We participated at the Scottsdale Quarter Holiday performance project on Saturday, December 10/11. Nikki and Grace Tordil, Jonathan Gabriel, the AZ Classical Kids, Zhanna Tevan and Neil Dicks performed. Many thanks to all the performers. You were amazing!!! A huge thank you to Lynita Johnson of the Scottsdale Quarter for securing the event. To see a short video, click here. To see images from the event click here.


We had a fabulous Open Mic on November 27. Many thanks to all the participants! To see images click here.

November 1/2011

We are proud to present the Fall 2011 Issue of The Blue Guitar Magazine. A huge Thank - You to Editor in Chief, Rebecca Dyer; Production Editor, Richard H. Dyer Jr., all the talented writers, poets and artists, Marjory Boyer for the permanent artwork front and back covers. To read Click on The Blue Guitar - Fall 2011

An article by Michaele Lockhart

It is a comforting thought that, in this era of financial cuts to anything resembling the arts and writing in particular, our State of Arizona actually has a Consortium for the Arts. Sure, it may not be the grand-scale financing that we all might wish for, but we do have support.

The Consortium is supported in part by the Arizona Commission for the Arts with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts. All of us who support our local PBS station and NPR should rejoice. We are part of that bigger picture too.

The Blue Guitar is the Arizona Consortium for the Arts on-line literary magazine. It is free and offered up to the public as a showcase for the various talents our State is proud to sponsor. To access the magazine, please go to their website, www.theblueguitarmagazine.org , where the current Fall Issue is available for your free downloading and reading pleasure. The Blue Guitar offers a selection of art, poetry, and a variety of writing talents.

Folks, please help spread the word that the issue is now available for free downloading by letting your family, friends, students, classmates, co-workers, and colleagues know! We should be proud to live in a state where this kind of support is available.

By the way, one of my essays, Arizona Winter Sunrise , and one of my poems, A Barrio Christmas, are featured in this Fall Issue.

Thank you so much. Enjoy and forward on if you wish.

Find my novels and short fiction at www.Amazon.com

October 30/2011

October was National Arts and Humanities Month and we celebrated at our Annual Fall Festival of the Arts on October 30th! We are grateful to the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park for collaborating with us and providing the spacious courtyard for the event. Thank you to the museum's Director, Kyle Mckoy and Seth Willey for donating the space. It was a great day! Many thanks to all the talented musicians, singers, dancers, artists, artisans, vendors and children's activities stations!!! A huge thank you to all the performers: Arizona Classical Kids and Maestro Zhanna Tevan; Nikki and Grace Tordil and Tordil Family; Argullo Baricua Dance Group; Tammy Zappier; Jonathan Gabriel; Ruben Vargas; readers from the Blue Guitar Magazine; Gabriel Bey and friends. Thank you to Audrey Thacker of Artisan Markets AZ for securing the vendors. Thank you to Arizona Model and Actor Management; Lana May, bracelet making activity; Red Cross, mail for heroes activity; BBVA Compass Bank, SW Scrap Exchange activity for children of all ages, Julie and Rick Mukherjee of Samosa Hut and Papa John’s Pizza for their participation. A special thank you to Rick and Rebecca Dyer, Jonathan Gabriel, Leo Tordil, Jim Thornton, Ruben Vargas, Anne Wallace, Anna Yakupovich, Florentina Constantineanu, Eric Aceves, Warren Chu, Nydia Stuart, Lester and Cynthia Cuebas and Shannon Erickson who helped us at the event and many other volunteers who helped us with set up and tear down. To see images from the event click here; click here; and click here

September 25 event at the Dog-Eared Pages Used Books! Thank you so much Melanie and Thom for always being so supportive and hospitable! Thanks again to all of the talented, creative authors, poets, artists, singers, dancers and musicians that participated, it was loads of fun! All are invited to attend and participate! To see images click here.

August 28 event at the Dog-Eared Pages Used Books! Click here to see images - Monthly Open Mic Arts, Letters and Culture Events

This is a great chance for artists, writers, performers in all genres, spanning all artistic disciplines and cultural representations to get together, meet one another, read, present, share, learn, celebrate and enjoy! Thank you to all of the talented, creative authors, poets, artists and musicians that participated, it was loads of fun! All are invited to attend and participate!

