Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Arizona Budget Includes $1.5 Million for Arizona Commission on the Arts' Grants and Programs

The $9.6 billion state budget for fiscal year 2016-17 approved by the Arizona Legislature early today includes a $1.5 million one-year allocation for the Arizona Commission the Arts to use for grants and programs to nonprofit arts and culture organizations statewide.

The budget for the current year did not include any funding for the Commission and resulted in the loss of a significant number of grants for organizations across Arizona.

The allocation for 2016-17 from the state’s Rainy Day Fund “is the result of a tremendous effort on behalf of our advocates and the dedicated commitment of Representative Kate Brophy McGee (R-District 28) and Senator Bob Worsley (R-District 25),” said Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Catherine “Rusty” Foley.  “During the final days of negotiations, more than 1,000 arts advocates from throughout the state reached out to their legislators to express their support for arts funding in building strong communities. That tremendous response sends a very strong message about how Arizonans value the arts.”

The 15 governor-appointed members of the Arizona Commission on the Arts will meet in June to decide how the allocation will be distributed.  In most cases, the decisions on grant awards will be based on the recommendations of citizen panels who review and evaluate grant applications.

“With this additional funding, the state’s leadership acknowledges the vital role that Arizona’s artists and arts organizations play in their communities as innovators and creative catalysts,” said Robert Booker, Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “The arts are an economic driver, enhance the education of our young people and create opportunities for dialogue and understanding among and within Arizona’s diverse communities.  This funding will create, expand and improve opportunities for Arizonans to engage in the arts in communities across the state.”

For more information about the Arizona Commission on the Arts, visit www.azarts.gov.  For more information about Arizona Citizens for the Arts, visit www.azcitizensforthearts.org.

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