Black Friday – Arts & culture style

When I think “Black Friday,” I picture stage managers and techies running around backstage on opening night — donning their black from head to toe so as not to be seen working their magic in the wings.

But for others, who value shopping above showtime this time of year, it’s that hallowed day reserved for parking lot scrambles, shopping cart bumper cars and all sorts of sale “strategery.”

The Arizona arts world has taken notice, jumping on the bargain bandwagon with various “Black Friday” offerings on everything from trinkets to tickets.

Fond as I am of hauling out all those handmade ornaments from Christmases past, I do sometimes long for a fresh but simple take on decorating the tree.

The Heard Museum offers lots of holiday happenings in addition to their "Ornament Marketplace"

So I was thrilled to learn of the Heard Museum “Ornament Marketplace” taking place Fri, Nov 26 through Sun, Nov 28 at both the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the Heard Museum North is Scottsdale.

It’s free to attend, and features Native-themed ornaments hand-crafted by American Indian artists. What a great way to support the arts while enjoying unique holiday fare.

The Valley is full of truly spectacular museum gift shops, including those at the Phoenix Art Museum, Taliesin West and the Musical Instrument Museum.

Offerings are unique, available in all price ranges and include items for children and adults with all sorts of interests.

Most museum gift shops welcome shoppers whether or not they’re also purchasing tickets to see museum exhibits.

Hit the mall if you must, but my idea of a “Black Friday” bonanza is hitting several museum gift shops. For those who prefer cyber-shopping, many museums feature an online option.

Valley theater companies are also working the “Black Friday” tradition, offering special pricing or ticket packaging.

Desert Stages Theatre has a special "Black Friday" ticket offer

Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale will take $5 off the ticket price for their production of “On Golden Pond” for shoppers who hit the theater Friday night with receipts from the day’s earlier exploits of Scottsdale Fashion Square (while supplies last).

While you’re there, you can shop the Desert Stages “Holiday Boutique,” which runs on select days/times between now and Dec 19.

Remember too that plenty of other arts organizations feature holiday boutiques at their performances this time of year. 

I’ve enjoyed shopping at Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona boutiques for years.

Arizona Theatre Company is offering those who purchase four tickets through their in-person, phone or online box office on Fri, Nov 26, an additional two tickets.

Arizona Theatre Company has a special "Black Friday" ticket offer

Upcoming shows included in this “Black Friday” ticket offer are “Woody Guthrie’s American Song,” “Ten Chimneys” (a world premiere), “Lost in Yonkers” and “The Mystery of Irma Vep.”

If you’re not on the e-alert list of your favorite arts organizations, now would be a great time to sign up.

Several performing arts venues, such as ASU Gammage in Tempe, alert readers to special offers through e-letters and/or social media alerts.

Yesterday I received an e-mail alert about saving 10% on jewelry purchases made at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art gift shops on “Black Friday.”

I opened my e-mail this morning to find an e-alert from Actors Theatre of Phoenix, offering 25% savings on adults tickets for the first three performances of “A Christmas Carol” with the special code “EBBACK.”

Actors Theatre e-letter subscribers awoke this morning to a special ticket offer for "A Christmas Carol" at the Herberger Theater Center

Actors Theatre is also encouraging folks to support “Small Business Saturday” by shopping with local, community-based businesses on Sat, Nov 27.

Raising Arizona Kids is proud to be a member of “Local First Arizona” — and especially grateful this Thanksgiving for our many readers and supporters. (And yes, we do offer gift subscriptions.)

Finishing your holiday shopping early with Valley arts organizations will leave you with more time to savor the season — which means more time to enjoy all the arts and culture Arizona has to offer.

— Lynn

Note: If your Arizona-based visual or performing arts organization has a “Black Friday” sale/special this year, please add a brief comment below to let our readers know.

Coming up: Call the babysitter — it’s theater for grown-ups time!

Photo Credit: “Ten Chimneys” photo by Ed Flores