August, 2011

We are proud to present the Summer 2011 Issue of The Blue Guitar Magazine. A huge Thank - You to Editor in Chief, Rebecca Dyer; Production Editor, Richard H. Dyer Jr., all the talented writers and artists, Marjory Boyer for the permanent artwork front and back covers.

The Summer 2011 Issue features all-Arizona writers, poets, artists, musicians and musical and dance groups, including: Arizona Classical Kids • Carrie Backe • Renee Bau • Alicia Bay Laurel • Lynn Black • Effie Bouras • Evonne Bowling • Marjory Boyer • David Chorlton • Joshua Daniel Cochran • William W. Don Carlos • Jonelle Farr • Hilary Gan • Jonathan Gabriel • Ehren Fritz Gerhard • Grupo Folklorico I’naru • J. Michael Green • Cora Holley • Tobi Lopez Taylor • Joan McConnell • Kaitlin Meadows • Sara T. Moore • Kelly Nelson • Andrew Pentis • Tye Rabens • Issac Real • Hannah Richard • Esther Schnur-Berlot • Michael E. Singer • Natalia Spannaus • SMUDD rock and roll band • Lilvia Soto • Zhanna Tevan • Dustin Volz

Click on www.theblueguitarmagazine.org to read and download the Summer 2011 issue.

July, 2011

July, 31 at the Dog-Eared Pages Used Books

Monthly Open Mic Arts, Letters and Culture Events! You can watch it here.

June, 2011

June, 26 at the Dog-Eared Pages Used Books

Monthly Open Mic Arts, Letters and Culture Events! You can watch it here.

Many thanks to United Networking Group for hosting "A Break From Business - "Support the Arts" Summer Event " on Friday, June 17, 2011. Thank you Eric Aceves for organizing the event. To see images click here.

May, 2011

On Sunday, May 22, over thirty people came to the A CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS and Letters at Dog-Eared Pages Books. For four hours writers and musicians kept the open mic going and the crowd entertained. Hosted by local novelist, Ken Weene, the open mic was the focal point of a lively event. In addition to The Consortium for the Arts, attendees learned about such groups as The Phoenix Film Society, The Downtown Chamber Series, The Arizona State Poetry Society, The Downtown Central Phoenix Writers’ Meetup, and The Arizona Author’s Association. Many thanks to all of the talented, creative authors, poets and musicians that participated, it was loads of fun! You can watch it here. A huge thank you to Chair of Event, Kenneth Weene, Melanie Tighe and Phoenix Body Mind and Soul magazine and everyone for all your hard work and for advertizing this event. The Consortium and Dog-Eared Pages have decided to combine our monthly “meet and greet and arts and culture talks” and continue the open mic format from 3-5 PM on the last Sunday of every month, so bring your art, poetry, stories or music.

The Third Annual Blue Guitar Festival of the Arts

May 15, 2011, at Mesa Community College in the Fiesta District of Mesa, Arizona - Event a smash hit with attendees

On May 15th, the Arizona Consortium for the Arts held its Third Annual Festival of music, arts, and cultures. Additionally, the Spring 2011 edition of The Blue Guitar arts and literary magazine was celebrated at the Mesa Community College campus in Mesa. The all-volunteer event was free and was attended by many people from the community throughout the day. They were welcomed by Rebecca Dyer, the Editor in Chief of the magazine, Elena Thornton, president of The Arizona Consortium for the Arts, and the sponsor of the event, Evonne Bowling, Program Director of Fashion Merchandising and Design at MCC.

At the daylong festival, the community was treated to a robust sampling of music, song and dance by local performers, as well as readings by Arizona writers in The Blue Guitar magazine. It was an incredible day, made possible through the planning and organizing of the Consortium’s cadre of hardworking volunteers and Mesa Community College. The event began with musical performances by the Consortium’s talented Arizona Classical Kids under the tutelage of Maestro Zhanna Tevan. They played a variety of music from Russian to Italian to classical to Jewish folk songs. Evonne Bowling, Director of MCC’s Fashion Merchandising and Design Program, introduced the audience to the Fashion Program at MCC and shared several innovative and colorful examples of wearable art created and worn by MCC students in a fashion show. Singer and dancer Natalia Spannaus treated the audience to “I Could Have Danced All Night” from the musical “My Fair Lady,” accompanied by Maestro Zhanna Tevan on the piano.

