Creighton University at Park Central Now Home to Artwork by At-Risk Youth

PHOENIX (February 18, 2022) – Park Central is continuing its impact on the arts community by creating a partnership with Creighton University’s new health sciences campus to display photography created by at-risk youth.

Kids in Focus is a nonprofit organization providing at-risk youth in our community the chance to see themselves and their world in a new light by equipping them with cameras, pairing them with mentors, and encouraging them to express themselves through photography. The inspirational images created by the kids are ready to be exhibited when a space becomes available.

With Creighton’s new Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Health Sciences Building already showcasing an extensive art collection, it was a natural fit to host a Kids in Focus exhibition. The artwork is displayed on the first floor and is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors must check in at the front desk and wear a mask.

Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of the co-developers of Park Central, said supporting the community and spreading the message and impact of Kids in Focus is important to the project team.

“Park Central continues to be at the intersection of business, community and the arts,” Harper said. “This partnership with Kids in Focus will have such a positive impact on young people while also helping the Creighton building continue to evolve as a premier destination for learning. We are proud to support the local community with our new partnership with Kids in focus. Their focus on youth empowerment through mentorship and art is a perfect fit.”

Karen Shell, Founder and Executive Director with Kids in Focus, welcomed the opportunity to display the children’s artwork in such a unique new setting.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Creighton University and the Park Central team to bring this exhibition to life,” Shell said. “The artwork created by these young people helps them develop life skills and express their creativity, and it is gratifying to show this exhibition in a place with a focus on health and healing.”

Past and current venues include Sky Harbor Airport, Arizona Science Center, Civic Center and Burton Barr Central Libraries, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the State Capitol, Biltmore and Scottsdale Fashion Square Malls, and various restaurants and coffee shops.

Additionally, the outdoor Arts Pavilion at Park Central will host Kids in Focus’ 10th annual Exhibit Grand Opening on April 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This free event displays the full collection of brand-new photos from this year\’s after school programs through the organization. Attendees enjoy free food and music, and the kids have a chance to share their work and talk to the audience directly about it — giving them an opportunity to truly shine.

Park Central has already hosted dozens of visual and performing arts events over the past few years, and is adding several more key arts components in the coming months.

Park Central served as home for the finalization of the Violet Protest, a project supported by the Phoenix Art Museum. The Violet Protest is a public effort to send 50 hand-made textile squares to each member of Congress in support of these core American values: Respect for the other, Citizenship, Compromise, Country over party and corporate influence, Courage, Candor, Compassion and Creativity.

Additionally, the City of Phoenix has paved the way for a significant new public art mural installation on the 3rd Avenue side of Park Central. The mural by artists Estevan Curiel and Jesus Gallo celebrates the community’s Hispanic heritage, and combines some of the key elements of Park Central with imagery consistent with the community.

And, Park Central continues to host significant arts events in conjunction with Artlink, which curates art programming at Park Central and is headquartered on site.

Park Central is already home to two major mural installations, one at the project’s entrance and another on the south side of the Catalina parking structure. It also has a significant sculpture, The Sun Worshipper, on the western portion of the project. The covered Arts Pavilion on the inside of the project hosts numerous performances and events and interior spaces are frequently used for galleries and exhibitions.

Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer for Holualoa Companies, said the arts continue to be a critical way connect the project to the community.

“We are very pleased with how the project has evolved as an arts hub in central Phoenix,” he said. “It makes Park Central so much more than just a redevelopment project — it makes it truly part of the fabric of the community.”

Plaza Companies and Tucson’s Holualoa Companies have teamed up to redevelop Park Central into a vibrant destination, which once was the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies have transitioned the expansive space from a retail center to an almost 500,000-square-foot bustling community hub ideal for playing, working, congregating and celebrating the arts.

For office leasing, tenants and brokers can reach out to Andrew Cheney with Lee & Associates (602.954.3769) or Bill Cook with Plaza Companies (623.344.4526).  For Retail leasing contacts are Brent Mallonee with Cushman and Wakefield (602.224.4437) or Margaret Lloyd with Plaza Companies (623.344.4558).

About Park Central

The new Park Central includes 450,000 square feet of Class A low-rise creative office space available for lease with the ability to accommodate tenants ranging from 3,500 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet in size. It features exclusive tenant patios, on-site restaurants and amenities, a stunning mid-century modern design, 15-25 foot ceilings, extensive bike paths and light rail access and ample parking. For more information on the project, visit

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