Friday, January 04, 2008

Supporters of Scottsdale's Kerr Cultural Center plan events

The "Care for Kerr" Benefit Concert will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Kerr Cultural Center, starting with a 2 p.m. silent auction and music at 3 p.m. The Joseph Wytko Saxophone Quartet and musical guests are donating their time and talent for this event. The quartet will perform a diverse program: a Renaissance piece, a lighter original work, a dramatic "anchor" selection, a multi-movement piece, Scott Joplin composition, jazz (Gershwin or Porter), and an impressive closing work. The group has performed at the White House, with Phoenix Symphony Pops Orchestra, and festivals in Mexico and Newport, OR.

ASU recently restored the adobe walls and wooden doors this past year, so proceeds from the concert will go for interior refurbishment and enrichment. Cost: $65 reserved, $50 general, call 380-596-2660. In addition to raising emhancement funds for the Kerr, this benefit concert will be a clear message to development-friendly Scottsdale and owner ASU that the Kerr Cultural Center is important to the community.


In March 2007 a grassroots committee was organized on behalf of the ASU Kerr Cultural Center. The committee's concern started when a rezoning sign for condos and commercial use was placed on the property immediately adjacent to this exceptional adobe structure. CCKCC (Concerned Citizens for the Kerr Cultural Center launched a petition campaign aimed at gaining historic preservation status for this jewel in the desert. The legal process started in June, and the issue will be voted on in February or March by the Scottsdale City Council. The nearly 50-year-old cultural venue also was added to the Arizona Preservation Foundation's Most Endangered Historic Places list, and key constituencies, including state legislators, were informed.

Efforts toward historic preservation overlay is intended to gain new visibility and support for the Kerr so it's not as easy for preservation-unfriendly developers to infringe on or acquire the property.

What you can do

Support for the Kerr preservation can be expressed by phoning Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross and members Scottsdale City Council at 480-312-2550, or e-mailing them at You do not have to be a Scottsdale resident or a registered voter to express your opinion.