The audience enjoyed musical favorites by guitarist and singer Jonathan Gabriel, who performed rock and folk songs of the 1960s and '70s. Guitarist, singer and luthier Michael E. Singer performed classical Brazilian music as well as his own compositions, some of which he performed on a turquoise-bedecked guitar that he fashioned. The community also was treated to a dazzling, toe-tapping, hand-clapping cultural showcase of the island tradition of Puerto Rico, with the lively music, intricate dance forms and colorful costumes of the locally based Grupo Folklorico I’naru.

Arizona writers and poets who have been published in The Blue Guitar magazine, including the Special “Healing and Hope” Spring 2011 Issue dedicated to the people of Tucson, also read their work. Rebecca Dyer, the magazine's Editor in Chief, led the introductions of the readers, who included poets Lynn Black, Kelly Nelson, Cora Holley and Jonelle Farr.

Rebecca Dyer and husband Richard H. Dyer Jr. work tirelessly and diligently to bring to the community The Blue Guitar magazine, a brilliant work of art. The pages are filled with great literature and artworks that colorfully and perfectly flow from page to page. The front cover and back cover were created by longtime local artist, painter and teacher Marjory Boyer. As production editor, Richard Dyer is responsible for the colorfully appointed and beautifully designed pages. The Special Spring 2011 Issue includes works by Arizona writers and artists Erin Armstrong, Esther Schnur-Berlot, Whitney DeVos, Flora Gamez Grateron, Naomi Miller, Lynn Black, Cathy Capozzoli, David Chorlton, Christyne Moraga-Cisterna, Jonelle Farr, John Mikal Haaheim, S.M.T. Hedger, Joshua Hunter Hensley, Cora Holley, Sean Medlin, Brian Mostoller, David Pischke, Dan Ramirez, Jeannine Savard, Richard Fenton Sederstrom, Laura Fellows, Marie Lang, Nicole Royse, Kip Sudduth and Asher Wyndham.

The community is grateful to the Dyers for this exquisite gem of a magazine, a gift they have created for our enjoyment, and we are already looking forward to the summer edition. The magazine is published online at www.theblueguitarmagazine.org. Also, to submit for the summer edition, please visit the Web site, where a call for submissions will be posted beginning June 1.

The arts-festival audience also was treated to SMUDD, a local rock and roll band; their repertoire includes tunes from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and even a current top 10 song.

We look forward to many future events by our local performers, artists and writers. A huge thank-you to local artist Renee Bau, who shared with us her exquisite artworks.

The community also is grateful to Consortium founder and leader Elena Thornton and husband Jim Thornton, without whose tireless work and unceasing vision none of this would be possible.

The Arizona Consortium for the Arts is a nonprofit, 501c3 tax-exempt organization. The Consortium's vision is to establish a multicultural arts center, including offering programs to help nurture and support underserved and underprivileged populations through the promotion of the arts. To learn more about The Arizona Consortium for the Arts, how you can join, help and to support future programs, please visit www.artizona.org or call 602-263-5373. To see images from the Festival click here.

April, 2011

We are proud to present the Spring 2011 Issue of The Blue Guitar Magazine - Dedicated to the People of Tucson. A huge Thank - You to Editor in Chief, Rebecca Dyer; Production Editor, Richard H. Dyer Jr., all the talented writers and artists, Marjory Boyer for artwork - front and back covers. Click on The Blue Guitar Spring 2011 issue.

