Casa Grande has created a monthly institution in a very unlikely location. Over the last five years, Casa Grande Main Street has hosted Art in the Alley, a great downtown social event.
Art in the Alley takes place in an alley, of course—just off Florence Street between 2nd and 4th Streets. The alley isn’t some dingy hole-in-the-wall; rather, it is a friendly and inviting concert hall, shopping plaza, and restaurant. Murals are painted on the wall depicting Casa Grande during a simpler time, an ivy covered patio sits in the middle of the alley as a stage, and grand light fixtures line the walls of the alley, a donation from an abandoned building. The alley is like nothing you have ever seen in Casa Grande, and that is a part of its appeal. During the day, it resembles a quaint colorful space but at night it transforms into a crafted wonder.
The event is held on the first Tuesday of every month with the mission of “Promoting a fun, welcoming community experience for artists of all ages and abilities.” Art in the Alley achieves this philosophy in a variety of ways.
First, they offer a stage for musicians, poets, and dancers of all kinds. During the last Art in the Alley, an audience member enjoyed music from a crooner , an awe-inspiring duet, belly dancers, and a poet who performed right on the spot. Anyone can perform as long as they have been approved by Casa Grande Main Street and follow their guidelines.
Art in the Alley also allows for vendors of many different skills to sell their items at the venue. All the goods and services sold are artistic in nature and are mind-blowing. The community can witness numerous types of creative vendors. There have been vendors who sell exfoliating soaps that are made in a kitchen, others who create jewelry and hair accessories inside their/ living room, and even a 16 year old artist who has created amazing waterfront paintings.
What makes Art in the Alley a wonderful community event is that it allows all of the merchants in Downtown Casa Grande to be involved. Shops stay open late, people are directed to have dinner in the seven neighboring restaurants, food truck vendors come out to the event, and, in October, a car show took place right on Florence Street. It’s a great way for economic growth to occur in the community.
The people responsible for Art in the Alley make the fun. The staff are gracious and friendly hosts. They seem happy to see the vendors and performing acts who set up and know almost everyone by name. The MC of the event makes sure that all of the vendors are recognized and the DJ works for free in between the live acts.
This community event is not just for the artists but for everyone looking for something creative to do on a Tuesday night. If you would like more information or want to be a part of the festivities, please visit http://www.cgmainstreet.org