Guest blog submission from Roger Naylor

Like all great works of art, Sedona takes your spirit hostage. It captures you softly and holds you in its red rock trail run

The visual drama of the landscape stirs something deep within everyone who visits or resides here. Sedona inspires and challenges, it thrills and mystifies, it haunts and energizes. It moves us in ways that we struggle to understand. Great art doesn’t provide answers. But it does show us which questions are the right ones to ask.

UH003-Uptown SedonaA fortunate few drawn to this place manage to capture the magic, carving art from the larger masterpiece of Sedona. Surrealist Max Ernst arrived in 1946 and created his most famous work here. In 1958, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran and others established Sedona’s first art center. Joe Beeler and pards formed Cowboy Artists of America over cold beers in a local saloon in 1965. That kind of diversity continues to fuel Sedona’s vibrant art scene that ranges from traditional to contemporary, from Native American to cutting edge.

ACH016-Uptown ArtworkIt’s no wonder the town bristles with artistic showcases, events and festivals. Numerous sculptures and murals are part of the public space. Dozens of galleries, studios and shops populate every corner of the community. Take some time to prowl as many as you can. Explore the different mediums and styles. See how their interpretation of the spectacular scenery aligns with yours.

Del.norte.summerOn the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries from Uptown to Gallery Row and beyond host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from gallery to gallery where everything from fine art to funkier creations can be found. What a wonderful way to kick off your weekend in Sedona.

ACH011-Honanki Ruins


El Portal Guest Blog Submission

The summer season is winding down across the state, but Sedona is not going to let it go without a final month of events for visitors to enjoy. Headlining this month is the Sedona Wine Fest: a two day festival that showcases the many local wineries and their great wines from the Verde Valley, Prescott and the Southern Arizona regions. This year the Wine Fest will take place on September 27th and 28th, so come over the weekend and enjoy the delicious wine as well as the food, music, and vendors!

The soil in the Arizona hills is so rich that it has even been compared to Burgundy, France, and the wine festival is the perfect opportunity to learn about this region and the world-class grapes it grows. If you’re interested in sampling these premium Arizona wines, then Sedona Wine Festival is the perfect way for you to spend the weekend – learning about all things wine, trying premium local reds and whites, and enjoying the food, music, and vendors that come with it.   If you find yourself wanting to learn more than the two day festival can hope to teach you, then consider going on a tour of the local vineyards – many of which have tastings and even jeep tours for interested parties. Arizona is growing in reputation, so wrap up the summer and kick off the fall with this annual event that draws people from near and far!winetasting1

While you’re enjoying the festival, you will need a place to call your home. Let that place be El Portal Sedona Hotel – a local, pet-friendly artisan hotel. The boutique hotel is centrally located and with knowledgeable staff who offer personalized concierge services for the Sedona area, El Portal Sedona is the perfect place to rest and relax between these events!

El Portal Sedona Hotel  Courtesy Sunflower Studios

REGISTER NOW for the 10th Annual Sedona Marathon Event taking place on January 31, 2015. Sign-up with your family and friends before September 1, 2014 to save on registration with Early Bird pricing! The boutique destination race event is expected to host more than 2,600 runners/walkers who will participate in one of these breathtaking panoramic races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Full Marathon race.

Beauty shot 3

The course will take registrants through the scenic Coconino National Forest District, known for its magical iron-clad formations, and onto the streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the Country – a town which was recently placed on the “Top 10 Best Small Towns in America” list!


Spectators, supporters and participants will be treated to an Awards Party, a Pasta Dinner, and an Event Expo at the world renowned Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. The Expo will feature vendors, artists, and live performers that will inspire and entertain both locals and visitors alike. All registrants will also have access to a fully loaded Virtual Goodie bag, a gender specific tech running t-shirt, and all finishers will be given a Finishers Medal.

....Sign up before September 1, 2014 to save on registration with Early Bird pricing!

Come to the Sedona Marathon Event and be part of a rich tradition of healthy, sustainable living that has most recently been named by Good Morning America as one of the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America.”

For details and to register, visit

Although fireworks are generally a 4th of July staple, the explosions aren’t exactly safe in the high desert of Arizona. They release chemicals into the atmosphere that are harmful to people’s health and the environment. They cause a lot of noise pollution. And in the Sedona area in particular, these flashing lights also run the risk of starting fires.

