December at the Tempe History Museum: Music, Peruvian dancing and a Petersen House Christmas

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Music, Peruvian dancing and a Tempe holiday tradition are all happening this month at the Tempe History Museum and Petersen House. The museum’s feature exhibit, Humans of Tempe, is also on display, showcasing informal portraits and interviews of people who live, work and play in Tempe. Here is a look at all of December’s events and activities. 

All month: Humans of Tempe: The high school perspective

Students from Desert Vista, Marcos de Niza, Mountain Pointe and Tempe high schools gathered short interviews and informal portraits of people they met on the streets of Tempe, providing a teen perspective for the Tempe History Museum’s ongoing exhibit, Humans of Tempe. The high school exhibit runs through January 13, 2019.

 Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 pm: PERFORMANCES at the MUSEUM

Nina Curri and Mary Hoffman

Singer/songwriters Nina Curri and Mary Hoffman fill the room with original and cover blues tunes. Stay after for Q&A.  

Christmas at the Petersen House: The first three weekends in December

Open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday: 12/1, 12/8 and 12/15

Sunday: 12/2, 12/9 and 12/16

Experience this Tempe Christmas tradition at the Petersen House. Celebrating turn-of-the-century style with a Danish flair in honor of Niels Petersen, the house will be festively decorated for the season.  Enjoy refreshments and activities on the grounds and learn about the history as you tour the house. Petersen House Museum is located at 1414 W. Southern Ave.

Friday, December 7 from 5 to 7:30 pm: Winter Fest

Tempe Recreation Services, Edna Arts Center, Kid Zone Enrichment Program, Kiwanis Recreation Center, Tempe History Museum and Tempe Public Library are partnering to host Tempe’s Winter Fest. Kick-start your holiday creativity with make-and-take art projects, create unique decor and crafts, write letters to Santa and decorate cookies. Enjoy a cup of cocoa, listen to Mary Hoffman and other live musical performances, and visit with the jolliest old elf himself, Santa. Guests are encouraged to bring cameras to capture photos with Santa. 

Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 pm: PERFORMANCES at the MUSEUM

Paradise Winds

Paradise Winds return to the museum to present an all-ages, family-friendly concert of music with narration and popular holiday tunes.  Stop by to celebrate the holiday season and hear the oboe, saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon play in festive rhythm and harmony. The performance also includes a Q&A led by the musicians. 

Saturday, Dec. 15 at 3 pm: PERFORMANCES at the MUSEUM

Azure Family Concert with Tetra String Quartet

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer! Tetra welcomes guest flutist Anna Conigliari, as well as a special visitor from the North Pole. Azure Concerts are fun, friendly and engaging performances tailored to children and young adults who are on the autism spectrum or have similar challenges. Concerts are approximately one hour in length. Family members and caregivers of all ages are welcome to attend. The performance will be followed by an instrument petting zoo. Free tickets are available at 

Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. African American Advisory Committee
Book Club Discussion: The Warmth of Other Suns (Session 4)

The African American Advisory Committee (AAAC) Book Club will continue in the series of discussions about its current book selection: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Discussions of the book are facilitated by Ahmad Daniels, M.Ed., Chairperson of the AAAC Community Chats program. The book club and discussions are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 pm: THIRD THURSDAY at the MUSEUM

An Evening with Sundance Peru – Celebrating the Art and Culture of Peru and other Countries

The folkóric ballet, music and dance studio Sundance Peru is renowned for its work with children, adolescents and adults. Enjoy an evening of three Peruvian folk dances:

·         The Huayno from Cuzco: Spreads local farming and livestock traditions from generation to generation.

·         The Jungle: Rhythmic movements reflect the joy and naturalness of the jungle.

·         The Marinera:  A dance that uses handkerchiefs. The man is agile, elegant, free, cheerful and spontaneous, while the lady, barefoot, flirts with mischief, cunning and intelligence.

Stay after the performances to learn the dances and to enjoy dessert and coffee.

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