FORM preparation

Each year for a week or so in May, our site focuses all efforts to support preparation for the now world renowned FORM Arcosanti festival. This event is hosted and curated by the band Hundred Waters and has grown rapidly from a subdued 500 person invite only experience in 2014 to the nearly 2000 attendees that it draws today.

Elements of the festival include live music, performance art, interactive sculpture, cultural panels, and opportunities for ticket holders to interact directly with the prototype arcology and the residents who call it their home three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

While FORM does bring their own production and site prep crew, there is still plenty of work for the residents. This year we tested our first ever FORM Workshop, where work-shoppers focused on projects that benefited the festival. Those projects included the sprinkler system for growing grass in the tent camping area and putting the finishing touches on our new furniture for the guest rooms.

By far the largest and perhaps most welcome project was the temporary conversion of the Lab building into a main thoroughfare. This walkway featured vendors on one side and a panel of photos curated by the planning and archives departments depicting the history of the site on the other. The maintenance team spent almost the entire week preparing and organizing their workshop for the transformation.

A follow up post-FORM article will be published here shortly, so for now thank you to both the residents and event staff who contributed so much time and energy to making sure Arcosanti continues to be a hub for cultural experience and communal experimentation!

(photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Tim Bell)

Kate Tucker on 4/28

On Saturday April 28th, the residents of Arcosanti and our overnight guests were treated to a surprise visit from Nashville based singer-songwriter Kate Tucker. Tucker chose Arcosanti for one of the last stops on her most recent tour before landing in Tucson to hit the studio.

Born into a trucking family, she has often used the road as an opportunity to explore musically both the United States and her own inner life. These explorations are reflected in Tucker’s solo work, which ranges from indie pop to deep rock with nods to the likes of The Velvet Underground, Cat Power, and Mazzy Star.

The evening included bits from her most recent LP Practical Sadness plus a number of songs written and performed over the course of her many years spent as a road musician. The final leg of her tour will take her to Dallas, Akron, and Columbus, Ohio. You can find her on social media platforms @Katetuckermusic.

Sprinkler System

A temporary sprinkler system has been set up in the valley on what has traditionally served at Arcosanti’s seasonal lake. Though full throughout monsoon season in late summer and early fall, the lake sits dry most of the year.

During the FORM Arcosanti festival, the land will be utilized as camping space for the 1000 or so festival attendees who will soon be on our site.

The sprinklers, developed by Planning Manager Kevin Pappa and executed by Scott Riley, Joel Masters, and the current workshop are watering seeds planted earlier in the month so that the campgrounds have some grass on which tents can be pitched.

The water itself is being provided by one of our two active wells. The workshop spent several days laying the PVC pipe for the system and moving the sprinklers around the field to guarantee even dispersal across the field.

Solar Roadways Visits Arcosanti

On Wednesday evening the Planning Department hosted Julie and Scott Brusaw, the inventors of the worlds first soar energy panels that might in the future be utilized in the construction of “smart” roads. After acquiring a $750,000 grant from the USDOP Solar Roadways raised $2.2 million on indiegogo, setting the record for the most money ever raised on a crowdfunding campaign at that point.

While the technology is still a long way off to create a full road out of these panels, they are currently applicable as parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks. Arcosanti’s planning department is working on a proposal to bring six panels on site as another way of drawing curious visitors to the Urban Laboratory. The eventual goal is expansion into larger projects including the installation of a solar sidewalk somewhere on campus.

Currently Julie and Scott are traveling the country to set up relationships with potential manufacturers and franchisees, and we were honored to be one of their stops on the journey to making their technology the roadway to a more sustainable future!

(photos and text by Tim Bell)

Vivaldi Live May 5th

Vivaldi Live, Flamenco in Venice, is celebrating it’s 20th year at Arcosanti!
On Saturday, May 5 Arcosanti will once again host the beloved event in collaboration with the Art Renaissance Initiative.

This event was originally conceived by Michel Sarda as an effort to “bring Vivaldi’s music to Arizona and familiarize the audience with the amazing story of his life and time.” Michael is an Architect DPLG and was part of the Cosanti Foundation Board of Directors for many years.

Tickets are still available and for an additional $20 attendees can join in a very special “Spanish meets Italian” dinner in the Arcosanti cafe. The dinner includes dishes from both cultures including paella and olive tapenade on crostini.

We hope that you’ll join us this weekend in celebrating two decades of this unique fusion of culture, music, dance, theatre, and architecture in the Urban Laboratory.

You can purchase tickets here:

(text by Tim Bell)