Fifty Years of Festivities
As Scottsdale Arts Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary, explore half a century of music, art, and merchandise from the event.
Feb 28 - Mar 16, 2020
As the Scottsdale Arts Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary, explore half a century of music, art, and merchandise from the event with the Fifty Years of Festivities exhibition.
The Festival has been an Arizona staple since February 15, 1970. Beginning as a partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Southwest Arts Conference, the Scottsdale Arts Festival was an opportunity for visual and performing artists to showcase their contribution to the arts community. Now, 50 years later, the Festival has transformed into an award-winning destination for discovering high art and unique experiences. With the addition of versatile performances, interactive art installations, family-friendly activities, food trucks, and pop-up boutiques, the Festival has undoubtedly established itself both locally and nationally, attracting patrons and artists country-wide.
Fifty Years of Festivities is a retrospective exhibition examining the Scottsdale Arts Festival’s origins and how its journey over time has evolved into what we experience today. This transformation can be seen through photographs, objects, and other ephemera that encapsulate the culture of their respective eras. Commissioned Festival posters and prints from the Scottsdale Public Art collection, including the commissioned print for Festival 50, evoke the different personalities that each Scottsdale Arts Festival took on. We take a visual trip through time in observing over 20 original, printed Festival T-shirts, dating back to 1985. Additionally, historical photographs and videos from the Scottsdale Public Library archives indicate some Festival traditions have managed to outlast the 50 years.
Whether you are a longtime patron or a first-time attendee of the Festival, Scottsdale’s love and passion for the arts can certainly be felt across the decades.
The ArtReach Space is a community gallery that showcases work in response to social issues and concerns and also offers a window into Scottsdale Arts and City of Scottsdale art programs. The ArtReach Space is located across from Stage 2 in Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. It is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and during evening performances.