Phoenix may not be famous for its art scene (yet), but the city has plenty to brag about when it comes to its local arts and cultural calendar. Roosevelt Row brings fresh art exhibits to central Phoenix every month, and the First Friday Artwalk is one of the biggest in the country.
The city also hosts an annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts, which this year is expanding its roster to include more artists, food and music. This year, the weekend-long celebration will take place in the heart of downtown Phoenix at Margaret T. Hance Park from Friday, Dec. 12, to Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014.
The Phoenix Festival of the Arts will showcase the works of more than 70 local artists — Photo courtesy of Phoenix Festival of the Arts
The festival will feature 75 local artists and art vendors, representing a wide range of art media, including ceramics, pottery, hand-made jewelry, metal working, textile design, painting, photography, printmaking and mixed media.
The festival has become one of the best places to pick up unique holiday gift items made locally by some of Arizona's best craftspeople.
Several exhibitors will also be on hand to give demonstrations, pass out free samples and offer information about their programs and services. Exhibitors scheduled to make an appearance at the festival include Sogno Toscano Olive Oil Boutique, the Great Arizona Puppet Theater & Puppet Pie, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, The Nash Jazz Club, Kisses N’ Hugs Face & Body Art and others.
There will also be presentations and discussions from storytellers, historians and regional scholars. For kids, the festival will have a hands-on family zone area, where little ones are encouraged to make and play with art.
This year, the festival will feature two stages of live music, where event-goers can enjoy everything from spoken word poetry and hip-hop to classical tunes and folk songs. Local musicians scheduled to perform include the Desert Sounds Mariachi, Flamenco del Sol, rockers Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers, the Phoenix Children's Chorus and country rockers The Blue Goats.
There will also be short film screenings and open mic performances.
Along with great art and music, the festival will showcase some of the most popular local food trucks in Phoenix. Food trucks and vendors making an appearance include 2 Fat Guys Grilled Cheese, United Steaks of Cheese, Cheddatruck, J-Licious Tasty Teazy Tacos, Comfort Cravings Gourmet Food Truck, Mamma Toledo's Pies, Waldos BBQ, Cactus Corn Gourmet Kettle Corn and local Mexican-style popsicles by Paletas Betty.
Admission to the Phoenix Festival of the Arts is free. Limited public parking will be available in the Phoenix Center for the Arts parking lot, but event-goers are encouraged to use public transportation.