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2015 Governor’s Arts Awards: Call for Nominations

Arizona Citizens for the Arts, a statewide arts advocacy organization, announced today that nominations for the 2015 Governor’s Arts Awards are now open.

Governer's Arts AwardsSince 1981, 166 distinguished Arizona artists, arts organizations, businesses, educators and individuals have been recognized for their passion, creativity and devotion to the excellence and diversity of Arizona’s arts and cultural community.

Each year nominations are open to the public to insure that artists, arts organization, educators and community organizations and arts supporters from all over Arizona have an opportunity to be honored for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Arizona and the cultural life of our state.

All nominees will be recognized through a series of activities leading up to the 2015 Governor’s Arts Award event this spring (date and location to be announced soon).

On that evening, six new Governor’s Arts Awards honorees will be announced and the 2015 Shelley Award honoree will be recognized.

Now is the time for you to tell Arizona Citizens for the Arts who you believe is worthy of recognition in 2015. Nomination forms are available through the links below.

Deadline for nominations is 5 p.m., Friday, December 19, 2014. (There will be no extensions.)

Nomination Categories:

A living Arizona artist active in the field of literature, visual arts, performing arts, folk arts, architecture,design or film.
Click here to nominate someone in the Artist category

An educator, teaching artist, school administrator or school volunteer who has demonstrated significant support or participation in fostering excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in Arizona.
Click here to nominate in the Arts in Education, Individual category.

ARTS IN EDUCATION – Organization
A nonprofit arts organization or school that has demonstrated significant support or participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in Arizona.
Click here to nominate in the Arts in Education, Organization category.

A business or corporation that has made a significant contribution to support arts/culture in Arizona. Government agencies are not eligible.
Click here to nominate in the Business category.

An Arizona community organization or institution
for an outstanding arts-based community program
or project. Schools and school districts are not eligible
in this category.
Click here to nominate in the Community category.

A living Arizona individual who has made a significant impact on arts/culture in Arizona through philanthropy, leadership and/or direct involvement.
Click here to nominate in the Individual category.

The Governor’s Arts Awards is presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with The Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Commissioner Spotlight: Ruben Alvarez

In the coming months we’ll be shining a spotlight on some people who are central to our work here at the Arts Commission–our Commissioners.

Ruben_Alvarez_webThe Governing Commission consists of a board of fifteen members, including one chairperson, appointed by the Governor of Arizona. Commission members serve terms of three years and are chosen for their demonstrated ability, good judgment and experience in arts-related fields. In addition, they are selected to ensure geographic and ethnic representation of all areas of the state. Commission members attend quarterly board meetings, chair review panels, award grants and formulate policy consistent with enabling legislation.

While our Commissioners come from a diverse range of backgrounds, they each share one essential trait: they each have a deep, personal passion for the arts.

Ruben Alvarez has served on the board of the Herberger Theatre and is currently a chair of the Celebración Artística de las Américas [CALA] Board. In addition, he serves as treasurer and board member of the Latino Leaders Network, Washington, DC and is a member of the National Board of Representatives; he is the board chair of Maricopa County’s Integrated Health Service’s Diversity Council; and vice chair of the Phoenix Civil Service Board. As if that weren’t enough, Alvarez is the co-founder and managing partner of Molera Alvarez, a government and public affairs firm.

With the Celebración Artística de las Americas [CALA] International Festival returning to the heart of downtown Phoenix on November 7 – 8, 2014, we thought it would be a good time to speak with Alvarez about CALA and its marquee event.

Exploring and celebrating the dynamic fusion of Latino cultural expression through the arts, this year’s CALA Festival will focus on the evolution of Cumbia music. Cumbia, described by some as “the musical backbone of Latin America,” is an energetic style of music with multinational roots in Africa and Latin America.

The celebration will also feature local, national and international performances by musicians, a series of talks engaging visual and performance artists, art exhibitions and culinary experiences.

As chairperson of the CALA board of directors, Alvarez takes great pride in the festival and what it brings to the Valley.

