Arizona Citizen Newsletter
Issue: 22February/2012
Message from the Director 



The New Year was only a few days old when our community embarked on a number of special celebrations and commemorations. Phoenix and Tucson inaugurated new mayors and city council members. We celebrated another Martin Luther King Day. And the special events commemorating the Arizona Centennial kicked into high gear all over our state. 


All of these occurences an interesting characteristic in common. Certainly, they tap into our shared love for our community and our democracy. But each also has depended on the arts to define the nature and importance of why we come together as citizens of the same community, the same state and the same nation.


Youth choruses, gospel choirs, folklorico musicians and dancers, visual art exhibits, dramatic performances and so, so much more - we've called upon all of these and applauded their contributions to our civic celebrations. In the next several months, Centennial celebrations all over Arizona will be using the talents of artists of all kinds to mark 100 years of community-building.


For those of us who promote the value of arts, culture and arts education the meaning is clear.  We often make the case for support by using facts and figures - the impact of the arts on job generation, local tax revenues, improved school performance, support for tourism and other related industries.  But it is important to note that when we celebrate ourselves and who we are, we depend on the arts to express ourselves. Therefore, we should not shy away from the intrinsic values that underlie how most of us feel about the arts and what they contribute to our lives and lifestyles.


As we begin our most active season of advocacy and promotion, we will continue to arm you with the arguments for public and private support. But let's not lose sight of the fact that we use the arts to celebrate ourselves because, quiet simply, they are such a clear reflection of everything we are as a community.  And without the contributions of the arts, we would be less.


Please join us at Arts Congress February 7 at the State Capitol and for the Governor's Arts Awards on March 27, 2012. Experience as many of the unique Centennial celebrations as you can.  And keep making our case for the arts, not only with facts and figures, but also with your own very real and personal stories of how the arts contribute to your life and the life of your community. 




Catherine 'Rusty' Foley

Executive Director
Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts


Time is Short to Register
for Arts Congress 2012



When arts advocates, supporters, educators and artists gather on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the Arizona State Capitol for the 2012 Arizona Arts Congress, three key issues will drive the conversations with Arizona elected officials:


  • Reauthorizing the Arizona Commission on the Arts for 10 years as recommended by the House-Senate committee on Sunset Review.
  • Preserving the only remaining public funding stream for the Arizona Commission on the Arts - the Arizona Arts Trust.
  • Supporting the Poet Laureate Bill proposed by Tucson Senator Al Melvin.


At the same time, we will remain focused on advancing arts education across the state, discussing the specific impacts of the arts in our local cities and towns, and building closer relationships with legislators who value arts and culture in their communities.


If you've not already registered, please do so today. The fee is $20 and includes all materials and lunch. Sign up by clicking here.


In addition to meeting with lawmakers, this year's Arts Congress will include advocacy training by former legislators Jackie Thrasher and Jennifer Burns and a workshop on how you and your organization can become involved in the 2012 elections. Patrick McWhorter, President and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, will discuss the critical value nonprofits can inject into the election cycle through voter engagement.


Your voice and your involvement are needed.


81 Nominations Received for 2012
Governor's Arts Awards

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Nominees in six categories from 18 Arizona communities have set the stage for the 2012 Arizona Governor's Arts Awards, which will be announced on Tuesday, March 27 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222. E. Monroe in downtown Phoenix.


Presented in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor, nominees represent the best and brightest among individuals and businesses making substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.


The award winners will join 144 previous honorees since 1981.


Tickets are available now. Prices are $135 for Arizona Citizens for the Arts members and $150 for nonmembers.  The Academy Award-style event includes a silent auction, pre-event appetizers and dessert buffet. The reception featuring cocktails, silent auction and hors d'oeuvres starts at 5 p.m.; the ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and concludes by 8 p.m. with a dessert reception.


For the full list of nominees, information and reservations, click here:
Darryl Dobras Named 
2012 Shelley Award Winner


Longtime arts advocate and Tucson businessman Darryl Dobras, who chaired the Arizona Commission on the Arts and served on the boards of Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson Museum of Art and Arizona Humanities Council, among others, has been named the winner of the 7th annual Shelley Award.


Dobras will be recognized at the 2012 Governor's Arts Awards, March 27, 2012, at the Herberger Theater Center. (See details above.)


The award in honor of former Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Director Shelley Cohn is presented to an individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.


Dobras' additional arts board involvement includes Tucson Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, the Arizona Heritage Foundation, Patronatos de San Xavier, and the University of Arizona Foundation.  He also has served on the boards of the Arizona Town Hall, Downtown Tucson Partnership, Community Foundation of Southern Arizona and the Downtown Development Corporation and has been a member of the Art That Heals Committee of the Corondolet Foundation.


Tickets to the Governor's Arts Awards can be purchased at 


AzCA Executive Director 

Moderates Candidate Forum


Arizona Citizens for the Arts continues building awareness and involvement in critical issues impacting arts and culture across the state.  Executive Director Rusty Foley recently moderated an arts-focused forum for Tempe mayoral and council candidates.


