Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.


The Arcosanti Bluegrass Festival last weekend was a beautiful success! The Colly Soleri Amphitheater was comfortably packed with bluegrass lovers. Bands like local Prescott Sugar and the Mint (pictured here) serenaded the crowd all day long. The award-winning Sugar & the Mintis comprised of Keenan Hammack, Kiva Rain Keith, Matt Tatum, Glory Glidden, Jason Howard, and Johan "Bix" Glidden.

Since 1994 the Jam Pak Blues 'N' Grass Neighborhood Bandhas been meeting weekly in Anni & Vincent Beach's home in Chandler, Arizona. Band members, ages 5 - 90 practice singing and playing traditional bluegrass, gospel and old time music. It's been thrilling to see the progress of various children who, with no particular musical background, have taken to bluegrass music and can play, sing, "take breaks", keep the rhythm, learn by ear, and also play notes.

The bluegrass festival also featured the musical stylings of Jarabe Mexicano. They hit the Latin music scene in 2015, electrifying audiences throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Performing on traditional mariachi instruments accompanied by lively percussion, Jarabe’s arrangements feature stunning harmonized vocals in Spanish and English.

All the while in the Colly Garden, audience members and campers brought their own instruments out and made their own beautiful music!

(photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

October 18. 2017

Last week, “Repositioning Paolo Soleri: The City is Nature” opened at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to a wonderful turn out. The private opening included a tour with the Director and Chief Curator of the Museum, Sara Cochran which finished up at the Soleri exhibit right as the public reception began. Here you can see one of the scroll drawings on display. It was explained that the curator chose to display the scrolls in tilted display cases with little stools to give the audience the feeling of sitting at a drafting table similar to how these drawings may have created by Soleri.

The exhibit includes a beautiful display of bridge designs. Claire Carter, the curator of the retrospective, took time to search through the archives department here, aided by Sue Kirsch and a team of hard working Arcosanti residents, to pair these bridge designs with corresponding sketches and designs on paper.

Designs of other arcologies on paper and plexiglass models are light from beneath giving them a futuristic ambiance.

There are also many ceramic and bronze bells on display among other beautiful pieces that the audience marveled over. The exhibit is on display at SMoCA from now until January 28, 2018. For more information about the show and the museum, visit

(photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

Don’t miss the big reception of “Repositioning Paolo Soleri: the City is Nature” this Friday October 13th at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The public open reception is from 7 - 9 pm. Come out and join the executives, residents and volunteers of the Cosanti Foundation to celebrate the incredible work of Paolo Soleri.

The show also features a beautiful catalog that will go on sale at the SMoCA gallery, Cosanti, and the gallery here at Arcosanti this weekend! Sue and Julia Dorn-Giarmoleo, who worked in the archives several years ago and is visiting on her way to a job in disaster relief in Houston, flipped through the new catalog in the Archives.

Here Tomiaki and Sue look at one of the featured fold out images of a very large scroll drawing.

 The excellence of most of the photos of Paolo Soleri's drawings in this catalog is due to the diligence and commitment of brilliant photographer David DeGomez who worked with us in the Soleri Archives for a few years. A "Super Thank You" goes out to you!!!

(photos by Leah-Ann Walker, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

October 09. 2017

This weekend, we will be hosting the annual Arcosanti Bluegrass Festival in the Amphitheater! Come out Saturday and Sunday to hear music from:

Old Blue Band Jarabe MexicanoRun Boy RunJames Reams & the BarnstormersBack Porch Bandits Sugar & the MintFlinthill Special • Jam PakBrush Arbor RevivalFireside Bluegrass• 

Music starts at 10 am on Saturday. Overnight camping is available starting Friday night at $5 per person per night.

$12 for Adults for two-day performance. FREE for 16 years and under.


Get tickets on Eventbrite here:

Or by calling 928.632.7135


(photos by Young Soo Kim and Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

October 04. 2017

This past week-end William Shakespeare visited Arcosanti with the Laark Productions presentation of MACBETH.

[photos by Shannon Mackenzie, text by workshop participant Rebecca Weeks]

With three well-received performances that gained a total audience of over 300 people, Arcosanti in conjunction with Laark Productions provided a unique site-specific experience for both the theater lover and architecture enthusiast.

On Friday and Saturday, with a special late-night viewing that truly captured the richly dark essence of Shakespeare's masterpiece, the actors of Laark Productions brought their absolute best to the stage.

The performance, which thoughtfully utilized the space of Arcosanti, began in the Crafts III Cafe, then moved into the Ceramics Apse which was transformed into the Witches' Cave.

The North Vault was the castle for the rest of the performance. This was a truly imaginative use of the Arcosanti space.

