Arizona Citizen Newsletter
Issue: 14 May/2011

Message from the Executive Director

Arts Advocacy Year Round


Dear Friends,


It's summer, and maybe all you can think about is a week or two at the beach or in the mountains, but it's also a great time for advocacy.


Here at Arizona Citizens for the Arts we're busy working on a heavy agenda for next year - as you will see in this newsletter - but there's plenty you as an arts advocate can be doing too.


There is no better time than now to reach out to your elected officials to talk about the important issues affecting Arizona's arts and cultural organizations, employees, supporters and artists.


A good elected representative is always eager to hear from constituents. So reach out to officials representing your legislative district and offer to meet them for a casual, informal coffee or lunch conversation.


Invite them to join you for a summer afternoon visit to the museum or an early-morning stroll at the Desert Botanical Gardens; or attend one of the local in-district meetings that many elected officials host - most are publicized in your local newspaper.


Or, simply send an email, voice mail or even snail mail today thanking them for their service and reminding them that you are an arts supporter.


Make sure you let them know that you support funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Remind them of how arts education is a critical part (not to mention a state mandate) of a child's overall education, especially in critical  thinking and problem solving skills.  And let them know what a powerful economic engine arts and culture is in Arizona, and describe the impact in your local community.


If the heat is forcing you inside, take advantage of the time to reach out.   Visit the Arts Advocacy Center on our website ( for more advocacy tips and information.


And oh yes - we hope you have a nice vacation too.



Catherine "Rusty" Foley

Interim Executive Director


Governor's Arts Awards  

Named Best of Capitol by Capitol Times 

For the second year in a row, the now-30-year-old Arizona Governor's Arts Awards was named the top Awards Event in the fifth annual Arizona Capitol Times "Best of the Capitol" competition. Capitol Times readers cast ballots in more than 40 categories from best awards events, to best dressed, to best cocktail party and everything in between.


Arizona Citizens for the Arts board members Senator Michele Reagan R-Scottsdale, and Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, also were recognized - Michele for her stunning choice of handbags and Steve for "Best Quote." Policy Development Group's Kathy Senseman who represents Arizona Action for the Arts at the State Legislature was selected Best Female Lobbyist.

The Governor's Arts Awards celebrated three decades in April at a stellar evening event at the Herberger Theater Center.  In addition to the award, Arizona Citizens for the Arts also was chosen by the Capitol Times as the recipient of a $250 charitable contribution. Thanks to all our friends at the Arizona Capitol Times!


Which Candidates Vote for Art?
Phoenix Mayor and City Council Election

That's the question all Phoenix voters should answer before they cast their ballots in the upcoming elections for Phoenix Mayor and City Council on August 30, 2011. Public debates and candidate websites offer a great chance to learn which candidates support arts and culture.


Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts also will be reaching out to survey mayoral candidates and council candidates in Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 about their support for City of Phoenix arts funding and support for other arts and culture-friendly policies.


We also are jointly sponsoring candidate forums and debates for mayoral hopefuls and council candidates in order to insure that candidates must answer questions about arts support as frequently as possible before as many voters as possible.


Watch your e-mail or check the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website for details. In the meantime, information about voter registration, absentee ballots, polling places and how to contact candidates is available at here.


Arizona Town Hall
Capitalizes on Arizona's Arts and Culture

Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts was well represented among the 150 Arizona Town Hall attendees last month when the 98th session focused on Capitalizing on Arizona's Arts and Culture. And now, the major recommendations from the Town Hall will form a major part of our agenda for the coming year.


We will be helping Arizona Town Hall convene follow-up town hall meetings that are being scheduled around the state to keep the discussion moving forward.  


Specifically, we will be working on the major recommendations involving: 

  • Convening a broad coalition to develop a statewide quality of life ballot initiative to provide a dedicated public funding source for arts and culture.
  • Restoring funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
  • Working to dedicate a seat on the Arizona Commerce Authority for arts and culture and making sure the arts and culture industry obtains equal stature with Arizona's other major economic sectors.
  • Ensuring that all schools adhere to existing state standards for arts education, that parents are active advocates for arts education and that public policymakers agree that we need to put an "A" for "arts" in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in order to educate our children for the 21st Century global economy.


Town Hall participants also agreed that arts and cultural organizations must help build a database on the economic impact of arts and culture by signing up for the Cultural Data Project and Arizona Community Database. To learn more click on these links:



For the full list of recommendations, visit the AzCA website.


To see an editorial by Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts Interim Executive Director Rusty Foley and Arizona Theatre Company Interim Managing Director Jessica Andrews, visit the Arizona Republic.


Become a Member Before the End of June
Save Some Cash, Help Our Cause

You can help us prepare for our busy advocacy agenda by joining or renewing your membership to Arizona Citizens/Action to the Arts by the end of June. In exchange, your renewal will be good for 15 months through the end of September 2012.


There are varying membership levels, and each adds your name to a growing list of arts advocates around the state whose collective voice is loud, clear and critically important.


Membership rates begin at $10.  Sign up  here.


USC Annenberg's NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Theatre
Launches "PopUp" Newsroom

A "pop-up" newsroom designed to give extensive and thorough coverage of theater in Los Angeles went live this month at

A reporting staff from 28 media outlets nationwide will produce reviews, analysis, forums, podcasts and videos. Material will include coverage of several coinciding theater festivals and conferences.

