Flagstaff's art and music scene are what one would expect from a thriving, hip, mountain town. Many artists take on the feat of capturing the incredible surrounding landscapes of Flagstaff and the great Southwest, while others keep the traditional past of Native American culture alive. Environmentalism is also a cornerstone of Flagstaff's culture, so there is also an ongoing culture of using mixed media and upcycling to repurpose materials into art, jewelry, furniture and more. In fact, an NAU student started manufacturing indoor climbing holds out of the broken sleds left behind in the forest by winter weekend visitors (but please, don't leave any broken sleds in the forest)! So First Friday of every month is a fantastic opportunity to get the most exposure to local art in one shot. Many of the downtown restaurants, coffee shops and local stores turn into art galleries. You will typically be able to view the art fort the rest of the month, but First Friday is when the whole city gets together to admire local art. It's a lively night to be out and about in downtown, especially during the warmer months!
Because of Flagstaff's incredible spring, summer and fall weather, many music festivals have also found a home here at 7,000 ft. You'll find everything from Flagstaff's favorite bluegrass bands playing in the downtown park to Modest Mouse playing in the middle of the forest at the Pepsi Amphitheater. And of course, these venues will be serving up local craft beers because the effort to support local businesses and artisans is at the heart of this community. Places like The Greenroom and Firecreek host everything from experimental music, some more known indie bands and even come up with fun, creative events like (David) Bowie Ball and Goblins & Fairies night.
What happens when you take a culture of outdoor adventurers who are also dance and theater performers? You get Dark Sky Aerial. This is one of the more unique performances you'll ever have the privilege of witnessing. It's difficult to explain - so here's a preview: