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DIY Downtown: Building A Better Community

March 9, 2016 by Fara Illich

UDW

Stencil art and plants help activate a vacant lot during Urban Design Week 2015. (Photo: Lindsay Kinkade, Design Republic)

The bees are buzzing, birds are chirping and the sun is shining — it’s time to “spring” into action. This is the season for personal growth, reflection and putting your best self forward.

So start today with DIY Downtown — a collection of awesome seasonal events March through May promoting civic engagement, advocacy and volunteerism.

Get plugged in to the issues you care about by visiting our “Get Involved” page or check out some of these upcoming community-based events:

Art Detour & Detour De Grand / Multiple downtown locations / March 19-20 / 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Featuring self-guided tours of more than 100 studios, galleries and venues — in addition to family-friendly activities — this is a really fun (and easy) way to discover the arts in your community. Detour De Grand, a bikable street party with a beer garden and bands, will also be happening Saturday, March 19 along Lower Grand Avenue. Third Friday gallery night on March 18 kicks off the whole shebang from 6-10 p.m., with a sneak peek of featured artists. Admission is free.

The Intersection / A.E. England Building / April 1-2 / 7 p.m.

Dreamed up by the creative folks at Union Digital, a local media and production company, “The Intersection” is a projection-mapping exhibit utilizing every surface of the A.E. England Building. It combines advanced digital technology and lighting to create an awe-inspiring, interactive and 3D experience. Free and family-friendly. More details coming soon!

Bike Prom / Phoenix Ale Brewery / Saturday, April 2 / 6 p.m.

This year’s theme is based on the classic song “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin, so don your best ‘60s getup and hop on your bike. The group ride from Civic Space Park starts at 6 p.m. There will be prizes for best costume, prom king and queen, and best dancers (so start practicing your moves!) Tickets cost $12 per person and $20 per couple, which goes toward Phoenix Spokes People, a community group of urban bicyclists.

Hands On Greater Phoenix Serve-A-Thon / Multiple locations / Saturday, April 16

Sign up to volunteer for one of many “done-in-a-day-projects,” supporting nonprofits, schools, municipalities and grassroots organizations throughout downtown and the Valley. From activating a vacant lot to painting and beatifying local schools — you can be a part of making the city a better place.

Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference / Hotel Palomar / April 17-19

Located at the beautiful Hotel Palomar Phoenix, this three-day conference celebrates women at the forefront of technology and startup industries. With incredible world-renowned speakers in the fields of tech, entrepreneurship, leadership and diversity — this event not only showcases international leaders but serves as a great source of local inspiration. Early bird tickets cost $199, with discounts for students.

Bike To Work Day / Park Central Mall to CityScape Phoenix / Wednesday, April 20 / 7 a.m.

Start getting fit and reducing pollution with a three-mile bike ride to Downtown Phoenix in support of alternative transportation. City and county officials will lead a large, police-escorted group from Park Central Mall at 7 a.m. to CityScape Phoenix, followed by light breakfast and festivities. Pre-register for a free t-shirt and a chance to win prizes. Free and open to all riding abilities.

The Pinewood Classic / Short Leash Hot Dogs / April 23-24

This is the adult version of a kiddie classic. Participants build their own wooden race cars from a kit containing a block of pine, plastic wheels and axles. Spectators drink lots of beer and eat hot dogs. It’s basically a win-win for everybody. This year features a brand new junior’s competition on Sunday for kids 3-12 years old. Kits cost $15-40, watching is free.

Mesquite Pancake Breakfast / The Space Between / Saturday, April 30 / 9 a.m.

Eat some delicious pancakes made from mesquite-bean flour and support a great cause while doing it. Valley Permaculture Alliance’s pancake breakfast includes quiche with organic eggs, organic country potatoes, tepary beans, greens, chicken sausage, and of course, mesquite pancakes! Learn more about the value and joy and growing local trees (like native mesquite), play some lawn games and meet new people. Be sure to bring your own plate, this is a zero waste event. Tickets are $12 each or $40 for four.

 

 

 

 


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