If you’re not already familiar with the newest art movement in Jacksonville, you will be soon enough. The folks behind the Phoenix Arts District, primarily Founder Christy Frazier and her business partner Kurtis Hort, are set to spark a new wave of art in the Springfield neighborhood with their Phoenix Rising Festival.

The event will take place March 24 and 25, and marks their first big foray into the District’s space, which will house the Jacksonville Florida School of the Arts, a community space to support the arts and, of course, a place for cool events.

I recently spoke with Ari Gaskin, Phoenix Rising Festival event coordinator, to find out why they decided to put on this whole shebang, and what you can expect from their upcoming event next weekend.

So how’d this whole thing come about? Where’d the idea come from?

Ari: Creating an arts district centered around education and community engagement has been a dream of Christy’s for a long time. She had been looking for a space to house this dream for many years and came across these three buildings in the Phoenix area of Springfield just a few blocks from Main St. that fit her vision. The buildings are about 100,000 sq. ft. on a 4.5-acre campus and will house the non-profit Jacksonville Florida School of the Arts, which Christy intends to have classes from workshop to mastery levels along with event space, live-work artists studios, cafe, dinning and more! She believes this district will serve in making Jacksonville a place where artists can live, work and evolve without ever having to leave the city. The festival is a kick-off event to bring awareness to the project and begin a campaign to raise capitol for its creation.

Photos provided by the Phoenix Rising Festival

Can you fill us in on what the festival is and what people can expect?

The Festival is a two-day event featuring mural artists from all over the Southeast and right here in Jacksonville! The opening night of March 24 will be a showcase of designs for the future of the district and school, as well as an artist panel, Bobby K Fashion show and Phoenix Dance Party — this is a ticketed event. The 25th of March is free for all to enjoy and will be a day of art demos, vendors and live mural paintings. The community is encouraged to come out both days to watch the progress of the murals.

Photos provided by the Phoenix Rising Festival

Why do you feel like this is something our community needs?

We have a lot of great resources for art and education in Jacksonville from local colleges to museums and galleries, but there is no space that looks at the needs of the art community in a holistic sense and tries to meet those needs. Our community needs a space to gather, educate and share all-in-one space artists and community members can coexist and learn from one another.

Photos provided by the Phoenix Rising Festival

Are you planning to do this year after year, or is it a one-off event?

This is our inaugural year of what we hope will be a long-standing tradition. While we hope to keep our doors open with events throughout the year, this festival will serve as a reminder of where we started and a constant re-imagining of where we can go with this vision.

Photos provided by the Phoenix Rising Festival

Where/when is it, and where can people find out more info?

The Phoenix Rising Festival will be held at the Phoenix Arts District located at the corner of Liberty and Market St 2336 N. Liberty St. Jacksonville, FL 32206March 24 ticketed event 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and March 25 free admission 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find out more information on our website phoenixartsdistrict.com.

Photos provided by the Phoenix Rising Festival

Featured Artists:

  • @lelabrunet
  • @Sanithna
  • @rlandzo
  • @christycfrazier
  • @shaunthurston
  • @dustinharewood
  • @nicosuavalicious
  • @_centism
  • @SouthernFantasy
  • @steventellerarts
  • @prashidartist
  • @secret.halsi
  • @elena_ohlander

Sponsors:

  • Swisher Sweets
  • Filmmaker Keagan Anfuso
  • Tigerlily Productions
  • Jax Kid’s Mural Project
  • Dr. Kurtis Hort of the St. Augustine Orthopedic Associates
  • Emerging Design Professionals (EDP)
  • TTV Architects
  • Bobby K Designs

 Vendors:

  • Bluejay Aromatherapy
  • Zany Du Designs
  • Kram Kran Photo
  • Rebecca Campbell Art
  • Body & Soul
  • Kona Ice of Downtown Jacksonville
  • Candles by Zuleca
  • Still Life with Cat Studio
  • Flour & Fig Bakehouse
  • Saturiwa Trading Company
  • Elise Bryant Art
  • The Nesst by Patricia Ness
  • Online Binding
  • Carmen Cay Art
  • Firetrove
  • House of Pale
  • OCD Jacksonville Fl
  • Apple Rose Beauty
  • Phase 8 Theater
  • ABC Photography
  • Topsy Toffee
  • DCH Benches
  • DeLoach’s Delectibles LLC
  • Aunt Gwen
  • Artefact Redux
  • Nitrogen Creamery Jax
  • Green Iguana Bath
  • Love & Moxie
  • Panacea Pendents
  • Jacksonville Public Library