Guides

Arts and Culture in Phoenix

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Phoenix has invested heavily in the arts, from restoring the city's oldest venues to building modern cultural centers and facilities. Downtown Phoenix in particular is a hotspot for emerging artists, independent theater, and small galleries. With its own opera, ballet, and symphony orchestra, Phoenix has firmly planted its flag on the American artistic map.

 

Theaters

 

The central area tends to be home to older theaters, many of which have been lovingly restored to show off their charming original features, and you'll find larger, contemporary venues scattered elsewhere around the city.

 

Phoenix Theatre

 

The Phoenix Theatre has launched the careers of many big stars over the years, and having been established since the 1920s, it's one of the oldest theater groups in the west. Their latest home is an impressive glass-fronted building with a large atrium and modern performance spaces, where you'll find accessible, audience-pleasing shows like musicals and rollicking comedies.

 

100 East McDowell Road, Phoenix AZ 85004. Tel:+1 602 254 2151

 

Phoenix Theatre website
Orpheum Theater

 

Dating back almost a century, the Orpheum Theater was once host to vaudeville acts and has since been restored to create a spectacular backdrop for musicals, dance, and other live performances. Outside you'll find elegant Art Deco features, and inside the auditorium are desert landscape murals, making it the perfect venue for the Phoenix Opera who host their limited and exclusive shows at this theater.

 

203 West Adams Street, Phoenix AZ 85003. Tel:+1 602 262 6225

 

Orpheum Theater website

 

Art galleries

 

In Phoenix you'll find lots of bright, contemporary spaces for local and national artists to sell their work, with challenging, contemporary art featuring prominently in many galleries.

 

Phoenix Art Museum

 

The exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum are constantly changing, with galleries dedicated to Asian art, fashion and design, creative photography, portraits, and much more. You'll find many talks and lectures going on throughout the year, as well as workshops to help you appreciate artworks in a whole new light.

 

1625 North Central Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85004. Tel: +1 602 257 1222

 

Phoenix Art Museum website

 

Libraries

 

Book lovers and anyone looking for a bit of serenity during their stay in Phoenix should check out one of the libraries – especially the big, sleek one in the center of town…

 

Burton Barr Central Library

 

With its eye-catching, grid-like façade, Burton Barr Central Library looks rather retro-futuristic, and when you’re inside you can look out over the sprawling desert landscape of Phoenix. Set over several floors, it’s a treasure trove of reading material and also has a great children’s section as well as exhibits on Arizona’s history.

 

1221 North Central Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85004. Tel:+1 602 262 4636

 

Burton Barr Central Library website

 

Historic buildings

 

Although Phoenix is known for its modern architecture, there are also charming older buildings to explore, with roots in the Victorian and Civil War eras.

 

Rosson House Museum

 

This grand example of Queen Anne architecture dates back to 1895, with exhibits showing what life was like for the wealthy families of Phoenix. You can see authentic clothing and artworks of the era, and the expert guided tours taking on a fascinating journey back in time.

 

113 North 6th Street, Phoenix AZ 85004. Tel:+1 602 262 5070

 

Rosson House Museum website