Last month, the Arizona Commission on the Arts invested $124,000 in 21 arts-based entrepreneurial ventures through a new funding initiative called Arizona Art Tank. In a departure from our usual application and panel review process, top applicants for this program were given six minutes each to pitch an innovative, “business unusual” venture to an expert panel and a live audience at one of four regional events. The highest scoring ventures at each event were awarded $10,000 in seed-funding.
Over the next few months, we’ll be following the progress of these top-scoring ventures, checking in periodically to see how our investment is doing. Today, we’re catching up with the top grantees from our West and North events: Rising Youth Theatre and Flagstaff Cultural Partners. (more…)
Creative placemaking–the strategic shaping of a community’s physical and social character around arts and cultural activities–is transforming cities and towns across the country. The Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) has quickly established itself as a nationally recognized leader in this field with the PLACE (People, Land, Arts, Culture and Engagement) Initiative. Through research, analysis and grantmaking, the PLACE Initiative endeavors to identify and promote the myriad ways in which the arts can strengthen communities and act as a catalyst for positive social change. (more…)
Over 500 artists, nominees and supporters of the arts and sciences attended the 6th Annual Viola Awards Gala on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at High Country Conference Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. (more…)
In Fiscal Year 2014 the Arizona Commission on the Arts launched the pilot program, Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships. Developed in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, the program provides grant funding for substantial partnerships between an Arizona “D” label school and an arts organization.
A tremendous body of research stands behind the academic benefits of arts education for students as well as the positive effects of arts programs on a school community, such as improved student attendance and motivation, higher graduation rates, and a child’s enhanced sense of belonging, all of which lead to higher performing schools. Drawing on this, and knowing the transformative effects of leveraging community resources, the program tasked school/community partnerships with developing arts programming that would specifically target elements of the school’s school improvement plan. (more…)
The following is an open letter written by Robert Booker, Executive Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts.
Since childhood, we have heard the story of The Little Red Hen–the industrious and community-minded farm bird whose repeated petitions to her fellow animals for assistance in making bread are met with general apathy. Undeterred by the lack of support, the Little Red Hen farms the grain and makes the bread all by herself. When the time comes to finally eat the bread the others are suddenly quite eager to volunteer their services, but the Little Red Hen is not so eager to share the fruits of her solitary effort. The story teaches a simple but universal lesson about the folly of expecting a share of the rewards without participating in the efforts that earned them.
The following blog post was written by Sedona Heidinger, currently the Director’s Office Intern at the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She is studying Art History and French at the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University and works at the Musical Instrument Museum as a Guest Service Associate. Sedona’s career aspirations involve working with the arts in an international government setting—“I am very taken with the idea of working with embassies and helping to introduce the arts and culture of a country to the public. I think the Arts Commission is a wonderful place to learn about the arts at the state level.”
“Nothing good is easy.” It’s an important lesson for a young artist to learn and it’s one Ana Lazo-Padilla frequently repeats to her students. (more…)
In honor of the 102nd Anniversary of Arizona’s statehood, Alberto Alvero Rios, the state’s inaugural Poet Laureate, was invited to speak at a ceremony at the Arizona State Capitol Museum on Friday, February 14th, 2014. To the small audience gathered in the Capitol’s intimate Historic Senate Chamber, Rios presented a new poem written especially for the occasion. He has graciously allowed us to reprint that poem here.
The final round of Arizona Art Tank grants were awarded last night at the El Casino Ballroom in Tucson. Arizona Art Tank is a funding initiative of the Arts Commission that makes strategic investments in Arizona’s best arts-based entrepreneurial ventures. At live events in four Arizona communities, top applicants pitch their innovative ventures to a distinguished panel and a live audience from the community. (more…)