco family. James Franco, primarily known as a television and film actor, has also found success as a writer, visual artist, director and producer. Tom Franco, full-time sculptor and community builder, founded the nonprofit organization Firehouse Art Collective, which provides affordable spaces where artists can live, work and collaborate.

The Franco brothers frequently make work together, but none of their projects have been as unique and ambitious as Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco, an exhibition consisting of nine large carved and painted ceramic sewer pipes, which measure 7.5 feet tall and weight nearly 750 pounds each. The show opens on June 17 and runs through September 23 at the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center in downtown Tempe.

“From a rabbit furiously jumping rope to James Dean behind the wheel of his infamous Porsche 550, the Francos totally embraced the cylinder as their canvas, creating narratives and immersive perspectives,” says Garth Johnson, ASU Art Museum curator.

To create the artwork, the Francos, along with members of the Firehouse Art Collective, paid frequent visits to Mission Clay Products, a Phoenix-based factory that produces the pipes, which are more durable and sustainable than plastic.

Under the direction of owner Bryan Vansell, Mission Clay Products has worked with ceramic artists for more than three decades as part of their Arts and Industry program, which allows artists to engage with the industrial ceramic fabrication process. Since its inception in 1979 the program has hosted a variety of artists including Don Reitz and Jun Kaneko.

Tom Franco, sculptor, and Bryan Vansell, owner of Mission Clay Products. PHOTO BY ALEX DIANA

Tom Franco credits Vansell and the staff of Mission Clay Products for inspiring him to work outside of his comfort zone. “There were so many firsts for me with the medium of clay — the size of the sculptures, DIY working conditions, immersion in process,” says Tom Franco. “I’ve completely fallen into an obsession with the cylindrical form; it’s like finding a primal shape that we can’t live without.”

Johnson sees a connection between ASU’s interdisciplinary mission and the Franco brothers’ collaboration. “To make this project happen, Tom and James had to adjust their working process to fit into the factory’s rhythms and equipment,” says Johnson. “The learning curve with any ceramic project can be steep, but their countless hours of carving and painting resulted in the nine finished pipes.”

The Francos strongly believe in community building and public art. Because the pipes are incredibly durable and contain narrative elements to help viewers interact with them, the brothers envision them as great public sculptures.

Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco

June 17 – Sept. 23

ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, 699 S. Mill Ave., Suite 108, Tempe

For more information, visit

Nature Knows Best

From the tiny hooks on a burdock burr plant that inspired the creation of hook and loop fasteners by Velcro Companies, to the remarkable aerodynamic body of the kingfisher bird that helped improve Japan’s 200 mile-per-hour bullet train, nature’s ingenuity has inspired scientists, engineers and artists throughout time.

Biomimicry seeks to emulate nature to create sustainable solutions to human problems. Today, biomimicry is used by professionals such as scientists, engineers, architects, designers and business people to create new and improved products, manufacturing processes and design standards. The Arizona State University Biomimicry Center currently offers two graduate-level programs online, with additional on-campus programs in development.

Alan Bur Johnson, Progeny

Genius designs found in nature and some new ideas they have inspired are on display at The Gallery at TCA‘s new exhibition “Biomimicry: nature inspired design,” May 19 through Aug. 26. The show includes works from Arizona artists Matt Baral, Jose Benavides, Alexandra Bowers, Alan Burr Johnson, Christine Cassano, Halldor Hjalmarson, Nissa Kubly, Christine Lee, Emily Longbrake and Damon McIntyre.

The Gallery at TCA is collaborating with a variety of organizations such as the Velcro Companies and Arizona State University departments including Science is Fun, the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science, the Biomimicry Center, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Natural History Collections at the School of Life Sciences.

In conjunction with the exhibition The Gallery at TCA will host events for all ages including hands-on family workshops on Saturdays, a biomimicry challenge with three artists working on biomimicry projects, a think-tank Beehive for teens, Friday night maker nights and a lecture with nationally recognized expert Dr. Dayna Baumeister, co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8, that uses the practice of biomimicry to help innovators find inspired design solutions.

Biomimicry: nature inspired design

May 19 – Aug. 26

The Gallery at TCA
Located within Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

For a complete listing of events, visit

Arizona Community Foundation Funds Camp Scholarship

The Summer Youth Program Fund, a component of the Arizona Community Foundation, has awarded a grant to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The grant will fund the museum’s Summer Camp Scholarship program, providing a week of camp experiences to more than 25 underserved children in the community.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix offers eight weeks of summer camp experiences June 5 through July 28. Four themed weeks are offered in June, which are repeated in july. This year’s themes include Pawsome Pets, Little Authors, Culinary Kids and Moonwalkers. This is the third year the museum is offering a summer camp program. Each week of camp holds 40 campers. Currently the first week of camp, June 5 through June 9, is sold out.

Summer camps at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix have a goal to offer unique opportunities for children to take risks, grow outside of their comfort zone, improve self-confidence, independence and self-esteem, and practice social skills.

Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide philanthropic entity supported by thousands of Arizonans. Last year, ACF and its affiliates awarded more than $40 million in grants and scholarships, funding projects of some 3,000 nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies.



Phoenix Art Museum Showcases Minimalist Gowns by Yeohlee

Phoenix Art Museum presents Yeohlee | Serra, an exhibition that examines two bodies of work, fashion design by Yeohlee Teng and prints by Richard Serra that emerged 30 years ago.

From March 16 through May 29, a selection of quietly inventive and minimalist black and ivory dresses by Yeohlee will be juxtaposed with monumental prints of dense blackness on a white background by Serra. The exhibition explores the shared concerns that led the two to create, independently and within their separate disciplines, objects of striking visual affinity.

“The close relationship between these evening gowns, cut from a supple, heavy ivory satin jacquard with a black border (1991 to 1993), and the monumental drawings and prints that Serra had created eight years earlier, has been noted before. But the two bodies of work have never been presented together before now,” says Dennita Sewell, The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design at Phoenix Art Museum. “This exploration is only possible because Phoenix Art Museum has these notable silk-screen prints by Serra in its permanent collection, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art has generously loaned designs by Yeohlee from its collection.”

Yeohlee’s gown series emerged onto the 1991 fashion scene after her work had been widely viewed in Intimate Architecture: Contemporary Clothing Design, a seminal exhibition at MIT Museum. Insiders understood that, for this young designer, fashion design was a larger project, an investigation into volume, form and fabric, as well as ergonomics, movement and style. The challenge of maximizing the use of an entire seven meters of fabric drove the design of the three dresses named Byron, Keats and Shelley. Their shapes and designs were informed by the fabric, a rich heavy ivory silk jacquard with a black border on one side of the fabric. The width of the fabric and border determined the rest. The magic came from the imaginative use of cut and an understanding of the potential of form within the structure of the fabric.

“The awareness of form, volume, material, the magic of numbers and geometry, they are always present in my work,” says Yeohlee. The designer continues to pose design puzzles from her atelier in New York City, which she founded in 1981. Acclaimed for a spare vision that delights in experimenting with the essentials of form, she is praised for clothes that are simple, functional and timeless.

Serra has written of his screen prints: “I invent methods about which I know nothing, to utilize the intent of experience so that it becomes known to me, to then challenge the authority of that experience and thereby challenge myself.”


(left) Yeohlee Teng, Byron dress, silk,
(right) Yeohlee Teng, Shelley dress, silk, Fall/Winter 1993-1994.


(left) Yeohlee Teng, silk cape (shown with evening gown)
(right) Yeohlee Teng, silk cape (shown with evening gown), Fall/Winter 1992–1993.

PHOTOS: Mark Peterman

Yeohlee | Serra

March 16 – May 29

Phoenix Art Museum, Ellman Fashion Design Gallery1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information/tickets, visit


Fast Pitch Raises $100K for Valley Nonprofits

Social Venture Partners Arizona dares to ask: “How can you change the world in three minutes?” That’s the question competitors at the seventh annual Fast Pitch stepped up to answer on March 28.

SVPAZ shone a spotlight on philanthropy at the occasion, attracting a record crowd of 720. At the event, social entrepreneurs competed in front of a live audience with just a stage and their stories, shared in 180 seconds or less.

The evening at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts showcased nine innovators: seven nonprofit leaders, one ASU student and a for-profit entrepreneur with a social mission, each competing for cash awards and grants. Community leaders, business executives and philanthropists donated to the cause to invest in impactful Valley ventures. SVPAZ awarded more than $60,000 while audience members donated an additional $15,000 after hearing the inspired pitches.

One memorable moment came when the Kiita Foundation gave an on-the-spot award of $2,500 to Skate After School, after giving $7,500 to Northbridge College Success Program.

The live event is a culmination of an eight-week program in which 25 innovators received coaching and technical expertise from business and philanthropic leaders to help hone their message and build a foundation for future success. The finalists each had three minutes to pitch a panel of judges.

Labor’s Community Service Agency and Stephen Sparks won the $25,000 top prize after pitching a project to provide reliable transportation for working-poor families. Kelsey Pinckney, program coordinator at Read Better Be Better, received the $10,000 Judges’ Choice Award. The organization seeks to improve third-graders’ reading ability. Pinckney also received the Jaburg Wilk Making Tomorrow Better Today Award of $5,000.

The S. Rex and Joan T. Lewis Foundation offered a $10,000 donation match the day of the event. Any of the 23 Fast Pitch innovators received dollar-for-dollar matching up to a $10,000 combined total. Seed Spot offers additional training, valued at $15,000, to any of the 25 finalists and semi-finalists, bringing the total contribution to more than $100,000.


New Pathways for Youth Holds Annual Breakfast

New Pathways for Youth supporters met Feb. 28 at Phoenix Art Museum for the organization’s annual fundraising breakfast. More than 500 community leaders attended, hearing stories of transformation for the program’s youth participants. The theme for the day was #ItBeginsWithMe.

Ignacio Muniz was one of the youth sharing his story of how mentoring helped move the needle in his life. Muniz is a senior at Metro Tech High School, and he announced that he has received a full scholarship to Notre Dame University. His announcement drew a standing ovation from the audience.

New Pathways for Youth empowers youth to fulfill their potential through mentoring and life-skill development. The breakfast raised more than $300,000 to support its mentoring programs for at-risk youth.


Angela Hughey, One Community, with Tammy McLeod, APS

Bill and Linda Langer with Lauren Frank, NPFY board member

Hannah Rakestraw and Theresa Niemeyer, Intel

Flinn Foundation Awards $100K to Arizona Center for Nature Conservancy

The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation has received a $100,000 grant from the Flinn Foundation. The funds will support a project to increase awareness of the South Mountain Environmental Education Center and promote its offerings. The ACNC operates Phoenix Zoo as well as the South Mountain Environmental Education Center. Its mission is to advance the stewardship and conservation of animals and their habitats while providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.

In February 2016, ACNC entered a five-year agreement with the City of Phoenix to operate SMEEC, located in South Mountain Park, one of the largest municipal preserves in the country.

“Operating SMEEC reinforces our commitment to conservation education in our community and is aligned well with our institutional mission,” says Bert Castro, president and CEO of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation.

© Copyright John Qoyawayma. All Rights Reserved

SMEEC promotes science-education opportunities in a fun environment.

“Over the year, our programming at SMEEC reached guests from around the world, including students from neighboring schools providing much-needed science learning opportunities in a fun and engaging setting. While we are encouraged by the reception we’ve received by the community, we envision a broadened scope that will reach expanded audiences and highlight our role as a conservation organization.”

“The Flinn Foundation has an abiding interest in a thriving arts-and-culture sector in our state, and the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation’s strategic initiatives to develop its role in the community are exciting,” says Jack B. Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundaiton. “This project at SMEEC holds promise to reach new and diverse patrons while further strengthening ACNC’s financial position.”

A marketing campaign is underway to boost recognition of the center through online, print and outdoor advertising, as well as enhanced signage within the park area. Local outreach efforts and open houses are also planned to connect with businesses, including Realtors, event planners and concierges, to showcase the SMEEC as a convenient and valuable venue space in which to hold meetings and events. Technology needs have been identified and will be addressed along with enhanced furnishings.

A public event will be held at SMEEC on Sat., Feb. 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its opening. Animal ambassadors, guided hikes, activities and more will be available for the public to enjoy as they explore the center and park.

Thunderbirds Provide $75K to Help Homeless Families

In an effort to address the backlog of homeless families in need of housing and services, Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a $75,000 grant to Save the Family, a Mesa-based nonprofit. The funds will support the organization’s Homeless Families Intervention Project and be directed toward case coordination and programs for children including drop-in childcare, Little KidsWorks and Youth Enrichment and Achievement.

Thunderbirds Charities, a nonprofit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, raised more than $9.3 million from the 2016 tournament to benefit Arizona charities.

“We are deeply grateful for this incredibly generous support form Thunderbirds Charities,” says Jacki Taylor, Save the Family CEO. “This funding will make a big difference in achieving our goal to serve more than 650 families this year, including over 1,200 children.”

Despite a significant loss of federal funding over the past four years, Save the Family has been able to increase the number of families served by more than 30 percent. Taylor credits community-focused organizations such as Thunderbirds Charities with the increase.


Jewish Federation Presents Medal of Honor at Awards Brunch

More than 150 guests attended the Dec. 11 Donor Appreciation and Awards Brunch hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix in the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus Social Hall. The organization presented its highest award, the Medal of Honor, to Joel Kramer.

Longtime friend and business partner Leonard Miller presented the award. A Phoenix Suns player from 1978 to 1983, Kramer is the first Medal of Honor recipient to be a former professional athlete. While accepting the honor, Kramer shared how Miller and Bob Gottschalk encouraged increased involvement in the Jewish community, first with the Valley of the Sun JCC and later with the Federation. Kramer has been board chair of both the Federation and the Valley of the Sun JCC and served in leadership roles with numerous other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, the Federation presented the 2016 Belle Latchman Award to Or Tzion’s Project Isaiah, collecting food and raising money for Jewish Free Loan to help families in needs. Lily Behboodi, vice chair of Federation NowGen, received the Lee Amanda Young Leadership Award for her service to the Federation and to the community.

Outgoing leadership were also honored: Steven Schwarz, outgoing board chairman; David Weiner, outgoing campaign chairman; Esther and Don Schon, MD, outgoing major gifts chairs; Julee Landau Shahon, outgoing Women’s Philanthropy chairwoman; and Sally Oscherwitz, outgoing Women’s Philanthropy campaign chairwoman.

American-born IDF veteran Izzy Ezagui rounded out the inspirational morning, sharing his story of how he lost his arm at age 18 as he and his special forces unit were patrolling the Gaza border in 2008.



Valley Leadership Announces Man & Woman of the Year

Valley Leadership has named David Tierney and Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick as its 68th Man & Woman of the Year. The pair will be honored for their long-term contributions and commitment to the community at the Annual Man & Woman of the Year awards luncheon March 30, 2017.

Tierney and Harper-Marinick join a prestigious list of past recipients. U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater was honored as the inaugural Man of the Year, and most recently Dr. Michael Crow and Elva Coor were recognized.

Tierney has been a partner in the Phoenix firm of Sacks Tierney P.A. since 1974, practicing primarily in Commercial Construction Law. Before moving to Arizona in 1969, Tierney was active in civil rights issues. In 1962, he made trips to Mississippi in the height of civil rights violence to help with voter registration, visiting churches that distributed information about related issues. After completing Harvard Law School in 1965, he joined the Peace Corps, where he served as assistant to the city manager in Barguisimeto, Venezuela. He later became regional director for the Peace Corps in Venezuela, before moving to Phoenix.

Tierney serves on more than two dozen community boards and organizations, and has created committees, coalitions and nonprofits that serve the disenfranchised and less fortunate. He was a member of the inaugural Valley Leadership Institute, Class 1, and continues to actively support the organization’s mission by serving on committees and presenting at program days.

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick is the chancellor of the Maricopa Community College District, one of the largest community college systems in the nation. She is the first woman and the first Hispanic to be appointed as chancellor of MCCD. In this capacity, Chancellor Harper-Marinick oversees operations for the MCCD system, which serves 200,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges, two skills centers and several satellite campuses.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who co-chaired the MCCD chancellor’s search committee, said that Dr. Harper-Marinick “excelled among the candidates interviewed and identified as a national leader in terms of understanding the unique and complex education landscape in Arizona, and the need for innovation and collaboration. Her commitment to strengthening the quality of education in Arizona and keen insights on major issues make her perfectly poised to propel Maricopa Community Colleges to the next level.”


Billy Elliot Brings His Ballet Shoes To Phoenix Theatre

The winner of 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Billy Elliot is an inspiring celebration of a motherless boy who trades in his boxing gloves for ballet shoes. The show, based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot, features timeless music is by Elton John and high-level dance.

The story of Billy Elliot’s personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the miners’ strike (1984–1985) in County Durham, in northeastern England. Lee Hall, who wrote the film’s screenplay, was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin‘s 1935 novel about a miners’ strike, The Stars Look Down.

Billy Elliot opens Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 24, 2016.




Billy Elliot

Nov. 16 – Dec. 24, 2016
Phoenix Theatre

For more information, visit

Feeding Matters Hosts 4th Annual Luncheon

The 975 guests at the fourth annual Feeding Matters community luncheon Sept. 28 raised more than $265,000. The funds will be used to support the organization’s mission of creating a world in which children with pediatric feeding disorders will thrive.

The free event raises awareness about pediatric feeding disorders and the critical work of Feeding Matters through firsthand stories from individuals and families served. Amanda and Darin Proszek shared how Feeding Matters is supporting their family as their son Noah, age 2, struggles with pediatric feeding disorder. Ed Knight, JD, explained how his feeding disorder has affected his life, both personally and professionally.

Additional speakers for the luncheon included co-chairs Judy and Bill Schubert, Representative Heather Carter, CEO Chris Linn and founder Sharon Goldwater.

Jaburg Wilk was the presenting sponsor. Generous donors made it possible to offer a $100,000 matching gift at the event from Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance, Shannon and Bob Goldwater, The Ingebritson Family Foundation, Linda and Bill Langer, and Judy and Bill Schubert.


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Evan Van Wagenen and Sherry Milia

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Co-chair Judy Schubert, Trisha Stuart and Linda Langer

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Sentari Minor, Tiffany House and Craig Willis

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Lisa Barnes, Philip Calihan and Robyn Calihan

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Lara Cole, Laurel Pendle and Alison McGowan

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Representative Heather Carter

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ABC 15’s Fay Fredricks

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Ed Knight

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Amanda and Darin Proszek

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Feeding Matters CEO Chris Linn and Joan Lowell

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Brigid Ragland, Gerda Weissmann Klein and Shannon Goldwater, Feeding Matters founder

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Bob, Megan and Shannon Goldwater 

Phoenix Symphony Golf Tournament a ‘Score’ for the Entire Community

When golfers tee off at Biltmore Golf Club at 8 a.m., Nov. 7, they will strike a chord that will resonate throughout the Valley for months and years to come. The first-ever Symphony Score Golf Tournament will benefit The Phoenix Symphony’s Education and Wellness programs.

In this one-of-a-kind event with a clever name, amateur and pro golfers will compete against the Symphony’s own musicians for musically themed prizes. “We want to infuse the tournament with a little more fun,” says Jim Ward, Phoenix Symphony president and CEO. “Many of our musicians are very good golfers,” he adds. “The question is: ‘Do you have what it takes to compete with them?’”

Though Ward isn’t willing to divulge many of the surprises throughout the 18-hole tournament, he does offer a teaser: In addition to standard golf-tournament fun, along the way, he says, golfers may encounter some music.

While the day promises enjoyable golf and plenty of entertainment, an even more important reason to sign up is to benefit the community. Ward points to the innovative programs that distinguish The Phoenix Symphony from any other American orchestra.

One of these programs is the Mind Over Music initiative that trains teachers to integrate music into STEM (science, technology, engineering math) concepts. It is the first symphony program of its kind in the nation. With ASU Preparatory Academy, the Symphony seeks to develop a model that can be replicated in schools across the state. Results will be measured by an independent evaluator.

Another unique program is One Nation, a partnership between The Phoenix Symphony and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Symphony musicians provide private and group music lessons to students during the school day and after school to prepare them for public performance.

The Symphony also partners with the community through its health and wellness programs, promoting physical, mental and social wellness through the healing power of music. These programs reach out to facilities that serve the homeless as well as to hospitals. In a collaboration with the College of Health Solutions Research at Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation, ASU Herberger Institute of Music and Music Therapy Clinic and Huger Mercy Living Center, which is part of Dignity Health and Barrow Neurological Institute, the Music and Alzheimer’s Memory Research Initiative evaluates the impact of music on individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.


A Tribute to Legendary Singer Edith Piaf

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will present the internationally acclaimed Piaf! The Show on Sat., Oct. 22, as part of its 2016–17 Discovery Series exploring the arts and culture of France. Starring vocalist Anne Carrère, Piaf! The Show celebrates the life and music of French actress and singer Edith Piaf (1915–1963), one of the 20th century’s greatest performers.

In two 45-minute acts, the multi-media show narrates the rags-to-riches story of the Parisian singer’s career through her classic songs and never-before-seen photographs. Carrère and a quartet of musicians on piano, percussion, accordion and double bass take the audience on a journey through the streets of Paris during the time of “La Vie en rose.”


Anne Carrère in Piaf! The Show.   PHOTO BY G. MARSALLA

Conceived and directed by the Nice-based Gil Marsalla, Piaf! The Show premiered in 2015 as a tribute to “The Little Sparrow of Montmartre” on the centennial of Piaf’s birthday. It has become a worldwide success, packing theaters and earning rave reviews, with Carrère hailed as “Edith Piaf’s legitimate musical heiress.” Piaf! The Show’s current global tour also includes a special presentation at Carnegie Hall in January on the 60th anniversary of Piaf’s final performance at that famous venue.

“Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has a 40-year history of welcoming artists from around the world,” remarks Ally Haynes-Hamblen, director. “Anne Carrère is a rising star on the international stage, and we’re thrilled to present her Arizona debut as part of our Discovery Series.”

Spanning many different artistic disciplines, the Center’s Discovery Series offers an in-depth exploration of French culture throughout the 2016–17 season, including live performances, films and education programs.

Highlights include a Nov. 29 solo concert by French pianist Helene Grimaud; American pianist Jeffrey Siegel performing music by French composers on Feb. 28; performances by L.A.-based DIAVOLO: Architecture in Motion, led by French-born Artistic Director Jacques Heim, on March 16 and 17; an onstage cooking demonstration with world-famous French chef Jacques Pépin and Claudine Pépin on March 25; and OrigiNation: A Festival of Native Cultures on March 26.

A complete schedule of events is available HERE.

Piaf! The Show

Sat., Oct. 22, 2016 | 8 p.m.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

For more information, visit

Mesa Arts Center Gains National Attention for 55-plus Programs

Mesa Arts Center is among six recipients of the Creativity Connects: National Demonstration Projects grant, a special initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations through support from the Mellon Foundation. Mesa Arts Center will receive $72,450 in support of its Creative Aging programs offered for adults 55 and older.

The Creativity Connects funding initiative is part of the National Endowment for the Arts 50th anniversary celebration. It investigates ways in which the arts can connect with other sectors, including education, health care, social justice and more that want and utilize creativity. Mesa Arts Center Creative Aging: Expanding on a Foundation will further develop programming the organization has in place of lifelong learning opportunities for senior citizens living independently as well as in various assisted-care facilities. Partners for these programs include Oakwood Creative Care, Inc., Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Mesa Public Library.

Programs include creative movement, art and performing arts.

More information/schedule of programs

Goodwill of Central Arizona Adds Team Member

Marla Jackson has joined Goodwill of Central Arizona as senior vice president and chief financial officer. She comes to the organization from Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, where as CEO she diversified the company, doubled revenues and expanded training and education programs into area high schools.

Prior to Goodwill San Antonio, Jackson was chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys in Virginia. Before she joined the nonprofit industry, she had a 20-year career in the financial sector of various international companies.

Jackson holds her MBA from Bristol University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance from Indiana University.


Scottsdale Museum Named Nation’s Best Western Art Museum

Since opening in January 2015, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has garnered numerous awards, achievements and accolades, including the designation of Smithsonian Affiliate. To these, it can now add “Best Western Art Museum in the Nation” for its “extraordinary exhibitions and dedication to Western art and culture.”

“We are honored to be recognized along with other well-established and distinguished Western art museums,” says Mike Fox, museum director and CEO. “This speaks to the dedication of our outstanding staff and volunteers and the quality of the artwork and Old West artifacts that have been generously loaned to us during our first year-and-a-half of operation. The changing exhibitions and diversity of public programs have helped our guests gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the American West.”

The honor, bestowed by True West magazine, appears in a ranking of Western art museums published in the September 2016 issue. The 63-year-old, national publication is based in Cave Creek, Ariz., and presents true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation.

“Scottsdale’s Museum of the West’s dedication to its mission of preserving and interpreting our great Western art is inspiring,” comments Bob Boze Bell, True West executive editor. “They keep the spirit of the Old West alive.”

SMOW_Confluence of Cultures Exhibition_Courtesy Tim Peterson Family Collection_Photo by Rees W. Candee b

Photo by Rees W. Candee; Courtesy Studio Ma, architect.

The 43,000-square-foot, two-story museum building was built and is owned by the City of Scottsdale and is managed and operated by Scottsdale Museum of the West, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is located in downtown Scottsdale’s arts district at 3830 N. Marshall Way.

The “top six” museums were selected by the magazine’s editors and Spur Award-winning writer Johnny D. Boggs. They were chosen based on “the extraordinary efforts of the museums over the past year to create and host new temporary exhibits, as well as maintain dynamic permanent exhibitions.”

Other institutions making the list of best Western art museums include, in descending order, the Whitney Western Art Museum (Cody, Wyo.), the Briscoe Western Art Museum (San Antonio, Texas), the Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, Ariz.), the Stark Museum of Art (Orange, Texas), and the C.M. Russell Museum (Great Falls, Mont.).

Cementing its position as a leading Western art museum, Fox said museum guests in the coming weeks and months can look forward to two art exhibitions of the highest caliber (one featuring contemporary artist John Coleman, opening Sept. 17, 2016, and “The Artists of Taos,” opening Jan. 10, 2017), plus announcements regarding donations of one-of-a-kind collections.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale

For more information, visit


Florence Crittenton Appoints New Chief Operating Officer, Chief Compliance Officer

Florence Crittenton has appointed Pilar Vargas, Psy.D., LISAC, as its chief operations officer and Jessie Gillam, M.C., L.P.C., as its chief compliance officer.

Vargas brings more than 15 years’ experience in the behavioral health field with extensive knowledge in children and adult services, both as a direct provider and in program management. Most recently, she was the vice president of integrated health and human services at Chicanos Por La Causa. In that role, she oversaw behavioral health services in multiple states comprising outpatient behavioral health services for children’s and adult services, residential treatment services, court-ordered treatment, crisis services and a seriously mentally ill clinic.

Gillam has a 15-year history in behavioral health, child welfare and grant-funded prevention programs. Prior to joining the agency, she served as the vice president of behavioral health services in a statewide capacity at Arizona’s Children Association. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology form Arizona State University and a master’s in counseling from the University of Phoenix. She is a licensed professional counselor with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health and is recognized as a national board-certified counselor.

Asia Now’s ‘Bollywood Experience’ Features Lamp and Sword Dance

Asia Now 2016, the annual fundraising gala of the Asian Arts Council, was held at Chateau Luxe on April 9. The theme was “The Bollywood Experience.” The event featured the influence of Bollywood through the venue’s décor and by the mesmerizing Lamp and Sword dance performance by Kriti Dance. Caught up in the spirit, guests joined the dancing, Bollywood style. The evening’s cuisine also was inspired by Bollywood.

In attendance were many Phoenix Art Museum administrators including the Sybil Harrington Director Amada Cruz, Selig Family Chief Curator Gilbert Vicario, Deputy Director Advancement Kirsten Johansen, Dr. Claudia Brown and Dr. Janet Baker, along with several trustees of the museum. Consul General of India Ambassador Ashok, who came from San Francisco, spoke about how the Bollywood spirit is interwoven in art and culture throughout the world. The local Indian-American community was well-represented in support of the museum and the ambassador’s presence.


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Guests join the dance fun, Bollywood style!

Mood of Bollywood...Deepika Bhalla, Doris Ong, Leena Raval

Deepika Bhalla and Doris Ong


Keiko Conn, Leena Raval, Doris Ong, Jacqueline Butler-Diaz, Lily Yee and Eileen Yeung

SRP Project Awards $40K to Valley of the Sun YMCA

Salt River Project has made a $40,000 contribution to assist in the Valley of the Sun YMCA’s efforts toward youth development, healthy living and social responsibility at its 16 branches and two camp locations. The donation will support the Y’s access to personal development, safety and positive lifestyles opportunities for those in need.

“SRP’s mission when evaluating any nonprofit opportunity is to enhance the value added to programs and services which meet the needs of our customers and the quality of life we enjoy,”
says David Rousseau, SRP president. “We value our longstanding relationship with the YMCA’s Safety Around Water Program and look forward to seeing this investment benefit us all by caring for those in need, educating the next generation of Arizonans and creating a diverse economy.”

With the contribution, $25,000 of the funds will support the Y’s Annual Program Campaign, which helps provide disadvantaged individuals and families with financial assistance to access the Y’s enriching programming in health and wellness, preschools, afterschool care, summer camps, swim lessons and youth sports. These funds also support the Y’s community outreach programs, which provide solutions to our community’s most pressing needs, including a year-round meals program to address childhood food insecurity, a youth workforce development program and a “safety around water” program to reduce Arizona’s high childhood drowning rate. The remaining $15,000 will support the “Reinvest in the Y Campaign,” an operation capacity rebuilding project that will enable the Y to grow its mission driven work in the community.

33rd Annual Silver & Turquoise Ball Focuses on ‘Spirit of Energy’

Phoenix Indian Center’s 33rd Annual Silver & Turquoise Ball at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on April 16 was themed “The Spirit of Energy – Traditional to Modern Expression.”

This year’s event involved traditional to modern art and entertainment starting with a performances by the Apache youth skateboard team and the band Yadilahs. Inside the banquet room, guests were wowed with auction centerpieces of artists’ original hand-painted skateboards. The event raised nearly $200,000 to benefit the programs and services of Phoenix Indian Center, with a focus on youth programs.

The 450 guests also enjoyed silent and live auctions and a text-to-give opportunity along with a meal designed by Chef Freddie Bitsoie and entertainment by traditional fancy dancers and the world championship hoop dancer Nakota LaRance, who also performed hip hop.

Dr. John Tippeconnic received the Leon Grant Spirit of the Community Award for his leadership in education and research, and the thousands of students he has impacted and mentored. Leon Grant was the founder of the Phoenix Indian Center. His children presented CEO Patti Hibbeler with a handmade purse he made before he passed.

Katosha and Errol Naki co-chaired the evening, and J.R. Cardenas, 12 News reporter, served as the emcee.

Trends Charitable Fund Gives $25K to Free Arts For Abused Children of Arizona

The Trends Charitable Fund has awarded a $25,000 grant for general operations to support programs for children at Free Arts For Abused Children of Arizona. Free Arts is the first arts organization to receive a Trends Charitable Fund grant.

Free Arts mentor helps a child paint a mural.   PHOTO COURTESY FREE ARTS

Free Arts mentor helps a child paint a mural.

“This generous grant from the Trends Charitable Fund will allow Free Arts to continue providing unique and innovative programs using the creative arts to help heal homeless and abused children who have experienced family trauma, homelessness and violence,” says Alicia Sutton Campbell, Free Arts executive director. “We simply cannot do what we do without the incredibly thoughtful support of our community through organizations like the Trends Charitable Fund. We are deeply grateful.”

Free Arts served 7,340 abused and homeless children in 2015 through partnerships with 35 social service agencies at more than 100 sites across Maricopa County and more than 800 volunteers. Locations include domestic violence and homeless shelters, foster care group homes and residential treatment centers. Services are provided at no cost to the partnering agencies.

Avery, a Free Arts participant at age 15, wrote in a letter of support that “living in a group home, you don’t really get to express your feelings. Growing up in that environment was all about surviving and suppressing my thoughts and emotions. . . In Free Arts’ programs I actually had an outlet to express myself and explore my interests.

“What I ended up loving the most about Free Arts was the community,” Avery wrote. “It’s full of adults that actually care about making the world a better place and taught me the power of what a community truly is.”

Now 18, Avery’s goal is to “study dance and choreography with a potential of exploring DJing and audio engineering.”

“Avery’s story is just one of hundreds that reflect the outcomes our programs can have on children struggling to address and overcome their past traumatic experiences,” Campbell says.



An Evening to Remember Raises $147K for Sunshine Acres Children’s Home

Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club raised more than $147,000 for Sunshine Acres Children’s Home. The club hosted An Evening to Remember honoring members that have passed away and raising funds for the nonprofit organization. The 215 guests at the March 12vevent, held at the club, enjoyed a silent auction, dinner and guest speakers.

Sunshine Acres is located in Mesa and provides a home for children who are separated from their parents. The facility needed $100,000 for a new dining hall and $40,000 for a greenhouse. During An Evening to Remember these goals were exceeded.


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Judi Ross, Carol Whitworth (daughter of the founders of Sunshine Acres) and Karen Jordan

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Paul Harvey, guest speaker and club member

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Dinner course-side

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Dawn Yunkun, Makayo Dempsey and Karen Braghetta

Herberger Theater Center Celebrates Loyal Donors at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

The Herberger Theater Center held its annual donor reception at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa on March 16. Approximately 50 guests enjoyed delicious cuisine and the breathtaking views from the resort’s Paradise View Terrace. Attendees included Billie Jo and Judd Herberger, Stephanie and Ken Sundlof, Jill and Jim Mapstead and Robert Booker of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.


Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa - Paradise Valley Arizona

Jim and Jill Mapstead, David Roderique and Dick Bowers

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Jill and Kipp Clark, Jim Larson and Shelly Crosby

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa - Paradise Valley Arizona

Judd and Billie Jo Herberger

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa - Paradise Valley Arizona

Bob Booker, Elizabeth Grajales and Jerry Mettes

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Bryan and Marel Brady

Karl Eller: Handprints On Arizona

Newspaper-Boy higher resIf you live in Arizona and look closely, you will see the handprints of Karl Eller.

From the time he was 14 and pitched newspapers from his bicycle in Tucson, he has developed and demonstrated his work ethic and passion for business. Along the way, his success, community mindedness and generosity have impacted the entire state.

On March 18, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce will present Eller with the 2016 Heritage Award, in celebration of his accomplishments and commitment to Arizona.


Eller graced the program cover for the Arizona vs. Utah game in 1951.

The Arizona vs. Utah program in 1951

Eller’s story is the stuff of legends.

He played football for Tucson High in the ’40s, graduated and joined the Army. When he returned, the GI Bill enabled him to attend the University of Arizona, where he played football for the Wildcats.

After graduating, Eller married his college sweetheart, Joan “Stevie” Stevens, became successful in a national billboard company and then managed to raise the $50 million necessary to buy his company’s Phoenix, Tucson and Bakersfield and Fresno, Calif. operations. Eller Outdoor Advertising flourished, and in 1968 merged with KTAR Radio and Television stations to become Combined Communications.

During this time, he was making his mark in other ways. Eller became integral in luring professional sports to Arizona. In 1967, he was the lead investor in a group from Phoenix that brought the original Phoenix Roadrunners hockey team to the Valley. In 1968, he was one of the founding investors in the Phoenix Suns. In 1971, he was one of the original founders of the Fiesta Bowl. In 1978 he was instrumental in getting Arizona State University and the University of Arizona accepted into the Pac 8, which was renamed the Pac 10. In 1988, Eller and a group of Phoenix businessmen were responsible for bringing the St. Louis Cardinals to Arizona.

