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Celebrate the Arts

In Tucson, it’s easy to get connected to your cultured side.

Like any good metropolis, Tucson doesn’t put all of its cultural resources in one place. In addition to downtown’s fine art galleries (Etherton Gallery, Obsidian Gallery), Davis Dominguez Gallery in the Warehouse District and art spaces at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tohono Chul, and DeGrazia’s Gallery in the Sun inspire visitors. Gallery Row in the Santa Catalina Foothills represents local artists and hosts free art walks on Thursday evenings. The University of Arizona’s Museum of Art and Center for Creative Photography feature world-class collections and the Ironwood Gallery at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum presents work inspired by the region’s flora and fauna.

Visual Arts

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block features a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions that focus on contemporary, Western, and Latin artwork. The Museum of Contemporary Art resides in a former 1960s firehouse downtown and presents cutting-edge artwork and programs. A major player in the Tucson arts scene is the Warehouse Arts District, located just north of downtown, where new galleries and studios have sprung up in historic structures. An annual downtown open studio tour each fall is a real treat for visitors and locals alike, who get to visit dozens of private art studios and also view the creative process in progress.

 

In Tucson, it’s easy to get connected to your cultured side.

Cinema

Most great cities have an independent cinema where movie aficionados can see the latest non-Hollywood fare. In Tucson, the Loft Cinema brings the best indie films from festivals and distributors around the world. The Loft is a Tucson institution that hosts an annual fall film festival (November). Attend additional film screenings at the Fox Tucson Theatre downtown and during local film festivals such as the Arizona Underground Film Festival (September), Tucson Film and Music Festival (October), and Arizona International Film Festival (April) at the Screening Room downtown. If you want to get really out there, check out Exploded View, a “microcinema” celebrating the avant-garde.

Performing Arts

Downtown features a pair of vintage movie palaces that bookend Congress Street. The 1920s-era Rialto Theatre hosts live shows that cater to the younger crowd. A few blocks away, 1929's Fox Tucson Theatre presents a mix of programming in its Art Deco opulence. Other performing arts sites downtown include the Temple of Music and Art, home of the Arizona Theatre Company, and the Tucson Convention Center's Tucson Music Hall and Leo Rich Theater, which host the Arizona Opera and Tucson Symphony. Broadway In Tucson stages productions at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall, and groups such as the Invisible Theatre and Rogue Theatre present edgy shows on their intimate stages. 

 

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