Editor's Note

Rebecca "Becca" Dyer

From a distance, as you drive into Tucson from the north, you can see the back of the Santa Catalina Mountains rise up. If the sun’s angle is just right, you can see the ridges of the range running smoothly up and downlike sinews. I say the back of the Catalinas only because when you live in Tucson, you become spoiled by the front views, nestled as Tucson is in a desert valley, comfortably cradled among four ranges — the Catalinas, the Santa Ritas, the Tucsons, the Rincons. It was almost a prayerlike chant reciting their names and their directions to remember them: the Catalinasto the north, the Santa Ritas to the south, the Tucsons (although we say Tucson Mountains) to the west, the Rincons to the east. It was impossible to get lost as long as you knew which mountain range was which.I was born and raised in Tucson and met my husband there at the University of Arizona. My side of the family still calls Tucson home. Growing up, I remember equating Tucson’s hot, dry climate and desert setting, its palm trees,brush, cactuses and mountains, with the Holy Land. This is what it must be like, I thought, this is what a spiritual place must be like. I still carry that spirit inside me. Call it what you will, but such a spirit has helped Tucson rise up after the unimaginable tragedy of Jan. 8.Like the strong backs of the mountains ringing it, the city bears its grief and pain with dignity. It is willing itself to keep going, to salvage what it can, to focus on the good, to continue to reach out to those seemingly unreachable.The rest of the state, indeed the nation and the world, could learn from such faith and perseverance, this unwavering sense of commitment and community.With this issue, our fervent prayer is that the healing power of hope, like the desert’s miraculous rain, will continue to renew and restore, and love, like the wildflowers that each year signal spring, will continue toabound. To the people of Tucson, especially to those who have suffered hardship and pain but continue to reach out and endure, this issue is lovingly dedicated.

March, 2011

A fashion runway workshop to benefit Arizona Consortium for the Arts charity is a huge success!

On March 12, 2011, Arizona Model and Actor Management partnered with Monique Fagre Swimwear to bring an incredible morning of "Runway Tips and Techniques" workshop to all the participants ranging from ages 5 to their 40s. The workshop was provided through the graciousness and generosity of designer Monica Samuels. Monica has a tremendous talent for design as well as a background in modeling and runway. She has worked with her swimsuit models on runways for Phoenix Fashion Week, Scottsdale Fashion Week and many other events. Monica's partner, Maria Elena Fagre, assisted with the workshop. The workshop was an incredible experience for all of the participants. Everyone received personal attention. The benefit of confidence and self-esteem building was evident from the participants' smiles, especially for the little ones.

Mesa Community College donated two classrooms for the workshop. The director of the Fashion Merchandising Program at MCC, Evonne Bowling, graciously planned for the classroom space and the runway. Also, Sondra Barr, the 202 Magazine's editor, arranged for Sam Evans to be the event's photographer.

The organizer of the event, Gail E. McCauley, president of Arizona Model and Actor Management and one of the advisers for the Arizona Consortium for the Arts stated: "I thought of an idea to give back to our community by making this workshop where everyone would benefit. The purpose of this workshop is for 100% of the proceeds to go toward this wonderful charity to support their arts and cultural events, projects and vision."

Elena Thornton, director for the Arizona Consortium for the Arts, was in attendance at the workshop and talked about the vision of establishing a multicultural art center with an open-door policy. Elena said that the consortium seeks to utilize an existing facility or to build a new one. She also shared the rendering of the dream facility with everyone. The rendering was completed by Effie Bouras, building designer, Mechanik Design Office, LLC.

For more information about how you can join in the efforts and get involved with the Arizona Consortium for the Arts visit: www.artizona.org.

For more information about Arizona Model and Actor Management visit: www.azmodelandactormanagement.com

Click Play Video to see some images from the event! Play Video

March 2011

A benefit concert to benefit Arizona World Music Initiative and the Arizona Consortium for the Arts is a huge success!

On March 6/11 the AZ World Music Initiative in collaboration with the Arizona Consortium for the Arts held a benefit concert to benefit both organizations at the Il Vinaio Restaurant and Wine Bar at 270 W Main St, Downtown Mesa, AZ visit www.ilvinaio.com . The afternoon and evening was filled with fine entertainment. Musical styles included Folk Rock, World Music, Latin Jazz, and Smooth Jazz by some of the valley's most popular musicians. Many thanks to Jonathan Gabriel; Jazz-a-tukee, Radiant Sky – Sherry Finzer, John Calvert, Jason Wiedman; Greg Meyers and Gary Kiggins Duo and dulce VAS – Sherry Finzer and VeeRonna for their wonderful performances! Il Vinaio donated 25% from their sales. Many thanks to everyone who joined us and ordered food, drinks, purchased raffle tickets and purchased from vendors! Our vendors included; Michelle S Hawkins, Silpada, Partylite and Forever Retro. A huge thank you to Cameron and Cindy for their generosity! Many thanks to Sherry and Chuck Finzer for organizing this incredible event!!! Visit www.azwmi.org and www.artizona.org

Click Play Video to see some images from the event! Play Video