A safe space. That's what the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley give to more than 43,000 kids each year. But along with keeping kids out of harm's way after school lets out, the Boys & Girls Clubs enrich children's lives though their programs. Kids get creative in arts classes, learn social interaction and fitness skills in sports programs, and prepare for the future with technology courses that ensure they won't buy stock in companies that only produce floppy discs.
But the Boys & Girls Clubs impact kids beyond afterschool care. In addition to the East Valley clubs having the first Arizona club to serve a Native American community, the clubs' Ladmo branch has Mona Dixon, who was named National Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2010.
Her path of success, encouraged by the Boys & Girls Clubs, led her from a girl homeless and worried about her family's survival to a young woman with a full ride to college and named one of the Top 28 Most Influential Black Women in America by Essence magazine.
Voted Best Children’s Theatre in 2010 by the Phoenix New Times, the Childsplay professional theater company delights young audiences and families with awe-inspiring, imaginative productions. The 2010–11 season welcomes to the stage Mary Norton’s classic The Borrowers, an enchanting story of a tiny family living under the floorboards that survives by nipping things from unsuspecting "human beans." The lonely protagonist, Arrietty, ventures upstairs in search of friends and finds a thrilling new world that is also full of excitement, danger, and runaway dust-ball boulders. Peeping youngsters will have their minds tastefully blown away by the creative use of shadow puppetry used to highlight the scale of the two different worlds and the Victorian science-fiction look and feel of the sets and costumes.
Terpiscore Dance Company draws its name from Terpsichore, the Greek goddess of dance. And that minor spelling adjustment speaks volumes about the company's philosophy. In one sense, it represents how the Terpsicore dancers perform from the core of their physical and emotional being. In another sense, it represents how they take free license to mix the old with the new, pulling from classical traditions and techniques while inlaying their own expressive touches. The result: works that stir and inspire with of artistry and skill.
Thanks to Copperstar Repertory Co.'s seasons of Broadway musicals, theatergoers of the East Valley have no need to travel to New York to get their fix of the Great White Way. In lavish productions featuring performers culled from statewide auditions, and behind-the-scenes work from theater professionals, Copperstar has treated more than 40,000 viewers to classics such as The Sound of Music and modern hits such as Seussical. And their efforts have been noticed: Copperstar has scooped up acclaim from the AriZoni Awards, and recently was honored with multiple Gilbert Mayor’s Arts Awards and a 2013 nomination for the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award in Education.
Even after prohibition's repeal on December 5, 1933, no whiskey was legally made in the Phoenix-metro area until Arizona Distilling Co came along in 2013. Far from changing local history overnight, the distillery's team spent seven years refining their technique, sourcing local grains, and parsing plenty of legalese. The fruit of all that labor is Copper City Bourbon, barrel-aged for at least two years and named for an Arizona brewery that was shut down during prohibition. Though bourbon remains the micro-distillery's cornerstone, lead distiller Jason Grossmiller has already begun branching out into small-batch gin made with local botanicals and Desert Durum Wheat Whiskey, locally-sourced grain whiskey. In addition to being poured as samples in the tasting room, the company's libations grace stores and restaurants throughout the state, as well as speakeasy bars hidden inside desert mesas.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set