As folks from around the Valley gather at various arts and culture venues to enjoy tonight’s Phoenix First Fridays events, Harder Development and Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona will be joined by more than a dozen artists for an auction of artworks to support Free Arts programs for at-risk youth. Tonight’s gathering is free and families with children of all ages are invited to attend.
The auction is part two of an event dubbed “The Great Art Escape,” which started with a community mural and painting project hosted Aug. 11 by Ashley Harder, president of Harder Development. Artists gathered with Free Arts youth, volunteers, staff and supporters — plus diverse members of the surrounding community — to paint a mural at 335 W. McDowell Rd. in Phoenix.
Participating artists included curator Hugo Medina, Sebastien Millon, JB Snyder, Angel Diaz, Katie Beltran, Amanda Adkins, Colton Brock, Pablo Luna, Thomas Breeze Marcus, Gennaro Garcia, Lauren Lee, Isaac Nicholas Caruso, Kyllan Maney and Aaron Johnson. Each painted a work that’s being featured during tonight’s exhibition and silent auction, taking place from 6-9:30pm at the same location.
Free Arts is partnering with Dance Theater West of Phoenix for a “Free Arts Day” on Sept. 16, which includes a free performance of “Swan Lake” featuring Free Arts youth as special guest artists. The 6pm (changed from 4:30pm) performance at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will be followed by a cookie reception and interactive art activities.
The organization celebrates its 19th year of healing at-risk youth with an “Every Child Matters Luncheon” on Oct. 16. The event, which also includes a silent auction and raffle, takes place at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale. The fundraiser supports Free Arts’ work with nearly 6,000 children each year at no charge to their 29 partner organizations. Information on sponsorship opportunities and tickets is available by calling 602-258-8100.
Learn more about Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona programs, events and volunteer opportunities at freeartsaz.org.