Arts & Culture: Scottsdale’s Best Museums, Art Events & Performance Venues

Editorial StaffOctober 31, 2022
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Cosanti
Cosanti

Cosanti

This historic site is where the famous Paolo Soleri bronze and ceramic windbells are made and sold, along with pots, bowls and bronze sculptural pieces. The site also features Soleri’s innovative experimental architecture. On most weekday mornings, guests have an opportunity to witness the dramatic bronze casting process as artisans pour 2,400-degree molten bronze into handmade sand molds. 6433 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Paradise Valley, 480-948-6145, cosanti.com

Desert Stages Theatre

The award-winning nonprofit provides entertainment in a 219-seat theater, as well as the intimate, cabaret-style Actors’ Café. Highlights: A Christmas Story Musical, Nov. 18-Dec. 18; Seussical Jr., Jan. 6-22; and Something Rotten!, March 3-19. 7014 E. Camelback Rd., 480-483-1664, desertstages.org

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Renowned film director Don Bluth (The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, Thumbelina) presents classic productions in an intimate 75-seat theater. Highlights: It’s a Wonderful Life, Nov. 17-Dec. 30; Drinking Habits 2: Caught in the Act, Jan. 26-March 4; Steel Magnolias, March 23-April 29; and Ben Butler, May 18-July 8. 8989 E. Via Linda, 480-314-0841, donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com

Kerr Cultural Center

This quaint performing arts venue was once the home of Louise Lincoln Kerr, an active composer as well as a gifted and well-trained musician who played the viola with several symphonies. World music, indie folk, jazz, soul, baroque pop and more grace the stage each season. 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480-596-2660, asukerr.com

Ravenscroft Theater

This new, 30,000-square-foot performance space boasts a state-of-the-art sound system for its intimate 200-seat theater. The music venue also offers the Jazzbird Lounge, which hosts popular and up-and-coming local musicians and serves wine and local craft beers. 8445 E. Hartford Dr., theravenscroft.com

Scottsdale Artists’ School

Working professional artists travel from across the country to teach at this nonprofit school, which offers more than 200 diverse programs each year. Instruction is geared toward artists of all levels, from absolute beginners to advanced artists, with options that include one- to five-day workshops, weekly classes, a premier youth and teen academy, destination workshops and open studios sessions. 3720 N. Marshall Way, 480-990-1422, scottsdaleartschool.org

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

The center offers diverse, high-quality presentations of classical and world music, dance, jazz, theater, film, educational programs and festivals. Highlights: Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light, Nov. 4-13, Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age, Nov. 12; Jake Shimabukuro, Nov. 26; Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández Presents: A Merry-Achi Christmas, Dec. 17; Arizona Concours d’Elegance, Jan. 22. 7380 E. Second St., 480-499-8587,
scottsdaleperformingarts.org

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

A museum dedicated to contemporary art, architecture and design that challenges expectations, SMoCA has four main galleries that showcase changing exhibitions and works from the museum’s growing permanent collection, plus an outdoor courtyard featuring Knight Rise, a Skyspace enclosure by James Turrell. 7374 E. Second St., 480-874-4666, smoca.org

Scottsdale Rodeo Museum

Open November through May, the museum features historical cowboy and rodeo artifacts and memorabilia dating back to the 1950s. 3806 N. Brown Ave., 602-616-6901, scottsdalerodeomuseum.com

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Celebrating the art, history, culture and unique stories of the American West, past and present, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West features rotating exhibits, gallery tours and educational activities. 3830 N. Marshall Way, 480-686-9539, scottsdalemuseumwest.org

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Injured and orphaned wildlife get a second chance at this nonprofit, which rescues bobcats, wolves, deer, owls and javelina. 27026 N. 156th St., 480-471-9109, southwestwildlife.org

Thursday ArtWalk

Scottsdale Gallery Association hosts this weekly celebration featuring gallery show openings and artist receptions. Downtown Scottsdale, scottsdalegalleries.com

USS Arizona Memorial Gardens

A tribute to those who were aboard the USS Arizona when it was attacked and sank at Pearl Harbor, the serene 5-acre gardens feature a piece of the ship’s original boathouse along with 1,512 commemorative columns – each representative of a life aboard the ship that day. 7455 N. Pima Rd., Salt River Indian Community, 480-362-2700, memorialgardensatsaltriver.com

Wonderspaces

Visitors interact with and become part of the exhibit at this evolving art-show experience featuring a dozen immersive installations spread across a 16,000-square-foot space. There’s also a full bar, if you want to bring a date. Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Rd., arizona.wonderspaces.com

Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio and architectural campus, and spent his winters here until his death in 1959 at the age of 91. Visitors can experience the architect’s ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces through a variety of public tours, which range from a self-paced audio tour to a 60-minute guided overview. Sacred Spaces, Oct. 14-Jan. 29, features 30 large-scale images of Wright’s homes, churches, temples and buildings by photographer Andrew Pielage. 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., 480-860-2700, franklloydwright.org

Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio and architectural campus, and spent his winters here until his death in 1959 at the age of 91.
Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio and architectural campus, and spent his winters here until his death in 1959 at the age of 91.

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