Season roundup: Arts and culture events around the Valley
Compiled by Michelle Talsma Everson, October 2019 Issue.
Photos courtesy of venues.
It’s officially fall,
which means cooler temps and arts events galore. Whether it’s a film festival,
a gallery event or themed around a specific holiday, there is no shortage of
things to do and art to experience this season. While the list we’ve compiled
isn’t exhaustive of everything going on in the Valley (and beyond) this arts
season, we hope it inspires you to get out of the house and get your art on.
A Vampire Tale by Scorpius Dance Theatre
The Hardes Theatre at The Phoenix Theatre Company
This fall season,
Scorpius Dance Theatre presents its popular production, A Vampire Tale.
Dubbed “’The ‘Nutcracker’ of Halloween,” the yearly haunt is celebrating its
16th anniversary season. A Vampire Tale indulges audiences with all the
trimmings: dark and sexy drama, quirky and comedic episodes, and visually
stunning dance and aerial feats. This popular, sell-out production pre-dates
all of the vampire pop-culture and evolves annually to keep fans coming back
Inaugural Mesa Film Festival
Mesa Convention Center and Downtown Mesa Venues
Film Festival is excited to announce the inaugural festival at Mesa Convention
Center and at venues downtown October 17-20. The festival welcomes
participation from industry veterans, students, and everyone in between. Mesa
Film Festival will host about 200 films from around the world for three days of
film, art, food and fun for the whole family.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Select Dates Between
October 9 and November 10
Theatre Company is offering audiences an exceptional and powerful multisensory
experience with this show. Set in the main character’s brain, the audience
experiences nontraditional storytelling through a stunning mix of multimedia
effects intended to mimic the over-stimulation the protagonist must endure to
continue to pursue his case. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
Night-Time tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher Boone and the mystery
surrounding the death of a neighbor’s dog. Christopher is not only a
mathematical genius, but also on the autism spectrum, providing a unique
perspective as the storyteller.
Scottsdale Gallery Association Gold Palette ArtWalk
Select Dates from
October 10 through 2020
Thursday, October 10, the Scottsdale Gallery Association (SGA) kicks off its
45th season recognizing, advocating for and supporting the local art community
with its weekly Thursday evening ArtWalks and Gold Palette ArtWalk series,
which take place amid the Scottsdale Arts District along Main Street from
Scottsdale Road west to Goldwater Boulevard, and on Marshall Way north of
Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., the 45th Anniversary
Celebration Gold Palette ArtWalk is scheduled to include an engaging slideshow
featuring Scottsdale Arts District highlights over the past 45 years; and at
6:45 p.m. guests can also enjoy live music with an early ‘70s theme and
refreshments as they peruse the galleries throughout the District.
Wild Rising by Cracking
October 12 to May 10, 2020
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Garden’s newest exhibition is traveling straight from Milan to bring Wild
Rising by Cracking Art, an installation of more than 1,000 animal
sculptures made from colorful and recyclable plastic. Visitors of all ages will
be drawn to engage with these vibrant creatures and to discover that plastic
does not have to end up in landfills, but it can be reinvented into something
eye-catching and thought-provoking.
Enchanted Pumpkin Garden
The Town of
Carefree’s Fifth Annual Enchanted Pumpkin Garden is a one-of-a-kind fall
festival celebrating the magic of the Halloween season. The event takes place
Oct. 18–27, with the incredible artistry of Ray Villafane and Villafane
Studios’ carvers on display live each day, and their carvings found throughout
the four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens. On weekends, this annual event boasts
magical Halloween activities for kids and adults, plus culinary delights and
autumnal refreshments including a beer garden, a harvest market and live music.
Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now
October 26 - January
counter to the established ideas of land art, Counter-Landscapes:
Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now presents leading artists working
with performance who have brought about new ways of seeing and interacting with
the environment. Through a focused selection of key historical and contemporary
works, Counter-Landscapes illuminates how the strategies of women
artists in the 1970s and 1980s are employed by artists today, especially those
interested in issues of social, environmental, and personal transformation. The
works present a dialogue across generations, locations, and genders and feature
photography, video, sculpture, performance, and installation. Organized
by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Dia de los Muertos Festival
Sunday, November 3, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
St. Mary’s Basilica Plaza, downtown
annual Dia de los Muertos Festival, hosted by St. Mary’s Basilica in downtown
Phoenix, will be bigger than ever this year with the addition of Aztec-costumed
dancers leading the opening procession with energetic dance, and four large
community ofrendas (altars to honor the memory of ancestors) designed by local
Hispanic artists. The family-friendly, outdoor event takes place at 3rd and
Monroe Streets, and is free and open to all. A suggested donation: one item of
non-perishable food for St. Vincent de Paul.
Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light
This is a
free, 10-day, public art event from November 8–17 at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
This year’s event follows the theme of “The Story of Water” and will feature
numerous large-scale, light-based installations, many of which will have
interactive components. Featured artworks include “Standing Wave,” by the
UK-based artist studio Squidsoup, and “Water Serpent,” by Scottsdale-based
Walter Productions. “Standing Wave” comprises 600 orbs of light and sound that
will simulate a wave over the Arizona Canal while “Water Serpent” is a
200-foot-long, floating sculpture that shoots fire into the air from its
metallic spine and sparks from its mouth. In addition to the artworks, Canal
Convergence features live performances, food vendors, a beer and wine garden,
educational artist talks and all-ages workshops and activities throughout the
event. It is organized by Scottsdale Public Art, part of the nonprofit Scottsdale
Kierland POP Festival
To kick off
the beautiful fall weather season, the annual outdoor Kierland POP festival
will take place Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16 in Scottsdale. The
two-day festival will include a series of interactive, pop-up experiences
featuring wine from Arizona winemakers, art in unexpected places, live music
and entertainment, a vintage market, a night run, and more.
Select Dates November
8 – March 13, 2020
annual Arizona Musicfest festival season brings a diverse lineup of exceptional
artists to Valley audiences. Arizona Musicfest’s 2019-20 Festival Season
includes 27 performances from November 8 through March 13. Festival highlights
include Grammy award winner Michael Bolton; chart-topping, multi-talented
entertainer Vanessa Williams; acclaimed country star Sara Evans; iconic TV,
stage and screen celebrity Tony Danza; Musicfest favorites Chris Botti and
Michael Feinstein; plus, holiday concerts featuring The 5 Browns and New York
Voices. Stellar ensembles coming to the Musicfest stage include the legendary
John Pizzarelli Trio, The Hot Sardines, Back to Bacharach, as well as Under the
Streetlamp performing classic hits with tight harmonies.
Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour
Nov. 22-24 and Nov.
A signature event
of the nonprofit Sonoran Arts League, Hidden in the Hills is
Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour. This year’s event features
199 artists at 47 studio locations throughout the scenic Desert Foothills
communities of Cave Creek, Carefree and North Scottsdale.
self-guided studio tour offers art enthusiasts a rare chance to observe artists
at work in their private studios, which are open to the public from 10 a.m. to
CHOIR! CHOIR! CHOIR!
Piper Theater at the Mesa Arts Center
Choir! Choir! is a Toronto-based singing group led by creative directors Nobu
Adilman and Daveed Goldman. The duo takes a non-traditional approach; there are
no auditions, and the audience is the choir. Audience members will learn an
original arrangement to a well-loved song. Founded in 2011, Choir! Choir!
Choir! has amassed a dedicated community of singers and an international fan
base on YouTube.
Las Noches de las Luminarias
Select Dates in
November and December
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Celebrate the romance of the season with one of Arizona’s longest-running holiday traditions — Las Noches de las Luminarias. On select nights Nov. 29 through Dec.31, stroll the Garden’s trails lined with 8,000 glowing luminaria bags and gaze at the glistening lights with a warm drink in hand. Happen upon toe-tapping tunes from eclectic entertainment groups and cherish the time spent with friends and family during the holiday season.