District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor, front row center, joined representatives from the many diverse Asian communities at a Night Market event in late April (photo by J. Miller).

In late April, the Arizona Asian Chamber, in partnership with the city of Phoenix and others, celebrated the launch of the International District by bringing back its Night Market event to the Phoenix area. The event, held April 26-27 at the 19th Avenue and Camelback Road Valley Metro Park-and-Ride, was the first of what they hope will be many celebrations of the diverse cultural fabric of the area.

“So many of us come from immigrant families, which has this story of sacrifice and perseverance. As well as working to ensure generational wealth and success and thriving for the next generation,” said Alexa-Rio Osaki, communications director for the chamber. “The reason why any culture or community has these kinds of celebrations is to honor and give thanks to those who came before us, but also to highlight our pride in our cultures.

“I think that we have to be intentional about celebrating every single day. But also, there has to be a space that is dedicated, that reflect the needs and resources of the communities.”

Which is where the International District comes in.

“The vision started with the community,” said District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor. “The Urban Land Institute organized a planning session with District 4 and the community in 2021. One finding of this study was the depth and diversity of the people and businesses that are in that area. They decided the best outcome would be to create the International District to celebrate the diversity present there.”

The purpose of the establishing the district is to highlight local businesses that contribute culturally and economically to Phoenix, Pastor said.

“Establishing this district was incredibly important to me because these businesses have done so much for us — it’s about time we give them the recognition they deserve and potentially bring more business through their doors.”

The councilwoman added that the area has historically welcomed a large population of refugees and immigrants, and more than 43 languages are spoken within a three-mile radius of the International District, the boundaries of which run from Campbell Avenue north to Montebello Avenue and from 7th Avenue, west to the I-17.

“The International District is a celebration of all these cultural diversities,” added Osaki. “But also, it’s an opportunity where the community can grow and thrive together. It’s community support and people support, ensuring that we are the ones creating a sustainable economy for ourselves. Even though we are the Asian chamber, we work in harmony with so many other cultures. So really, it’s the reflection of just all these communities coming together.”

District 4 is working with the city of Phoenix Community and Economic Development (CED), Planning and Development and Neighborhood Services departments, and the next step is to work on branding and physical signage for the area, “We are working with CED to see what the brand will look like; physical signage, art, marketing materials, and maps. That effort will officially begin in June and continue over the summer.,” Pastor said.

And residents can look forward to more events once temperatures cool down in the fall. Stay up-to-date on social media – on Instagram @internationaldistrictphx, @azasianchamber or @phxdistrict4 – or subscribe to the District 4 newsletter at www.phoenix.gov/district4.


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.