Award-winning local theater, engaging museums, art festivals, funky local bands, blockbuster Broadway productions and contemporary dance companies are all part of Tempe's arts and cultural scene.
There are over 20 free museums and galleries at Arizona State University, one of the largest universities in the U.S. You can see everything from the most cutting edge contemporary art at the ASU Art Museum to photography exhibits at the Northlight Gallery. Or, stroll through campus for a self guided tour of ASU's public art collection, recently recognized as one of the best university collections in the country.
The newest addition to the Tempe art scene is the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA), a visually striking performing arts facility located on the shore of Tempe Town Lake. It is the home to companies such as Tempe Symphony Orchestra, Childsplay and Desert Dance Theatre. Childsplay, the critically acclaimed theatre for children and adults, offers a full season of productions that range from hilariously funny to thought provoking. The TCA also houses a gallery with rotating, themed exhibitions. Take a virtual tour of the Tempe Center for the Arts: www.seemystore.ca/virtual-tours-v3/tempe/tempecenter/.
ASU Gammage is home to the annual Progressive Broadway Across America - Arizona series, and the BEYOND Series, featuring nationally touring dance, theatre and musical performances. An attraction in its own right, ASU Gammage was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you're seeking even more ground breaking theatre, Stray Cat Theatre is not to be missed. This left-of-center company presents the most contemporary material, hoping to inspire the next generation of theatre lovers. Performances are held at the Tempe Performing Arts Center.
Entertaining local bands perform regularly at venues throughout the Mill Avenue District and Thursday through Sundays at "The District" at Tempe Marketplace. Try and catch one of these up and coming bands before they become the next big thing.
Tempe is known for the annual Tempe Festival of the Arts, taking place in the Mill Avenue District over the first weekend in December and the last weekend of March/first weekend in April. The two Tempe Festival of the Arts are among the largest arts and entertainment festivals in the Southwest. Artisans exhibit and sell hand-made works of art ranging from photography to sculpture to jewelry and everything in between.