Arts & Culture Music & Events Fara Illich August 30, 2013

grand-festivalThe Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association (GAMA) will be hosting the free 5th Annual Grand Avenue Festival on October 19th, from 11 am – 8 pm, with an After Hours event from 8 – 10pm. The festival will be a celebration of the vibrant culture, art, history and adaptive re-use of the Lower Grand Avenue Arts and Small Business District and adjoining neighborhoods. Small businesses and art spaces along this unique and historic travel corridor will host tours of vintage commercial buildings and interesting adaptive re-use projects; create art exhibits; sponsor performances and music; and provide other special activities that highlight the history of this distinctive area of downtown.
The goal of the Festival is to celebrate neighborhood sustainability, the area’s unique history, encourage creative recycling through community art projects, and foster appreciation for, and reuse of, valuable neighborhood resources. The free Re-Dapt Historic Commercial Building Tours will take place from 10am – 2pm, leaving every hour, guided by knowledgeable local historians. The tour will be FREE again this year courtesy of the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation. The tours will start every hour on the hour from the newly renovated OS Stapley Hardware Store buildings at 747 W. Grand Avenue.
Visitors will be able to pick up a brochure with a comprehensive listing of festival activities at any participating space, or at the Festival headquarters at the corner of Roosevelt and 15th Avenue (just south of the Oasis on Grand, 1501 Grand Avenue) on the day of the Festival. This year’s Festival will also include a celebratory kick-off celebration for a host of new street improvements: permanent on-street parking, bicycle lanes, bike racks, brighter street lights, and decorative planters, courtesy of the City of Phoenix.
Most spaces are within easy walking distance of each other, and also easily accessible by bicycle – or hop a free pedi-cab to explore the diverse Lower Grand Avenue community. The pedi-cabs will be located at the Information Booth at the corner of Roosevelt and 15th Avenue, along with a community bike rack and a free parking lot. And FREE parking will be available along Grand Avenue, from Roosevelt to Van Buren, all day long! Visitors can also relax while enjoying several food trucks located at the Information Booth site, and locations along the street.
Many art studios, galleries and small businesses will be hosting special exhibits and performances throughout the afternoon and evening. The popular Coffee, Cookies and Crafts Fair, will be set up in the parking lot at Bragg’s Pie Factory, from Noon – 5pm. In the evening starting at 8pm, the lot will be converted to an outdoor movie theater – where visitors can relax while enjoying a film sponsored by No Festival Required. At the Frontal Lobe Gallery in Bragg’s, Calaca’s popular 9th Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, “Segunda Vida”, will highlight work using contemporary techniques created from recycled and repurposed materials – creating an elaborate and culturally significant installation that complements this ancient celebration.
One of the much anticipated highlights of the Festival each year is the Un.trashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show, which will be combined with the Trashy Hat Promenade this year and will be led by local performance artist Babs A’Delic. The Hanging Gardens & Woven Fences & Trashy Sculpture Show has also become a Festival mainstay and will feature quirky assemblages and hanging artwork made from trash and recyclables. A new component, The Rolling Rubbish Revival Show, will highlight gardens (real or imagined) created on recycled wheeled containers (boxes, shopping carts, wagons, bicycles, etc.). Visitors will receive a map at the Info Booth to help find these quirky urban fantasy gardens along Grand Avenue and vicinity.