Frontdoors Magazine - Arts & Culture Issue 2023

Page 1

House of Words

Community, Philanthropy & Lifestyle FALL 2023 The Arts & Culture Issue Alberto Álvaro Ríos and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing offer a haven for writers and readers
ATC.ORG / 833-ATC-SEAT ATC AT TEMPE CENTER FOR THE ARTS 700 W. RIO SALADO PKWY, TEMPE Scan QR Code for more details or visit Join us at Tempe Center for the Arts — The New Home of ATC SEASON SUBSCRIPTIONS & TICKETS AVAILABLE TODAY! BAREFOOT IN THE PARK 10/20/23 - 11/5/23 12/9/23 - 12/30/23 3/29/24 - 4/14/24 5/24/24 - 6/9/24 2/16/24 - 3/3/24 ! Elevating Theatre One Act at a Time

Dedicated, effective governance is vital to HonorHealth Foundation’s success. We are truly grateful for those who commit their time and share their expertise to lead as Trustees.

2023-24 OFFICERS

Laurie A. Florkiewicz

Carter Emerson

Sue Fletcher | Secretary

James Graber | Treasurer

Langdon Herndon | Investment Committee Chair

Robert Tomlinson | Real Estate Committee Chair

Rodney Glassman | Committee on Trusteeship Chair


Jamie Hebets | Sr. Vice President, The Hebets Company

Sharron Lewis | Community Volunteer

Suzanne Morris | Community Volunteer

Louise Zirretta | Healthcare Consultant, Community Volunteer

For a complete roster of HonorHealth Foundation Trustees, visit our website and click on “About.”

HonorHealth’s ability to advance innovative programs and attract the highest quality physicians, so you have access to the very best care.

My thanks to all our Trustees for their generosity of time and support. Will you join us in our mission to save lives, improve community health, fuel medical breakthroughs, drive innovative research and much more?

—JARED A. LANGKILDE MBA, CFRE President & CEO HonorHealth Foundation

8125 North Hayden Road | Scottsdale, AZ 85258 480-587-5000 | HonorHealth Foundation is a not-for-profi t 501(c)(3) organization
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Karen Werner


Andrea Tyler Evans


Tom Evans


Neill Fox


Cheyenne Brumlow


Abby Petersen


Lori Appleby Hoke


Zenobia Mertel


Traci Chandler

Julie Coleman

Shoshana Leon

Judy Pearson


Carey Peña


Lisa Grannis

Lindsay Green

Robyn Lambert

Morgan McClellan

Michelle Schneider


The Sparkle Bar


Scott Foust Studios


Latasha Causey

Russ Dickey

Rusty Foley

Sarah Krahenbuhl

Larry Lytle

Monique Porras Mason

Brad Vynalek


Deborah Bateman

Linda Herold On

Alberto Álvaro Ríos at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing

Photo by Scott Foust

Ma gazi ne 3104 E. Camelback Road, #967, Phoenix, AZ 85016 480.622.4522 | Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier. Ma gazi ne
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3/3-3/10 Festival Orchestra Week 2/17 Kristin Chenoweth 12/4 The Texas Tenors 11/11 Frankie Avalon 3/10 Renée Fleming 3/16 Rita Moreno In Conversation 3/22 Judy Collins 2/12 Brian Stokes Mitchell & Lara Downes
3/25 Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Arizona Jewish Historical Society
Chandler Center for the Arts
Mesa Arts Center
The Nash + Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras
School of Ballet Arizona
Scottsdale Arts
Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West + West Valley Arts Council 42 8 EDITOR’S NOTE Invest in the Community — and Yourself 10 10 QUESTIONS Audra McDonald, actor and singer 13 CREATING CULTURE Driver of Change 19 CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS Upcoming philanthropic events 29 STYLE UNLOCKED Accessories Are the Moment 37 KEY TO THE GOOD LIFE First Impressions 42 COVER STORY House of Words 49 NEXT DOORS Not the Same Old Song & Dance 53 OFFICE DOORS Jonathan Robles, board chair of the West Valley Arts Council 57 A 2ND ACT Artists Known
CHARITY SPOTLIGHT The Nash 65 FROM THE ROAD Central Coast Circuit
BOOKMARKED Lawrence Bell, Ph.D., executive director of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society


Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

September 6 – November 26, 2023

Tiananmen: A New Musical

October 4 – October 29, 2023

Elf The Musical

November 22 – December 30, 2023

Sister’s Christmas Catechism: the mystery of the magi’s gold

December 1 – December 30, 2023

Festival of New American Theatre

January 5 – January 21, 2024

The Lehman Trilogy

January 24 – February 11, 2024

The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd

February 7 – March 17, 2024

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

March 6 – April 28, 2024

What the Constitution Means to Me

April 10 – June 16, 2024

Fiddler on the Roof

May 22 – July 7, 2024

Fully Committed

July 10 – August 11, 2024


July 31 – September 1, 2024

It’s time for The Phoenix Theatre Company’s 2023/24

Invest in the Community — and Yourself

Were you in the audience at last summer’s thrilling production of “Raymonda” by the School of Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Youth Symphony? Are you an Audra McDonald fan, pumped about her September show at Mesa Arts Center? Maybe you’re a jazz lover looking forward to some cool concerts at The Nash.

All of these wonderful, life-enhancing experiences start with the arts. They impact our daily lives and improve our quality of life. But it’s not just cultural value at play; Arizona’s arts organizations affect business and add significant value to our economy.

Virginia Piper recognized this decades ago. During the second half of the 20th century, she was one of the Southwest’s most recognized and respected philanthropists. A modest Midwesterner tutored in the art of giving by her first husband, Paul Galvin (co-founder of Motorola and inventor of the car radio), Virginia helped shape the landscape of this community with her strategic philanthropic investments.

Today, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust carries on her artful legacy. One of the largest private foundations in Arizona, the Trust works to enrich the lives of people across Maricopa County through arts and culture, healthcare, education and more.

With that in mind, Frontdoors partnered with Piper Trust on our annual Arts & Culture Issue to celebrate the new arts season and highlight some of the artists, arts organizations and arts workers creating a more vibrant future for us all.

In our cover story, we visit the talented team at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. A destination for both ASU students and creative writers from around the world, the Piper Center was established through a groundbreaking gift from Piper Trust 20 years ago.

Today, the team revels in their mission to bring the gift of good writing and writers to the community, affecting the

psychological health of the Valley as a whole.

“You can try to heal the body, but without healing the mind and soul, you’re not a healthy, whole person,” said Christie Swedbergh, the Piper Center’s associate director. “I think that’s the beauty of Piper Trust. They support both medicine and the humanities. You have to have both in order to be a healthy society.”


The arts are critical to community health and vitality. So enjoy reading about our local arts scene and consider your next ticket purchase or arts experience an investment in your community and yourself.

Cheers to the season ahead!



“…We all have an opportunity to do ‘good things’ on a daily basis for others…to provide our world and its people, through giving, an improved, beautiful culture and places to live, work, and grow healthy families, and to enjoy the arts…”

© 2023
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
Photo by: Tim Trumble Virginia and Paul Galvin


What was your “aha” moment when you realized you were meant to be a performer?

I was 7 years old and given a solo in the kids’ church choir. I had to stand up, turn around, face the congregation and sing the solo. I remember the butterflies in my stomach before I sang and then the joy and excitement I felt after I performed. I wanted to get back to that again because it made me feel a certain way.

You’ve won Tonys, Grammys and Emmys, were awarded the National Medal of the Arts, and were inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. What makes a role or performance one that makes you say yes?

It’s a feeling in my stomach and, many times, it’s something that scares me. If it scares me, it means I’m attracted to something that’s going to challenge me and make me grow. It will be fulfilling — not necessarily successful, but fulfilling.

Is there anything you’re still hoping to tick off your list?

There’s always the musical or play that hasn’t been written yet. I would like to do more Shakespeare and theater. As long as I keep getting to play in the theater, I’m happy.

Your work has encouraged diversity in casting. Is that something you consciously set out to do?

It was part of my particular experience from an early age. As I found success, I realized it was happening more and more, and something I wanted to encourage in whatever way I could to create more voices, stories and diversity.

