In 1989, Artlink Phoenix’s Art Detour officially launched in Downtown Phoenix as a Saturday afternoon event, which has since grown to include many of Arizona’s major cities and now encompasses the full month of March.

Art Detour 36 offers a self-guided tour of art and culture events, allowing patrons to explore what they want to see when they want to see it.

Every year promises ambitious day trips to far-flung areas, such as Carefree, Gilbert and Tubac. But, one doesn’t need to wander far for immersion in the arts. Don’t look further than the area that helped shift the perspective of Phoenix as a creative city.

Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) is proud to present a sample of our art and culture Members within the Greater Downtown core who are fostering a rich reputation almost four decades later.

A selection of Garden Bar Phoenix’s signature cocktails. The Queen Bee is on the far-right corner of the photo. (Photo by Taylor Costello)

Bespoke Cocktail Experience (Garden Bar Phx) – Wednesdays in March, 5 PM – 10 PM

There are cocktails, and then there are cocktails. In the heart of the Roosevelt Historic Neighborhood, Garden Bar Phx sets itself apart from the other turn-of-the-century Bungalows on the block with a refined cocktail concept by James Beard-honored mixologist Kim Haasarud.

In 2020, Haasarud opened Garden Bar Phx, emphasizing locally sourced ingredients for simple yet elevated cocktails and charcuterie (grazing) boards. Haasarud and her staff of accomplished mixologists curate a revolving menu of selections to match the season.

If you’ve never experienced their vintage cocktail staples, there is no better primer. Try the Queen Bee; you won’t regret it! Garden Bar highly recommends making reservations.

Garden Bar Phx | 822 N 6th Avenue | Call for Details

Star Wars in Concert is a popular staple at the Phoenix Symphony, with multiple films in the series given live orchestration. (Photo Courtesy of the Phoenix Symphony)

Star Wars: A New Hope In Concert (Phoenix Symphony) – Friday – Sunday, March 15 – 17, Various Times

An evening of one of pop culture’s most recognized film scores performed live during a Star Wars: A New Hope screening.

In mid-March, the Phoenix Symphony returns to reoccurring programming of the orchestra performing a soundtrack in union with a corresponding film. In the past, they’ve staged live orchestrations of contemporary films, including The Princess Bride, West Side Story, and the Harry Potter series.

With a unique immediacy that is not available elsewhere, it will be as close as you can get to seeing John Williams perform his iconic discography.

Phoenix Symphony Hall | 75 N 2nd Street | $45+

Every year, live artistic performances and Art d’Core Gala attendees orbit the same space while honoring local figures within the community. (Photo by Zee Peralta)

Artlink’s 11th Annual Art D’Core Gala (Artlink & Phoenix Art Museum) – Saturday, March 16, 5:30 PM – 10 PM

If there’s a main event of Art Detour 36, it’s the Art D’Core Gala. Every year, live artistic performances and attendees orbit in the same space while honoring figures within the community. This year, the event relocated from Park Central to the Phoenix Art Museum, its partner venue.

Those honored at this year’s Gala include Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Bentley Calverley, Owner of Bentley Gallery, Rick Naimark, Associate Vice President at Arizona State University, and Doris Ong.

The theme of this year’s gala is ‘PANORAMA,’ and it fits the overall perspective of various factors that contributed to the local artistic scene prospering.

Phoenix Art Museum | 1625 N Central Avenue | $150

Since 2006, Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies has been a staple at the Phoenix Art Museum. (Photo Courtesy of the Phoenix Art Museum)

Art Talk: The Legacy of Yayoi Kusama (Phoenix Art Museum) – Tuesday, March 19, 6 PM – 7 PM

If you’ve ever wandered Phoenix Art Museum’s “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” installation, a darkened, mirrored room lit by hanging string lights that lend the impression you’ve stepped outside of time and space, then you’ve experienced some of contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s work.