"Rather than simply talk about new models for arts journalism at this year's NEA Arts Journalism Institute, we decided to create some," said Douglas McLennan, digital editor and chief architect for "Engine28 is an exercise in 'what if' arts journalism. What if you could throw a large group of journalists at a subject and invent creative ways of covering it? Engine28 will be a real-time laboratory for journalism about the arts."


Kansas Governor Vetoes Funding
for Kansas Arts Commission

Last month, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback cut off funding to the Kansas Arts Commission, closing the door on the 45-year old agency and leaving Kansas as the only state in the U.S. without a functioning state agency in charge of promoting arts and culture.


During the agency's tenure, the nonprofit arts and culture sector became a booming industry, generating $153.5 million in annual direct statewide economic activity that supported 4,612 full-time equivalent jobs. Brownback intends to form a private foundation to replace the state agency. However, the success of that gambit remains questionable, and at this time, it appears Kansas will lose its National Endowment for the Arts funding because it has no state match funding.  



AzCA/AA Elects Officers
New Board Members

The board of Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts elected the following individuals to the Executive Committee for FY2011-12 during its annual meeting June 14:


Steve Martin, president, Arizona Citizens for the Arts

Brenda Bernardi, vice president, Arizona Citizens for the Arts

Joel Hiller, Arizona Action for the Arts

Julie Richard, vice president, Arizona Action for the Arts

Tom Chapman, secretary, Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts

Dawn Brown, treasurer, Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts

Jeff Rich, member-at-large, Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts


Also elected to the board was Mark Feldman, Barbara Fenster, Executive Director of Free Arts of Arizona, and Bill DeWalt,  President of the Musical Instrument Museum. Retiring from the Board are Dick Bowers, President of the Herberger Theater Center and Executive Director of the Phoenix Boys Choir, and  local educator Joan Howell. Congratulations to all, and thank you for your willingness to serve.




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In This Issue
GAA Best of Capitol
Phoenix City Election
Arizona Town Hall
Save Money, Join Before July
Support Az Citizens
Become a Member Today

Member Organization Spotlight

An all-volunteer organization dedicated to creating an active and vital blues heritage scene through live performances, education and awareness, the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation reaches deep into the community.


This year's annual Festival on Oct. 16 at Reid Park in Tucson features blues legend Elvin Bishop. 


The organization's "School House Bluez" project is a collaboration with Cholla High School to study the history and impact of blues in American popular culture over the past 100 years.  The program engages more than 300 juniors in American History, English and Music classes and concludes with an interactive display in the school library, a day of concerts and a lyrics concert.


For information, visit





Upcoming Events
 Deadline to Register to Vote in Phoenix City Elections
August 1, 2011

Phoenix City Elections

August 30, 2011 


Advocacy Spotlight

Suns Star Grant Hill Named Spokesperson for The Choice is Art Campaign


You may know Grant Hill as a great defender and key offensive weapon for the Phoenix Suns.  But he's also an art collector and arts advocate and now is the official spokesperson for the Arizona Commission on the Arts' The Choice is Art campaign.


Hill is featured in a donor-sponsored public service announcement airing on Cox Media promoting the importance of arts education.  During the campaign's four-years, he'll also address the contributions of Arizona artists and arts professionals, the positive impact of the arts on community health and livability, the economic impact of arts and culture and the role of arts promoting cultural understanding.


For more information, visit

AzCA LogoColor
Board of Directors



Steve Martin,  

President, Arizona Citizens 

Brenda Bernardi,  

Vice President, Arizona Citizens 

Joel Hiller,  

President, Arizona Action

Tom Chapman,  


Dawn Brown,  


Jeff Rich,  


Jessica L. Andrews,  

Past President, Arizona Citizens 




Allan Affeldt,  

La Posada Hotel 

Robert Benson,  

Peoria Unified School District

Jennifer Burns,

Community Volunteer 

Sam Campana,  

Audobon Arizona

Clark Chasten,

Community Volunteer 

Jae Chin,  

Asian Bank

Mary Dryden,  

Tucson Symphony Orchestra League  

Karen Falkenstrom

Odaiko Sonora 

Representative Steve Farley 

Arizona House of Representatives

Wes Gullett,  

First Strategic

Phillip C. Jones,

Community Volunteer 

Cathy Knapp,  

Quarles & Brady LLC

Alika Kumar,

Community Volunteer 

Melissa Lopez, 

The Apollo Group

Kate Marquez,  

Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance

Rob Nichols,  

Salt River Project

Joseph Perez,  

City of Phoenix

Senator Michele Reagan,  

Arizona State Senate 

Julie Richard,  

West Valley Arts Council

Andrea Soto,  

FAME Events

John Tannous,  

Flagstaff Cultural Partners

Jackie Thrasher,

Washington Elementary School District 

Lynn Tuttle,  

Arizona Department of Education

Roberta Ukura,  

City of Yuma Park & Recreation

Cathy Weiss,  

Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts

Nancy Welch,  

Flinn Foundation

Dick Bowers,  

Herberger Theater Center

Joan Howell,  

Phoenix Elementary School District



Join Arizona Citizens for the Arts BEFORE JUNE 30, 2011, and your membership will be effective until September 30, 2012



Becoming a paid member of Arizona Citizens for the Arts is the most important way you can show your support for arts, culture and arts education in Arizona. 


Join Today

Your membership dollars allow us to act as your eyes and ears at civic meetings, at the state legislature, and in conversations with key decision makers who affect public policies that support arts and culture in Arizona, and public funding for these activities that are so important to our community. 


Its easy to join today, just click here.