Art Installation Brings Poetry and Recycling Message to Melrose District

Public Invited to Celebrate National Poetry Month with Family-Friendly Activities

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Public Works Department, presents a special National Poetry Month celebration Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Melrose District at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Glenrosa Avenue. This event debuts a brand new public art installation of poetry and images about sustainability in support of Reimagine Phoenix efforts to recycle 40 percent of household waste by 2020. The poetry was created by six Arizona poets and the artwork was created by six designers with Canary Studios.

District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor will lead off the poetry celebration at 10:15 a.m. The program will include poetry readings and activities for all ages. Along with the six poets whose work is displayed on each panel, other featured poets include Phoenix Poet Laureate Rosemarie Dombrowski and Navajo Nation Poet Laureate Laura Tohe.

Throughout the event, community members can learn how to make handmade books, collage a DIY zine, create quirky and fun magnetic poetry and enjoy other poetry games.

“This public art project is another example of the creative ways Phoenix uses art to engage children and families and build our neighborhoods,” said Councilwoman Pastor. “I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to learn about sustainability and celebrate National Poetry Month with us.”

The Melrose Curve Public Art project was developed by the Office of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association, the Phoenix Public Works and Neighborhood Services Departments. The project has featured over 35 Arizona artists, and 20 poets since it was initiated in 2004.

The current artwork incorporates poems by Jenai Longstaff, Devin Pope, Nadine Lockhart, Paul Morris, Joel Salcido and Jake Friedman. The poets were selected from a pool of over 65 submissions. Each poem was inspired by ideas for a more sustainable environment through recycling, gardening, composting, and reusing the waste that goes to city landfills. Graphic designers (Amanda Harper, Elisabeth Populo, Nicole Norgren, Daniel Sagadraca, Ryan Fickenscher and Dylan Millsap) with Canary Studios designed the large scale poetry panels to provide an eye-catching neighborhood feature and a fully-accessible public street gallery.

About Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, established by the Phoenix City Council in 1985, works to foster a sense of cultural identity, celebrate diversity and ensure an outstanding quality of community life. The Public Art Program was established in 1986 to improve the design of the city’s buildings, spaces and infrastructure. The Office is advised by a 22-member Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission. For more information on the Office of Arts and Culture, visit phoenix.gov/arts or call 602-262-4637. Follow the Office on Facebook: www.facebook.com/phxofficeofartsandculture and Twitter @phxarts_culture.

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