The art installation, called an “infinity room,” is the tip of the spear of a career that explores the infinite and how polka dots factor into Kusama’s depersonalized vision. Learn what personal influences helped her carve out an iconic career at the museum’s latest periodical Art Talk.

Phoenix Art Museum | 1625 N Central Avenue | $5

The Rosson House was built in 1895 and underwent a thorough an extension restoration in the 1970s. In 1980, the historic 1895 Queen Anne home reopened as a museum. (Photo Courtesy of Heritage Square Foundation)

Rosson House Museum Happy Hour Tour (Heritage Square Foundation) – Thursday, March 21 & 28, 6 PM – 7:30 PM

They don’t make them like this anymore. Follow Rosson House Museum staff as they guide patrons through the restored 1895 Queen Anne home, whose history weathered more than a century of blight, Downtown redevelopment, and eventually renewed collective pride. However, this part of the tour is dry.

Afterward, commiserate over two glasses of wine with others on the tour, which are built into the overall ticket price.

Rosson House Museum | 113 N 6th Street | $30

Arizona State University’s Popular Music 2024 Industry Career Conference returns to Fusion on First on Saturday, March 23, 10 AM – 5 PM.

Popular Music Industry Career Conference (Fusion on First) – Saturday, March 23, 10 AM – 5 PM

An experience within an experience: Join Arizona State University (ASU) for their Popular Music 2024 Industry Career Conference, returning after a successful first event in 2023.

Step inside Fusion on First, budding musicians and learn from the collective expertise of industry professionals. Mentoring opportunities throughout the facility include one-on-one meetings, small groups in the recording studio, and jam sessions.

The event kicks off with an intimate concert at Valley Bar by Grammy nominee Marco Mares the night before. Live performances from Popular Music Program students and faculty punctuate the actual conference day at Crescent Ballroom.

Programming will include a panel discussion “Arizona Is the Center of the Universe” featuring Phoenix City Councilmember Yassamin Ansari, ASU’s Popular Music Program executive director Erin Barra, Visit Phoenix marketing director Steven Totten and Downtown Phoenix Inc. chief growth officer R.J. Price.

Special Bonus: Conference attendees will also be the first to hear about a music festival coming to Downtown this fall.

ASU offers complimentary access to all students and educators.

Fusion on First | 380 N 1st Avenue | $100 general admission

On Central Fashion Weekend presented by The Garment League. (Photo: The Garment League)

On Central – Downtown Phoenix Fashion Weekend (The Garment League) (3/23, 7 PM – 10 PM)

Along Valley Metro’s future Downtown hub, The Garment League returns to host their 7th annual fashion runway event at CityScape. Where the future light rail tracks travel to South Phoenix, 200 models strut down a unique runway to showcase the newest collections from more than a dozen designers.

CityScape | 1 E Washington Street | $75

Other Art Detour 36 events featuring PCA Members: Barrio Exhibit @ Herberger Theater (Throughout March), ( Latin Sol Pre-Party @ The Duce (3/14, 9 PM – 1 AM), Dialog After Dark: Life Drawing Series @ dialog (3/14 & 3/28, 7 – 9:30 PM), Performance Pop-Up: Gabriel Bey @ Herberger Theater (3/16, 6 – 7 PM), ‘Totems’ Series by Joan Waters (3/19 & 3/26, 8 AM – 9 PM),  Films @ PhxArt: Vagabond (3/20, 6 – 8 PM), Arizona School for the Arts Campus Tours (3/27 & 4/10, 1:30 – 2:30 PM), Performance Pop-Up: Phoenix Conservatory of Music (3/30, 6 – 7 PM)

With the Greater Downtown Phoenix core flush with art activations, the Member events on this list only represent a fraction of what’s available.

But this is the beauty of living in a creative city where no day is the same.

Artlink Phoenix invites you to make your artistic journey during Art Detour 36. Peruse their online calendar highlighting exhibits at traditional galleries, tours of artist studios, performing arts, the culinary arts, and so much more.

For every other day of the year, follow the Artinerary site to plan your customized itinerary of what’s happening locally.

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