Winona Grey
Winona Grey
Online Portfolio of Arizona Documentary Photographer, Winona Grey

When I first moved to the city of Phoenix, I fell into a rut. I had loved my home in Seattle and the differences between the two cities plunged me into a culture shock. The sweltering summer left me trapped inside my apartment and when I did go out, I had no idea where to go to find worthwhile things to do. There was a statement I overheard regularly when I would walk past strangers or sit next to them inside my local cafe,

“There is no culture in Phoenix.”

I assumed it must be true.

On a Friday in August, ignoring the weight of my emotions, I went for an evening stroll. I thought, “In a city of this size there has to be something more interesting than these four walls.” I picked up my camera and headed out the door.

The sun was setting when I hit the sidewalk.

In the distance, I could hear a subtle beat and the low hum of voices. I let my feet lead me in the direction of the sound. Suddenly there were people everywhere: artists painting on easels, artisans selling their wares in little market stands, bands playing their hearts out, Kids breakdancing in the street.

If I know anything about magic,

it was there that night.

Everything about the way I related to the city changed in an instant. I started tuning in, thinking less about my problems, and looking outward for opportunities to add to what others were creating. First Friday Art Walk was my initiation into the Phoenix arts scene: a prospering bed of creativity with enough grit to make it particularly interesting in a time where so much is slick and processed.

Culture is a conversation.

It’s perfectly possible to spend your days in Arizona missing out. It’s also possible to step out and tune in. What would happen if you chose to bring your gifts to the community? There’s a lot to experience here in the outpouring of creativity that is growing out of these desert streets.

If you haven’t yet found your way in

to the conversation,
Start downtown on Roosevelt St
on the first friday of next month and wander.