Who inspires you as a person or performer?

Lena Horne was someone who inspired me greatly, both as a performer and as an activist. Getting to work with Zoe Caldwell and seeing her work ethic, incredible talent and dedication to the art of theater was inspirational. Judy Garland’s talent is unmatched, but what made her even more special was her vulnerability as an artist and how she gave her heart and soul to her audiences. She turned herself inside out for her audiences and that’s something I’ve always admired.

1 4 5
Emmy, Grammy and 6-time Tony-winning actor and singer McDONALD
Photos by Autumn de Wilde

You’ll be coming to Mesa Arts Center in September. What do you like to do while you’re in Arizona?

I know it sounds touristy, but there is something about going to see the Grand Canyon and the perspective it gives you. Everything else is so much bigger than you are and that’s O.K. It’s awe-inspiring and puts you in your place in a very grounded way. It’s quite calming and inspiring.

What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?

I became an amateur gardener when the earth started calling to me during the pandemic. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m obsessed with it! It’s chaotic but so grounding. If I don’t touch the dirt for a few days, I get grumpy. It’s been life-changing for me.

Knowing what you know now about life and show business, what would you go back and tell the little girl from Fresno who was moving cross-country to study at Juilliard?

Everything you feel that is weird about you is special and wonderful. Love and nurture that about yourself.

What’s giving you joy these days in terms of art, music or TV?

I’ve been reading Toni Morrison and just reread “Song of Solomon.” It rocked me to my core.

You’re actively involved in supporting many causes. In 2020, you were part of an industry group that launched a new organization — Black Theatre United. Can you talk about the nonprofit and why it’s important to you?

Black Theatre United was created in the wake of George Floyd’s murder to bring accountability, awareness and action in creating safer and more diverse spaces in the world, especially within theater. We support anti-racist space and encourage all voices in an industry where there weren’t always many Black voices.

One of the things we’re most proud of is gathering all the theater owners, producers, directors, choreographers, creators and designers to create a new deal for Broadway to change some of these issues within the community. We were able to get a lot of very powerful people to sign on and pledge to work to change the industry.

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Audra McDonald will perform on Sept. 22 at Mesa Arts Center. For information and tickets, go to


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Driver of Change

Michelle Mac Lennan strives to open the doors of Chandler Center for the Arts to all

“There’s a lot of old meets new here.”

Michelle Mac Lennan is leading a tour of Chandler Center for the Arts. The center’s cultural arts manager, she talks about all of the renovations the building has undergone and what the future holds. As she strides through the center’s event space, rehearsal rooms, set design workshop and underground tunnels, Mac Lennan peppers in anecdotes about the building that only someone who has worked there for 24 years can.

The center was built in the late 1980s through a collaboration between the City of Chandler and the

Chandler Unified School District. Its turntable divisible auditorium boasts a revolutionary architectural design, allowing two rear sections of seats to turn 180 degrees into smaller, more intimate theaters. At full capacity, the mainstage seats 1,508 patrons, while the two smaller theaters seat 346 and 250, respectively.

Since 1999, Mac Lennan has been a strong presence and driver of change at CCA through her multitude of roles. Throughout her career, she’s felt compelled to give back to the theater, the craft that captured her heart as a child, aspiring to make it more inclusive and accessible to all.


“It’s always been my personal mission, whether it was as a volunteer coordinator or as the program director, to build equitable practices into everything I do,” she said. “For 20 years, I’ve been working on diversifying our programs.”

Today, as the cultural arts manager, she focuses on directing and collaborating with the center’s core team, fostering strong community relationships and “everything in between,” she said. During her tenure, Mac Lennan has been instrumental in diversifying the center’s board, artists and audiences.

In its early days, the center primarily catered to an older audience, many hailing from the nearby senior communities. This is common for arts centers, Mac Lennan said, citing that the demographic generally has more disposable income.

“I really wanted to change that,” Mac Lennan said. “Not to not include them but to also include people who historically had not been included.”

Under her direction, CCA has made significant strides in fostering inclusivity by actively connecting with the community through their many outreach programs and strategic partnerships. Embracing the belief that art should reflect the community it serves, the center brings together patrons and artists from various backgrounds to share in the transformative power of the arts.

The Chandler Cultural Foundation board plays a vital role as stewards for CCA.

“Where can you get 1,500 people to agree on anything?” Mac Lennan asked. “At a concert. It’s that experience that can never be replicated; no matter what people say, it can’t.”

Two years ago, the center took on its first multiyear resident in Michael Mwenso. A Sierra Leone native, Mwenso is a band leader, activist, musician and educator. In his residency, he is dedicated to connecting the community to the arts through outreach, speaking engagements and live performances.

“We profit on the backs of artists, so they should have a seat at the table,” Mac Lennan said. “Without the artist, we’re nothing. We learned that in COVID; we are nothing without the artists. So we really shifted to where we’re going to be artist-centric as much as possible.”

The residency program isn’t the only new venture for CCA. In 2022, the center stepped into co-commissioning with “NORTH: The Musical,” a theatrical production following a mother and son’s journey escaping slavery through the Underground Railroad. Co-commissioned with three other arts organizations in the U.S., the show has its sights set on Broadway. And this year, for the first time, the center is co-producing a show, “Beauty and the Beast,” with Showtune Productions, slated to hit the stage in March 2024.

CCA artist-in-residence Michael Mwenso uses the message of Black music to uplift, heal and empower individuals and communities.

Behind Mac Lennan stands a strong team, and she doesn’t miss an opportunity to acknowledge their contributions to their shared vision. A natural leader, Mac Lennan has focused on creating a culture of collaboration, inclusivity and respect. In 2006, she was chosen to join the Piper Fellows program, an opportunity that proved instrumental to her success as a leader.

“If you’re a great leader, then you make leaders and you empower leaders. That’s what leadership is to me,” she said. “I owe what is here to the team. My job

CCA presents the work of some of today’s most engaging, enlightening and relevant artists.

is to empower them to be the best leader they can be and I learned that from the fellowship. Hands down, it changed my entire leadership style.”

The tour ends with Mac Lennan pointing out signed photographs from past performers on her office walls. Among the images are the smiling faces of artists and audiences from all backgrounds, a testament to the center’s mission of inclusivity and excellence. The photos prove that when old meets new, the power of the arts is limitless.

To learn more, visit

On & On: José James Sings Badu NOV 18 North: The Musical FEB 23-24 La Marisoul & The Love Notes Orchestra | FEB 17 Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Live in Concert | MAR 22
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Pink Martini featuring China Forbes TONS OF TINSEL TOUR | DEC 15

CHEERS to the Chairs!

A preview of the Valley’s premier philanthropic events and who’s leading these important efforts

Ponte Cura

DATE: September 29, 2023


CHAIRS: Bea Rocklin and Shannon Groppenbacher

Night of Hope Gala


BENEFITTING: Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels

CHAIRS: Amy Walters and Pooneh Mussman

A Night in the Valley

DATE: October 7, 2023

BENEFITTING: Valleywise Health Foundation

CHAIRS: Wendy and Mark Dewane

Heart of the House Island Party

DATE: October 7, 2023

BENEFITTING: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona

CHAIRS: Rob Caldwell and Christy Napolitano-Wernau


Buckles & Bangles Gala

DATE: October 13, 2023


CHAIR: Kristen Campbell

Runway for Research

DATE: October 13, 2023


CHAIRS: Justine Hurry and Beth McRae

Connections of Hope Gala

DATE: October 14, 2023

BENEFITTING: Teen Lifeline

CHAIRS: Jen Reid and Shelby Swihart

Porch Party 2023

DATE: October 14, 2023

BENEFITTING: Cancer Support Community Arizona

CHAIRS: Todd Pearson and Shana Ellis

Gateway exclusively funds early phase clinical trials for novel treatments and therapies that o er hope and healing to men, women and children battling all types of cancer. Join us for the 6th Annual A Gateway for Cancer Research Gala Hosted by Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Mr. Richard J Stephenson Saturday, October 14, 2023 Arizona Biltmore Help shape a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared. DELIVERING THE HEALING POWER OF HOPE. DISCOVERING THE CANCER TREATMENTS OF TOMORROW. OF ALL DONATIONS DIRECTLY FUND CANCER CLINICAL TRIALS. 100% FOR MORE INFORMATION 480.290.5699 | VINO@GATEWAYCR.ORG | GATEWAYCR.ORG

Saddle Up IV

DATE: October 15, 2023

BENEFITTING: Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

CHAIR: Stephanie Johnston


DATE: October 21, 2023


CHAIR: Sharron Lewis

Compassion with Fashion

DATE: October 22, 2023

BENEFITTING: Arizona Humane Society

CHAIRS: Lauren Smith and Leah Alexander

Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame Celebration

DATE: October 26, 2023

BENEFITTING: Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame

CHAIR: Cheryl Horton


Celebrating Our Voices

The annual Silver & Turquoise Ball is instrumental in fostering support for the Phoenix Indian Center’s essential programs and services that empower the Indigenous community throughout the Phoenix metro area.

