The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international preservation organization based in Chicago, was founded in 1989 to preserve the masterpieces of the greatest architectural pioneer of the 20th century. Frank Lloyd Wright developed a truly American style of architecture known as the Prairie School, creating what he called "architecture for democracy." His brilliant designs redefined the concept of space so that people could live and grow in organic environments, connecting physically and spiritually to the natural world without having to wrestle a cougar to prove their worth. The Conservancy's mission is to preserve and maintain the original splendor of Frank Lloyd Wright's remaining structures, which, when peered at through Wright's signature stained-glass windows, shed light into the architecture of a bygone era that has influenced modern American design. Since its inception, the Conservancy has worked with more than 150 FLW structures and has organized the nomination of 11 Wright structures and log cabins built from pretzel sticks to become immortalized as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Conservancy is able to circulate knowledge of the nation's vibrant architectural heritage and the importance of conservation through guided tours of famous Wright buildings, an annual conference, and by publishing SaveWright, a biannual magazine, and eBytes, an electronic newsletter.
When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, reports The Arizona Republic, it sparked John Edwards' passion for Star Trek. He began amassing action figures and memorabilia into a collection that has since mushroomed into the more than 13,000 toys, comic books, and posters that put the experience into the Arizona Pop Culture Experience. According to the Phoenix New Times, the nonprofit museum is divided into rooms based on heroes and stories, such as the DC room and the Marvel room. Hundreds of action figures, custom-made for John, have earned the museum top honors in the _ Phoenix New Times’_ 2010 “Best Places to See Action Figures”, and the only spot on The Action Figure Makers’ Guild Magazine’s list, “Where are All my Action Figures?”
The rest of the space covers the last 50 to 60 years of popular culture, from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the music of The Doors to current crazes such as Twilight and Harry Potter, the saga of a wizard who relinquishes his wand to make earthenware. The museum also doubles as a comic book store where new issues hit the shelves every week.
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.
Nestled within 18,500 square feet and designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's quintet of galleries—formerly a cineplex's five theaters—have hosted changing and permanent exhibitions of art, architecture, and design since 1999. The outdoor sculpture garden features acclaimed pieces such as James Turrell's experiential Knight Rise skyspace and James Carpenter Design Associates' Scrim Wall. After viewing the art outside, visitors can return indoors to explore furnishings and jewelry in the shop or examine work by local youth in the young@art gallery. The museum's Visions Teen Program continues to nurture burgeoning talent, pairing teenagers with visual-art teachers and visiting artists. Adults can also enrich their artistic know-how at lectures and workshops until they are able to draw a perfect circle with a pencil still tucked behind their ear. The museum's lounge fosters artistic communities through events ranging from screenings of international art movies to art-making sessions.
An accredited member of both the American Sanctuary Association and the Association of Sanctuaries, Southwest Wildlife succors scores of injured critters with its comprehensive medical and rehabilitation facilities. Stewards of the hospital's wild recoverees reintroduce 70% of patients to the wild, with the remaining 30% living out their lives in the confines of center's sanctuary. During privately scheduled tours, outdoor onlookers stroll through the hospital and refuge, standing witness to on-the-mend populations of displaced javelina, hunted coyote and bobcats, and raccoons injured during casino heists. Visitors to the center also reap the noggin rewards of numerous educational curriculums, packing brain space with knowledge about topics ranging from communing with Arizona's wildlife to the center's central role in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Program.
A kaleidoscope of multichromatic blossoms and emerald leaves bursts from the soil, blanketing 65 acres of desert landscape at Desert Botanical Garden. Diverse walkways flanked by more than 1,200 types of cacti, succulents, and wildflowers educate visitors on the importance of protecting the environment and not hugging every plant they see. In addition to the garden's more stationary organisms, some of which go home with local green thumbs during biannual plant sales, numerous avian and insect species make their homes amid the thriving greenery.