An art collection valued at $1.25 million can be attributed to a very active Glendale citizen Arts Commission and the fact that Glendale is the first city in the state to have a "Percent for Arts" ordinance requiring every public project to set aside money for art. Commissioned custom art sculptures can be seen throughout the city and have resulted in many marvelous development awards for the community. The city's art collection covers many media including a painting and a wall mural by Robert McCall, a glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, Indian sculptures by Allen Houser, a bas relief in wood depicting our history, bronze sculptures honoring early irrigators by Debbie Gessner, and everyone's favorite by George Lundeen, "Old Friends" located in Murphy Park.
The Glendale Main Library houses so much of the city's art collection that it almost doubles as an art museum. The city's fabulous library system, consisting of the main library and two branches, is a key cultural facility for all ages. Over 87,000 people hold library cards and the circulation per capita averages 8 items a year, exceeding the national average of only 6.7. The library's book and video collection is valued at $8.5 million and contains priceless materials that are out of print.
The newest addition to the library system, the Foothills Branch Library, opened to fanfare in the summer of 1999 with more than 121,000 books, audiocassettes, videotapes and other materials. The 33,500-square-foot library - the largest branch library in the state - also features the first library drive-up-service window in Arizona.
Winner of a national award for its excellent programming, the library has a monthly Visiting Professor Series, Small Business Development seminars, Great Books groups, a Poetry Society and a Critique Group for adult writers. More that 10,500 children participate in the summer reading program each year and another 32,400 students attend more than 500 youth programs each year.
The Glendale Community Band, a 100-member orchestra, is in its 33rd year and plays every Thursday evening in June and July under the stars in the City Hall amphitheater. Young and old alike spread blankets on grass and listen to the marches, show tunes and classical sounds of this highly entertaining band. Band membership is open to the public.
Glendale seems to celebrate year-round with spectacular events that showcase the flavor and amenities in the community. To celebrate the holidays, every November through January, Glendale becomes the "City of Lights." Glendale Glitters Holiday Light Extravaganza makes downtown sparkle with a half million lights adorning the trees in Murphy Park, decorating the buildings and lining the avenues. Enchanted Evenings during December, feature crafters and carriage rides around Old Towne and Historic Catlin Court shopping districts. As a finale to the holiday display, more than 30 colorful glowing hot air balloons brighten the night sky amid the lights at Glendale Glitter and Glow.
Unique features in our city like Cerreta Candy Company also provide a reason to celebrate. The annual Glendale Chocolate Affaire features a three day exhibition of chocolate in every imaginable shape and form, wine tasting, live music, romance and candy factory tours. Another two-day festival, WorldPort, recognizes the presence of the prestigious American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale. Signature events like Glendale Glitters, Glendale Chocolate Affaire and WorldPort have become Valley-wide attractions with annual guest attendance of more than 200,000.ΚΚ
Glendale also attracts museums with a twist. The Bead Museum displays ancient, ethnic and contemporary beads from different cultures around the world and attracts bead enthusiasts from throughout the United States. Visitors shop the museum store, take classes or attend lectures about beads and adornment. Around the corner, the American Museum of Nursing displays uniforms, caps, books and medical equipment for the guided tour explaining the evolution of nursing.
For more traditional venues, the greater Phoenix area is filled with more fascinating museums and exciting attractions. The Arizona Science Center, The Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo and Wildlife World Zoo are but a few of the world class attractions just minutes from Glendale.
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