Boy lookingThe team at Just Energy, realizing these risks, put together a blog post offering alternatives to the traditional Independence Day celebration. One of these suggestions was to attend a laser light show, which offers all the glitz of a fireworks display without any of the harmful side effects. The article also notes that while some electricity is used during a laser display, it’s an eco-friendly option because lights can be reused whereas fireworks can’t.


Just Energy even went as far as picking out their favorite laser light shows, and of course Sedona made the list, taking the No. 2 spot. The city is touted as an ideal vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts with its proximity to Oak Creek Canyon and the surrounding Coconino National Forest. And on Independence Day, the laser show can’t be missed.

After a day of exploring the picturesque surroundings, make sure you head on over to the baseball field at Red Rock High School to take in the patriotic show. Although the laser display won’t begin until after dark, arrive early to stake out a decent spot with your blanket or lawn chair. Starting at 6:30 p.m. you can enjoy live music from David Parker & the Big Time or indulge in food from one of the event’s vendors. Entry to the show and parking are free.


To see the full list of safe fireworks alternatives, visit:

Guest submission by Chamber member: Sedona Visual Artists Coalition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe arts are thriving in Sedona and the Verde Valley and the Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition (SVAC) invites you to thrive along with them as they present the Open Studio Tour 2014 which will be held on April 25, 26 and 27. This annual celebration of the arts and artists includes Sedona, Cornville and Cottonwood and has been deemed a Signature Event in the Verde Valley by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.  The weekend event is a free, self-guided tour allowing visitors the opportunity to meet and talk with artists in their daily workspaces. This non-profit, artist-run event provides thousands of visitors a unique opportunity to meet the artists and gain a firsthand view of their creative processes.



The diversity of style and medium among the participating artists is a testament to the vitality of the artistic community in theSVAC 2 Sedona area. Visitors will gain insight into artistic practices and techniques by seeing artists’ work at various stages of completion. A wide array of technical and artistic tools will be on display including; the various types of canvas, papers, surfaces and paints, as well as kilns for firing ceramics and glass. The event is designed to be an interactive and educational experience. To this end, the artists will conduct demonstrations during the tour and the public is encouraged to ask questions.



SVAC will distribute brochures with a complete list of the participating artists, and a map to all of the artists’ studios. These will be available at many locations throughout the valley. For more information visit

 Guest Blog submission by Hillside Sedona

Children celebrate Mother's Day

Children Celebrate Mother’s Day at Hillside Sedona

“The buzz is definitely beginning as the bees gathering pollen” states Peppermint Zebra’s owner, Karen Dilks, in reference to upcoming CHALK ART EXPO in tribute to Moms for Mother’s Day., Saturday, May 3 at Hillside Sedona, in Sedona, AZ.

Continues Dilks, “I’m delighted with the community’s involvement.  I am so proud of our teachers, family joining in.  This is what living in Sedona is all about…. gathering together with fun.”

The event begins Saturday, May 3 with artist demonstration by Pamela Becker at 10:00 a.m.  Children will then be turned loose to create a Mother’s Day Card, each given an endless canvas within Hillside’s tranquil courtyard.  Chalk will be provided and children should dress casually to get dirty, bring a small bucket to hold water and sponge for eraser.  With chaperones provided, moms will enjoy tea sponsored by Tea Light Café and Global Wellness Center, and Bliss Extraordinary Floral, combined with informal fashion show hosted by Indulge Gallery, Diva Hillside and Allie Ollie in THE BRIDGE AT HILLSIDE’S ballroom.

Chalk ExpoLive music will be presented by Sophia Angeles, a 16 year old singer songwriter from Sedona , AZ who has a fresh original sound and a unique and powerful vocal style. Her songwriting is sophisticated beyond her years and her style ranges from indie/folk to pop. She’s been singing, performing on stage and writing songs since she was nine years old. At the age of thirteen she won first place in the Sedona Sunrise Rising Star singing competition.

The participating artist that wins overall choice will be given a prize to MOM, including a massage, candy basket and floral arrangement.

Finishing Dilks states, “As a veteran party planner, advance registration is helpful.  Call Peppermint Zebra at 928-282-0220. Or stop by for further detail.”  Laughing she concludes,  “Detail one thing…. pampering another…aim to do the latter.”

