By Carmen Guerrero In the summer of 2006, The Phoenix Fridas came together and asked ourselves? How can we pull together a community event celebrating Frida’s birthday in the middle of the summer? Her birthday is July 6th. We usually are well into triple digits temps during the summers in Phoenix. Who wants to go anywhere in this heat?
Well, there is a real cool bookstore in our community : “Changing Hands” in Tempe, AZ. We approached the owners and asked if they would like to host a Frida Event. Of course, they would. The place was packed and we were invited back 3 years in a row…. thanks Changing Hands!
Our Frida Look Alikes came in all ages! Even my 80 years old aunt showed up! We had so much fun with a packed to capacity place! There were more Fridas than books…..
Well … we started to look for a new place that would accommodate all of us and our friends. That’s when we got invited to host our Frida Celebration at the Vision Gallery in downtown Chandler.
The newly opened gallery is absolutely gorgeous. It sits in the ground floor of the City of Chandler newly constructed LEED building. So beautiful and efficient. We celebrated Frida in Chandler for the next 3 years…. Lots of fun with such beautiful surroundings, professional staff and supportive patrons. Here are some photos of our time at Vision Gallery:
After a few years of celebrating in the East Valley, we were confronted by a very dear friend and former librarian who said: “You guys ARE the PHOENIX Fridas, so you should do your programs in Phoenix.” So we moved to the beautiful Phoenix Public Library downtown Phoenix. Great place!
It was great to have the whole 2nd floor of the Burton Barr Central Library on a hot Sunday afternoon in July to Celebrate Frida with so many fans and friends! It was a popular place to be: cool inside and plenty of parking outside. We hosted a ‘Call to Artists’ and had some wonderful local artists recognized and exhibited alongside the Phoenix Fridas. The celebration grew to include dancing, singing and eating Birthday cakes in honor of Frida… We even built the Blue Butterfly Gazebo in the 2nd floor and had a blast with our friends!
The expanded celebration included Quetzalli Ballet Folklórico. The younger dancers painted their eyebrows like Frida and created a special dance dedicated to Frida. We called them “Las Friditas.”
We also provided various Make ‘n Takes and activities to our patrons. Our show featured a very informative Frida Time Line. Each one of the Phoenix Fridas took charge of a period of Frida’s life to interpret. It was fun!
We hope to continue celebrating Frida for the next decade or more….