By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | May 6, 2021
With steady vaccine rollout and falling cases, Arizona’s long-shuttered museums, sports venues, art galleries, stores, restaurants and more may finally welcome the public back inside.
Around Arizona, residents are returning to their favorite attractions as businesses plan safe openings. Many high-profile community and cultural hubs are already open for business.
Phoenix.org brings readers examples of what is happening around the state.
Arizona Diamondbacks/Chase Field
Finally, baseball, in person. Chase Field is allowing fans in the ballpark, but unoccupied seats are zip-tied and cash transactions aren’t permitted. Let’s go cheer on the boys.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
After being shuttered for more than 14 months, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix will reopen its interior spaces on May 29. The museum closed its doors on March 13, 2020, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic and has remained closed since then.
During its closure, the museum continued to fulfill its mission of engaging the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them with daily activities posted in English and Spanish on social media platforms; the creation of a virtual summer camp program called Camp-In-A-Box; Thinker Player Creator Boxes aimed to give kids hands-on activities that they can do at home; and the 100% Outside, 100% Fun Adventure Play experience, which opened in late October.
On May 10, the museum will close to the general public for 19 days to dismantle its outdoor Adventure Play experience and prepare the museum’s interior exhibit spaces for visitors.
The museum will be open seven days a week, May 29 to Labor Day, September 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thereafter, operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. COVID-19 precautions will remain in place upon reopening, including limited-capacity and timed ticketing. Mask requirements and social distancing will be enforced. Admission price is $14.95. Members and children younger than the age of 1 are free.
In addition to reopening its indoor spaces, the museum will once again offer in-person summer camps with reduced number of campers per week. CMoP Camps begin May 31. CMoP Camps are $235 for members and $280 for nonmembers.
COVID-19 precautions, including mask requirements and social distancing, will be enforced.
The Heard Museum continues to celebrate its reopening with “Small Wonders,” which displays a range of intricately made small-format works including jewelry (rings, brooches, earrings and buckles) and specialty items such as silver seed pots and fetishes or stone carvings. It runs through the fall.
Each work of art is shaped in silver, gold or from a variety of gemstones, and all are from the Heard Museum’s permanent collection.
Highlights in the exhibition include the miniatures fabricated in silver, such as a treehouse made by Shawn Bluejacket (Shawnee), which has a removable roof and is fully equipped with a slide and a table with a hinged tabletop that, when opened, reveals a bundle of carrots that Bluejacket painted on the interior. Other silver highlights include a yo-yo by Daniel Sunshine Reeves (Navajo), a teapot with coral inlay by Darrell Jumbo (Navajo), and a tray and teapot set by Elizabeth Martha Whitman (Navajo).
For those who enjoy jewelry, there is an assortment of brooches, many in animal and insect forms, as well as complex figurative works by Denise Wallace (Chugach Sugpiaq/Alutiiq) and more traditional works in silver with inset turquoise. The exhibition is curated by Chief Curator Diana Pardue and Assistant Curator Velma Kee Craig (Diné).
Musical Instrument Museum
The MIM in North Phoenix has been open for a bit, and even concerts are happening here.
May shows include Arouna and Zaza Diarra (May 8); Giovanni Kiyingi (May 15); “NOLAZ: The Music of New Orleans” (May 21); Davina and the Vagabonds (May 22 and May 23); “MusicaNova Orchestra Presents: Centuries of Brass” (May 27); and “Blues in the Round” featuring Hans Olson, Eric Ramsey and Mike Eldred (May 30).
May will see the MIM’s “Experience Central Africa” on Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16. It’s included with paid admission; free for members. Experience diverse music and dance traditions of Central Africa with live performances, curator talks and other family-friendly activities.
To support social distancing, the MIM is limiting the number of guests at each activity. Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum has many virtual and outdoor events to provide socially distanced art-engagement opportunities for the community, including a special screening of “Great Art on Screen” on Mother’s Day, May 9.
Discounted admission days for designated front-line workers and medical first responders will be treated to reduced admission until May 16. Designated workers must present a work badge, ID, business card or pay stub at the museum’s visitor services desk upon check-in. The offer is not available online.
Phoenix Rising FC, Arizona’s highest-level professional soccer team, recently moved its facilities and venue from South Scottsdale to Wild Horse Pass.
It increased seating capacity; improved VIP luxury suites, speed entry and exit from the stadium complex; and added training fields.
“Since the launch of Phoenix Rising FC in 2016, fan support has been consistently increasing,” said Phoenix Rising FC Governor Berke Bakay. “Prior to COVID-19, 23 consecutive matches at Casino Arizona Field were sold out due to our amazing supporters. This move will immediately increase stadium seating by more than 35% and also provide room for future expansion.”
The new training facility and stadium made its debut on April 30 for the home opener.
Phoenix Theatre Company
The Phoenix Theatre Company is returning to indoor performance, just in time for its 102nd season. After a pivot to virtual and outdoor programming, the Phoenix Theatre Company welcomes audiences back to its three-stage complex starting in June to kick off a season highlighting stories of extraordinary everyday heroes and beloved characters that inspire hope and unity.
“We are unbelievably grateful to welcome back audiences to our home,” says Michael Barnard, producing artistic director. “Our stages may have been darkened, but our spirits are undimmed. Over the last year, we’ve faced creative and financial challenges, and what’s lifted us up is our community. Now I am beyond grateful to announce our 102nd season, filled with stories of resilience and tenacity.”
As the theater company moves performances indoors, it will continue to monitor local health trends and work closely with public health agencies and Actors’ Equity Association to keep artist and community safety a priority.
When the theater company opens in June, face masks and temperature checks will be required for all staff and patrons. The indoor theater’s ventilation systems exceed recommendations by public health officials, and cleaning and disinfecting will occur frequently. Seating will not be socially distanced. As vaccines become more available and accessible, safety protocols will be updated to ensure patron and staff comfort and wellbeing.
Indoor performances resume June 2 with a summer series featuring “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” “Daddy Long Legs” and “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” The 2021-22 season starts August 18 with “Steel Magnolias.”
Tickets to the summer series are on sale.
Tempe History Museum, Gallery at TCA
The city of Tempe officials safely opened the Tempe History Museum and the Gallery at TCA in April. Additionally, Tempe Public Library expanded its in-person services beginning April 5.
Tempe History Museum reopened for passive visitation of indoor exhibits. Visit the webpage for hours and exhibit information, tempe.gov.
The museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays.
The Gallery at TCA, located within Tempe Center for the Arts, is open for indoor exhibitions. Other areas within the TCA remain closed. Visit the website for hours and exhibition information. The gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Safety protocols remain in place at all city facilities. Face coverings are always required, physical distancing must be in place, and capacity will be limited. Anyone who feels sick should stay home.
Remaining closed until further notice are Westside Multi-Generational Center, Tempe City Hall, Edna Vihel Arts Center, Tempe Center for the Arts (all areas except the gallery), Pyle Adult Recreation Center and all city senior centers.