RODNEY T. WHITAKER, internationally renowned Mack Avenue recording artist, jazz bassist, professor of jazz double bass, director of Jazz Studies and artistic director for the Professors of Jazz at Michigan State University where he has built one of the most distinguished jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States. Whitaker, with one of the most undeniably distinctive bear- sized bass tones, is considered to be one of the leading bass performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States.


MARCIE HUTCHINSON, has thirty-one years experience teaching American and European history and sponsoring extra-curricular activities in public high schools in Norwich, New York and Mesa, Arizona. Since her retirement from Mesa Public Schools in 2007, she has been an education consultant for Arizona State University, the National Council for History Education and the Mesa Arts Center. Hutchinson has collaborated on grants such as: " Nature, Culture and History at the Grand Canyon" (National Endowment for the Humanities), "Future Voters of Kosovo" and "Youth Leadership Project with Azerbaijan" (U.S. State Department), the Ubuntu Project (Mesa Arts and Cultural Department) and Teaching American History Grants with the Mesa, Deer Valley (Arizona) and Lafayette (Louisiana) School Districts. She has been a workshop coordinator and presenter for the Arizona Council for History Education, the Arizona Council for the Social Studies and the Helios Foundation. Hutchinson also contributed teaching strategies to the October 2009 issue of the Magazine of History.


Marcie Hutchinson is currently a Lecturer of History Education for the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies (SHPRS) at Arizona State University. Since 2010, she has instructed secondary education students in history teaching methods using community resources and in performance-based assessments through National History Day (Arizona). She also is project coordinator, curriculum designer and presenter for the Jazz from A to Z project that was developed to enrich the historical and cultural knowledge of students and teachers through an integrated study of both jazz music and American/European history. Jazz from A to Z, a collaborative effort of Mesa Arts Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center (NY) and SHPRS (ASU), was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 2012 and 2013. Hutchinson is a Melikian Center affiliate and a member of the Barrett Honors College faculty. She currently serves as President of Arizona Academic Decathlon and as Treasurer of the Arizona Council for History Education.




Jazz from A-Z was designed to bring awareness of the role music plays in developing deep understanding of historical events to as many teachers and students as possible.



Through ongoing partnerships, the Mesa Arts Center continues to deepen the opportunity for the community to learn about the arts through artist in residence programs. These week-to month-long engagements provide schools and communities an extended opportunity to explore, engage and create.


The 2014-2015 season artist in residence program is led by Jazz at Lincoln Center teaching artist and musicians. 


September 16-17, 2014|Bass |  Rodney Whitaker
October 16-17, 2014 |Drums | Ali Jackson Trio
February 18-19, 2015 | Saxophone|Victor Goines Quartet
April 7-8, 2015 | Trombone | Vincent Gardner Quartet


Admission: FREE for Educators who particate in Jazz Clinics and/or Jazz Educator Workshops

Registration: Outreach | 480-644-6540 | outreach@mesaartscenter.com


Jazz from A to Z continues to deepen the connection between artists, educators, and community members through the collaborative work of its partners. 


In the Spirit of Swing. The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy.

We believe Jazz is a metaphor for Democracy. Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.


The Mesa Arts Center, owned and operated by the City of Mesa, is a unique, architecturally stunning facility located in the heart of downtown Mesa. Arizona's largest arts center is home to four theaters, five art galleries, and 14 art studios. Guests, patrons, and students come to Mesa Arts Center to enjoy the finest live entertainment and performances, world-class visual art exhibitions, and outstanding arts education classes. The facility is an architectural showpiece and a destination for visitors to the Phoenix area. The Mesa Arts Center mission is to inspire people through engaging arts experiences that are diverse, accessible, and relevant.


Through our teaching, scholarship and community engagement, we seek to mold global citizens with democratic values. Though our core is firmly based in the humanities—the critical, historical and comparative study of texts, practices, and contexts—we sustain strong ties to our colleagues in the natural and social sciences, the professional schools and beyond. From the multiple disciplinary approaches of history, philosophy and religious studies we investigate those matters that most make us human—mind, rationality and morality, spirit, and memory; our current areas of strength include: history and philosophy of science, intellectual history and history of philosophy, American and global religious history and cultures, environmental history and bioethics, women’s history and feminist philosophy, Native American history and indigenous epistemologies, history and philosophy of politics and the quest for justice; history, philosophy and politics of religion.


The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.


Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.

Boeing has a responsibility to its stakeholders - including the communities where its employees live and work - to be a good "corporate citizen" and lead by example. Corporate citizenship at Boeing means creating positive changes in all we do - through the products and services we provide and the way we operate our business in the interconnected world in which we live.