A center for the arts in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, the Shemer Art Center and Museum was originally built as a small home in Arcadia in 1919. Over time, it was expanded by various owners who added bedrooms, a kitchen, and a garage until it was finally converted into an art museum.
Recently named one of the 21 Points of Pride that make Phoenix unique, this nonprofit now reaches out to local residents with a bevy of art classes, exhibitions, and programs. Classes in the garage-turned-studio teach students how to paint landscapes on canvas, build ceramic models, and apply printmaking techniques to blank pages, and one-off workshops bring in local artists to share their knowledge of topics such as digital photography and jewelry-making. Regular exhibits display works by Arizona artists and poets, and a sculpture garden creates a tranquil setting for experiencing large-scale art and much-larger-scale negative space on the center's grounds.
The bright red "DANCE" sign that glows above Abby Bella Dance Studio lures clients into its lilac-hue confines. Once inside, visitors can follow more than 25 instructors through a range of dance styles including ballet, Zumba, and salsa. The energetic space has earned a handful of segments on ABC15 for its all-inclusive policy that encompasses adults of any age or fitness level. Scheduled classes range from the muscle-toning moves of the studio's signature Bella Barre to sessions of Glee Cardio Dance, which fuels dance steps with bubbly pop songs taken straight from the obscure European miniseries of the same name.
With more than 35 facilities spread across Arizona and California, California Arizona Storage Centers helps homeowners, renters, and business owners manage their living and working spaces with handy self-storage units, huge 14’ moving trucks, and safe stowing spaces for RVs, cars, and boats. Before freeing up valuable square footage in their domiciles, clients zero in on their exact storage-space requirement with a 3-D calculator, ensuring that every inch of storage is put to use. In addition to helping customers haul and stock cargo, California Arizona Storage Centers recycles computers, TVs, copiers, and other electronics through its All Green Electronics Recycling program, diverting more than 250,000 pounds of waste from landfills since 2010, and staving off the imminent nanobot uprising for at least a few more years.
Though the loaves you buy off the shelves at Wildflower Bread Company might be warm from the oven, they might not have been made fresh that day. That's not because Wildflower uses frozen dough—rather, its bakers are firm believers in slow-rising bread, letting their handcrafted dough rise for 16–24 hours before it ever sees an oven. So every morning, dough mixed and hand-shaped the previous day is worked into one of 18 styles of bread. The house specialties include classic baguettes, rye bread sprinkled with pasilla chilies, pretzels, or loaves worked through with rosemary and sea salt. These breads can be bought by the loaf or enjoyed as the anchors of a gourmet sandwich, an edible soup bowl, or a side for salad or pasta. The bakers also make room in their ovens for scones, tarts, and cakes, taking care of their customers' sweet teeth so they can stop chaining the table sugar to the coffee station.
Recognized by the Phoenix New Times as the Best Place to Prep for Your Project Runway Audition in 2009, The Bernina Connection provides the sewing set with a variety of fabrics, notions, equipment, and Bernina sewing machines. The shop also helps its customers reach their needle-wielding potential with both an eclectic schedule of classes that emphasize quilting, embroidery, and good grammar. Stay warm during Phoenix's famously brutal winters by creating an aesthetically pleasing cover in one of the art quilt classes (usually $30) or replace your worn-out hobo's bindle during a four-hour carry-all bag class ($30). The Amy Butler and Friends Sewing Circle Series, meanwhile, focuses on popular designer Amy Butler ($25 per session). Otherwise, live out sartorial fantasies with the Urban T-Shirt class ($30) or learn to hem without hawing in Hem Those Jeans! ($10). Students can also sign up for instruction on a number of specialty projects, such as golf-club covers, napkins, or life-sized reproductions of ancient Babylonian ziggurats. Each class accommodates about a dozen people to ensure that everyone gets plenty of one-on-one attention.