Art inspires, informs and delights. Phoenix art enthusiasts will get a chance to mingle with multimedia artisans and art purveyors as Phoenix Festival of the Arts returns to Margaret T. Hance Park Friday, December 9, to Sunday, December 11, just in time for some stellar holiday shopping opportunities.
The Phoenix Center for the Arts’ fifth annual event features more than 125 art vendors and cultural organizations. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend, connect with and celebrate the local art community and take in Phoenix’s downtown vibe.
If inspiration strikes, the festival offers plenty of opportunities for adults and kids to get creative and get messy. The Phoenix Mural Project, a hands-on collaborative art project organized by acclaimed local muralist, Hugo Medina, returns as a signature component of the festival, allowing community members to paint and create alongside professional local artists. The Phoenix Festival of the Arts Family Zone, presented by the Teen Artist Guild, provides fun, free activities for families throughout the day.
“It’s what makes this event so special is the focus on local artists,” says Medina, a seasoned painter, sculptor, art teacher and custom metal fabricator who created the opportunity for artists to work side-by-side.
He says his love for children and community authored his inspiration to add more layers to the event.
“Two artists use 4 by 8 foot pieces of plywood between them, and together they collaborate. They’re all lined up in a row, and the pieces are available for purchase after the event,” Medina shares.
The festival draws in a range of people, including families and children, those who enjoy and appreciate art, and those who simply want to enjoy the season’s pleasant weather and take in the sights and sounds of downtown Phoenix, Medina says.
The festival’s newest element takes the form of a sizeable 100 x 40-foot entertainment pavilion, nestled within the center of the festival grounds featuring live music and dance performances. Mainstage performances, sponsored by AZ Music Project, include local bands and solo artists, dance and hip-hop ensembles, spoken word poets, choral groups and more.
Beer and wine, sponsored by Hensley Beverage Company, can be carried throughout the festival grounds. Attendees are also invited to enjoy local fare and beverages. This year’s culinary lineup includes 2 Fat Guys Grilled Cheese, Queso Good, Satay Hut, Loca Popa, Cactus Corn, Paletas Betty, White Eyes Fresh Fry Bread, American Poutine, Spice It Up and Local Lunchbox.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts, Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third Street, Phoenix, 602.254.3100, phoeixfestivalofthearts.org, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, December 9, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, free.