News, Updates and Information


See also: Press Releases

Grantmakers in the Arts to hold Board Meeting in Scottsdale This Week

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), the only national association of private and public funders making grants to artists and arts organizations in the United States, will visit Arizona this week. Beginning Wednesday, March 19, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will play host to grantmakers from across the U.S. as GIA convenes for a meeting of their board of directors.

Arts Commission Executive Director, Bob Booker, was recently appointed as Vice Chair of the board of directors for GIA, and will be in attendance.

The mission of GIA is to provide leadership and service to advance the use of philanthropic resources on behalf of arts and culture. Grantmakers in the Arts is currently working in the following areas: (more…)

Grants Deadline Reminder

The application deadline for the fiscal year 2014 grants cycle for organizations and schools is next Thursday, March 21, 2013, 11:59pm. Grant Guides and information can be found on the Arizona Commission on the Arts website at

Please be advised: As a government agency, the Arts Commission is not able to offer any exceptions or extensions to the grants deadline.

Arts Learning Update: New Grant Program and Upcoming Workshops

In late February, the Arizona Commission on the Arts launched a new arts learning funding initiative in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education. The Strengthening Schools through Arts Partnerships initiative supports school-based programs aimed at effecting change in Arizona “D” label schools by strengthening teaching and learning in arts education and/or arts integration, through school/community partnerships.

As part of the Arts Commission’s series of community grants workshops, the Director of Arts Learning, Alex Nelson, and Lynn Tuttle, Director of Arts Education for the Arizona Department of Education, will offer workshops to provide information regarding this and other arts learning grants available from the Arts Commission, along with critical updates regarding the implementation of Common Core Standards.

Join us in Mesa, Flagstaff or Buckeye in the coming weeks. Register here: Can’t attend a workshop but would still like to learn more? Contact Alex Nelson, Director of Arts Learning, after reviewing the grant guidelines, at or 602-771-6521. (more…)

Blue Star Museums: An Inivitation to Arizona Museums

Last year more than 1,800 museums across the nation opened their doors, offering free admission to enlisted military personnel and their families between Memorial Day and Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

This year the NEA is hoping to increase the number of participating museums. It is our hope that even more Arizona museums will consider participating in the program and opening their doors. You can read some of the blog postings of Blue Star family experiences here.

The program is one of many ways for the cultural community to say thanks to the members of our armed forces, and their families.

Are you a representative of a museum and would like to learn more? Read the invitation to participate from Joan Shigekawa, Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

NEA Chairman Invitation for Blue Star Museums



Sequestration: What Does it Mean for the Arts?

The following blog post provides critical facts regarding the sequestration and what it means for the arts. The content was compiled from a letter from the National Endowment for the Arts Director of State and Regional Partnerships, Laura Scanlan, and from information distributed by Americans for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.  

On March 1, 2013 across-the-board cuts to federal domestic and defense spending went into effect. This is known as sequestration which, in this case, equates to roughly $85 billion in mandatory federal budget cuts.

What does this mean for the National Endowment for the Arts, the arts agency of the federal government?

The budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will be reduced by 5% (the same as other federal agencies), or roughly $7.3million.

The NEA plans to implement the sequestration cuts in the following ways:

• Direct grants to individual nonprofit arts organizations will be reduced by 3.2%.
• Partnership funds to state arts agencies and regions will be reduced by 2.7%. (The NEA is able to mitigate the effect of sequestration on states by applying funds that were de-obligated in the prior year.) (more…)

2013 Governor’s Arts Awards: Congratulations to the Nominees

Join us as we congratulate the nominees of the 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards! An annual event since 1981, The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented annually by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor of Arizona to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the Arizona arts community.

The 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards will be held next week, Wednesday, March 6, at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. For more information about the event, and to purchase tickets, contact the Arizona Citizens for the Arts, at 602-253-6535 or email at (more…)

Call for Proposals: Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships

Arts Commission Launches New Funding Initiative for School/Community Partnerships

The Arizona Commission on the Arts, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, is pleased to announce a unique funding initiative to support school-based efforts aimed at effecting change in “D” label schools. Funding will be awarded to school/community partnerships that demonstrate potential to build a school’s capacity and to strengthen teaching and learning in arts education and/or arts integration.

The Arts Commission is now accepting letters of interest from eligible applicant partnerships.

Partnerships must include one school and one nonprofit arts organization or governmental entity; eligible schools must be Arizona “D” label schools (based on 2012-2013 accountability letter grade). Proposed programming must take place in Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).

Grant awards range from $10,000-15,000, and must be matched on a 1:1 basis.

View the 2011-2012 A-F Letter Grades for All Schools list on the Arizona Department of Education website at:

Guidelines are now posted to the Arts Commission’s website. Deadline for letters of interest: 5:00pm, Monday, April 22, 2013.

For more information, contact Alex Nelson, Director of Arts Learning, at, or 602-771-6521.

Arizona Poetry Out Loud 2013: Save the Date(s)!

Arizona Poetry Out Loud, a program of the Arizona Commission on the Arts that helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage, is now underway in high school classrooms across the state. Celebrate the successes of these students at the regional and/or state competitions; mark your calendar for an unforgettable experience.

Arizona Poetry Out Loud, Regional Competitions
Northern Region: Saturday, March 2, 2013, Arizona State University *
Central Region: Saturday, March 2, 2013, Arizona State University
Southern Region: Saturday, March 2, 2013, University of Arizona Poetry Center

Arizona Poetry Out Loud, State Finals
Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Eight, Arizona PBS

More about Arizona Poetry Out Loud, here.

* Due to hazardous weather conditions, the Poetry Out Loud Northern Region Competition, originally scheduled for February 20th, has been cancelled and rescheduled for March 2, 2013 at Arizona State University in Tempe.

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