Arizona Citizen Newsletter
Issue: 18 September/2011
Message from the Director 


Throughout the summer of 2011, we have been engaged here at Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts in some of the most important work we have ever done on behalf of arts and culture in Arizona.


Throughout the summer we've reported on our efforts to turn the recommendations of the Arizona Town Hall, "Capitalizing on Arizona's Arts and Culture," into reality.  We've reported on the Phoenix Mayoral and Council elections and where the candidates stand on the arts.  We've also encouraged you to use the summer when the Arizona Legislature is not in session to meet with your local legislators and build relationships with them.


There's more to report this month on those issues, but I want to direct your attention to a special  issue in this newsletter that explains the real urgency of expanding our relationships with the Legislature.


Although, funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts has been reduced in the last three years, a dedicated funding stream from the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Arizona Arts Trust Fund, continues to exist and provide grant funds to arts organizations all over the state.


But, there is a new challenge on the horizon called a "Sunset Review" for the Arizona Commission on the Arts. It is not a political attack , but it does involve political risks that will demand  arts advocates  be there to testify to the critical value of the Arizona Commission and the work it does for all of us.


Under Arizona law, all state agencies, big or small, are reviewed every 10 years for the purpose of deciding whether or not to authorize their continued existence. The timing and nature of the review are written into state law, and the last time the Arts Commission was reviewed was 2002.


Euphemistically called a "sunset review," this process will require a well-executed strategy by arts advocates and Arizona Action for the Arts to convince the Arizona Legislature to reauthorize the Arizona Commission on the Arts. We're prepared, and we're asking you to read more about it below and be prepared, also, to take action.


Finally, please note that we also have announced the dates for our most important advocacy and fundraising events in 2012 --- made all the more critical because of the challenges we face this year.  We're working hard on your behalf, but we won't be successful without your efforts, too. Thanks for your support. 



Catherine 'Rusty' Foley
Executive Director
Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts


It's Down to Two
For Phoenix Mayor

The race for Phoenix mayor, now heating up between run-off finalists Wes Gullett and Greg Stanton, will be settled Nov. 8.   The council seat in District 5 also will be decided that day between Glendale Firefighter Daniel Valenzuela and former Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts Executive Director Brenda Sperduti, and in District 1 between Incumbent Thelda Williams and challenger Eric Frederick.


In a survey conducted by Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts, both Gullett and Stanton supported an increase in arts and cultural funding to 2003 levels and both were in favor of an increase in the city's arts grants budget to a level based on a national metric of $1 per capita, or $1.4 million for Phoenix. The specifics of each candidates plans differ, but you may review their responses to the Arizona Action for the Arts survey submitted to candidates earlier this summer. Responses from the council candidates also are available, here.

Arizona Town Hall Follow-Up Meetings 

Scheduled Statewide



Recommendations of the 98th Arizona Town Hall, "Capitalizing on Arizona's Arts and Culture," are being presented at follow-up meetings in communities around the state to engage even more communities in the process through discussions and comments.


The schedule of upcoming presentations includes:  

  • Communiversity at Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4 
  • High Country Conference Center Northern Arizona University, 201 W. Butler Ave., in Flagstaff, 12-1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 11
  • Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus, Room M-137, 601 Black Hills Drive in Clarkdale, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12 
  • Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway, 4:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m., Tucson, Thursday, Oct. 19 
  • Phoenix City Hall, Assembly Rooms A&B, 200 W. Washington in Phoenix, Friday, 12-1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21 
  • Wickenburg Community Center, 160 N. Valentine St. in Wickenburg, 6-9 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25 in conjunction with the Wickenburg Leadership Institute


Admission fees may be charged. To register and for more information, visit:
Sunset Review
Arizona Commission on the Arts

In Arizona, we are renowned for our spectacular sunsets, the result of natural phenomena that exists in few places in the world.


But there is another connotation - a legal meaning of "sunset" that has made the summer of 2011 a busy one for Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts. "Sunset" in the legal connotation has meant that we have been preparing for a major advocacy campaign at the Arizona State Legislature over the state law that authorizes the Arizona Commission on the Arts. It is a campaign that will depend mightily on YOU, our arts advocates who are committed to delivering our important messages to the State Legislature - often and emphatically.


