Jazz, Film + Art at PVCC: Three Free Events, One Night

On Wednesday, October 19th, the Center for the Performing Arts will host three FREE events for the campus and community. 

5:30pm – CPA Lobby/Art Gallery: Closing reception for the art exhibit A STRIKING MARK 

6:30pm – CPA Mainstage Theater: TELL NO ONE, the first film of the 2016-2017 Film Festival, whose theme is international mystery and suspense films.

7:00pm – CPA Outdoor Stage: JAZZ UNDER THE STARS featuring music performed by PVCC Jazz Ensembles

Fall 2016 Fine Arts Open House

Saturday, October 15th | 1:00 PM - 4:00 pm

On Saturday, October 15th Paradise Valley Community College’s Center for the Performing Arts (CPA) will host the Fine Arts Open House. This free event features demos, performances, tours, workshops, and hands-on activities.  Music, dance, theatre, costume design, creative writing, film, and studio recording are among the fine and performing arts programs that will be showcased. Information about classes, programs, events, scholarships and performance opportunities will be available, and those in attendance will be treated to a variety of special performances and workshops throughout the afternoon.


Student Spotlight: Megan Cary, Photographer

PVCC student Megan Cary placed 2nd in the League of Innovation in the Community Colleges’ national student art competition for the 2015-2016 school year. Her photograph "Don't Shoot" was also a juror's choice winner. We caught up with Megan to ask her about the photo, talk about her creative process, see more of her work and hear about her experience as an art student at PVCC.

Black Lives matter protest, Downtown Phoenix. First Friday, 2015.

Black Lives matter protest, Downtown Phoenix. First Friday, 2015.

Your photo “Don’t Shoot” depicts a man with his hands up in front of a row of armed police. Take us to the scene of the photo - where was it taken? What was the mood? Was there a confrontation? Do you know the subject?

This photo was taken in Downtown Phoenix during the First Friday Festival. I was taking photos for Overthrow Clothing that night and then a big crowd started to form right behind me and they all started walking up and down the streets shouting, “Hands up, don’t shoot”. Being there it wasn’t scary and I didn’t feel like I was in danger. It wasn’t violent at all either. The local news stations were there and one man reporting live was reporting how dangerous it was and to avoid the area but in reality it was a peaceful protest. The protestors and the police were respecting one another. And I managed to capture this man with a calm expression on his face with officers in gear with the same expression. 

Your photo was a juror’s choice winner in addition to taking second place. The image depicts themes that are deeply personal to those affected by the interplay between police and civilians. What is your personal experience with these themes? Why did you decide to photograph the event that night?

Personally I can’t say how it affects me because it’s never happened to me. I decided to photograph what was going on because it was happening right in front of me. I was walking past all these reporters saying how the police were interfering or how protestors were destroying the streets but none of that was happening at all. So my photo just shows how the protestor is respecting the officers and the officers are respecting the protestor. No violence just respect.

Lavish Crowe, guitar player for Carly Rae Jepsen at Fender. 

Lavish Crowe, guitar player for Carly Rae Jepsen at Fender. 

Describe your body of work as a whole. What is your creative process? What are your typical aims - meaning, when are you satisfied with the work you create?

I’m kind of weird when it comes to my photography, I don’t have a main focal area that I work in. I just take pictures of everything when my camera is on me. I just shoot and then go through the images later and select the ones that make me take a double take. I don’t really have a special way just whatever stands out to me. I really like having a Black and Whiteeffect on my photos. But my photography ranges from concert, product, landscape photography and on the certain occasion photojournalism.

Is most of your work political? Do you intend to go into photojournalism or documentary photography?

I actually am really into politics but politics can be evil. I don’t like my work to reflect off of that because everyone has different opinions on what is right and what is wrong. I don’t think I’ll ever really get into documentary photography I think because of that.

PC: Megan Cary

PC: Megan Cary

What has your experience been as a photography student at PVCC? Were you encouraged by faculty to enter the contest?

