Jaya Rao Leaving Arts Commission after 18 Years of Service
Jaya Rao, currently the Accessibility and Grants Coordinator at the Arizona Commission on the Arts, will be leaving the agency at the end of the current fiscal year. During her almost 19 years at the Arts Commission, Jaya worked in various areas of the agency, including arts education, performing arts, state and local partnerships, folk arts, grants and accessibility.
At different points during her time at the Arts Commission, she managed the APPLE Corps after-school grants through partnership with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, ethnic Festival Grants and Music Grants, and assisted with Artist-in-Residence grants for schools. She also coordinated the Artist Project Grant program and Quick Turnaround Grants, which included Artist Career Advancement Grants, Consultant Services Grants, Professional Development Grants and Sudden Opportunity Grants.
Jaya used to organize the annual Artists Symposium, and Artists Showcasing at the Southwest Arts Conference/ Scottsdale Arts Festival, in addition to the White House Christmas Tree Ornament Project. Over the years she has served as a grants panelist and workshop presenter at federal, regional and local levels.
She is especially proud of the work that the agency has done in the realm of accessibility, most recently having completed a 5 year cycle to bring Arizona’s arts organizations into ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance as they work towards greater inclusiveness and opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in and enjoy the arts.
Prior to working at the Arts Commission, she had been employed at the Mesa Arts Center and Tempe Arts Center. Born and raised in India, Phoenix has long been her home. In the future, Jaya will “travel between East and West, continuing to promote cultural understanding and the exchange of their finest distinctive features.”
She says of her tenure at the Arts Commission, “The relationships which were cultivated over the years with individuals and organizations have been a great source of professional and personal satisfaction. I am happy to have journeyed with the Arts Commission to its recent ten year reauthorization, and encourage everyone to experience the diversity and transformative power of the arts, and collectively contribute to building a strong arts sector in the state.”
Jaya’s years at the Arts Commission and dedicated service to artists and arts organizations in Arizona is recognized by the Arts Commission staff, leadership and board.