They used their resources and talent and managed to be both innovative and minimal, providing an immersive and memorable theater experience.

September 29. 2017

One week ago, Arcosanti hosted the 36th Annual Colly Concert featuring the wonderful A Cappella Syndicate. In honor of Colly Soleri’s love for music, theater, and conviviality, and all of the hard work she did for the Cosanti Foundation.

“[…]We are amazed at the amount of work she did, and how she left it all so perfectly organized. There are handwritten copies of the text of Soleri's early sketchbooks, many many typed manuscripts, correspondence with schools and universities and people all over the world, minutely detailed itineraries for Paolos lecture trips, photos and slides of all of the early construction efforts and so much more.” - Cosanti Foundation Archives Department

A Cappella Syndicate filled the amphitheater with energy and beautiful singing. Some of their songs included choreography, some were more somber lullabies that lingered in the air. After the concert, the singers and audience headed to the Arcosanti cafe for a special dinner consisting of Colly’s favorite dishes: borscht, lemon chicken, stuffed mushrooms, wild rice, salad, and green beans. The a cappella singers decided to serenade the audience in the cafe and hear the incredible acoustics of the Crafts III atrium.

A big thanks to the A Cappella Syndicate for joining us for this years Colly Concert! And thank you to all who came out in support of Arcosanti, the Cosanti Foundation, and the memory of Colly Soleri.

“From Colly’s work and radiance we will call out music for years to come, for children and grownups, for bodies and minds.” - Paolo Soleri, 1982

(Text and photos by Shannon Mackenzie)

September 27. 2017

Join us this Friday and Saturday for Macbeth presented by Laark Productions.

With 3 performances:

Friday September 29th at 7 pm

Saturday September 30th at 4 pm

Saturday September 30th at 10 pm

Macbeth is the story of a soldier turned tyrant who wins power through murder and deceit. His choice to seek witches and ask their counsel is one of the great tragic decisions in Shakespeare. Set in Scotland in 1050, Macbeth is the story of a terrible series of murders committed at a time when murder was the accepted succession plan for Scots kings. But Macbeth takes this bloody tradition to new lows as he abandons all semblance of civility and kingly honor, killing with callous indifference. Macbeth and his wife pay a high price for their evil ways, but not before they set Scotland on a path to chaos.

Tickets for the performance are $20 and can be purchased here:

The evening’s performance featured vocalist Melina Kalomas and renowned pianist Sonya Kumiko Lee, introduced by Cosanti Foundation co-president Jeff Stein.

[photos by lvb, text by kl]


Sonya is a regular performer at our annual and beloved Colly Concert, this year honoring us with her presence for Italian Night. Interestingly, Sonya Lee is the daughter of alumnus Doug Lee, who worked with Paolo Soleri during many of the early years of the Cosanti Foundation.


Melina Kalomas has also performed in Arcosanti concerts, prior. Beautiful voice and a supreme vibrato, Melina highlighted forms of musicality that have all but lost their audience in our modern day.


The duo provided a selection of pieces, both classical and opera. They spared no emotion, as each piece filled our eyes with vistas far and wide; enlarging the specious present to include, again, memories of a forgotten past, we danced.


Friend, film producer and actor Johnny Kwon assisted with a reading of Petrarca during a piece by Liszt.


Thank you to everyone that came out and made Italian Night such a special evening.

July 10. 2017

This year, in preparation for Italian Night, we were met with our share of Earth’s formidable and unforgiving nature; wildfires raged, wind and rain swirled concentrically above our heads—funneling through the preparation work in the Vaults, encasing Crafts III in ominous clouds of fire-smoke and storm. The crew worked in these conditions with heightened attention and purpose.

(photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Kyle Larimer)

Ron organized the crew setting up the Vaults, ready to receive the guests. There were contingency plans in place in case of increased rain, but in the end the crew was able to rest, assured that their work would not be undone by the looming storm systems. 


Meanwhile, Carrie led the team in preparing the evening’s meal. Her superb direction created ease whilst handling the unmistakably large task of cooking for so many guests. 


Paul, from Flem Chen, helps workshop participant Alex prepare the traditional wheelbarrow pasta.


Guests filled their cups with refreshments from the ArcoMart. Alumni, friends, and family caught up with one another. Pasta and the main courses were served to the numbers of hungry guests. 


Back at their table, everyone delighted in the meal and enjoyed each others company. 


As a sense of fullness began to take hold of our sensibility, guests finished their meals and made their way through the vicolo primo into the amphitheater, where the concert was only moments away. 

Here are a few of the super photos that we received from Tucson photographer Karel Moonen.

This is the June 2. and 3rd 2017 FLAM CHEN performance "The Fisher's Wish".

Thank you so much, Karel!