"Sunset Review" is a process that reviews every state agency, big or small, usually every 10 years for the purposes of determining whether it should continue to exist. The Arizona Commission on the Arts is scheduled for reauthorization during the 2012 Legislative Session.


The wheels in that legislative process began turning this summer when   Bob Booker, executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and his staff prepared a report to a committee of the Arizona State Legislature. This report summarizes the good work of the Commission and is very specific in describing how well the Commission serves the arts and culture industry of Arizona and the citizens of our state.


Later this fall, this committee will vote on whether to recommend reauthorization of the Commission. If it is recommended for reauthorization, a bill will be introduced in the 2012 Legislature.  It will be the absolute top priority of Arizona Action for the Arts to see that the bill is passed and signed by the Governor.

However, as arts advocates there are things you can do TODAY, to help the Arts Commission, the arts and culture industry, Arizona Action for the Arts and yourselves - Arizona citizens who depend on arts and culture to be a vital part of our state's economy, the education of our children and the quality of life in our community.

  • Contact your state legislator and thank them for support that the Arizona Commission on the Arts provides in grants to more than 300 local arts organizations and schools all over our state.
  • Remind them that the Commission is doing an excellent job helping to assure that the Arts are accessible to all Arizonans, despite a more than 2/3 reduction in its budget over the last four years.
  • Let them know, that as an Arizona voter, you believe that public support for arts and culture helps support the jobs created by our economic sector, local tax revenues, support for tourism and other local businesses and enrichment to arts education offerings in our schools.
  • Invite them to visit a local arts venue with you - one you support or help administer. Arrange a tour or their attendance at a performance or gallery show.
  • Keep watching your e-mail for more communications from Arizona Action for the Arts about developments in the Sunset process and for additional information to help make the case for reauthorizing the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Arizona Action for the Arts and a number of special arts advocates with strong relationships with certain legislators have been working behind the scenes this summer to assess how legislators will respond to the Sunset Review and the bill to reauthorize the Arts Commission.


We will be asking you to be more active as the session goes on. But for now, it is very important to remind legislators that there is an active core of voters who care about the survival of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and public support for arts and culture.


We can meet this challenge and assure reauthorization for the Arizona Commission on the Arts.  However, it will take citizens like you to help make it happen. 
Global Search for More Education
More Arts Please

Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D., a creativity expert who challenges the way we're educating our children to radically rethink our school systems to cultivate creativity, argues that we've been educated to become good workers rather than creative thinkers.


His TEDTalk, which has been widely distributed across the web over the past five years, carries this message:  "We are educating people out of their creativity." 


In an interview by author C.M. Rubin, Robinson was asked what he believed an arts curriculum should look like in primary and second school education.


The answer:  "I believe that the arts should be on an equal footing in schools with the sciences, humanities, languages and physical education."


Sir Ken will present "Creativity in Teaching" at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium at Northern Arizona University from 10-11:30 a.m. on Sept. 30.  For ticket information, visit
October is "Celebrating the Arts Month"
in Gilbert AZ

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis has set the tone for other mayors across Arizona by proclaiming October as Celebrating the Arts Month.


He'll kick off the month-long focus on October 4 with Gilbert's second annual Mayor's Breakfast with the Arts at Higley Center for the Performing Arts. The event will celebrate the role of the arts in the town and its impact on education and business.


In addition the Mayor's Lifetime Service Awards, 11 other awards will be presented to individuals and businesses.


Tickets are $10 in advance ( and $15 at the door.


We encourage you to suggest similar celebrations in communities across Arizona. 


Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts

Co-Sponsors Nonprofit Forum


In keeping with the recommendation from the recent Arizona Town Hall on arts and culture for more political involvement by the arts and culture community, Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts is co-sponsoring an important educational forum, "Reclaiming Our Community's Power," on Oct. 5 at the Disability Empowerment Center, 5025 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix.  The goal of the conference, sponsored by a consortium of Arizona non-profits, is to inspire 501(c)3 nonprofits and other community groups, agencies and related businesses to effectively influence the 2012 elections by  provide participants the tools and practices of nonpartisan community engagement that will help them empower the people they serve to be full participants in election activities.