"Our goal is to elevate the critical importance of arts and culture as an economic driver in Arizona and to be sure that candidates for every political office understand and support the industry during their campaigns and terms in office," she said.  "That's why we are prepared to become more engaged and involved in local elections on behalf of arts supporters and our arts organization members all over the state.


You may view the Tempe candidate forums by visiting  If you're a Tempe voter, view the forum before you decide your vote and encourage your family and friends do so also.


Similar candidate forums are being discussed in other communities around the state. If you represent an organization or community with a local election in 2012, and you'd like Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts to become involved, please contact 


Theatres Hit Goals   
Actors Theatre and Arizona Jewish Theatre


Two of the Valley's longest-running theater companies will stay open, at least through the end of their current seasons, thanks to the support of donors in and out of Arizona.


Actors Theatre, which announced in late October that it needed $240,000 by year-end to continue operating, came close to that goal with $228,000 in donations from 722 donors from 30 Arizona cities, 19 different states and the United Kingdom.   The Actors Theatre board decided to move forward with the season. 


The company still needs $260,000 by the end of June.  Fund-raising has moved into its second phase with a focus on individuals and the corporate community and through a series of events being scheduled.


Arizona Jewish Theatre needed at least $25,000 by the end of 2011 to keep the company afloat.  Its effort brought in $29,039 from 137 donors in 12 states.


Financial challenges remain for these companies, as well as other arts organizations. 


Stay tuned for updates. 


Arizona Artists  
Create Works for Centennial Celebration


Arizona composers Sy Brandon and Governor's Arts Awards honoree James DeMars and librettist Alberto Rios, also a Governor's Arts Awards recipient, were selected by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to create musical compositions in celebration of the Arizona Centennial.


The musical compositions - one choral and one for concert band and orchestra - are available for performance by a wide variety of musicians, including high school, college/university, community, faith-based and professional or semi-professional ensembles. The celebratory commissioned works reflect the unique historical and cultural aspects of the state.


As part of the centennial celebration, the Arizona "Best Fest" festival, featuring numerous arts and culture experiences is scheduled Feb. 11-12 on the Arizona Capitol Mall.


It's free.  For more information, click here:

Firearms Bills   
May Affect Public Venues


The International Association of Venue Managers is tracking legislation in the Arizona Legislature that may affect how public venues may  prohibit or allow firearms in their spaces.  


Senate Bill 1479 allows venues to prohibit firearms in their buildings, while House Bill 2729 does not allow firearms to be prohibited unless the venues have extra screening equipment and personnel.  


Annual costs for extra equipment to screen for firearms is estimated to be $200,000 to $250,000 for small venues, according to the IAVM. 


For more information and to contact your state legislators about these bills, click here. 

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In This Issue
Arts Congress 2012
Governor's Arts Awards Nominations
2012 Shelley Award
Tempe Candidate Forum
Theatres Hit Goals
Support Az Citizens
Become a Member Today

Member Spotlight


The San Pedro River Arts Council began life as the Benson Arts Commission, but in 2009 decided to take its programming into Cochise County communities beyond Benson. The vision of the organization is to help insure that Cochise County, Arizona is a highly desirable destination for artists of all disciplines to live, work, exhibit and thrive.

The council is comprised of visual, literary and performing artists who participate in council-sponsored activities and shows.  To learn about their year-round calendar of events and Celebrate the Arts 2012, a juried arts exhibition at the Cochise College Benson, March 1-29, visit  


Advocacy Spotlight



A new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy found that

"every dollar that foundations and other donors invested in advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement over a five-year period provided a return of $115 in community benefit."


The report, Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Benefits by Funding Policy and Community Engagement, examined 110 organizations in 13 states and found that the groups leveraged $231 million in funding from grantmakers into $26.6 billion in benefits to low-wage workers, communities of color, rural residents, and other marginalized groups.


To assist other funders, the report provides suggestions on how to get started and explains why the strategies used by organizations in the survey were successful.


The findings are based on seven reports conducted as part of NCRP's Grantmaking for Community Impact Project, which aims to demonstrate the benefits of foundation-funded advocacy.


To see the full report, click here.  


Upcoming Events

Arts Congress

February 7, 2012      


Governor's Arts Awards

March 27, 2012
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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,

Miller-Russell & Associates

Barbara Fenster,

Free Arts of Arizona

Wes Gullett,  

First Strategic

Phillip C. Jones,

Community Volunteer 

Cathy Knapp,  

Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP 

Kate Marquez,  

Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance

Senator Michele Reagan,  

Arizona State Senate 

John Tannous,  

Flagstaff Cultural Partners

Jackie Thrasher,

Retired Arts Educator

Lynn Tuttle,  

Arizona Department of Education

Cathy Weiss,  

Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts

Jeff Williamson,

Arizona Zoological Society