Message from the Executive Director
Arts Advocates and the NEA
At a time when arts advocates throughout Arizona are standing up to maintain funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, arts advocates across the nation are battling to save the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the largest single funder of nonprofit arts in the United States.
Founded in 1965 by President John F. Kennedy, the NEA has encouraged and built public-private coalitions, based on a vision of shared responsibility that enables state and local arts agencies to flourish. The NEA's success today is reflected in a culturally rich and artistically diverse nation where study after study clearly shows the value and importance of the arts.
Unfortunately, the President's budget calls for cutting the NEA by 13 percent, from $168 million this fiscal year to $146 million next year. An even deeper swipe that may include recommendations to eliminate the NEA, are foreshadowed by the new House majority's vote last week to cut fiscal year 2011 funding by more than $40 million to $124 million.
In Arizona, that will mean dramatically fewer dollars for programs that have benefited from nearly $8 million in NEA grants over the last five years.
From the Big Read, managed in the metro area by the West Valley Arts Council, to grants for organizations like Childsplay, the Alliance for Audience, the Tucson Pima Arts Council, the Museum of Northern Arizona, La Frontera Mariachi Conference, Inc., the Scottsdale Cultural Council, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona and the Grand Canyon Music Festival, arts programs all over our state benefit from NEA grants. These organizations have been able to create new work, reach underserved audiences and extend education experiences in theatre, music, dance, literature and the visual arts to communities all over Arizona. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in NEA partnership grants to the Arizona Commission on the Arts also benefit our arts groups statewide annually.
As an arts advocate, you have a voice, not only in Arizona but across the country. As a voter, you have the power to make change and influence decisions. Visit our new Legislative Action Center today and learn how to contact your Senators and your Congressman here at home and in Washington, D.C.
Catherine "Rusty" Foley
Interim Executive Director
Arts Congress 2011
Draws More than 200 Arts Advocates from Around Arizona
When the call goes out for arts advocates statewide to step up, they do....and quickly.
More than 200 advocates from across Arizona convened at the state Capitol on Feb. 7 for more than 80 meetings with their legislators.
Throughout the day, the advocates, from as far away as Yuma, Kingman and Winslow, put a local face on a $500 million statewide industry, and related how important the arts are to Arizona families and communities economically and culturally. They also encouraged elected officials not to take an additional $116,000 out of the Arts Trust Fund, which provides much-needed dollars for Arizona Commission on the Arts grants.
Governor Jan Brewer's proposed budget zeroes out general fund appropriations for the Commission and recommends an 8% cut to the Arts Trust Fund, which was established by business leaders to support the arts through annual filings with the Corporation Commission.
While, the official position of Arizona Action for the Arts is to accept the general fund cut for the arts as the "best case" scenario in a difficult political environment, we believe the Arts Trust Fund is absolutely essential to supporting the arts industry in Arizona and assuring sustainable funding for the arts in the future.
Feedback from many legislators was very positive, and advocates reported constructive dialogue about the contributions of the arts in their district and across the state. For that reason, Arizona Action for the Arts and its professional lobbyists will continue to negotiate support for restoring the cut to the Arts Trust Fund.
Watch your mailboxes for legislative alerts and visit our website to see who among you participated in the Arts Congress meetings.
Thank you to the 15 Arts Congress sponsors! Your support helped make this important arts advocacy event possible. To see a list of sponsors, click here.
|The 30th Annual Governor's Arts Awards
Time to Send a Message
Past honorees and current nominees from all over Arizona are gathering to celebrate the milestone 30th anniversary of the Governor's Arts Awards on Tuesday, April 12 at the Herberger Theater.
With one strong and unified voice, we will celebrate the arts and the incredible contribution they make to our economy, the education of our young people, quality of life in our community and unity and understanding of who we are as Arizonans.
