One-time appropriation will support statewide arts sector
Arizona’s leaders have committed to giving Arizona’s arts and culture sector a significant boost in the coming year. The $18 billion bipartisan budget passed last week by the state’s legislature and signed by Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday, June 28, includes a $5 million appropriation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts for Fiscal Year 2023. This one-time allocation is the largest single-year investment in the arts in the state’s history and will bring per-capita funding for the arts in Arizona up to a level comparable to such regional peer-states as Nevada and New Mexico.
According to Mark Feldman, Chair of the agency’s Governor-appointed board of Commissioners, “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 across our great state.
“We are grateful for the legislators on both sides of the aisle who fought for this funding and for the thousands of Arizona residents who lent their voices in support of our request for $5 million. We are humbled and honored to serve as stewards of this public support.”
With the state’s Fiscal Year 2023 beginning on July 1, the Arts Commission will begin distributing this new funding with over $3 million in grants to nonprofit arts organizations of all types and sizes. Awarded through an open application and public review process conducted this past spring and approved by the agency’s board of commissioners on June 23, Creative Capacity Grants provide general operating support of between $2,000 and $40,000 to organizations serving their communities through the arts. An announcement of specific grantees and their awards will be released in July.
According to Anne L’Ecuyer, the Arts Commission’s Executive Director, ‘This new investment will support programs specifically focused on serving Arizona’s young people, older adults, and veterans.”
She added, “We are deeply committed to building the capacity of the statewide arts ecosystem statewide, particularly on work done in remote and rural communities; with tribal communities, and communities of color; and other peoples and places historically underrepresented in the portfolios of private and public funders.”
“This one-time investment in the arts, along with the rest of this historic bipartisan budget, reflects a bold and powerful vision for achieving Arizona’s brightest future,” said Feldman. “Over the next 12 months we will demonstrate the significant role the arts can play in realizing that future, and trust that Arizona’s leaders will see fit to make this funding more than a one-time investment.”