Arts & Culture

Arts and Culture Tempe Center for the Arts

A desire for dance, a passion for theatre and a love of infectious music are easily satisfied in Tempe. Tempe is truly an arts and cultural hub with a full season of Broadway shows, museum exhibits, local theatre productions, arts festivals and more. Public art by local and internationally known artists give beauty and depth to our urban landscapes. Music of all genres can be found on street corners, in clubs, restaurants and theater.


Museums and Galleries

  • Spend some time at the ASU Art Museum where you’ll discover contemporary art  by nationally and  internationally renown artists exhibited in five spacious galleries. Current exhibitions on display include  Pop /Funk: Warhol and Frey, through December 29,  2018 and  Decomiso: Faivovich and Goldberg, through February 9, 2019.
  • Browse the rows and rows of beautiful ceramic works in the permanent collections of the ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery.  The current exhibition, Darkness to Light: Figurative Works from the Permanent Collection, can be viewed through February 19, 2019.
  • Visit The Gallery at the Tempe Center for the Arts to see the current exhibit, Monster Stories that celebrates the 200th anniversary of the novel, Frankenstein, by exploring the monster genre in popular culture, literature and mythology.
  • Immerse yourself in Tempe’s fascinating past at the Tempe History Museum. You can trace our history from its beginnings through modern times in the permanent exhibits, interactive displays and rotating exhibits.
  • Take a breathtaking trip into space via the 3-D planetarium style shows in the Marston Exploration Theater, located on the ASU Tempe Campus, Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. While you’re there explore the fascinating exhibits on display in the Gallery of Scientific Exploration.

Theater & Music

  • Attend a concert or Broadway musical in Arizona at the beautiful ASU Gammage, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The 2018-19 Broadway Across America series’ lineup includes long standing favorites. The new year is off to a great start with HELLO DOLLY!, January 8-13, 2019 and Disney’s ALADDIN, January 31 – February 17,  2019.
  • Eat, drink and laugh at the Tempe Improv Comedy Club where they’ve been presenting the big name and emerging comics for more than two decades. Some favorite comics coming soon are  “SNL” alumnus Rob Schneider, December 31, 2018, Pablo Francisco, January 3-5, 2019 and Steve-O, January 11-12, 2019.
  • Listen to your favorite music performed live in Tempe’s clubs, restaurants and theaters.
  • The Marquee brings top acts to Tempe like Reverend Horton Heat,  January 17, 2019 and The Atomic Punks, January  19, 2019.
  • Catch a performance at the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts which overlooks Tempe Town Lake. Upcoming highlights include  A Christmas Carol, December 6-23, 2018, Phoenix  Lynne Fiddmont, January 12, 2019 and Stray Cat Theatre’s presentation of “Two Mile Hollow,” January 18-February 2, 2019.
  •  Stroll through The District at Tempe Marketplace on Friday and Saturday evenings and enjoy the best local bands performing on the District Stage.

Art outdoors and indoors

Tempe is a true hub of visual arts — you’ll find yourself surrounded by art both indoors and outdoors. While you’re taking a leisurely stroll around Tempe or the beautiful Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe Campus, be on the lookout for art at every turn. And it won’t cost you a cent!

The City of Tempe’s public art collection includes permanent and temporary installations throughout the city, including Downtown Tempe, Tempe Center for the Arts, neighborhoods, pathways, parks, light rail and bus stops. One of the newest additions to downtown is “She Tempe,” a public art project that was commissioned by the Downtown Tempe Authority. Eight local female artists created custom works of art that are installed on news racks along Mill Avenue. Each news rack has a map so visitors can take a self-guided tour of these unique, colorful works of art.

ASU also has one of the best collections of public art from Depression-era murals to contemporary sculpture located throughout the 720-acre campus. A must-see on campus is “Air Apparent,” a Skyspace designed by internationally renowned artist James Turrell.

Use these maps to take a self-guided tour of public art in Tempe:

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