artwork of flower
Held in September, Mesa Arts Center’s annual Season Kickoff Event celebrates the start of each season and is inspired by exhibitions opening in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. The festival offers an evening of celebration and entertainment, with live music, art studio demonstrations, five new exhibitions, hands-on activities, delicious foods and more! Check back often as festival features and entertainment are announced!

The Art of Life on Earth

Bloom and grow wild at the 2019-20 season kickoff event! The free, family-friendly festival is inspired by Flora & Fauna, one of five exhibitions opening in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum this fall. Through the exhibitions, live entertainment, artmaking, demonstrations, delicious food and drink and more, the event invites us all to look closer and celebrate the incredible, fascinating world in which we live.


Season Kickoff Campus Map



  • Desert Botanical Garden
  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Liberty Wildlife
  • Compost demonstrations with Recycle City
  • Art Studios open house and demonstrations
    • Jewelry Studio (demos in classroom)
    • Glass Hotshop (chairs will be set up in space to watch demos)
    • Glass Studio (demos in classroom)
    • Painting/Drawing Studio (exhibition in classroom)
    • Ceramics Studio (demos in classroom –– outside door open with table outside)
    • Printmaking Studio (demos in classroom)
    • Lapidary Studio (enameling on the 2nd floor between sculpture and jewelry)
  • Creative Catalyst
  • Mesa Recycles
  • Arizona Museum of Natural History fossil and artifact interpretation stations and dino dig box
  • Paper butterflies with i.d.e.a. Museum
  • Mesa Public Library storytelling at :15 and :45 every hour with activities  
  • Green City Magazine
  • The Biomimicry Center at ASU
  • Transplanting baby succulents and making smudge sticks with Mesa Urban Garden
  • Mesa Farmer's Market and Flea
  • Fuerza Local Community Kitchen (Local First Arizona)



  • Alliance Pavilion Stage
    • Citrus Clouds 6-6:45pm
    • Hot House Orchids 7-7:45pm
    • Paper Foxes 8-8:45pm
    • Bogan Via 9-10pm
  • Theater Lobby (acoustic sets)
    • Paper Foxes 6-6:45pm
    • Palo Brea 7-7:55pm
    • Dog Apes (by Southwest Shakespeare Company) 8-8:45pm 
    • Citrus Clouds 9-10pm
  • Wells Fargo Stage
    • Water=Life Artists
      • Tony Duncan, five-time World Champion Hoop Dancer and Native American flute player
      • Violet Duncan, Native American dancer, storyteller and author
      • Katharine Simpson, Roaming Blue Heron
      • Toby Jose, Native American singer and percussionist 
    • Schedule:

      6pm Toby Jose – Welcoming

      6:15-6:45pm – Tony Duncan

      7:15-7:45pm – Violet Duncan

      8:15-8:45pm – Tony Duncan

      9:15-9:45pm – Toby Jose

  • Arroyo
    • CaZo Dance Company



  • Bring your own water bottle! Stay hydrated and fill your own water bottle at City of Mesa's Water Resources Water Bar 
  • Soundbite Food Truck/Shortleash Hot Dogs
  • Freak Brothers Pizza

  • Awesomesauce Bowls

  • SuperFarm SuperTruck

  • Udder Delights

  • Paletas Betty

  • Not Your Granny's Apples

  • Cuties Lemonade

  • Dulce Vida
  • Two bars located on campus 



  • SW Herbs
  • Holistic Earth Remedies
  • Ahimsa Essentials
  • Peppermint Jim



  • Mesa Arts Center Art Car display with Harrod Blank
  • Electro-Kinetic Sculptures by MPI
  • Projections by Kendra Sollars
  • Lauren Lee Photobooth 
  • Large scale animal sculptures made with plastic bags by Kyllan Maney
  • Metal Flower Garden by Matt Smith, MAC metals instructor and students 



Festival artwork by Lauren Lee.