Individual tickets and sponsored tables are available for this extraordinary event. Highlights of the Evening

• Silent and Live Auctions: Bid on unique treasures and experiences to support our meaningful initiatives.

• Mesmerizing Performances: Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing talents of Indigenous artists.

• Culinary Delights: Savor an exquisite curated menu that embodies the essence of our culture.

& TURQUOISE BALL Benefiting the Phoenix Indian Center 40th Annual Friday, October 20, 2023 | 5:00 PM Sheraton Downtown Phoenix - 340 N 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Event Co-Chairs
Dr. Christine Bracamonte Wiggs Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Chairman Robert Miguel Ak-Chin Indian Community Auction Co-Chairs Christy Vezolles Art Consultant Garrett Etsitty (Diné) Artist Choreographer Zoey Reyes (Diné/Chicana) Featured Chef Chef Nella Darnella Belin (Diné)
4520 N Central Ave # 250 Phoenix, AZ 85012 (602) 264-6768
Kindly visit
scan the QR code.


The Authors Luncheon

DATE: October 28, 2023

BENEFITTING: Arizona Women’s Board

CHAIR: Jennifer Carmer

65 Roses Gala

DATE: October 28, 2023

BENEFITTING: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Arizona Chapter

CHAIR: Carole Griego

SCAN FOR TICKETS I SPONSORSHIPS I INFORMATION Thursday November 9, 2023 Heard Museum 5:30 PM St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center R a i s i n g f u n d s f o r m e d i c a l i n n o v a t i o n Signature Event S T J O S E P H ' S F O U N D A T I O N SupportStJosephs org/SignatureEvent 602-406-1038 | 480.478.6000 | 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix The Dover Quartet FALL CONCERT SERIES Tickets On Sale Now! Lineup at Concert Series sponsored by Lizz Wright September 12 Booker T. Jones 60 Years of Green Onions September 22 & 23 The Dover Quartet October 5 Joshua Radin With the Ballroom Thieves October 6 Bonnie “Prince” Billy With Laurel Premo October 18 Chris Botti October 20 & 21 Don McLean 50 th Anniversary of American Pie November 4 & 5 John Oates November 10 And many more!

to our 2023 Honorees!





Candace Bianco, Teri Bockting, Chandra Petelin

To see event photos, visit

Penny Gunning & Robyn DeBell PANDA Founders Mark Tarbell Healthcare Champion presented by presented by presented by presented by Vicki Vaughn Health Innovation Champion Stephanie Parra Leadership Legend Dana Dean Community Champion Phoenix Art Museum Key to the Community Adrienne Schiffner Community Champion Sue Fletcher & Sandy Trznadel Honor Above All
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Ellen & Howard Katz Phoenix Art Museum Andrea Robertson Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Bea Rocklin Kids in Focus & Rachael Troyan PANDA





EvEnt PartnErs
EvEnt sPonsors
Robyn DeBell, Penny Gunning, Nancy Hanley Eriksson, Brenda Howard & Pat Petznick Wick
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Wall Clock | $24.99 IKEA, Tempe
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Juan Gabriel

October 26 – 29, 2023 at Symphony Hall

The Nutcracker

December 8 – 24, 2023 with The Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall

Moving Movies

February 15 – 18, 2024 with The Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall



Contemporary Moves

March 28 – 31, 2024 at Orpheum Theatre

All Balanchine

May 2 – 5, 2024 with The Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall

The Four Seasons

May 15 – June 1, 2024 at Desert Botanical Garden

Subscribe and save up to 35% off single ticket prices! Become a subscriber and enjoy the best seats at the best price, including exclusive benefits available only to our most dedicated fans.
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Ballet Arizona dancer Helio Lima. Photo by Michael Higgins.
Maverick Linen Pillow | $86 THELIFESTYLEDCO, Gilbert Cheers! Cups | $18 Pagoda Lane, Paradise Valley

First Impressions

Give your front porch some seasonal love

First impressions do matter. And with fall’s cooler weather, it’s a good bet you’ll be flinging your front door open more often. Fortunately, Traci Chandler, the owner of Oh, Sugar! Events + Paperie, shared some curb-boosting tips to put your best house forward.


Fall Finesse

A wreath is a timeless way to add style to your home’s exterior without spending much money. This eucalyptus and olive branch wreath can be displayed year-round in a traditional or modern setting. “It’s a snap to update seasonally with festive ribbon,” Chandler said.

Bright Idea

One of the quickest ways to update your porch is to give the front door a big splash of color! Don’t be afraid to get creative with the color selection — just be sure it complements your home’s existing palette.

Seasonal Switcheroo

There is nothing more festive than planters with greenery flanking your door. Mums are a classic for fall but consider spicing up your selection by adding ornamental cabbage or kale to your pumpkins and gourds.

Two Is Better Than One

The “layered look” isn’t just popular in fall fashion but in front porch design as well. Putting a small rug with color and pattern beneath your doormat is a newer style, but one that seems here to stay. Options for doormats are endless — from cheeky greetings and seasonally inspired sayings to custom monograms and beautifully designed family names. “It’s a chance to show some pizzazz as guests enter your home,” Chandler said.


Add Pep to Your Porch

When space allows, extend your living space by adding comfortable outdoor furniture. Think outdoor sofas with cozy seating, rocking chairs or a swing for those especially beautiful nights. Pillows and textiles with patterns and color are other great ways to add personality.

Best of the Block

Consider hanging architectural elements like antique wood arches, corbels and old window frames on the porch for depth and life. Sweet Salvage, a vintage market in downtown Phoenix, specializes in unique furniture pieces, décor elements, textiles and artwork. Each month, owner Kim Rawlins and her team of designers feature themed vignettes full of fantastic finds.

A seasonal scene at Sweet Salvage.

Spruce Up Hardware and House Numbers

Replacing old door hardware, doorbells and house numbers is like adding a new piece of jewelry to a classic outfit — you’ll be surprised at how modern your look feels once it’s been refreshed. Sarah Hildebrandt and Martha Merwin, owners of Clyde Hardware Co., have spent over 55 years servicing the Valley’s top contractors and interior designers. “Their curated collection of plumbing fixtures, door hardware and cabinet hardware is second to none,” Chandler said.

Spark Some Smiles

Get in the spirit by decorating your porch for the season. Whether you go big or opt for subtle touches, make it fun and festive. From giant spiders and yard inflatables to DIY light-up ghosts, hay bales, pumpkins and gourds — make it a family affair and create a look that brings you joy. “It’ll become a tradition your family looks forward to every year,” Chandler said.

To learn more, visit



Tickets at
Fernando Botero (Colombia, 1932); Reclining Woman, 2007; Bronze sculpture,132 x 76 x 77 inches; Private Collection of the Botero Family Fernando Botero (Colombia, 1932); Family in plantation, 2020 ; Oil on Canvas, 70 x 63 inches; Private Collection of the Botero Family Exhibition organized by the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, California in collaboration with the Desert Botanical Garden.


Álvaro Ríos and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing offer a haven for writers and readers
House of Words
Photos by Scott Foust
Built in 1907, the Piper Center was designed by architect James M. Creighton in the Western Colonial style. It was restored in 2005.

“Ilove opening the door to people who have never been here. They’ve walked by the house a million times, but don’t know what it is,” said Christie Swedbergh, associate director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. “It has a soul of its own.”

Built in 1907, the two-story brick cottage is one of the oldest buildings on ASU’s Tempe campus. Home to three university presidents — Arthur John Matthews (1904-30), Ralph W. Swetman (1930-1933) and Grady Gammage (1933-59) — it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

“It’s like stepping back into history, seeing all these different architectural details,” Swedbergh said. “You enter this new world where creative ideas come out of you.”

Sheila Black, Alberto Álvaro Ríos and Christie Swedbergh are passionate about connecting the community through the written word.
Courtesy Piper Center for Creative Writing

The building underwent extensive renovations in 2005 to turn it into a kind of literary mecca. A lifelong lover of the arts, Virginia Piper was a noted Valley philanthropist with a passion for great writing. So much so that in 2003 the trustees of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust felt that an excellent way to honor her legacy while supporting advances at ASU was to give a $10 million grant to establish the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

The center was tasked with organizing a conference, presenting visiting writers, and developing outreach programs and initiatives to enrich the intellectual and artistic life of ASU, the Valley and Arizona as a whole. A tall order for a small house, but one that it was perhaps built for.

“It’s a home, and it was always a home. The kitchen table is different from the lectern in an auditorium,” said ASU professor and Arizona inaugural Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos. Appointed director of the Piper Center in 2017,

Ríos has seen the building work its magic time and again. “It helps you move from where you’re standing to what you’re feeling, which is where the arts are,” he said.

Sometimes, the literary arts can be a forgotten part of “the arts,” but the team at the center sees them as worthy of much more. “They’re an essential community gathering point and way for people to engage in a world of feeling and ideas,” said Sheila Black, assistant director at the Piper Center. “Piper Trust did an unusual thing in endowing a creative writing center focused on writing education and bringing literary arts to the community. There are not many of them nationally, and certainly not funded ones.”

As a result, the team feels fortunate to have a historic space to offer access to good writing education and good writers telling their stories. “We have the ability to create these magnificent programs, and offer them for free to the public without having to build in some sort of revenue,” Swedbergh said.

Courtesy Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing
A portrait of Virginia Piper hangs over the fireplace at the Piper Center for Creative Writing, serving as a reminder of Piper’s love of the literary arts.
“It’s a home, and it was always a home. The kitchen table is different from the lectern in an auditorium.”
ASU professor and director of the Piper Center, Alberto Álvaro Ríos has helped to create a nurturing space where writers of all backgrounds, genres and stages of development can connect and grow.

For instance, the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series brings noted authors to the Valley for readings and other engagements. “It’s exciting to see people who have read the author. They get to shake hands and tell them how much their book impacted them. It’s a huge benefit to both writers but also readers,” Swedbergh said.

To ensure all individuals can benefit from participating in the literary arts, these events are always free and open to the public and they’re held in a range of venues throughout the Valley. “We want to provide a forum for different voices and stories to be heard,” Black said. “We try really hard to be diverse, but also multifaceted. We’re always bringing in very different kinds of writers,” Black said.

But why are the literary arts important in an age of TikTok and ChatGPT?

“It’s easy to explain the benefits of science, medicine and law. People automatically know why that’s important to society, but they don’t quite understand the abstract benefit of the humanities and arts and culture,” Swedbergh said. “They enrich life and make you human.”

As a result, much of the work that happens at the center is intensely personal. The Piper Writers Studio offers intimate, accessible creative writing classes and workshops in person and online. “We help somebody tell their own story, the best way we can,” Ríos said. “If somebody comes to the center because they’re interested in writing, we can certainly get them going.”

Recently, residents at the intergenerational retirement community Mirabella at ASU took part in a memoir class. A group of 10 students, mostly in their 80s, formed their own weekly writing group after that. “A lot of them are writing books for their grandkids,” Swedbergh said, “The things they’ve seen and experienced are really interesting.”

Black likens creativity to a muscle. “People don’t often get to use creative writing, but when they do, almost everyone has good things to do on the page,” she said. “We’re helping them engage in a process of thinking about their lives.”

And sometimes celebrating them.

Poesía del Sol is a program serving another demographic — people with fewer than six months left to live. Winning the Governor’s Arts Award in the program’s original incarnation, this guerrilla arts strategy prepares students to have conversations with palliative care patients. Armed with a laptop, good paper, a printer and a frame, they find stories that families don’t know, the things that would be gone when that person dies.

“Those details matter as a way of celebrating, understanding and cherishing that person,” Ríos said. After the conversation, the student goes into the lobby and writes, prints, frames and presents a personal written work. “We would find out later, this was what was often read at their funeral,” Ríos said.

Writing offers a space to gain wisdom by reflection and to gain an understanding of your life and place in the world. It often has a wellness component. “You’re not asking people like you are in therapy to directly tackle their traumas or tell their stories. You’re often giving them tools to do so metaphorically, almost through a veil,” Black said. “People are able to express and deal with difficult emotions and circumstances in a way that isn’t as traumatic as trying to address them head-on.”

In the Veteran’s Writing Circle — which is free and open to veterans — veterans of all writing levels and interests come together in a safe and creative space. “People often find it very healing and rewarding, because they can say all

Courtesy Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing
The Rez Girls Book Club meets with Debra Magpie Earling during the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. Courtesy Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing Piper Center’s Sheila Black (left) moderates a conversation between poet and ASU professor emeritus Cynthia Hogue and the poet and scholar Wendy Barker.

these things that maybe they wanted to say, but didn’t feel they could,” Black said.

The Piper Center also actively trains teaching artists to go around the community and foster communication and connection through creative expression. It is working to help Latinx, LGBTQ+, youth and older community members to amplify their voices.

These days, the center is buzzing as the team prepares for the annual Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference. Over three days of craft and community, the center will host big names, like poet Joy Harjo, who served three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States.

It is part of a larger effort to revitalize the house. “When COVID hit it, it decimated the staff. Not that they got COVID, but they all went to other jobs,” Ríos said.

The center experienced what Ríos calls a “heartwrenching” 100 percent staff turnover. “We had so much going on, and suddenly we had to totally put the brakes on,” he said. “We wanted to stay together, but the world was suddenly at a crossroads.”

Today, the new team looks forward to expanding its programs, opening the house to the public, and being a high-impact center for good in the community. “We have this talented, passionate team on board that are excited about bringing these programs back in better and bigger ways,” Swedbergh said.

Both a writer’s sanctuary and a creative hub, the Piper

Center is also, at its heart, a house with a past. “Some of the doors are lopsided because the frame was put in crooked and they were doing everything by eye,” Swedbergh said.

Like every old house, it comes with history — this one, appropriately dramatic. It is listed on several Phoenix ghost sites and is reportedly haunted.

“I don’t know that any of my current staff have ever seen it, but we’ve all heard stories,” Ríos said.

Whatever it may be — no worries — the vibes are positive. “Anybody that’s come in that has an empath feeling about it says that it’s a warm energy,” Swedbergh said.

It is fitting that the Piper Center has magical allure. It beckons the broader community, making clear the value of the arts and humanities. As for alchemy, Ríos points to the sorcery of language — that “spell” and “spelling” come from the same root. “When you spell a word correctly, you ask it to come forward from an ocean of half a million words to do your bidding,” he said. “That’s magic. And that’s part of what the arts do.”

The cottage sits in the historic quarter of ASU, inviting all with the majesty and power of words. “I profoundly believe that being able to express yourself is an important power,” Black said. “It’s useful in many arenas of your life. Our job is to demystify it.”

To learn more, visit

The Piper Center team relaxes on the porch of their historic workspace, just steps from the Old Main building near Tyler Mall.

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Provides mentoring and technical support to Arizona researchers and entrepreneurs as they work to develop the treatments and cures that people are waiting for.

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Provides seed and early-stage funding to Arizona based life science businesses and helps bridge the funding gap that slows down the development of Arizona health innovations.



Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation
AZAdvances is an initiative of OTEF, the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, a 501c3 public charity. Learn more and donate at Donate Today

Not the Same Old Song & Dance Collaboration brings

young dancers and musicians together

It’s been said that the best things come in twos. Here’s a great example of that.

