Why We Do It


There’s a buzz word being bandied about, and that term is “place-making”. Essentially, it refers to actions that inform the look or feel of a location, usually a city. It’s a little artsy-lingo-ish, but I like it. It’s used mostly by artists, developers, architects, and city planners, and it encompasses planning for public art, parks, pedestrian thoroughfares, and other cultural amenities.

By creating a space for 120 local artisans to display and sell their art, Practical Art is a part of the band of folks who’re infusing Phoenix with the look and feel of a town that appreciates art, that values human creativity, craftsmanship, and beauty. We love ‘place-making’ in that way. We also have ideas outside of the arts realm about what makes a place one where we all would want to live, grow, and prosper, so every month, we use Practical Art as a platform to support those who’re place-making in those other ways, making the city better for its denizens, and who’re often helping those who’ve fallen between the cracks and loopholes of other systems.

Each month, we feature a raffle, take donations, and host our Fourth Friday Charity Pie Night to benefit a non-profit community partner who’s undertaking one of those mission  that we believe in. We’ve raised funds for Local First Arizona, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation, Waste Not, The Bergamot Institute, the Barrow Neurological Foundation, and many more. Most recently, we raised money for St. Mary’s Food Bank and hosted a food drive. Lisa was able to visit the facility to see what charitable donations are able to accomplish, and she was floored. They allowed her to bring along her camera so that you could get a glimpse.






Just $25 provides meals for 175 people.

This is why we do it– seeing these results, knowing we helped when help was needed; knowing that we are part of a collective that looks out for one another when other systems fail us; having these support organizations that look out for folks who’re slipping through those cracks. Who among us hasn’t needed help– a meal, counsel, a place to rest? Friends and family are a privilege that sometimes circumstance hasn’t provided. Then what?

And we can’t do this without your help. We’re the hub: we can shine a spotlight on the mission, provide pie, entertainment, and art, and it creates a spectacular night for a critical-mass-style donation. It’s always invigorating to see how much we can all pool together and what that lump of change can do for an organization that provides so much for the community.

What’s coming up? Well, for the remainder of this month, you can donate to BuckTruck.org and participate in our Fourth Friday Charity Pie Night on January 24th, from 7-9pm. Or purchase a raffle ticket towards this artful wall vase designed and crafted by George Richards.

Then, on February 6th, we launch our annual Recycling Drive for Jane in honor of our late founder, Jane Reddin, who was an avid defender of the environment and supporter of the arts. It will run through April 10th. We’ll be accepting any cans and scrap metals that you’re able to bring by, and the monetary returns from the scrap metal exchange facility will go to fund a Contemporary Forum artist grant.

What do you want your community to look like? What can you do to help usher it in that direction? You absolutely have a say.



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