In 1975, the Desert Foothills area was little more than a picturesque silhouette on the northern horizon of the Valley of the Sun. Winter visitors stayed at the world-renowned Boulders Resort; there was boutique shopping in Carefree; and those seeking a Wild West experience could slake their thirsts at colorful "watering holes" in Cave Creek. The Desert Foothills were relatively undiscovered and the residents liked it that way.
Even then, a significant number of artists had already made the Foothills their home, attracted by the peacefulness and scenic beauty of the area. This core population of artists continued to grow - quietly, and in harmony with the high Sonoran Desert environment. For camaraderie among fellow artists, and to exchange ideas about artistic technique and other issues, they formed a group called the Crafts Council.
Over the years the Crafts Council ebbed and flowed. It was active in environmental causes, held arts and crafts shows, and participated in the community. As the Phoenix-Scottsdale population explosion of this decade reached northward, it brought many changes as well as new artists and art patrons with it.
At the beginning of the 1990s the old Crafts Council evolved into a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the visual arts, artists, and art education within the community – The Sonoran Arts League. Since its founding, the League has been actively serving the community by working with local schools and producing events in the community.
Hidden in the Hills is the League's signature premier event. This annual tour of member artists' studios works toward achieving the three objectives of our mission by providing tour participants a unique opportunity to observe artists at work in their studios: Promoting Art, Artists, and Art Education.
Throughout the year, the Arts League sponsors trips to area museums and to cultural events. We also sponsor hands-on workshops open to the community, conducted by artists from within the League or visiting artists, thus enabling participants to work with different media and to learn new techniques.
The League has come a long way since its founding roots in the Crafts Council. How do we see our future? It has this vision: to be the driving organizational force in making the Desert Foothills an art destination. We confidently believe that we have the talent, the vision, and the energy to make that happen.
As we move toward achieving our goals, we invite you to "Be a Part of the Arts" by enjoying our events and by joining with us. Sonoran Arts League membership includes many art appreciators as well as artists, and is not limited geographically. There's a new excitement in the Arts! Come join with us and contribute your time (volunteers welcome!) and talent to this creative energy