Phoenix is fortunate to have a couple of great performing arts organizations that bring traditional and classical musical genres to children — the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras and The School of Ballet Arizona. But it wasn’t until a chance meeting in 2019 that the two ended up performing together.

It started when Maria Simonetti, school director of School of Ballet Arizona, and Matthew Kasper, artistic and general director of Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras, ran into each other by chance at a Phoenix Symphony rehearsal, for which Kasper was a conductor.

“It was kind of a miracle in that he was traveling and was not supposed to conduct that day,” Simonetti said. “But he ran this rehearsal, and I thought he was a good

Photo by Tzu Chia Huang Photo by Tzu Chia Huang

conductor. I Googled him and saw that he was also running a youth orchestra. I thought maybe we could do something together.”

Simonetti then went to a Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras performance a couple of months later. She was so impressed she sent an email to Kasper about collaborating.

“I conducted a little ballet prior to this, just some performances of ‘The Nutcracker,’ but to conduct ballet was very enticing for me personally,” Kasper said. “But also, the idea of actually bringing together both arts groups was really interesting to me and something that I had never heard of before. I thought this would be a great experience for all of our kids who are involved in this.”

They started planning for joint performances, which in particular for the young symphony musicians would present a new set of challenges.

“Some of them would never go see a ballet ordinarily, but now they’re going to be involved in the production of a ballet and playing for ballet,” Kasper said. “That means learning, in terms of how to react to the dancers, to what’s happening on stage and what support we need to give the dancers. It was a really exciting opportunity for them to learn.”

Kasper said that from the standpoint of the orchestra musicians, they learn how physically demanding ballet can be, and the effect their performance and tempo can have on how the dancers perform. For the dancers, thanks to this partnership, they are getting an up-close-and-personal look

at how a symphony orchestra performs, something they might only get if they become professionals.

Everything was coming together perfectly for a joint performance when, of course, COVID hit.

“We were faced with the question of do we keep going forward with this or do we just kind of scrap it?” Kasper said. “Luckily, both of our organizations kept going through the pandemic, and we kept our rehearsals going in very small groups. Maria was the same with some virtual and some in-person, so we were able to keep the momentum.”

The two organizations rehearsed outside on basketball courts and other spaces, and were finally able to do their first joint shows — a run of sold-out performances of “Swan Lake” — outside at the Desert Botanical Garden in 2021. Those were followed by performances of “Sleeping Beauty” in 2022 and “Raymonda” in 2023 at Madison Center for the Arts.

Now, the organizations will collaborate on performances in November and May. The November performances will likely be smaller and spotlight the string sections of the orchestra, but the May performance — which will be announced soon — will have a larger footprint.

The big winners in the partnership are, of course, the kids who perform.

“They love it,” Simonetti said. “One girl who graduated said it’s been the best experience for her to dance to live music because when she was little, she studied music and then stopped because she couldn’t do both. So having the collaboration for her was amazing. And I think for some of the musicians, there’s no way they would have been aware of what ballet was about if it wasn’t for this. Now they’re asking me, ‘What are we doing next year?’”

The School of Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras will mount their fifth combined performance this fall. The collaboration between Maria Simonetti and Matthew Kasper has changed the youth arts scene. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor Photo by Tzu Chia Huang

Both Kasper and Simonetti said the partnership between the School of Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestras is rare — and the only one of this size and scale they are aware of. Parents and audiences have come away from the performances beyond impressed.

“The funny thing about the very first time we did this is that I think a lot of people came to it sort of expecting a high school band concert with some dancing,” Simonetti said. “But this hopefully showcases the dedication that the staff and boards of these two organizations have in getting these really talented kids out there and making them better at what they do.”

To learn more, go to and

The inaugural performance of “Swan Lake” had three sold-out performances at the Desert Botanical Garden. Photo by Tzu Chia Huang Photo by Tzu Chia Huang Photo by Rosalie O’Connor


Board chair of West Valley

Arts Council


I’m an early riser and set aside time in the morning to pray and meditate to get myself focused for the day. Depending on the day and how early my meetings are, I also try to go to the gym for a cardio workout. I check emails before I head out the door to my day job as director of alumni, corporate and foundation relations at Estrella Mountain Community College.



In my role at the college, I have the opportunity to serve on nonprofit boards. I have served on the West Valley Arts Council board of directors for six years, with half that time as board chair. West Valley Arts Council and the college have been partners for more than 20 years on Gallery 37, a summer youth public art program. High school students receive college credit and a cash stipend for their work with a professional artist to design, develop and install a permanent piece of public art for a West Valley city.

West Valley Arts Council is near and dear to my heart and resonates with me because I have a passion for arts and culture. I grew up in an environment where the arts were supported and encouraged. My sister was an artist, and I grew up playing music. I was not very good, but I support it and want the quality of life to increase in the West Valley. I want West Valley residents to have access to arts and culture and utilize the West Valley Arts Council as a vehicle for exposing their families to arts and culture and for artists to have an outlet to support their work. It’s the perfect blend of representing the college on the board and my love of arts and culture.


The West Valley Arts Council is at an interesting spot in the lifecycle of a nonprofit. We are strategically increasing our board to 11 members in an effort to support the sustainability of the organization by making sure fundraising and revenue exist to secure it into the future. People’s livelihoods are connected to this operation, and you feel a heavy responsibility and weight of it all.

One of my responsibilities as board chair is to lead the board and serve as a good liaison between the board and our executive director, Michael Denson, ensuring we are on the same page and moving in the same direction when it comes to the organization’s vision and strategic plan.

I focus on the nuts and bolts of running a board meeting, which includes meeting with Michael one week before


our monthly board meetings. We prepare by me providing guidance on where the board wants more emphasis in his summary, and he, in turn, gives me a heads up on any issues. We are in constant contact outside of the board-prep meeting. I am accessible to him for whatever issue arises, problem solve with him and involve others as needed.


P.M. >> GIVE + GET

I utilize many of my professional skills in my role as board chair. Interpersonal abilities — diplomacy and mediation — are exercised, and I also weave in the fundraising skill set I have as the development officer for the college. I help Michael think through fundraising activities, such as how to present sponsorship packages.

I feel a connectedness and satisfaction for my contribution to promoting and growing the accessibility of the arts in the West Valley. I also enjoy my friendships with people on the board and working with Michael. These interpersonal relationships keep me involved and engaged.


The West Valley Arts Council has been around for over 50 years, but people still don’t know about the organization. Our challenge is getting the word out that we exist and attracting people to visit the exhibits and outdoor space at the Arts HQ Gallery in Surprise. In some respects, there is competition in society to get the arts out there. We must therefore make sure we are offering a good product and show value.

I see an opportunity right now to work with other West Valley municipalities to promote art and help cities grow. Cities want to attract companies to the West Valley by showing that quality of life exists for employees and their families, including education and a vibrant arts community. The West Valley Arts Council can be a partner with the cities in growing economic development.


I encourage everyone to find their passion and see where they can serve on boards. When you start giving back, you see issues a particular organization is helping resolve. This increases empathy, understanding and awareness of those community issues.

I recently heard the phrase, “An act of service is an act of peace.” This resonated with me because when you’re giving of yourself through service, you’re creating that space of peace. I think this is something our community members need a bit more of, and board service can do that.

To learn more, go to

Students of the Gallery 37 program stand next to their newly revealed public work, “Gabion Cactus,” which is located in Goodyear and completed in fall 2022. WVAC board chair Jonathan Robles (back) attends a private reception and tour for Estrella Mountain Community College staff hosted by local artist Edgard Fernandez (front).

Celebrating 25 years of enriching community life

This year, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust is celebrating 25 years of community grantmaking in Arizona and Indiana. To honor Mrs. Pulliam’s legacy of giving, the Trust continues to support the Heard Museum to enrich Arizona community life.

Enchanted by Native American art and culture, Mrs. Pulliam was a lifelong supporter and board member at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. Since its founding in 1929, the museum has become internationally recognized for presenting the first-person stories of Native American people as well as the quality of its collections, exhibitions, and educational programming. The museum regularly collaborates with Native American artists and tribal communities to provide visitors with a distinctive perspective about the art and lives of Native people.

