M-F: 8:00a - 5:00p
One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201
Students explore culture through participatory activities, workshops, literature, and live artist demonstrations. Select area schools are provided free student tickets for Mesa Arts Center cultural performances, complemented by pre and post-artist in residence activities. Teachers utilize arts and culture to teach diversity, tolerance and empathy through the arts.
Through the power of shared experiences students see differences as strengths, build self-awareness and see their fellow students as having emerged from a rich cultural history, full of stories and traditions expressed through music, art, dance and theater.
“The demonstration was fantastic! Everyone really enjoyed it and looks forward to future artist visits.” Administrator, Nancy Marlin, Whitman Elementary
Schools interested in partnerings with Mesa Arts Center should contact us at 480-644-6609, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supported by Phoenix Suns Charities
Partner Schools: TBD
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER residency for 6th grade students
Residency Artist: Mariachi Pasión
One lecture/demonstration with local all-female Mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Pasión.
Student Matinee Performance: Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles
Don’t miss the Grammy-nominated ensemble that has captivated audiences and taken Mariachi music to new heights! America’s first all-female Mariachi ensemble, this 12-member group brings sensitivity, beauty, warmth and a fresh voice to Mexico’s musical heritage. Students will enjoy their dynamic expression and powerful mariachi characteristics.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY residency for 5th grade students
Residency Artist: Southwest Storytelling Institute
One storytelling workshop by a Southwest Storytelling Institute teaching artist, in your classroom.
Student Matinee Performance: Storytelling Concert featuring Bobby Norfolk
Come on a journey as storyteller Bobby Norfolk recounts tales in his production of “Return to the African Village.” Produced in partnership with South Mountain Storytelling Institute, the Mesa Arts Center hosts student shows of storytelling; featuring a youth teller, an Arizona teller and one of America’s premier storytellers, Bobby Norfolk. Bobby’s use of dynamic movement and vocal effects, creates vibrant characters who come to life through imaginative, creative storytelling.
MARCH/APRIL residency for 4th grade students
Residency Artist: Oaxaca Artist/Expert
One hands-on interactive workshop with an Oaxaca artist/expert in your classroom.
Student Matinee Performance: Dream Carver
A bilingual musical puppet show based on the beloved book by Diana Cohn. Dream Carver tells the story of Mateo, a boy growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico whose father has taught him to carve small wooden toys in the traditional way. One day, Mateo dreams of fantastic, brightly colored animals. When he wakes up, he is impelled to bring them to life. Feeling that his father doesn’t support him in his creative endeavor, Mateo secretly sets out to create the animals he saw in his dream. Through the experiences of the story's hero, Dream Carver encourages young audiences to think creatively, try new things, and follow their dreams.
Partner Schools: Knox Elementary, Whitman Elementary, Kerr Elementary, Webster Elementary, Summit School of Ahwatukee
Residency Artist: Southwest Storytelling Institute
In-classroom storytelling workshop by a Southwest Storytelling Institute teaching artist with 4th grade students.
Student Matinee Performance: Storytelling Concert featuring Donald Davis
Storyteller Donald Davis recounted tales of his childhood. Produced in partnership with South Mountain Storytelling Institute, the Mesa Arts Center hosted student shows of storytelling; featuring a youth teller, an Arizona teller and national treasure, Donald Davis. Donald’s masterful storytelling captured the real and daily adventures of life in an entertaining and engaging way.
Residency Artist: Stephen Kent/Didjeridu Player
Stephen Kent, Didjeridu player led in-school lecture/demonstration with 5th grade students.
Student Matinee Performance: Earth Sounds: featuring R Carlos Nakai
Grammy nominated and world renowned Native American flutists, R. Carlos Nakai, brought together the music of three rich cultures, Native American flute, Mongolian khoomei throat-singing and Australian Didjeridu. Students experienced music inspired by the nature that surrounds us and learned about the cultural traditions of these art forms.
Residency Artist: Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company
In-classroom workshop with 6th grade students.
Student Matinee Performance: Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez
Theatrical spectacle, colorful music, technical perfection, sophistication, lavish costumes, and original choreography came together to form Ballet Folklórico de México. Amalia Hernández was México’s most distinguished dancer and choreographer of the 20th Century. The company she created is one of the greatest exporters of Mexican culture, celebrating the character and spirit of México and its people.
Partner Schools: Whitman Elementary, Kerr Elementary, Webster Elementary, Roosevelt
Residency Artist: Tony Duncan
World champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan led in-school residencies
Student Matinee Performance: Canyon Records presentation of Native American Song and Dance
Traditional dancers joined some of the finest singers and storytellers representing the diverse traditions and cultures of Native America, brilliant artistry representing the Navajo, Cree, Apache, Hopi and other indigenous nations of the U.S. and Canada were seen and explored.