I’m actually not taking any photography classes at PVCC, I like to do my own thing with it and teach myself. My art teacher (Adria Pecora-Drawing) actually kept bothering me to enter into the competitions and I never was really interested in competing but finally I entered and I went all the way to nationals. But she really encouraged me to be more artistic and not be afraid of failure. 

How did you feel when the photo was selected for national recognition?

I was actually shocked I didn’t even think I would place so I kind of forgot about it until everyone told me! It’s a pretty good feeling though won’t forget it.

PC: Megan Cary

PC: Megan Cary

What do you hope viewers think or feel upon seeing “Don’t Shoot”?

I hope people see this and don’t automatically take sides but see how everyone is human and no one is perfect. There are good cops and bad cops. Bad people and good people. That everything the media reports is not 100% true. I want this photo to have an emotional deep impact but not a negative one. 

About the Artist

Megan Cary is a second-year PVCC art student. She has been involved with the art community on campus via enrollment in art classes. Although photography began as a hobby, it has blown up into a career. She is a photographer and videographer for Fender Musical Instruments and other brands. View her portfolio here

MUP181: Multimedia Ensemble


Mondays, 4:30p-6:15p, CPA 115

Tony Obr, Instructor

The Multimedia Ensemble is a performance ensemble that blurs the lines between artistic disciplines, along with incorporating disciplines outside of the fine arts such as engineering, math, and science. Topics of interest in the ensemble might include: linking live video and music, controlling live video with music and vice versa, handmade electronic music (building low power electronic music devices), circuit bending, translating movement and gesture into media generation, and much more!


MUP190: Brazilian Percussion Ensemble


Tuesdays, 7:00P-8:50pm, CPA 115

Samuel Peña, instructor

The Brazilian Percussion Ensemble will explore Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban folkloric styles such as Samba, Capoeira, Maculele, Ijexa, Rumba, ect. Open to all levels of musical experience. Come explore a rich tradition of rhythm and song. Singers are encouraged to participate as well.


ART246: Intro to Digital Fabrication


ART246 #26672, MW 2P-5P

Don Vance, Instructor

ART246 is a lecture/lab that introduces 3D data capture, 3D modeling, prototyping and fabrication using CNC and rapid prototyping tools. Projects are given to engage students in the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic aspects of digital media. Students will employ a diverse range of techniques, software tools, and hardware. They will become familiar with contemporary artistic and engineering processes involving the use of the computer and/or other technologies. The class will consist of hands-on experimentation and production supplemented by slide lectures, videos, and academic research.

Don Vance is a freelance artist living and working in Phoenix Arizona. He has programmed, designed, rendered, fabricated and installed large-scale sculptures and interactive displays in major institutions in Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Texas as well as internationally in China, India and Japan. Most notably, he has worked on teams installing in The Phoenix Art Museum, The Arizona Science Center, The Exploratorium, and many more. He received a MFA in Intermedia Art from Arizona State University in 2013 and has received many grants and awards. Donald has taught digital art courses since 2009 and he currently teaches Digital Fabrication in ASU’s Digital Culture program and several courses at Paradise Valley Community College  

MUP181: Urban Arts Ensemble at PVCC

Mural by El Mac and Augustine Kofie. Circle 6 Studios, Phoenix, AZ.

This fall, the Division of Fine and Performing Arts at PVCC is pleased to offer MUP 181 #42142, the  Urban Arts Ensemble. A mixture of hip-hop dance, music, spoken word and technology, the ensemble will be led by Samuel Peña, creator of AZ Beat Lab and graduate of the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts' School of Music.

Learn more about Samuel and his work through his Q&A and video interview with the Herberger Institute:

Fall registration is now open. Enroll in MUP 181 #42142 by clicking on the schedule below. Class begins on 9/13.

Curious about the ensemble experience? Hear from our instructors about what makes the PVCC Ensemble experience rich, affordable and unique: