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Artlink Annual Meeting News

The board of Artlink Inc., the 501(c)(3) nonprofit behind the promotion of Phoenix’s monthly First Fridays Art Walk and the annual Art Detour, held its Annual Meeting on June 30, 2014.

The meeting was hosted by Phoenix Art Museum in Singer Hall. An estimated 80 people were in attendance, along with members of the Artlink Board and honored guests.

The Board Members present included: Catrina Kahler, Sarah Levi, Jill Bernstein, Phil Jones, Hugo Medina, Cole Reed, Kirby Hoyt, and Sally Russell. Board member Lisa Olsen was absent.


The meeting began with brief remarks by three guests: Jim Ballinger, Director of the Phoenix Art Museum, City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and David Krietor, President & CEO of Downtown Phoenix, Inc.

Jim Ballinger, Mayor Greg Stanton and Dave Krietor.

  • Jim Ballinger spoke briefly on his 45-year tenure at the museum and the massive changes in the downtown art scene during that time. He graciously thanked Artlink for the long collaboration and establishing PAM as an essential trolley hub for First Friday visitors, and mentioned the Andy Warhol portrait exhibition coming to PAM next spring!
  • Mayor Greg Stanton thanked Jim Ballinger for his long and illustrious service to the arts in Phoenix; spoke to the importance of the arts being leaders in creating the increased vibrancy in downtown; briefly touched on some new city policies; and accepted the role of Honorary Chair for both the Art d’Core Gala (Feb 2015), and Art Detour 27 (Mar 2015).
  • David Krietor talked about Artlink, connectivity in downtown, and how both millennials and baby boomers are deciding to move downtown. On behalf of the Artlink board, and as a thank you for Downtown Phoenix Inc.’s support and partnership, Catrina Kahler and Sarah Levi presented to Krietor the original painting by Marina Rynning, entitled “Living in Color,” the inspiration for this year’s Art Detour poster art and theme.


Welcome a-board Hillary Foose and Stephanie Lieb!

The first order of business for the evening focused on the unanimous election of two Artlink board members:


What is an “Articipant?”

Artlink President Catrina Kahler defined the Articipant approach to how Artlink functions: artists, galleries, art spaces and retail spaces are invited to sign up as Articipants annually in conjunction with Art Detour.

When you become an Articipant, you get included on the Art Detour Map, along with EVERY First and Third Friday map throughout the year; and as an Articipant you are eligible to apply to participate in Artlink’s Pop-up program, ticketed tours, and other promotional opportunities that arise throughout the year.

Apply to be an Articipant. Click here to review the application.

First Friday Trolley Tour
Artlink Board Member Phil Jones updated attendees on the current route, which includes four Artlink park and ride information hubs:

In addition to thee Hubs, there are a number of other stops along the route where the public is encouraged to hop off and hop on to get the full range of downtown arts experiences available on a First Friday – or any Friday!

Future plans include additional trolley tour signage, and working with the Downtown Phoenix Partnership Ambassadors to create more engaging and interactive Hubs.

Downtown Phoenix Art Tours
Artlink Vice President Sarah Levi provided information on the transition of our ticketed tour program. Originally launched as the Artlink Collectors Tour in Fall of 2012, the program has evolved. As we are developing our relationship with downtown hospitality venues, including the Phoenix Convention Center, the program has re-calibrated its scope to reach a broader audience of participants, beyond those who self-identify as “art collectors.” The new name of “Downtown Art Tour” broadens the scope of what we offer and to whom, but will retain the curated element, to insure an in-depth experience of the arts for participants.

Pop-up Gallery Program
Sarah reviewed the successes of the pop-up in the CityScape lobby during Art Detour and the current call to artists for “Refresh” the second pop-up exhibition in that location. She also shared the success of our pop-up in conjunction with the Eight’s Check Please! Arizona Festival, and Artlink’s plan to get art into many different downtown venues.

Juried Exhibition
Board Member Sally Russell announced this year will be Artlink’s 16th Annual Juried Exhibition. Sally provided background on the past exhibitions and the strategy behind changing the date from spring to fall this year. She let attendees know that the Call to Artists for the show would be going out soon, and that the opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, September 4. Location at the time of the meeting was TBD. There are small cash awards for the winner(s).

Reinvent Phoenix Grant
Board Member Kirby Hoyt provided a quick overview of the three main activities covered under Artlink’s grant for this program, which is focused on areas along the light rail, beyond the downtown core.

Activity One – Introduced by Board Member Hugo Medina. This is a series of mural projects being done in conjunction with schools. Final decisions on all of the sites is still in process, however, one school – Crockett Elementary – has already taken part in the process and has a fabulous new mural done by the students in conjunction with the artist Hugo Medina.

Activity Two – Introduced by Artlink Secretary Jill Bernstein. This activity involves the creation of community specific art banners at three different light rail stations: McDowell & Central, Roosevelt & Central, and 12th & Jefferson. A Call to Artists has gone out (with a deadline of July 21) and the project will be completed in September. This is part of a way-finding strategy that will brand each neighborhood that surrounds the station, and invites people to explore.

Activity Three – Introduced by Catrina. This is another element of way-finding that has two distinct elements:

  • The addition of arts and culture destinations to the new maps at light rail stations. Artlink was a major contributor to this content.
  • The creation of additional site-specific web content pages on the Metro Light Rail site that will enable people visiting that station/neighborhood to go deeper and learn more about surrounding neighborhoods at approximately 10-12 stations between 19th Ave and Glendale and 12th Street and Jefferson.

Art Detour/Art d’Core Gala
Catrina shared the Artlink calendar for the year (available on the Artlink website), which includes planning committee dates beginning in September, known dates for calls to artists, and all Detour, Gala-related, and general Artlink deadlines through next June.

We will be presenting the Art d’Core Gala once again in February and the City of Phoenix and Downtown Phoenix Inc will partner with Artlink once again on this great event. Stay tuned for the confirmed date and location.

  • Kids’ Detour – we are looking for someone to spearhead this element of next year’s event to make it better and more visible.

Catrina introduced our new Artlink Volunteer Coordinator – Brooks Werner. He will be recruiting and organizing the volunteers that Artlink needs throughout the year:

  • Information table staffing on First Fridays
  • Tour Docents on First Friday Trolleys
  • Assisting marketing efforts for special events: flyering, etc.


Artlink Board Member Cole Reed, spoke to the importance of communication. There are so many strong programs, and we as a community need to spread the word to make them successful.

Thank you to everyone who turned out for our Annual Meeting! We appreciate your support and look forward to another great year linking downtown through the arts.

The 2014-2015 Artlink Board: (l-r) Cole Reed, Kirby Hoyt, Sarah Levi, Sally Russell, Jill Bernstein, Hugo Medina, Hillary Foose, Phil Jones, Catrina Kahler, Stephanie Lieb. Not pictured: Lisa Olson.

Special thanks to Andrew Pielage Photography!