Community & Art Park


Beyond Gallery, Into Community Building

As the birthplace of downtown’s burgeoning arts community, Alwun House was founded on the belief that art has the power to transform, strengthen, and beautify our community. At Alwun House, art is a concrete medium, building a foundation for that transformation – one block at a time.

The culturally diverse area that makes up the Garfield Neighborhood benefits from collaborative projects that strengthen and unify neighborhood participation at Alwun House. In addition, the Alwun House facility is often used by the broader community for social gatherings and planning sessions.

The Garfield Neighborhood, 7th to 16th St, Van Buren to I-10 Fwy, is the most affordable historic neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, with a large population of artists & creative types living and working in homes they own.

Community Events at Alwun House Include:

Neighborhood Meetings

Alwun House works closely with Garfield Organization, a neighborhood association whose mission is to represent and improve the quality of life for residents. Alwun House staff facilitates monthly virtual Garfield Organization neighborhood meetings and biannual live potluck fundraisers for neighborhood.


Summer Splash Days

Alwun House creates annual pop-up water park in our Art Park in the summer when kids and families could use the refreshing break the most. Three monthly Saturdays we host Splash Days with giant water slides, super soaker toys, splash pads for dogs and toddlers, and provide free sno-cones for children.

Salon des Enfants

Alwun House produces the Annual Salon des Enfants youth art show, in partnership with Phoenix Elementary School District #1, to give students the experience & excitement of a real gallery setting. With the help of the exhibit founder & Art teacher John Avidesian, 300 pieces from students in the 5th thru 8th grades are featured in the show along with bands, choir,dance and more representing 16 schools & 18 Teachers. 100% of the proceeds from the sale go directly to the student artist themselves.

Miscellaneous Activities

Alwun House regularly supports and facilitates various other community building activities for Garfield as opportunities arise, such as our Garfield Litter-lifters work in the area. And some fun pop-up community events such as skate nights, roller skate classes and even roller derby games have been hosted in our Art Park.

Art Park

Development History of the Art Park

Alwun House Art Park emerged in the early 1990s when faced with the need for a “Use Permit” from the City of Phoenix. Parking issues during events led to stipulations for parking development. In 2008, Alwun House acquired a property gifted by neighbors Leo & Florence Kyle, leading to the purchase of another nearby house, both of which were razed.

To maximize the land’s use beyond occasional parking, a rezoning process for Planned Unit Development (PUD) was pursued, allowing social activities when not serving as a parking space. This rezoning, completed in September 2012, required a decade of fundraising and extensive environmental assessment.

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The Art Park is now a hub for the Garfield Community.

Since its completion the Art Park has become a center for numerous activities; from pop up skate parks to community yard sales. Activating the space further are the First Fridays with numerous vendors, bands, jugglers and food trucks. From quinceanera celebrations to roller derby, our neighbors are enjoying playing in the park. Families drop by to goof around, play ball, drones, and little ones still learning to ride bikes. The derby skating community has loved it’s use for teaching skate classes, a practice field and even produce roller derby games in the Park. The highlight being the Summer Splash Days when it becomes a pop-up water park with giant water slides and splash pads.

Thanks to Project Designers: Landscape Architect – Jason Harrington, Harrington Planning + Design and Civil Engineering by Ritoch Powell Associates.

Special thanks Mark Greenawalt for donating his electrical engineering and lighting skills. And to Gammage and Burnham for legal advice pro bono, and assisting Alwun House with purchase contracts and a major rezoning feat.

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