Learn more about the Heard Museum at

Away From Home is one of the Heard’s longest running exhibits as well as the first museum exhibit to tell the stories of Native American boarding schools from the perspectives of Native people. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HEARD MUSEUM

Ginger Clayton, CEO, Elontec


Melody Lewis, Owner & Founder, Indigenous Community Collaborative

Jen Scrivner, Chief Operating Officer, Goodmans


Tara Jackson, President, Arizona Town Hall

Jeri Royce, President & CEO, Advance Community

Lorraine Tallman, Founder & CEO, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels


Kristen Shroyer, Co-Founder & Chief Impact Officer, ONEHOPE

Ashlee Atkins, Diversity Manager, ASU Enterprise Partners

Naquana Borrero, CFRE, Director of Development and Communications, Jazz in Arizona/ The Nash, and Proprietor & Principal Consultant, Bella Vita Consulting Group

Heather Vana, Senior Director of External Communications, Avnet

Dawn Trapp, Chief Executive Officer, Civitan Foundation, Inc.

Congratulations to the 2023 ATHENA Awards Finalists! Join the Greater Phoenix Chamber on November 15th to celebrate these incredible women and find out who will be named ATHENA! ATHENA Awards Luncheon Wednesday, November 15th | 11 a.m.–1 p.m. JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Artists Known

The tiny sign beside the painting read, “Artist once known.” This was a departure from the typical “Artist Unknown,” when painters’ names are lost. The difference struck Tricia Loscher. “It gave me goosebumps,” she said. “And it made me realize that everyone and everything has a story. So do museum visitors, especially when their personal experiences shape their perspective of the exhibits they’re viewing.”

It’s with this philosophy that Loscher goes about her work as assistant director and chief curator of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. But her interest in historical stories was born decades ago. Walking through the Prescott Forest behind her childhood home was magical. “The wind spoke through the trees, and remnants of people long gone washed to the surface after each rain,” Loscher said.f rock tools and shards of pottery — each

Throughart and artifacts, Tricia Loscher tells stories of those who’ve come before
Tricia Loscher’s dream of becoming a curator was inspired by a childhood visit to the Heard Museum.

She found bits of rock tools and shards of pottery — each thrilling find inspiring her to learn about the people who left them. She was 7 when she first visited the Heard Museum, and instantly recognized that the museum painted the stories of the people from long ago, giving them second chances at becoming known. Their lives were reborn every time new visitors viewed their art and artifacts. That was the moment Loscher set her life course to become a curator.

Her first magazine subscription was to Southwest Art. Traveling across the American West with her family, she saw the landscapes that jumped from the magazine’s pages and was entranced by the ranchers and trading post owners she met. When it came time for college, Loscher earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arizona State University in art history and fine arts, respectively. When she became curator of the Heard Museum, her long-held dream became reality.

Twelve years later, a yen to teach led her to the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in art history. She missed curating, though, and in 2014, the second act of her personal dream manifested. The Museum of the West was in its planning stages, and Loscher was named curator. It was thrilling and intimidating at the same time, as she realized her planning would be not for just current exhibits, but for many into the future. As in five years into the future!

“It was tough going at first,” Loscher said, “and then we became a Smithsonian Museum affiliate. And everything changed. Having that connection gave us important legitimacy in both grant and acquisition success.”

Loscher considers the exhibits’ whole context, wanting to entertain and educate the museum’s visitors. An important part of that mission is bringing women artists to the fore.

“Women artists have often been forgotten or relegated to the basement of a museum. Historically, they haven’t had a voice,” she said. “I want to continue to tell their stories as a


way of inspiring a curiosity about the West, its cultures and how that impacts society as a whole.”

A favorite is Jessie Benton Evans, whose work hangs in the museum. Known for her brightly colored desert landscapes, Evans is considered one of the most important Arizona artists of the early 20th century. The museum holds Evans’s written archives (letters and notes about her work), as well, which Loscher feels act as a thread, weaving Evans’s story from the past to the future.

The museum is looking toward its next phase of growth. “I feel like we’ve only just begun,” Loscher said.

“We’re planning an expansion, envisioning how new exhibit spaces can accommodate current and future collections and gifts. We want to bring in state-of-the-art technology and interactive elements for a more enhanced visitor engagement.”

As she did in those early days, when she first held pottery shards in her hands, Loscher believes that every piece of history — whether art or artifact — is an entity with a life of its own. And like the phoenix itself, they are reborn each time a new visitor first lays eyes on them.

To learn more, visit

Loren Anderson Photography Tricia Loscher (second from left) at the ‘John Coleman: Past/Present/Future’ exhibition with Western Spirit founding director/CEO Mike Fox (far left), artist John Coleman and his wife, Sue. “Southwest Garden Party” (detail) by Jessie Benton Evans. 1935. Oil on canvas, Southwest Women’s Art Collection gift of Fran and Edward Elliott. Powered by

Where Jazz

Lovers Gather

The Nash celebrates an American art form


The Nash is part of Jazz in Arizona, Inc., a nonprofit founded in 1977 to celebrate and build the Valley’s jazz community. Attorney Herb Ely and jazz pianist Joel Goldenthal dreamed of creating a jazz performance venue and education center. After conducting focus groups with student musicians and seasoned instructors, they came up with the concept for The Nash, including naming it after Lewis Nash, a Phoenix native and iconic jazz drummer. When The Nash opened in downtown Phoenix in 2012, the first note played in the venue was played by trumpet great Wynton Marsalis.


The Nash celebrates the rich tradition and ongoing innovation of jazz. It is known for its commitment to introducing students to jazz and providing topquality jazz education from professional musicians to students interested in playing America’s original art form. The Nash also offers almost 300 quality live performances a year with local musicians as well as national and international touring jazz artists.


$1.35 Million


The Nash

Most Surprising Thing About the Organization

“Its history,” said managing director Steve Maun. Jazz in Arizona, Inc. has existed for nearly 45 years and has always worked to build a vibrant jazz community in Phoenix and beyond. “I think the fact that we present nearly 300 shows a year at The Nash is also surprising. That is a lot of shows for such a small staff,” Maun said.

Program Highlight

As a result of The Nash’s participation in the ATLAS program offered by Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, The Nash has been able to hire its first full-time director of education and a director of fund development and communications. “These two recent hires greatly enhance The Nash’s capacity and sustainability as a successful nonprofit,” Maun said. “Our director of education, Dr. Clark Gibson, organized and held our first Nash Jazz Summer Camp this past June with 83 students participating in the weeklong camp.” The camp culminated with a Friday night faculty concert and 11 student ensemble shows on Saturday at The Nash.


Recent Challenges

The pandemic forced The Nash to close for approximately 16 months, a period that was challenging financially and programmatically. To maintain a connection with students, patrons and donors, The Nash offered virtual shows and education opportunities and held a series of outdoor performances at Venue 122.

“The challenge continued when we reopened in July 2021 because, after such a long closure, it was not as simple as turning on the lights and opening the door,” Maun said. “We made several modifications to our operations and, in some ways, learned how to operate all over again. We had to reengage with our constituents and bring them back to The Nash.”

FutureThe team at The Nash is looking forward to the continued growth of its education and outreach programs. In the past year, they added three new ensembles and held the first Nash Jazz Summer Camp. “We served four times more students than in the past,” Maun said. “I believe we will continue to expand participation based on our current momentum.”

To learn more, visit

scottsdale center for the performing arts scottsdale museum of contemporary art scottsdale public art scottsdale arts learning & innovation canal convergence civic center live CLICK CALL 480-499-TKTS (8587) BELONG DONATE CIVIC CENTER LIVE GRAND OPENING CONCERT Wilco And special guests My Brightest Diamond Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m. East Bowl – Scottsdale Civic Center Check out our full-lineup of events at We Are Scottsdale Arts! We are dedicated to providing access to art experiences for all in our community. Experience great performances on stage, contemporary art of our time, monumental public artworks, early and lifelong art education, and outdoor events under the Southwest sky. Discover Scottsdale Arts, the cultural and creative DNA of Scottsdale! The epicenter of arts and culture in Scottsdale.

Central Coast Circuit

Road trip from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles

Longing for a long weekend away? With three direct flights daily from Sky Harbor, sparkling ocean views and lush hillside vineyards, Santa Barbara awaits! The classic California mission-style city is quaint, with walkable ways to explore both downtown and the shore. Stay for a day or two to take in the cool ocean breeze, then rent a car to wander the backroads and country hillsides to the epicenter of the Central Coast wine region: Paso Robles.

Stunning Santa Barbara

Luxury accommodations abound, each with distinct surroundings and experiences. If you want to be on the water with beach access, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is the place to be. Tall palms surround its patios and the activity list includes an award-winning golf course, a spa like no other and eight California-inspired dining options. New Fireside

Garden Rooms with private patio firepits make for the coziest of retreats.

For a touch of history and a view from up high, El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel opened in 1918, attracting the era’s Hollywood elite. The property offers suites and bungalows as well as a 7-acre garden, zero-edge pool and cave diving as one of the signature activities.

If you want a more Western experience, Alisal Ranch in Santa Ynez Valley just north of Santa Barbara invented the term “luxury dude ranch” — think acres of private riding trails and a serene lake. The family-friendly property offers a vast array of complimentary activities, including bikes, fishing gear, kayaks and shuttles to Solvang, the town famous for its Danish traditions. Gourmet BBQ offerings and special culinary weekends make this unique property one you will not forget.

Photo by The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara Photo courtesy Alisal Ranch
Photo by El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

During your stay, set aside time to stroll through the downtown district’s many shops and boutiques. If you crave the Pacific, local outfitters of all types wait in the harbor with whale watching, dolphin chasing and cruising Channel Islands National Park. Touted as the “Galapagos of North America,” the chain of five islands is home to more than 2,000 plants and animals, many of which can only be found on the islands. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to see California sea lions, cormorants and the world’s fastest-flying bird — the peregrine falcon — while keeping their eyes peeled for the endemic island fox.

As one of four host cities of the California Wine Festival, culinary adventures are everywhere. Plan ahead with reservations, but we also recommend exploring the breezy, casual cafes along the way. Before taking off for the day’s adventures, head to Helena Avenue Bakery for takeaway pastries, a full menu of decadent toasts or delicious breakfast tacos. You can even pre-order picnic items and pop into the Santa Barbara Wine Collective next door before taking off for the countryside or boating fun.

Wandering downtown at lunchtime, happy hour or dinner? Check out La Paloma Café, the old-school Spanishand Mexican-influenced establishment that recently

reopened after a 37-year hiatus, serving up oak-grilled nopales, vegetable pozole verde and Santa Maria-style Angus tri-tip. For casual fare, try Lucky Penny for artisanal pizza, Loquita for Spanish tapas, wood-fired seafood and paella, or The Lark, named for the sleek overnight Pullman train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that serviced Santa Barbara from 1910-1968. All three restaurants are located in the arts district, now called the Funk Zone.

Sea caves at the Channel Islands National Park Photo by Santa Barbara Adventure Company/ Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara Paella at Loquita Photo by Loquita/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Road-Trip Time

Ready to wine and dine? Paso Robles, the unofficial capital of Central Coast winery offerings, is a scenic two-hour drive from Santa Barbara. If you want to stretch out your tour, several historic spots are worth a stop or even an overnight stay. Swing into Cold Spring Tavern as you venture north for a peek into an 1868 stagecoach stop and some of their hearty food and charm. If something a little more elegant is your style, make a reservation at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The children of the late actor Fess Parker have continued his fantastic 19-room inn, charming restaurant and wine-tasting experiences. From there, watch for wineries to pop into as you travel up the 101 to Paso Robles. If you’re looking for one more stop or stay on the coast, the Dolphin Bay Resort on the cliffs of Pismo Beach is worth a detour for the views alone.

Add-In Adventures

Want to extend the fun? These attractions are mere minutes from downtown Paso Robles. (Reservations highly recommended.)

Hot Springs — three Paso Robles locations

Balloons Over Paso (hot air balloon tours)

Harris Stage Lines (stagecoach tours) — 4.5 miles

Tin City (tasting & food experiences) — 4.5 miles

Mt. Olive Organic Farm (olive tasting) — 5 miles

Vina Robles Amphitheatre (concerts) — 5 miles

Bruce Munro: Light at Sensorio — 5 miles (walk-through light show)

Central Coast Lavender Farm — 6 miles

Cayucos — 23 miles

Morro Bay — 28 miles

Hearst Castle (San Simeon) — 37 miles

101 46 46 Harris Stage Lines Mt. Olive Organic Farm Tin City Bruce Munro: Lights at Sensorio Vina Robles Amphitheatre Paso Robles Central Coast Lavender Farm To Cayucos To Morro Bay To Hearst Castle The Funk Zone Photo by Max Whittaker/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara Courtesy Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

Precious Paso Robles

As with many wine-growing areas, the downtown square is the main hub for locals and visitors alike. Downtown Paso Robles is home to more than 20 tasting rooms, including outlets for nearby Justin Vineyards, Tudor Wines and a unique wine-tasting and spice-pairing experience at LXV Wine. Not-to-miss dining spots include TASTE! Craft Eatery for unique California bites, BL Brasserie for classic French fare or La Cosecha for small plates and creative pizza. Beer lovers will dig the sprawling California Coast Brewing Co., which offers great local beers with live music and food trucks. If you’re staying in the area, check out the cozy Hotel Cheval, which even has a S’mores Butler on staff!

Eberle Winery Photo courtesy The view at DAOU Family Estates Photo courtesy LXV Wines Photo courtesy DAOU Family Estates

The Paso Robles wine trails are organized into several sections, so getting yourself organized with a driver is highly advisable. Many of the wineries are packed with special events on the weekends, and reservations make a huge difference during peak season. Peachy Canyon has beautiful picnic grounds, the J. Lohr calendar is filled with foodie fun (events sell out fast) and THE place to wine and dine on your tour is DAOU Family Estates. Reserve your tasting experience online and get ready for the view, the wines and incredible California cuisine pairings (we’re talking caviar, oysters and steak au poivre).

Cheers to your next California adventure!

Photo courtesy Hotel Cheval
SSOM2023 CC/PDR Silverstone, L.L.C. is the sole entity responsible for the performance of the continuing care contracts at Vi at Silverstone. 23005 N. 74th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 480.805.2776 • It is, at Vi at Silverstone. This is where world-class amenities and warm, welcoming people who make you feel like you’re always among friends add up to 33 acres of exceptional retirement living. A community that appreciates the arts and the art of living well. Learn how all that, plus a continuum of care should the need arise, can be yours. Can retirement living be elegant and inviting?
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National Philanthropy Day Luncheon

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 39th Annual AFP National Philanthropy Day Leadership Awards. Congratulations to these outstanding and deserving recipients of the 2023 Leadership Awards!

Join us Friday, November 17th, at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort where the recipients of the 2023 Leadership Awards and Spirit of Philanthropy awards will be recognized.

JoEllen Doornboos

Philanthropist of the Year

Nominated by: Phoenix Zoo

Chandler Compadres

Outstanding Corporate/Foundation of the Year

Nominated by: Boys and Girls Club of the Valley

Stacey Lovell

Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year

Nominated by: HonorHealth Foundation

Ashleigh Leite

Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year

Nominated by: HonorHealth Foundation

Pinnacle Peak High School Key Club

Outstanding Youth Fundraiser of the Year

Nominated by: OCJ Kids

Tatumn Zale

Emerging Fundraiser of the Year

Nominated by: FSL

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Media Sponsor Design Sponsor

Scan the QR code or visit to purchase tickets or a table, submit your Spirit of Philanthropy honoree, or purchase an ad in the program.

Supporting Sponsors

Abeja Solutions

Arizona Community Foundation

Arizona Diamondbacks

Black, Starr & Frost



Desert Diamond Casino West Valley

Donor Recognition Art Fiesta Bowl Charities

Fry’s Food Stores



Kim Joyce & Associates

Northern Trust

The Phoenix Philanthropy Group

Raise the Bar Consulting

Salt River Project

Synergy Philanthropy


Anhelo Brings Fine Dining to Downtown Phoenix

Reimagined retreat oozes elegance

ANHELO is Spanish for desire. To chef Ivan Jacobo, desire applies to the guests, the staff and the experience. “We focus on the full experience from the moment you walk into the restaurant to the moment you leave,” he said. “We offer fine dining, but we like to have fun and create a relaxing environment. Many of our reservations are for celebrations and it’s our privilege to share our guests’ special occasions.”

Jacobo was born in Mexico and grew up in the West Valley. “I didn’t cook growing up because I had a traditional Mexican mother who cooked everything,” he said. “I was thinking about being a mechanic but in high school I was inspired by ‘Iron Chef.’ I had never seen food that looked like art like that.”

Photos by Grace Stufkosky


Jacobo studied culinary arts at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale. The first in his family to go to college, he didn’t know about scholarships and worked his way through school with his parents’ help. A few classes shy of graduating, he left school to take his first job at Verrado in Buckeye, which was a great learning experience.

After spending time working in California, Jacobo moved back to the Phoenix area. He worked long hours at a few restaurants, then opened a food truck. Volunteering at a charity event inspired him to start doing pop-up dinners. “I saw strangers coming together to enjoy a meal while supporting a cause, and I fell in love with hospitality,” he said.

His pop-ups started small but soon became so popular that they regularly sold out, which led to the opening of Anhelo in Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix in 2019.

“It started out as a more casual concept but grew into fine dining as we got more business clientele,” Jacobo said. “With so many bars and casual restaurants, there was a need for a fine dining restaurant in downtown Phoenix.”

In 2022, Anhelo moved to the historic Orpheum Lofts building and the restaurant has flourished due to its excellent service, expansive wine list and beautiful dishes featuring high-quality ingredients.

Anhelo offers a three-course or seven-course menu with a la carte items available on request. Some items on the menu change based on seasonality. Popular items on the recent menu include foie gras torchon


with papaya and pomegranate, duck with honey glaze and lavender crust, and Australian lamb with whipped potatoes. Menu favorites include roasted cauliflower, scallops with sweet potato puree and beef Wellington with wild mushroom duxelles and prosciutto.

A Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards winner, Anhelo offers expert wine pairings with its menus. Anhelo also hosts wine dinners with some of the world’s best winemakers.

Giving back has always been important to Jacobo. A portion of sales from the restaurant’s house wines benefit LoveIAM, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families and children with congenital heart defects. He recently started a scholarship fund for culinary students at Estrella Mountain Community College, inspired by his own challenges paying for school.

“Our staff is like a family, and we love coming together to support worthy causes,” Jacobo said.

For more information, visit

continued... 4001 N. 24th St. Phoenix, AZ 85016 ph: 602.957.0186 fax: 602.956.0463


Rancho Feliz brings people together to transcend cultural boundaries through education and service work on the Arizona/Mexico border. Join us for an unforgettable weekend at our kid friendly “Families Give Back Holiday Open House” Friday, December 15th - Sunday, December 17th. Activities include building a brick home for a local family, spending time at an orphanage, and packaging and distributing food to the needy.



Scan the code for full itinerary and details
the power of purpose through service this holiday season. Experience
no better way to experience compassion,
and our intrinsic connection.
>>> |

Seafood & Sustainability

Chula Seafood is a desert favorite

PEOPLE are often surprised that fresh seafood can be found in the desert. Chula Seafood brings fresh seafood from San Diego to Arizona several times a week in its fleet of refrigerated vans. The seafood is delivered to Chula’s North Scottsdale warehouse for processing and cutting, and then delivered to Chula’s three retail locations and restaurant customers. Chula provides fresh seafood to more than 60 Valley restaurants, including Bacanora, Valentine, Hush Public House, and Aftermath.

Photos courtesy of Chula Seafood

“People don’t realize how close Arizona is to the ocean. Fresh seafood can be here in five hours,” said Mandy Heflin, one of the owners and co-founder of Chula’s Arizona operations. The Heflin family has had a commercial fishing boat in San Diego for 25 years. In 2015, the family recognized the need for fresh seafood in the desert and began delivering straight from the boat to Arizona. This led to the opening of Chula’s first seafood market and restaurant in South Scottsdale in 2016, followed by locations in Central Phoenix in 2019 and North Scottsdale in 2022. These locations offer markets with fresh seafood that consumers can take home, as well as a variety of meals that can be enjoyed in the restaurant.

Chula is especially proud of its culinary team’s creativity. “Our chefs have a blank canvas of beautiful fresh fish to work with and have come up with unique dishes like swordfish Bolognese and Thai swordfish sausage, which won the 2023 Devour Culinary Classic,” Heflin said. “Our daily features in our restaurants give our chefs the freedom to create.”

Bestsellers on Chula’s menu include fish and chips, green chile tuna melt, and poke bowls. Popular market items include salmon, swordfish, scallops and halibut.

With three restaurants, a warehouse and drivers, Chula Seafood employs more than 100 people in Arizona.

“We want to make sure our team is happy and we are all focused on the same goal to provide the best seafood, the best customer service and best dining experience,” Heflin said.

Sustainability is another key to Chula’s success. “Sustainability is ingrained in our business in so many ways, starting with sustainable fishing, which correlates to ocean preservation for future generations,” Heflin said. “We repurpose all parts from the animal to create dishes. We also practice sustainability in our restaurant operations.”

Chula continues to build its local presence. “We built our business by providing fresh seafood to the desert and filling a market need,” Heflin said. “We want to give our customers the quality they deserve and make sure our seafood is as fresh as possible. We pride ourselves on educating retail and wholesale customers on different species and what’s available. The collaboration between our wholesale and retail presence has helped us grow and become a trusted seafood purveyor.”

To learn more, visit


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“The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught in Between”


“The Arizona Jewish Historical Society is engaged in a capital campaign to create a permanent Holocaust education center here in the Valley. This new project will teach students and the public about the Holocaust and other closely related topics through the eyes of survivors who witnessed them.

With this in mind, I recommend ‘The Unwanted’ by Michael Dobbs. This rich history examines the experiences of the Jews of Kippenheim, a small town in southwestern Germany, which had the ignominious distinction in 1940 of being the first region of the Third Reich to become officially judenrein, or cleansed of Jews. Because the Jews of Kippenheim were deported from Germany before the creation of death camps in the east, they were sent to newly conquered France, where French authorities interned them in the Vichy-controlled region. Both in Germany and in France, the refugees desperately applied for American immigration visas, but were denied by State Department officials who considered them to be racially undesirable, and who feared that admitting some refugees would open the floodgates to millions more. Finally, in the summer of 1942, the remainder of this small community was deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered by gas, shooting and starvation.

Dobbs does a remarkable job of humanizing the experiences of this distinct community. From the terror of Kristallnacht in 1938 to the brutal deportation of these Jews from France to Auschwitz in 1942, the book offers a harrowing depiction of refugees’ experiences, as well as those of the various diplomats, aid workers and bystanders they encountered.

Nearly 80 years have passed since the end of World War II. Yet the Holocaust continues to have great relevance to our lives today. It stands as a warning for where hatred and intolerance can lead, and as a call against indifference to the suffering of others.”

For more information, go to



“The Desert’s Garden” by Arizona-based artist Tammi Lynch-Forrest melds thousands of handmade mosaic tiles illustrating the plants and charming animals that make up Scottsdale’s terrain. Spread over 40 feet, the mosaic represents the flow of time, depicting three eras of the land through the plants and animals present. Visitors can spy olive and desert ironwood trees, poppies, monarch butterflies, yucca and more throughout the mosaic. The piece was commissioned for the Scottsdale Civic Center’s 2021-23 renovation project and resides on the southwest corner of Scottsdale City Hall.

Creating in Maricopa County No single strategy, program or organization can create Mighty Change alone. It takes all of us, and that’s where United Way thrives. We won’t stop until every child, family and individual is healthy, has a safe place to live, and has every opportunity to succeed in school, in work and in life. Creating Mighty Change in HEALTH | HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS | EDUCATION | WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Join us!

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