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Phoenix Park Central takes center stage as host of Garment League Camp

Photo of The Garment District program at Park Central in Phoenix
A view of The Garment League program that recently completed at Park Central in Phoenix.
(File Photo/
Program at Park Central gives one-of-a-kind immersion of fashion Industry
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Park Central became a hub for youth this summer as host of a program to strengthen children’s core educational subjects and give them a glimpse at the fashion industry.

The Garment League is a Phoenix based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to building a solid and reputable Arizona fashion industry through innovative fashion productions, professional resources and continued education, according to a press release.

The Garment League hosted Phoenix’s first Fashion Industry Youth Camp at Park Central, in partnership with Arizona’s AZ OnTrack program, an initiative from Gov. Doug Ducey’s office to help children catch up on their learning loss from the pandemic, the release states.

The Fashion Industry Youth camp offered children and teens grades 3-12 a 100% free enrichment fashion program from June 6 to July 31.

Fashion Industry youth campers were trained in brand development, marketing, time management, project development, sewing, styling, modeling, fashion photography, makeup artistry and more. Each attendee was able to specialize and focus on their area of concentration while obtaining knowledge of the other divisions, representatives of the effort report.

The curriculum included industry secrets, pantone color introduction, modeling 101, runway 101, fashion photography 101, portfolio development, fashion measuring, sewing basics, media and fashion and much more. Almost 200 children participated in the camp, the release states.

“In our day camp children were not only supporting a movement, but they were in a welcoming environment where they were fully accepted, promoting inner and outer beauty, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem,” said Tricee Thomas, founder and CEO of The Garment League. “This is a great example of the private sector working with the nonprofit sector to advance the arts in our community, and we were grateful for the opportunity to bring this programming to our kids.”

Gov. Ducey called the summer program a success.

Gov. Doug Ducey

“AZ OnTrack summer camps offered unique programs and curriculums to serve families and communities all across the state,” he said in a prepared statement. “These camps kept our K-12 students engaged throughout the summer so they would have a strong start to the school year. I’m grateful to The Garment League for helping Arizona kids and youth learn and thrive, and I congratulate them on such a successful summer program.”

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. 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.

Artlink also worked with architecture firm Gould Evans, Inc. and the Park Central team on the transformation of a nearly 20,000 square foot basement space at Park Central into a multidisciplinary arts space for Arizona artists.

Park Central blossoms in Phoenix

Sharon Harper, chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of the co-developers of Park Central, said The Garment League’s presence to the property brought a new use and new energy to the project.

“We were able to visit the camp and see the incredible energy that was generated for the children who participated,” she pointed out. “It was gratifying to see so many happy faces that were able to enjoy such a wonderful camp in our arts space in Park Central. We were impressed with the number of professionals working with the children and the quality of the equipment they brought in to make the fashion a reality. They really brought the space to life and created a memorable experience for everyone involved.”

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, officials there say.

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. They have also paved the way for the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus on site and a new 2,000-space parking garage, as well as the construction of new restaurants set to begin in the coming weeks.

Park Central is home to three 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. And the Creighton University Health Sciences Building at Park Central is home to a significant, curated art collection.

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