Circle KBut along about this time, the road got rough. That’s an understatement.

After Gannett acquired Combined Communications in 1988, Eller left the company to join Circle K, which underwent huge expansion under his short tenure as CEO – and then went bust. In 1990, Eller resigned. No job. No company. $100 million in personal debt. Most people would have filed for bankruptcy. Not Eller. To backers who stayed with him, he eventually paid back his debts.

And started again.

He made the rounds to raise money to buy another advertising company. This time he needed only $20 million. He secured it, and founded Eller Media in 1992. Five years later, he sold Eller Media to Clear Channel Communications for $1.15 billion.


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The Stevie Eller Dance Theater

It would be easy to say Karl Eller’s legacy is tied to the Karl Eller Center for the Study of the Free Enterprise Economy he funded at the University of Arizona in 1983 or the UA’s Eller MBA Programs, named for him in 1987. Or the UA Eller College of Business and Public Administration named for him in 1999 (later renamed the Eller College of Management). Or the Stevie Eller Dance Theater completed in 2003 on the UA campus. Or for chairing the fundraising effort for the Arizona Centennial in 2004. Or the significant monetary contributions he and Stevie have made to Barrow Neurological Foundation over the years.

But that would oversimplify the impact Eller has made on Arizona.

Eller’s story is part Horatio Algier, part Rocky Balboa and uniquely Karl Eller. All Eller College students know this “must-read”: Integrity is All You’ve Got. In this autobiographical book of business principles, Eller writes about learning from failures, economic timing, coming back from defeat, having a strong sales pitch, thinking big – lessons all managers and entrepreneurs can appreciate. He also shares the importance of integrity.

This message, he says, is how he would like to be remembered:

“Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind.

“Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with the other qualities. Make absolute integrity the compass that guides you in everything you do. And surround yourself only with people of flawless integrity.”


The Heritage Award is presented by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce to an individual who whose accomplishments and commitment to Arizona are recognized not only in Arizona but also nationally and internationally. In 1991, The Honorable Barry Goldwater was the first recipient. Those honored have come from from many walks of life – humorist Erma Bombeck; broadcast journalist Hugh Downs; cartoonist Bil Keane; UA basketball coach Lute Olson; and the “Godfather of Shock Rock” Alice Cooper are among them. The March 18 event is sold-out.


Betye Saar Showcases Six-Decade-Long Career

The Betye Saar: Still Tickin’ retrospective, on view at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) through May 1, 2016, includes multimedia collages, assemblages, sculpture, works on paper, installations and brings together work representing Betye Saar’s six-decade career.

It is divided into three sections that explore the development of specific themes across time in her work: nostalgia and memory, mysticism and ritual, and political and racial. Surveying both historical and contemporary work, the exhibition continues the discourse of Saar’s unwavering charge to create works of strong social and political content.


Betye Saar, To the Manor Born, 2011. Mixed media assemblage, 11 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 2 ¼ in.


Betye Saar, born in Los Angeles, 1926, began as a graphic artist and costume designer while raising three daughters, two of whom – Alison and Lezley – are now successful artists in their own right.


Betye Saar, Still Ticking, 2005. Mixed media assemblage, 29 1/2 x 19 x 16 in.

Saar is known as one of the most important artists of her generation. She played a seminal role in the development of Assemblage art. Since the 1960s, her work has reflected on African-American identity, spirituality and the connectedness between different cultures.

The emotionally charged 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. introduced the social and political themes that have come to dominate Saar’s work today. In the 1970s, she began to collect “black collectibles,” as a way to engage, empower and visually respond to the legacy of America’s slavery past, the segregation of Jim Crow laws and the duality of the African-American Civil Rights movement and the feminist movement. The incorporation of racially charged reference materials simultaneously paid tribute to her multi-faceted heritage while forming the dialogue around her political, racial, religious and gender concerns within her aesthetic practice.

SMoCA Director and Chief Curator Dr. Sara Cochran says: “We are delighted and honored to be working with Betye Saar and Roel Arkesteijn, curator of contemporary art at De Domijnen, in order to bring Betye’s relevant and important work to Arizona. SMoCA is a laboratory of ideas and a platform for discussion. We are excited to add to this conversation in our community at this crucial historical juncture in American history.”

The retrospective takes its title from a sculpture eulogizing Saar’s late ex-husband, Richard W. Saar. Colloquially used as ‘. . . my heart is still beating,’ Betye Saar: Still Tickin’ reminds us that, on the eve of her 90th birthday, Saar is in no danger of slowing down.

Betye Saar: Still Tickin’
Jan. 30 – May 1, 2016
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale
For more information, click HERE.


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Recent Stories

Opening of ‘Larger Than Memory’ Postponed

Opening of ‘Larger Than Memory’ Postponed

Heard Museum’s largest contemporary exhibition to date postponed until summer

‘¡Americano! The Musical’ Lift Spirits

‘¡Americano! The Musical’ Lift Spirits

Concept album from record-breaking musical is available online

D-backs Foundation Donates $1M-Plus to Community

D-backs Foundation Donates $1M-Plus to Community

Funds given to Arizona-based nonprofit organizations to assist in helping most vulnerable

Ballfest Arizona 2020

Ballfest Arizona 2020

Annual afternoon recognizes young cancer survivors

Visit Desert Mountain billboard
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