Each year, residents can look forward to the City of Chandler hosting a variety of cultural activities, exhibitions, performances and special events.
The year started off with virtual programming like CCA Anywhere and modifications to events, such as a socially distanced Jazz Festival and a drive-in July 4th Fireworks Spectacular. As the year progressed, the community saw the return of in-person programs, first with outdoor performances and then a shift to exhibitions and events inside City venues. The community also enjoyed new experiences such as Chandler Contigo, a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the extended run of the popular "Bigger than Boxing" exhibition at Chandler Museum and new public art installations throughout the City.
Downtown Redevelopment and Vision Gallery completed the installation of the second breezeway mural “Desert Nights” by Lauren Lee.
The Chandler Museum, Downtown Redevelopment and Vision Gallery collaborated to build a new changing Museum Kiosk display in the Downtown Breezeway, creating a new point of interest and placemaking opportunity.
The space features 5 colorful pillars that offer changeable historical interpretation creating new opportunities to view several times a year.
The CCA and Vision Gallery supported numerous arts organizations and artists, including the Chandler Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Etudes, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli AZ, The West Valley Fine Arts Council, Mesa Arts Center, Shachi Kale, Miguel Godoy, Emily Costello, Sapira Cheuk and even our own City of Chandler staff with the “Off the Clock” exhibit.
Additional Public Art
Vision Gallery collaborated with ICAN youth to create colorful, culturally diverse art for 5 utility boxes located at intersections along Chandler Blvd.
An additional 11 artworks were placed in Uptown Chandler working with the Economic Development Division, adding unique, Chandler-inspired art at 11 intersections.
A new vibrant public art mural was created for the Harter Park community by artist Chelsi Rossi.
“Bigger than Boxing”
The Chandler Museum’s exhibit “Bigger Than Boxing” educated the public about Zora Folley, Chandler’s first Black City Councilmember and national boxing star who fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight championship of the world.
This exhibit has led to ongoing collaborations with the Black community and inclusion groups like BASE Arizona, Chandler 4 Change, South Chandler Self-Help Foundation and Chandler Men of Action.
Chandler Museum Foundation
Chandler Museum Foundation received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the IRS.
Responsibilities of the Foundation include establishing an endowment fund, promoting use of the facility and collections, developing services, seeking funding and earning revenue for the benefit of the Museum.
CCA Anywhere Online Programs
While the Chandler Center for the Arts was open for school activities it was largely closed from public events for the first half of 2021. The CCA Anywhere series presented a diverse array of free performances, including local, regional, national and international performing artists and adult learning visual arts classes in a digital environment. CCA Anywhere performances reached more than 40,000 households. The Connecting Kids program moved its activities online. Theatre Kids alone reached a total of 4,413 students, parents and teachers through online field trips and Vision Kids’ virtual visual arts classes and the Youth Arts Council, connected 7,072 youth with arts programming.
Chandler Center for the Arts Renovations
The CCA completed the replacement of the rigging system in the Hal Bogle Theatre to a system that is more efficient and expands the types of productions that can be accommodated in the space.
New seating was installed in the Lobby and on the Terrace, including cast poured art benches designed specifically for CCA. In the Main Theatre, cameras were installed to upgrade the CCA’s capacity for video recording and live streaming.
Return to In-person Programming
The CCA and Vision Gallery made the transition back to in-person program delivery, first through outdoor performances, which included 16 concerts on the Terrace at the CCA and through the Living Room at Chandler Museum.
In September, the CCA transitioned to its first full capacity performances including artists such as Boz Skaggs, Amy Grant, Clint Black and Men at Work. The Chandler Museum returned to in-person docent tours, History Bites, Our Stories, and field trips at Tumbleweed.
Due to COVID restrictions, signature City events were modified to follow CDC guidelines to keep our community safe. For example, the Jazz Festival moved to three days instead of two, with smalls bands positioned around downtown, along sidewalks and in grassy areas to allow for proper social distancing and the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular was modified as drive-in fireworks show.
In total, in 2021:
Field of Honor
On Veteran’s Day, the community celebrated the dedication of the “Field of Honor” a permanent monument at Veterans Oasis Park that honors Chandler veterans. A F-86D Sabre Dog Korean War era jet fighter plane was relocated and restored as a prominent feature of the new monument In addition, the Chandler Museum produced 12 interpretive panels that are a part of the “Field of Honor.”