Tempe: A city founded on the arts and education.

By: Carlos Dragonné

What I have said to exhaustion: education is the tip of the spear and the only way to survive as humanity. And that has to do with all spaces and aspects of life. Tourism is no different. It is not the same to reach to a city, living to a vibrant city. Because the concept of a poetic of “living city” is even a little unnecessary and useless, because only the ghost towns are really dead. However, a city vibrant is not as common and, therefore, when they appear in the itinerary need to know to make the most of it. And try to understand from where comes the power which keeps them dormant. Welcome to Tempe.

We have been kicking around for Arizona in the last few days and getting to Tempe is a breath of fresh air for one simple reason: the art. Don’t misunderstand me: you will remember that in Phoenix we talked about the Musical Instrument Museum and I still have to tell you that we live in Flagstaff, with historical experiences and scientific that made the trip something amazing to remember. But something has Tempe that makes it different.

And I want to stay a moment on the word “different”, because I had been told that every city had something that made it so unique. And, I must confess that my original idea was that it sounded more of a slogan to sell the destination to a reality. But the thing is that, at the end of it all, yes there is a spirit in each of the cities and in Tempe it feels the force and the vibe of something that always defines the tonality of a city: this is a college town. And that changes everything.

We are in the territory Sundevil. We are in the home of Arizona State University and, therefore, cultural diversity is a basic of every street, from the corner where the coffee flows in between books, libraries, stadiums, sports facilities and restaurants that appeal to a changing market and roaming. Of course, that Tempe has to its people all throughout life, that it opens business, and lives of the mass student that keeps changing each year and that it will giving new basis to the city.

And it is there where he arrives a event as the Tempe Festival of the Arts, a meeting of artists and local providers that close the streets of downtown Tempe to offer what they have, from hats for dogs to sculptures made of metal, through paintings, photographs, soaps, fresh produce, and a long list of things that they ended up in my house and convicted in 90% of the need to buy a second suitcase for my return flight.

Because if there is anything I can catch is the life of the local craftsman. And the bookstores. And the good food. Then, it turns out that one starts to walk by Tempe and discovers that there is a bit of all of that and a little more. The people have an open mind, as in any city that lives through the diversity of a student body in constant change and evolution. And, at the same time, the wealth of the city is seen multiplied and augmented under the new proposals, are claiming their space among the great classics.

There you have all of the sense walk and find a classic film, where independent filmmakers and lovers of old-time movies are a balm and intellectual entertainment, along with a local that looks like a huge vacant warehouse but is home to the most innovative space of virtual reality game for those who decide to cross the door. All this under the gaze of a library of specimens used and old that offers jewelry that I make to point on the slopes of the next trip another suitcase, because this no longer fits. I think that’s why it is worth travelling in business rates, because my backpack had to house the books that no longer fit in the 23 kilos allowed of luggage 1 and 2.

But not only is the Tempe Festival of the Arts, but a city that I open the doors of museums, art exhibits, outdoor activities and one of the best spaces that confirm what I said at the beginning of the article. Welcome to the Tempe Center for the Arts.

This space meets all lovers of the artistic expressions they can imagine, from a stage for emerging theater and independent up to a gallery for artists who have something important to show and a theater much larger where there are concerts or presentations with the largest capacity have been filled with the emotions of those who sit in the seats.

The space built at the edge of the Salt river, created 10 years ago as an urgent need to meet the growing artistic expression of a city that is reinventing and seeking a voice of their own on the biggest stage of the arts today houses works and concerts for all kind of public, but, above all, has this statement to the world about the imperative need to uphold and maintain public open spaces to the greatest parable of expressions of the citizens.

And that is that there is where it falls in what is going on in Tempe. A city that equal houses offices of Amazon and Microsoft, the facilities of one of the leading universities in the united States. A city that dazzles with sunrises just minutes from the airport to give the welcome to the people who will see the sun fall in a desert that never sleeps and proud to raise the voice of their sources to counter until the speech that seemed to devastate the neighboring country. It is not surprising that Mark Mitchell, mayor of Tempe, is a Democrat. I can’t imagine the defense of diversity through art from the political spectrum of the platform to the contrary.

Then, after walking by shopping and dinner amazing at Four Peaks Brewing that I’ll tell you in another text, return to the hotel where I’m staying in this city, a AC Hotel, acquisition of new Marriott that seems to conquer so unstoppable the hotel market at the global level. From the window of my room I can see Hayden Butte and the lights on the Sun Devil Stadium. We are in the days of the end of the season and the last game won by the Sun Devils against the enormous opponent: Arizona. Perhaps it is the romanticism of realizing that Tempe raises its voice in all the different tones and to scream the message, you need to, but I can almost hear the song of Scarlet and Gold that still resonates in the stands.