Park Central Continues to Expand Impact on Arts in the Valley

Article originally posted on Commercial Executive Magazine on November 22, 2021

Hosts New Arts Initiatives, Creation of Murals and Performances 

As the revitalized Park Central continues to grow and expand, it’s also expanding its footprint as an arts hub in the Valley.

Park Central has already hosted dozens of visual and performing arts events over the past few years, and is adding several more key arts components in the coming months.

Currently, Park Central is serving as home for the finalization of the Violet Protest, a project supported by the Phoenix Art Museum. The Violet Protest is a public effort to send 50 hand-made textile squares to each member of Congress in support of these core American values: Respect for the other, Citizenship, Compromise, Country over party and corporate influence, Courage, Candor, Compassion and Creativity.

At the request of the museum, Park Central is hosting the preparation of sending the actual artwork to members of Congress, a process that is lasting several weeks.

Additionally, the City of Phoenix has chosen Park Central as the location of a significant new public art mural installation  on the 3rd Avenue side of Park Central. The mural celebrates the community’s Hispanic heritage will be installed during the month of November by artists Estevan Curiel and Jesus Gallo.

The mural will include a pattern that combines some of the key elements of Park Central with imagery consistent with the community, including bees that represent housing and the working community, a ripple of color based on serape patterns, the sun represented as a marigold flower, and stencil usage to represent the papel picado medium.

And, Park Central continues to host significant arts events in conjunction with Artlink, which curates art programming at Park Central and is headquartered on site.

Park Central will celebrate the holiday season at “Tableau Vivant — Holiday Edition,” a window shopping experience. Tableau Vivant (“living picture”) is an original outdoor one-of-a-kind holiday showcase featuring live mannequins, creative window installations and displays for a vintage, exhibit-like experience. The kickoff celebration will be held on Black Friday, November 26, featuring fashion, art and holiday shopping. Attendees will enjoy live music performances in the Park Central Arts Pavilion presented by Friday Night Live. Tableau Vivant is presented by Artlink, The Garment League and For the People.

Artlink is hosting several other events in early 2022, including its 9th annual Art d’Core Gala on March 11, 2022 at Park Central to raise funds for programs that support Arizona’s arts and culture community. Art d’Core is the signature event in the lineup for the 34th annual Art Detour, Phoenix’s original art walk event. Art Detour, which spans an entire month, is an all-inclusive celebration of art, creativity and culture that features events and exhibitions throughout the state.

Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of the co-developers of Park Central, said the arts have been a significant priority in the revitalization of Park Central since Day One. 

“We recognized the opportunity from the beginning to build Park Central in a way that would embrace and enhance the community’s arts and culture,” Harper said. “The integration of arts and culture with the business, educational, bioscience and healthcare tenants of Park Central combine to create innovative and exciting experiences for everyone.”

Plaza Companies and Tucson’s Holualoa Companies have teamed up to redevelop Park Central into a vibrant destination, which once was the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies have transitioned the expansive space from a retail center to an almost 500,000-square-foot bustling community hub ideal for playing, working, congregating and celebrating the arts. They have also paved the way for the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus on site and a new 2,000-space parking garage, as well as the construction of new restaurants set to begin in the coming weeks.

Park Central is already home to two major mural installations, one at the project’s entrance and another on the south side of the Catalina parking structure. It also has a significant sculpture, The Sun Worshipper, on the western portion of the project. The covered Arts Pavilion on the inside of the project hosts numerous performances and events and interior spaces are frequently used for galleries and exhibitions.

Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer for Holualoa Companies, said the arts are a critical part of the picture because they help connect the project to the community. 

“It is gratifying to see Park Central continue to evolve in a way that emphasizes the importance of the arts and helps expand the arts community,” he said. “We have been fortunate to work with an incredible number of talented artists to support their vision and to make the project even more of an asset to the overall central Phoenix community.”

For office leasing, tenants and brokers can reach out to Andrew Cheney with Lee & Associates (602.954.3769) or Bill Cook with Plaza Companies (623.344.4526).  For Retail leasing contacts are Brent Mallonee with Cushman and Wakefield (602.224.4437) or Margaret Lloyd with Plaza Companies (623.344.4558).

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