Peppermint Zebra is located at 671 SR 179, D-CT 2, Hillside Sedona, 86336

Guest blog submission by The McLean Meditation Institute

McLean Meditation InstituteThe McLean Meditation Institute announces a new series:  Living with Compassion, a 6-week series which focuses on the history and modern applications of the science of compassion and empathy, and practices to increase compassion taught by Lisa Doskocil, the founder of PEACE of Northern Arizona (Project for Empathy and Compassion Education).

“On college campuses around the country, we have the ability to take classes in a wide range of topics, yet receiving an education in compassion has been relegated to parents and religious clergy, if taught at all. That’s why I am so excited to bring this type of education to anyone who desires it!” says Doskocil, who lives and teaches in in Flagstaff.

This program was originally designed for psychology college students to provide education in a history and the science of compassion and empathy today, while sharing with them proven techniques to increase the students’ rate of compassion. The program is now recommended for anyone experiencing compassion fatigue or just hoping to increase their empathic connection with the world.

MeditationBeginning February 15, the series is offered every Saturday from 10:00 am-12:30 pm at the McLean Meditation Institute’s center. The cost is $15 a class, or $75 for the entire series. To register call (928) 204-0067. Space is limited.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” says the Dalai Lama. “He could be right!” insists the director of the McLean Meditation Institute, Sarah McLean. “This is why we are thrilled to be hosting this program.” McLean says the center’s weekly meditation gatherings and discussions have become a destination for residents of the Sedona area as well as visitors from around the world. Most are offered for a nominal fee or by donation. Here are some details of additional weekly programs offered.

Tuesdays 3:00–4:30 pm: Personal Spirituality – Exploring the Wonder & Sharing the Search is led by Barbara Mayer, an InterFaith/InterSpiritual minister, former Catholic nun, and author of Beyond Religion. Her program offers meaningful discussion on a variety of spiritual topics as well as a meditative experience.

Lisa Doskocil Tuesdays 6:00—7:30 pm: Self-Inquiry & Meditation to Connect to the Field of Love is led by Martin Birrittella, the author of the Field of Love and founder of the Free Process. Marty conducts a meditation and Q & A session.

Thursdays 9:00—10:30 am: Self-Inquiry & Meditation to Connect to the Field of Love is led by Martin Birrittella, the author of the Field of Love and founder of the Free Process. Marty conducts a meditation and Q & A session.

Sundays 2:00—2:45 pm: Community Guided Meditation with a Meditation Mentor is a chance to experience meditation for any level. The gathering offers simple meditation guidance and various meditation practices such as a Loving Kindness Meditation, Mindfulness, Visualization, Breath Awareness, or Gratitude Meditation.

Sundays at 4pm: Silent Meditation for Experienced Meditators. Hosted by the center, experienced meditators can join a silent self-directed 30-minute meditation gathering and must arrive on time to join in.

“There’s a terrific event coming up in February—a multimedia presentation with Philip Goldberg, acclaimed presenter and author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. His book is one of my favorites!” says McLean.

On Friday February 28 at 7:00 pm at the Sedona Creative Life Center the public is invited for The Beatles & the Vedas It’s an evening of spiritual insight and inspiration with music and videos of the Beatles’ spiritual journey, a journey which legitimized meditation and instrumental in spreading yogic teachings throughout the West. The program is $10. Philip also offers an afternoon workshop on March 1 at the McLean Meditation center, American Veda and the Great Yogic Transmissions that Changed the World. Anyone interested in program details is invited to call (928) 204-0067.

McLean Meditation Institute’s center is located at 411 State Route 179, in the Garland Building at the junction of Schnebly Hill Road and Hwy 179. It’s open 1-5 Tuesday through Sunday.

Visiting the center can make any one feel more peaceful as they find displays of greeting cards, hand-crafted jewelry, and vibrant, inspirational hand-crafted art by nationally acclaimed Arizona artists. The bird’s eye view from the second-story windows reveals the red rock landscape and towering cottonwoods that line the Oak Creek. It’s a magical place that 13-year Sedona resident and best-selling Hay House author, Sarah McLean welcomes anyone to experience.

The McLean Meditation Institute offers monthly meditation classes, weekend meditation retreats and is also a professional training institute which certifies meditation teachers internationally.


For images, interviews or more information, please contact:

McLean Meditation Institute

411 Hwy 179, Sedona, Arizona 86336

(928) 204-0067

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