“The CALA board is thrilled to be entering into its fourth festival year and pleased by its ongoing collaboration with local and international artists that celebrate our ties to Latin America,” says Alverez. He adds, “This is set to be the best festival yet.”

CALACurated by Arizona State University Art Museum’s Julio César Morales, this year’s festival incorporates talents from throughout the Americas. “The festival extracts from our own multi-cultural experience to suggest the ways we are all shaped by our time and place,” Morales says. “Rather than push for a big picture of globalized society, the festival attempts to uncover something subtler and more illuminating to connect with–a dynamic fusion of cultural expression and new traditions of experiencing Latino culture as a gateway to broader international connections.”

The depth, breadth and quality of art and music on display at the festival distinguishes it from many similar festivals. According to Alvarez, “it has really put Phoenix on the map of international cultural festivals.”

The CALA Festival takes place on Friday, November 7 from 7:00 to 9:00pm, and Saturday, November 8 from 2:00 to 10:00pm, at the Phoenix Civic Space Park. For more information, visit or follow the festival on Facebook at Facebook/

Provide Your Feedback on the Draft Arizona Arts Standards!

Revisions to Arizona’s state standards in the Arts are currently under way, and on Monday, October 20th, the Arizona Department of Education released draft 2015 Arizona Arts Standards for review by the field.

If you would like to review the draft standards and provide your feedback in their development, you can respond in one of two ways: (more…)

Art Installation Brightens Halls and Lightens Spirits in Children’s Hospital

We recently received the following press release from Fiscal Year 2014 Artist Research & Development Grant recipient Pete Goldlust, providing an update on his funded project, “Polyjellies.” Through a separate Community Catalyst Grant, Arts for Border Children (Douglas, AZ) and the Chiricahua Community Health Centers’ Pediatric Center of Excellence (PCE) were able to significantly expand the scope of the project.

Bisbee, Arizona-based artist Pete Goldlust has created an elaborate sculptural installation for the Chiricahua Community Health Centers’ Pediatric Center of Excellence (PCE).

P1030179_LowResThis work, created entirely from recycled plasticware, includes dozens of brightly-colored sculptures. These translucent plastic materials–bowls, cups, pitchers and other plastic thrift store finds are assembled to create a swirling multicolored mass that evokes a school of jellyfish, a fleet of futuristic spacecraft or a swarm of benevolent micro-organisms. (more…)

Joint Arts Education Conference 2014

2014 jaec final logoThe biennial Joint Arts Education Conference (JAEC) convened at the Phoenix Art Museum on Monday, October 20. Presented through a partnership between the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Arizona Department of Education, the conference attracted over 170 attendees, including arts educators, school administrators, teaching artists, and arts learning professionals from across the state. (more…)

MusicaNova Orchestra: Looking Beyond “Greatest Hits” to the Future of Symphonic Music

“It really is the belief that there is great music in addition to the standard ‘greatest hits’ repertoire that needs to be played and heard and appreciated that keeps us going.”

- Bob Altizer, President, Board of Directors, MusicaNova Orchestra

At a time when symphony orchestras across the country are struggling to make ends meet, some of the nation’s most venerable institutions are closing their doors, and pundits are questioning the continued vitality of classical music, one Phoenix-based symphony orchestra is betting on the future.

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Joint Arts Education Conference: Meet Your Keynote Speakers

There are thousands of reasons to attend the Joint Arts Education Conference this year. Conference attendees will:

  • be the first to see updated census data about access to arts education in our state,
  • have hands-on opportunities to explore how arts learning is impacted by Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards,
  • have a voice in the current revisions to Arizona’s State Arts Standards,
  • learn about successful national models, program evaluation, teacher assessment/evaluation, arts education leadership strategies and more.

Today, however, we’d like to cast the spotlight on two of the best reasons to attend: John Abodeely and Mary Luehrsen, JAEC’s keynote speakers. (more…)

How will you celebrate National Arts & Humanities Month?

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National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America, designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts. How will you celebrate? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions: (more…)

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