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Mesa's Growing Up

by David Crummey | October 9, 2017

Long Wongs on Mill. Gibson’s. Edsel’s Attic. Big Fish Pub. Hollywood Alley. Sail Inn. Paper Heart. Essenza. Trunk Space. Yucca Tap Room. Rip’s. The Underground.

It seems like the list of affordable places to perform, or show your work, is getting shorter and shorter. I’m constantly worried about emerging artists and the availability of spaces for them to perform. I’m worried that Mesa artists keep being drawn to Phoenix to perform or display their work. That that opportunity takes them west to Phoenix . . .  and then even further west to LA or on to Chicago. I know this is a broad topic, one with multiple issues -- and multiple solutions. I also know that we’re doing a number of things right here in Mesa to help alleviate these problems.

Things like the Creative Catalyst’s Gallery Project, providing gallery opportunities to local visual artists. Main Street Prototyping Festivalthe opportunity to experiment with physical interventions in the geography of downtown Mesa. Cultural Coalition and the work they’re doing to engage the community in the arts at El Rancho del Arte apartments. Mesa Heart Studios, and Jaime Glasser’s work to envision and inspire greater arts participation and options.

Mesa Artspace Lofts and the opportunity for 50 artists and their families to have affordable living space where they can also use as studio space, and interact with other creatives on a day-to-day basis.

The Millet House, and their board’s vision for inclusive, loving, and honest art, all within a little bungalow home in our community. And The Store at Mesa Arts Center -- and the opportunity to sell directly to the community in a low-cost, artist-co-op model.

That’s just the beginning. What important places haven’t I mentioned here in Mesa? It’s just a taste of what options are out there today. There’s hope. Mesa’s growing up. There’s more opportunity for artists to sell, perform, display or practice their art here in Mesa than ever before. The future’s brighter than we think, thanks to the work being put in to create affordable, accessible spaces for emerging artists. Thanks, team.

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