The first Friday of each month is a special day for the arts in Phoenix. Art galleries remain open late into the night, and city streets give way to artisans, food trucks, and performers. Thousands of people – young and old – gather to enjoy, support, and appreciate the arts. As we do most First Fridays, my daughter and I are on the Artlink Trolley, which connects the arts districts of Phoenix. We arrive at the Heard Museum and it has never been more evident that the mission we set out to achieve nearly three years ago with the museum – to engage new audiences and celebrate contemporary Native American artwork – has been accomplished. The entry court is packed with visitors who’ve come to see the new exhibit Dear Listener by Nicholas Galanin, an artist the New York Times called a “standout,” while the music of experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces echoes from inside. The vibrant, celebratory spirit of First Friday and the Heard Museum are in full harmony.
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