From Beatrice Moore
with Sahar Afi Mitchell, DrRev Stephen Strange
Even though it’s hot outside, and we don’t want to think about much besides staying cool, we have an exciting announcement! The Grand Avenue Festival will be joining forces with the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts on Saturday, November 8th this year! There will be so many opportunities for the public to get creative with parade floats (all non-motorized); hats made from recycled materials for the Trashy Hat Promenade and the Untrashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show; entries for the Hanging Gardens, Woven Fences and Trashy Sculpture exhibits (also made from recyclables); and a couple of new projects. So stay tuned!
Here’s a few shots from previous PAPA parades and Grand Avenue Festival activities and some background info:
The Grand Avenue Members’ Association (GAMA; formerly Grand Avenue Merchants’ Assoc.) will be joining forces with the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts (PAPA) for their 6th Annual Festival, which will take place November 8th, from 11am – 10pm. The Grand Avenue Festival and PAPA have similar missions of bringing the arts and community together, so the 2014 combined events 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, as well as an audience participatory arts and performance parade that will include Phoenix’ creative community-at-large.
The PAPA event (their 9th annual parade) brings an eclectic, and exciting, component to the day’s activities with an organic, mobile art parade and performances that will travel down Grand Avenue beginning at dusk. PAPA will also be bringing music, performances, children’s activities, and other magical and whimsical surprises to the event throughout the day with a main stage located at the beginning of the parade route. Popular activities from past Grand Avenue Festivals will also return with tours of vintage and historic commercial buildings; art exhibits; eclectic fashion shows; performances and music; hanging gardens, woven fences, and other recycled sculpture projects (displayed along the Avenue and created by the community); and special activities that highlight the history of this distinctive area of downtown. New activities, including a tour of the newly painted and mosaiced planters along the street, will also be included.
About the Grand Avenue Members’ Association
The purpose of the Grand Avenue Members’ Association (GAMA) is to actively and collectively promote a distinct, pedestrian-friendly arts and retail district along the Lower Grand Avenue Corridor. GAMA coordinates efforts that encourage both existing and new independent, locally-owned businesses while preserving the corridor’s unique, historic and diverse character. The goal of the Festival is to celebrate neighborhood sustainability, encourage creative recycling, highlight the arts, promote the small business community, and foster appreciation for, and reuse of, valuable neighborhood resources.
Over the years, Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts has been a unique, award winning event that celebrates artistic expression in the landscape of Downtown Phoenix. The main parade organizers, Stephen Strange and Sahar Mitchell, from the nationally recognized performing troupe Strange Family Circus, have created an audience participatory festival that encourages the community to express their creativity, share the streets of Phoenix, and enjoy the company of area businesses, professional artists and local government.
Since its inception in 2006, when the procession consisted of 300 people, the parade has attracted as many as 3,000 participants to its annual celebration. The parade has won several accolades from the New Times’ “Best of Phoenix.” In 2010, Production Agency for Participatory Arts, LLC formed as an autonomous entity to expand programming, location and outreach for the PAPA event. The mission of PAPA, LLC is to provide opportunities for the public to engage with their neighborhoods and the local arts community in free, public, family friendly activities, where audience participation drives quality cultural experiences.