Lindsay Hodel, founder of the Colorado Participation Project and Director of Training and Partnerships at Nonprofit Vote, is the keynote speaker.


Among those involved are: the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Valley of the Sun United Way, Children's Action Alliance, Recovery Empowerment Network, Arizona Foundation for Woman, Arizona Coalition against Domestic Violence, Arizona Council of Human Services Providers and Association for Supportive Childcare.


On-line registration is $12 per person and includes box lunch and resource book at

Americans for the Arts

Names Top 10 Companies Supporting the Arts


The Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, has recognized ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership.


The 2011 BCA 10 honorees are
  • 3M, St. Paul, MN
  • Aetna, Hartford, CT
  • Baker Botts L.L.P.Houston, TX 
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA 
  • Corporate Office Properties Trust, Columbia, MD 
  • Macy's, Cincinnati, OH 
  • Printing Partners, Indianapolis, IN 
  • Publicity Works, Bowmansville, PA 
  • Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL 
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In This Issue
Phoenix City Election -- Down to Two
AZ Town Hall Meetings
Sunset Review
More Arts Please
Gilbert and Arts
Support Az Citizens
Become a Member Today


Member Organization Spotlight

Now at the front end of its next quarter century, Actors Theatre has made its mark in Valley theatre for thought-provoking, compelling and, at times, controversial plays. 


Under the direction of Managing Director Matthew Wiener, the company's 26th season opened with A Conversation with Edith Head, featuring Tucson-based Susan Claassen, who also co-wrote the play.   The season follows with Next Fall (Oct. 28-Nov.13); Hunter Gatherers (Dec. 31-Jan. 15); Dead Man's Cell Phone (Feb. 24-March 11); Body Awareness (March 30-April 15) and Time Stands Still (May 11-27).


A resident company of The Herberger Theater Center, Actors Theatre performs on Stage West.  For more information, visit


Advocacy Spotlight   

El Mirage Arts Group



At a time when the arts are less and less a part of our children's educational experience, one Valley school stands out for making the arts essential: Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee


Mountain Pointe was chosen as one of four schools in the U.S. to be named as a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education, becoming the first Arizona school ever selected for the distinction.  


The school was nominated by the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education.


Each honored school must offer instruction in visual arts, music, dance and theater and must integrate the arts into other subject areas.   The selection panel pointed to Mountain Pointe's commitment to teachers' success and recognized the school facilities, parental involvement, integration of special education students into the arts and the development of community connections.


The school will receive a plaque and a check for $2000 to support arts education. 

Upcoming Events
 Phoenix City Elections  November 8, 2011 


A Christmas Story 

at Phoenix Theatre

December 13, 2011    


Arts Congress

February 7, 2012      


Governor's Arts Awards

March 27, 2012

AzCA LogoColor
Board of Directors



Steve Martin,  

President, Arizona Citizens 

Brenda Bernardi,  

Vice President, Arizona Citizens 

Joel Hiller,  

President, Arizona Action

Julie Richard 

Vice President, Arizona Action

Tom Chapman,  


Dawn Brown,  


Jeff Rich,  


Jessica L. Andrews,  

Past President, Arizona Citizens 




Allan Affeldt,  

Winslow Arts Trust

Robert Benson,  

Peoria Unified School District

Jennifer Burns,

Consulting & Policy Development 

Sam Campana,  

Audobon Arizona

Bill DeWalt,

Musical Instrument Museum

Mary Dryden,  

Tucson Symphony Orchestra League  

Karen Falkenstrom

Odaiko Sonora 

Representative Steve Farley 

Arizona House of Representatives

Mark Feldman,

Certified Financial Planner

Barbara Fenster,

Free Arts of Arizona

Wes Gullett,  

First Strategic

Phillip C. Jones,

Community Volunteer 

Cathy Knapp,  

Quarles & Brady LLC

Kate Marquez,  

Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance

Senator Michele Reagan,  

Arizona State Senate 

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