Halloween Season Kicks-Off With a Family-Friendly Makers Festival in Tempe!!

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Keen Halloween invites enthusiasts and novices to embrace their spooky side.

Tempe, AZ – Local spooky artists, costumers and entertainers are encouraging Arizonans to embrace the traditional roots of Halloween culture – the creative and the macabre – with a kick-off festival this month. The New School for Arts & Academics presents the first annual Keen Halloween on September 29th from 11am to 10pm.

The all day, all-ages festival encourages attendees to “watch, learn, and get inspired” with information workshops, a Monster Market (with local artists and creators), an outdoors hands-on Creepy Crafts tent with Bookmans, on-site costume advisors and live entertainment.

Event founders Daniel and Dawna Davis of Peoria, AZ are Halloween enthusiasts, known for their Steam Crow brand monster illustrated products – and a passion for spooky art.

“We miss the Halloween from our childhood  – with handmade decorations, costumes and art, gathering together with friends, and enjoying spooky entertainment and music,” said Daniel. “We started by trying to find an event like this, but it didn’t exist. It’s a chance for us to gather together local and West Coast talent – artists, crafters, teachers and entertainers – who have a love for the spooky and macabre.”

Costuming is, of course, a large part of the event. Anabel Martinez, a local costuming enthusiast, explains how Keen Halloween works to provide a walk-up “Evil Genius” Costume Bar, a “Scarecrow King” themed photo-booth, and an Iron Skull Costume Challenge. “We wanted to help inspire people who have the next month to plan and make their own costumes,” Anabel explains. “People can walk up and learn how to apply theatrical make-up, build movie-style armor, and learn techniques that can really help them stand out during Halloween parties.”

Workshops are another draw, with “How to host a Halloween party”, “Stylish Zombies 101,” “How-to make a Poison Apple Crate,” and a class on the Dia de Los Muertos style of sugar skull face painting. “We want to help people make their own Halloween better, and be more creative in the process.”

Entertainment includes “the Dr. Diabolic Show”, a tongue-in-cheek “Monster Abduction is Real” seminar, the band Ethan 103 and the “punk-grass” band the “Haymarket Squares.”

Guest artist Rhode Montijo is the co-creator of the Happy Tree Friends show, and he wrote and illustrated the Halloween Kid, published by Simon & Schuster Books. Montijo will be on hand all weekend to sign his books, and will be doing a reading from “the Halloween Kid.”


What are the Workshops? – http://www.keenhalloween.com/get-involved/workshop-schedule/

  • How to host a Halloween Dinner Party, with Madame M.
  • Mad Props: How to build Halloween props like the Pros, with Scott Serkland.
  • How to make a Poison Apple Crate, with Mindi Leatham.
  • How to do Day of the Dead face painting, with Vicki Lazaro.

Who are the Vendors? – http://www.keenhalloween.com/get-involved/vending/

What’s the Entertainment? – http://www.keenhalloween.com/get-involved/entertainment-schedule/ 

What else?

  • Evil Genius Costume Bar A Creepy Crafts tent
  • Scarecrow King Photo booth


Cost: Advance tickets $7.00, children 12 & under free. Tickets are $10.00 at the door.

For further information please contact Daniel Davis: 480-381-2182, [email protected]




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