In this new column, we talk to culture makers and shakers around the country – people doing cool things in nightlife, photography, fashion, music, booking, etc. – about their opinions on the best local bands, venues, parties, and….. hangover food, because obviously.
This time:
Liliana Gomez, a dancer, performing artist, facility coordinator at The Phoenix Center for the Arts, and all-around creative soul.

A/S/L?
A: 30 S: Female Location: Downtown Phoenix

What do you do in Phoenix?
I am the Facility Coordinator at The Phoenix Center for the Arts. I am a choreographer. I am dancer. I am a performing artist. I am a shop girl at Nostra Style House. I participate. I’m involved. I volunteer for all creative things in Phoenix. I am a Phoenician.

What is the perfect night out in Phoenix?

Get ready for a special date; Downtown Phoenix:

First I would hop on my bike and head to Clarendon Hotel for some swimming… because it’s Arizona and we can always swim! Dry off and grab a drink from Gallo Blanco while hitting the rooftop and watching the sunset (the sunset is a big deal in Phoenix- just look up the hash tag to #phoenixsunset.) Then I would get back on the light rail and head back downtown. First things first, I’d go to Phoenix Public Market for a great Happy Hour drink, then over to Crescent ballroom to catch live Flamenco in the lounge, then inside the ballroom for what’s usually on the agenda: a good live music show. Then I would bike ride over to Bar Smith / Monarch Theater for some dancing ( put on them heels.)Once back on the bike, I’d head over to Lost Leaf where a local band will be playing then walk a few steps to Jobot Coffee shop for some much needed sweetness a.k.a crepes. Ending the night happy, time well spent with friends and riding back home on with the desert breeze hitting my face and a bright moon chasing my shadow.

What local Phoenix bands/DJs should we have on our radar? Why?

Dry River Yacht Club and Black Carl – you can always find them both playing.

Djentrification, for his wide variety of music and his wide variety of audience aka dancing participants. There is always a dance party anywhere Djentrification – Alex is playing. He ranges from Cumbia to Indian to funk all while keeping your feet moving.

Where is the best place to go out dancing in PHX?

Monarch / Bar Smith *be warned there is no parking on the dance floor at these spots.*

Best venues for live music?
Crescent Ballroom – always a good time.

Best Latin place to get hangover food?

Charlie’s Tacos while still out.
Salsita’s because you need to go to sleep asap.
Pacifico because you woke up hangover.
Carly’s because you need a Bloody Mary.

Which bars/clubs should we avoid if we’re going to Phoenix?
Awe man. I don’t want to answer this question…. but I will be giving you this answer: stay away from the big name corporate bars. You will not find a single local.

Most inspiring person?
In my life currently, Joseph Benesh, because of his advocacy for the Arts on a street level wearing his Chucks and on a political level wearing his bow tie… His vision for The Phoenix Center goes beyond the walls- he is traveling Art on a bus into communities where Art is no longer in Schools, he’s a Theater major so he shows up to mostly all events, and is more then willing to sit down with you and help host a festival and share his recourses with you. His commitment to keeping Phoenix a competitive and business oriented Art Scene while educating all of us is why he is one of the most inspiring individuals Phoenix can call a Phoenician.

Best hidden gem in Phoenix?

The Phoenix Center for the Arts, not because I am biased of how much I love the place, but because of its active involvement in the Downtown Phoenix Art and local business scene. The Center houses six local organizations: Phoenix Children’s Chorus, Radio Phoenix, Rising Youth Theater, Art Link Phoenix, Roosevelt Row cdc, and Cyphers Center for Urban Arts. It hosts over 150 Art classes for the community in ceramics, metals, glass, mosaics, painting, printmaking, photography, writing, piano, dance and youth classes. The Center also has a 210 seat theater that is rented out pretty much every weekend, you can catch a show from a variety of different local groups, from children’s & adult theater, and film screenings. The Center is a place where magic is happening because of the people around it in Downtown Phoenix.

Favorite local artist:

Artist: I am going to give you a list of names, because I feel like no single person does anything alone, it’s usually a group or a team of people who work together to enhance the community and making Downtown Phoenix a destination for ALL THINGS ART.

Ashley Macias, YAI, Mikey Jackson, Thomas Breeze Marcus, Enrique MrPHX Garcia, Tyson Krank, JB Snyder,Tiffe Fermaint, Jon Jenkins, Monica Robles, Ruben Gonzales, Cole Reed, Jospeh Benesh, Greg Essler, Mary Stephens, Kenny Berrett, Brendan McCaskey, Jorge Ignacio Torres, Nicolas Paredes, Adam Lovelady, Emilie Uriarte, Leonor Aispuro, Angelica Gonzalez, Gabriel and Isaac Fortoul, Angel Diaz, Hugo Medina, Lalo Cota, Tato, Pablo, Bobby Castaneda, Brian Cresson, Carlos Rivas, Joseph Sentrock Perez, Hector Primero,Pete Salaz, Sarah ‘Saza’ Dimmick Kate Saunders, Tomas Staton, Logan Dirtyverbs Phillips, Terrence Patrick , Victor Vasquez, Robert Sentinery , Devin Fleenor, Karina Nino de Rivera, and many more. Look these individuals up, they will light a fire in your heart and intrigue you for more.

Favorite local gallery:

For some great art shows you can count on The Monorchid Gallery, owner Wayne Rainey. For some underground showings where you can most likely meet the artist in person, you can count on Palabra.Art.Collective curated and owned by Jorge Ignacio Torres.