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No visit to the Grand Canyon State would be complete without exploring music, art and museums in Arizona. Tour cultural sites, see a concert or play, and browse exhibits that showcase Native American art and the state’s Old West history.
Music and Performing Arts
The Greater Phoenix area is home to more than 24 theater groups so there is always a live performance taking place somewhere in the city. The Herberger Theater hosts Ballet Arizona, the Arizona Opera Company and Arizona Theatre Company. Phoenix Theatre, is the longest running community theater in the country. Grady Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University hosts everything from Broadway musicals and university lectures to grand opera and dramatic productions. Carnival of Illusion combines the mystery of magic with the charm of a vaudeville-style road show. The longest running theater show in Arizona may be seen in Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson and Mesa.
The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra performs at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix. See classical performances, pop concerts, chamber music and family concerts from September through early June. The Mesa Arts Center is Arizona’s largest arts complex. Enjoy productions in four theaters and browse five art galleries. Theater Works in Peoria features plays, youth productions, music and dance at its award-winning venue in the West Valley. Chandler Center for the Arts in downtown Chandler presents a variety of entertainment including ballet, Broadway shows, concerts and classic entertainment.
Metro Phoenix offers a number of music venues sure to please fans of rock, pop, jazz, blues and country. See top name rock and pop artists perform at Talking Stick Arena, Orpheum Theatre, Comerica Theater and Gila River Arena. The Musical Instrument Museum presents a variety of music programs at its 300-seat theater. Hear Latin, folk-rock and Afro-Cuban jazz among other genres. The Nash features classical jazz, bop and swing. Once a 1920s printing factory, The Press Room offers a mix of nationally known performers and up-and-coming artists. Char’s Has The Blues showcases blues, soul and R&B performers in a fun lounge setting with a dance floor. The Rhythm Room, inspired by New Orleans nightclubs, offers blues and jazz artists ranging from national big names to local artists. Yucca Tap Room in Tempe has featured local and national acts for over 40 years. Choose from over 200 beers and listen to music for free. Bourbon Jacks in Chandler is an upscale country bar offering live country music seven nights a week. Rustler s Rooste in Phoenix combines country music with incredible scenic views.
The Phoenix Art Museum is the largest fine art museum in the Southwest. Boasting more than 18,000 pieces in its permanent collection, the museum offers American, Asian and European works along with contemporary art, sculptures and photography. The Heard Museum in Phoenix showcases traditional and contemporary art from American Indian tribes native to Arizona and Colorado. It boasts one of the largest collections of Hopi Kachina dolls in the country. The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts features the works of local and regional artists and offers rotating exhibits on themes of popular and cultural interest. Scottsdale Museum of the West presents permanent and temporary exhibits of Western art and artifacts. Voted Best Western Museum by True West magazine, the Smithsonian affiliate is within walking distance of many art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art features nine to 12 exhibitions each year focusing on contemporary art, architecture and design from regional and global artists. Sedona Arts Center’s Fine Art Gallery showcases the works of local artists and presents special exhibits throughout the year in cooperation with regional artist organizations. The Tucson Museum of Art spans an entire city block. View exhibits on the Art of Latin America, Art of the American West, Modern and Contemporary Art, Asian Art and more. Stop by Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix for the First Friday Art Walk. The monthly festival offers a chance to view art galleries, see street performers and browse nearby shops.
Arizona’s diverse museums appeal to a broad range of interests. The Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum offers exhibits on Bisbee’s mining industry along with photos, artifacts and displays on the town’s history. The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is home to more than 15,000 musical instruments from all over the world. See the Artist Gallery with memorabilia from famous musicians, and learn how various instruments are created.
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It preserves the irrigation canals and platform mounds created by the Ancient Sonoran Desert People. See exhibits on archaeology, Native American art and the Hohokam people. The Arizona State Capitol Museum in downtown Phoenix offers more than 20 exhibits on the history of Arizona. Don’t miss the great selection of books and souvenirs at the gift shop.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix offers a variety of exhibits to stimulate the imaginations of kids. Find your way through Noodle Forest, build a fort at Building Big, or test your climbing skills on the Climber. The Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson is one of the largest aviation and space museums in the world. See over 300 historic aircraft spread over 80 acres. Museum tram tours are offered daily and docent led tours are available.
The Lost Dutchman Museum in Apache Junction is situated on 15 acres in the Superstition Mountains of Central Arizona. See sets from the Apacheland Movie Ranch, western storefronts, a working 20-stamp gold mill, and exhibits on the Old West and mining. The Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg features exhibits on the Old West and a collection of works from famous western artists including Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and George Catlin. See life-size re-creations of Old Town Wickenburg and view collections of minerals, Native American artifacts and mining tools.
For over 20 years, visitors to the Chandler Center for the Arts have enjoyed a variety of performances including, ballet, jazz, tours of Broadway Shows and classic entertainment. Whether attending one of the many special events, enjoying a concert or enjoying an afternoon ballet, the Chandler Center for the Arts will keep you entertained.
Located in the heart of Chandler, the Center for the Arts is close to downtown Chandler, several area restaurants and retail shops. Stay close to the action in Central Phoenix. Art, culture and fun await visitors to the "Valley of the Sun."
A non-profit organization, the Sedona Arts Center was established in 1958 by a group of local artists including Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran. The SAC was originally housed in the former Jordan Apple Packing Barn as Canyon Kiva in Uptown Sedona, Arizona.
Today the Sedona Arts Center features the Fine Art Gallery, plus classes, workshops, and field expeditions lead by the School of the Arts. Known as Your Gateway to the Arts, SAC hosts special events like the Sedona Plein Air Festival and the annual Sedona PhotoFest.
As a premier venue for performing and visual arts, the Tempe Center for the Arts is a must-visit. Plan you next trip to the Valley of the Sun and be sure to spend a day exploring Tempe – east of downtown Phoenix by just a few miles, and home to Arizona State University.
Opened in 2007, the Tempe Center for the Arts is situated along the banks of Tempe Town Lake. On your tour, you'll find the Gallery at TCA, featuring a revolving showcase of top art work from across the country. The theater at Tempe Center for the Arts seats 600, while the studio seats 200.