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Harder Development – Artworks PHX – a business-arts campaign in Phoenix, Arizona USA.

Harder Development


Harder Development, a female-owned development company whose founder was dubbed one of Phoenix’s Top 100 Creatives, has had its roots in the arts and development community since 2012. This locally-owned organization intentionally creates spaces that utilize art for both experience design and function, serving the small and mid-size business community in Downtown Phoenix.

Constraints such as budgeting, zoning and preservation requirements have contributed to the creativity of redeveloping buildings, but even more fascinating is how these spaces have been utilized in joint missions to celebrate and share art while directly benefiting the bottom line.

Through various arts and entrepreneurship collaborations, Harder Development has a business that thrives on being a bridge for Business and Arts in the Valley.

Examples of using art as a method of exposure, business development and community building include the following projects.


Hosting Inclusive Events: The Great Paint Escape
The Great Paint Escape consisted of two parts: Hiring muralists to create art on the exterior of one of Harder Development’s buildings, as well as inviting 13 muralists to work within the building to create fine art in a live format.

Sourcing food, music and wrapping the interior of the building as well as parts of the exterior in canvas and paper, Harder Development encouraged kids and adults to create art on the walls, tables and windows with muralists creating art alongside them.

The creations from the event were put into a silent auction for the benefit of Free Arts of Arizona. Harder Development funded the event, artists, vendors and wrote a matching check to Free Arts for all the money raised in the silent auction. This was the grand opening celebration and grassroots tenant search for 335 Commons (335 W. McDowell Road), from which an attending artist saw and made the building their business’ home. They became Harder Development’s first signed tenant: Revival Art Collective.

Showcasing Local Businesses
Lending the unused interior space of 335 Commons to a then-emerging Short Leash Hot Dogs for their first Sit and Stay lunch. This community-focused event invited groups to come and eat, simultaneously promoting the space and the budding Food Truck. It also showcased the property’s plans for redevelopment and opened the door to community feedback.

Establishing Pop-Up Galleries
Promoting a temporarily-vacant space as an arts gallery to make the community aware of redevelopment in their neighborhood. Harder Development invited multiple artists within the adjacent community to display their work during a First Friday event and coordinated an Artlink trolley stop outside the building to encourage attendance and foot-traffic.

Serving as an Extension Space
Collaborating with local art space {9} The Gallery to showcase large scale artwork in Harder Development’s newly redeveloped building, the show ‘Transforming Space’ was a resource for the artists that work with large scale canvases. It was an opportunity to bring collectors, fans and families to see the works on short-term exhibition in a spacious environment. This show served as the grand opening of Carline Center (1018 W. Roosevelt Street) , a sizable commercial space in the Roosevelt Neighborhood which later housed a health tech company.

Sourcing Local Talent
Hiring local artists and craftspeople such as 11th Monk3y Industries, E2 Innovations, and Bill Hemphill Designs among others to contribute to original builds and tenant improvements of the buildings with signage, custom steel work, custom concrete work and millwork for cabinetry.

Keeping in Close Proximity
Sharing office space with other small business owners that have a passion for the arts, consistently showing art when possible and opening spaces containing art to host industry-focused events.

Posted in Celebrating Cultural Diversity, Creating Vibrant Communities, Inspiring Employees, Standing Out in Business, Stimulating Innovation

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