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You may be surprised to know that for those who seek creative stimulation, the greater Phoenix area offers some very fine art. Yes, we are a desert, but we are alive with color and culture and we offer a myriad of opportunities to nurture your own creative genius.
Mesa Arts Center
Situated in downtown Mesa and owned and operated by the city of Mesa, the award winning Mesa Arts Center is Arizona’s largest art hub. Visitors will enjoy live entertainment and performances, artistic exhibitions and even art education classes in a magnificent complex that boasts 4 theaters, 14 art studios and 5 art galleries.
On Arizona State University’s Tempe campus is ASU Gammage, the performing arts center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This is one of the largest university-based centers for Broadway and other performing arts. It also includes lobby galleries that feature exhibits of local artists and photographers.
Arizona Fine Art Expo
From January through March the annual Arizona Fine Art Expo in Scottsdale provides 120+ artists at work in their studios. This 10 week extravaganza includes sculpture, painting, glass blowing, wood carving, photography and so much more. Weekend music events and artists’ garden parties are additional activities that add to the creative splendor.
This internationally acclaimed museum has partnered with American Indian artists and their tribal communities to provide visitors with collections of traditional and modern art that showcase the American Indian people and their history. The Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix has lovely outdoor exhibits and an amphitheater for live performances that include artistic music and dance.
Musical Instrument Museum
Located north of Scottsdale, the MIM has almost 7000 musical instruments from around the world on display. Explore the world of music by touring the museum or enjoying an educational event or concert, depending on your creative preference.
Looking for hands-on problem solving and creative thinking for kids? Mesa’s i.d.e.a. Museum would be the museum to visit. The sensory-rich and highly interactive exhibits encourage children to explore art, music and science in “please touch” style. Exhibits are dynamic so you can visit each year when you vacation in AZ and discover new and different themes and artistic tactile experiences.
If jazz is your art form The Nash in downtown Phoenix will be your hang-out. Dubbed the “heart and soul of American jazz in Arizona” there are band performances, concerts, weekly jam sessions and educational clinics, to name a few of the jazzy happenings.
Some of your favorite musicians and bands can be seen at the Ak-Chin Pavilion, a famous amphitheater in Phoenix and the venue for some of the greatest summer tours and festivals. Whether you choose open lawn or under the pavilion seats, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere and acoustics when your favorite musicians perform live under the star-studded skies of Arizona.
Gila River Arena
Home to the Arizona Coyotes National Hockey team, Gila River Arena in Glendale is a multipurpose venue that has hosted famous artists such as Prince, Usher, Rod Stewart, Rolling Stones, Eagles and Pink. Winner of the New York Times “Best of Phoenix” award in 2018, the arena offers unique and family-oriented entertainment in addition to famous acts and musicians.
Symphony Hall Phoenix
Home to the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona, the stylish and sophisticated Symphony Hall Phoenix has performing arts events most weekends in the year. Nominated a Phoenix Point of Pride, this venue is a prime location for popular entertainers, dance companies and Broadway touring companies.
Talking Stick Resort Arena
A state-of-the-art event complex in downtown Phoenix, Talking Stick Resort Arena hosts live shows that include famous comedians and musicians as well as major sporting events. An award winning and newly improved arena, it’s also home to the Phoenix Suns NBA and Arizona Rattlers Indoor Football League.
A “best” amphitheater in a great location, Mesa Amphitheatre is an open air venue with tiered lawn seating that provides everyone with a good view of the performance. Located in downtown Mesa, all tickets are general admission for a variety of hot performances, festivals and local events.
Phoenix Celebrity Theatre
An historic landmark in downtown Phoenix, Phoenix Celebrity Theatre features a revolving stage and aesthetically pleasing theater in the round that puts audience and performer in close proximity. The entertainment is diverse, first class and memorable with stars such as David Bowie, Boz Scaggs, Joan Baez, Roger Daltry and Fleetwood Mac gracing the stage.
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