Receptions recognizing the nominees and past honorees are
taking place in Tucson and Phoenix over the next few weeks and one occurred already in Flagstaff. At these receptions, honorees from the past 29 years are receiving a magnificent coppercommemorative medallion underwritten by Resolution Copper Company.
Sponsors are lining up. If you're interested in a sponsorship or purchasing an ad for the program, the deadline is March 11.
Tickets and sponsorships for the Governor's Arts Awards can be purchased at www.governorsartsawards.org.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m with a silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments in the Herberger Theater Center lobby. Honorees will be announced during the 7 p.m. ceremony, followed by a dessert reception at 8 p.m.
|Carolyn Allen, Bill Sheppard to Receive Shelley Award|
Governor's Arts Awards 2011
Two longtime, passionate arts supporters and advocates, former State Senator Carolyn Allen and Bill Sheppard, an attorney with Gammage and Burnham, have been chosen to join the very select winners of the Shelley Award.
Allen and Sheppard will be recognized with the honorees in six categories at the 30th Anniversary Governor's Arts Awards.
Allen, a Republican legislator from Scottsdale, consistently refused to vote for the state budget when it did not include arts funding. Among her many achievements: Before retiring in 2010, she led the effort to ensure completion of the $20 million Arizona ArtShare endowment fund which was swept during last year's legislative session.
Sheppard, a Globe native, has served on the Arizona Theatre Company Board of Trustees, the Phoenix Arts Commission (now the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture), Arizona Citizens for the Arts and he chaired Arizona Action for the Arts. He has received the AriZoni Theatre Award for Distinguished Service.
|Individual & Arts Organization Memberships Are Climbing|
Hat offs to all of our members!
Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts' ongoing campaign to build individual and organizational membership is paying off. Individual memberships have tripled, and addition commitments are coming in. More than 80 Arizona arts organizations also have joined or renewed their memberships.
That's because they understand that in these difficult times, the only way for the arts to have a strong voice in the public policy process is to join together with the common message that the arts are a vital contributor to our economy and our community life. Membership in Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts insures that we have adequate funding to support our advocacy and outreach efforts and professional representation at the state Capitol and in our local communities.
Individual memberships are as little as $10 for students, $15 for teachers and $45 for emerging leaders, each with its own set of benefits.
Becoming a member is one of the most important ways to show your support for arts, culture and arts education in Arizona. If you haven't joined yet, please do it now.
|Member Organization Spotlight|
Incorporated in the mid-1970s, the Arizona Thespian Society is a group of teachers, students and professionals dedicated to promoting theater education in Arizona schools and communities.
The Thespians have touched more than 50,000 young people and hundred of educators during the past three and half decades through workshops and networking opportunities. For the last ten years, the group's efforts have resulted in a proclamation designating November as "Theatre in Our Schools Month" in honor of its annual state conference.
More than a half-dozen Arizona Thespian Society members participated in Arts Congress this year.
For more information, visit them here.
The 24th annual Arts Advocacy Day is the only national event that brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.
LEARN new ways to make the best case for the arts to decision-makers.
NETWORK with other attendees from your state and across the country.
BE HEARD by your members of Congress when you visit them to make the case for the arts and arts education.
Help spread the word about Arts Advocacy Day!
Governor's Arts Awards
April 12, 2011
|Board of Directors|
President, Arizona Citizens
Vice President, Arizona Citizens
President, Arizona Action
Jessica L. Andrews,
Past President, Arizona Citizens
La Posada Hotel
Jessica Andrews Consulting
Peoria Unified School District
Herberger Theater Center
Tucson Symphony Orchestra League
Representative Steve Farley,
Arizona House of Representatives
Phoenix Elementary School District
Phillip C. Jones,
Quarles & Brady LLC
The Apollo Group
Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance
Salt River Project
City of Phoenix
Senator Michele Reagan,
Arizona State Senate
West Valley Arts Council
Flagstaff Cultural Partners
Washington Elementary School District
Arizona Department of Education
City of Yuma Park & Recreation
Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts