Arizona Citizen Newsletter
Issue: 23April/2012
Message from the Director 


"When opportunity knocks..." - we are all familiar with various wise sayings associated with this phrase. Most involve the ability to recognize opportunity. Most acknowledge opportunity often comes in the guise of misfortune or adversity. All caution that opportunity once lost cannot be recaptured. 


"Even when opportunity knocks, a man (or woman) still has to get up and open the door," says one.


Here at Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts, we are doing our darndest to "open the door" to opportunity. As 2012 wears on we continue to hear stories of trouble in the arts community -- drop-offs in contributed income and ticket sales and questions about the survivability of some organizations. But some of this news is paired with hopeful signs for our collective future. Some groups report robust attendance. We see ever-improving quality and diversity in arts experiences. And on the political front, the tide of bad news made be ebbing a bit.


In Phoenix, we see our new mayor, Greg Stanton, making good on his campaign promise to begin restoring funding to the Office of Arts and Culture. And when the votes came up to reauthorize the Arizona Commission on the Arts, we heard many eloquent statements from state legislators about the importance of arts in our community.


Now, we have an opportunity to make change that comes only once every 10 years.  With redistricting of our state and Congressional legislative districts, we have a real chance to elect  and re-elect representatives who support the arts and replace others who don't.


Later this spring, we will launch a comprehensive election strategy to educate both you, our arts advocates, and candidates about the power of arts and culture to build our economy and our communities. Our goal is to identify candidates who believe in the arts and to convince more voters that arts and culture should be part of the reason a candidate earns your vote. 


We're ready to make an impact. But our campaign will cost money, and we've just finished the biggest advocacy effort in our history in getting the Commission reauthorized. We need your help.


A gift of any size to Arizona Action for the Arts will help us pay off the costs to reauthorize the Arizona Commission on the Arts and to prepare for an aggressive elections campaign this summer and fall. We determined to "get up and open the door" to the opportunities we see. And you can help us do it.


Click here to make your gift or send a check directly to the Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts office, 514 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ 85003.


We're grateful for your ongoing support. 





Catherine 'Rusty' Foley

Executive Director
Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts


State Arts Commission Reauthorized
For 10 Years

The yearlong collaboration among arts advocates, artists, arts board members and elected officials on both sides of the aisle produced the result we had been working toward:  a 10-year reauthorization of the Arizona Commission on the Arts by the Arizona Legislature.


Some speed bumps along the way didn't stop the momentum or the commitment and HB2265 passed out of each legislative committee with unanimous support for the 10-year goal and earned a 50-to-1vote in the House and 20-to-10 vote in the Senate.


With Governor Brewer's signature April 18, the bill became law. So we can now focus our collective efforts on rebuilding the financial support that is so critical to Arizona's arts and cultural communities.

  If you haven't already thanked the Governor and your legislators, please do so. 
Voice Your Support - Budget Increase
for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

The City of Phoenix budget process is underway, and arts supporters already are making their influence known. A proposed $250,000 increase for the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission was mentioned by a number of citizen advocates who attended the 17 community meetings about the budget. 


But the job is not done yet. The proposed increase which begins to replace funds cut from the Commission during the past three leans years must be approved by the Phoenix City Council during meetings in May. Visit the City of Phoenix website to see the full schedule of Council meetings and to send a note to you council member asking for support of the arts increase. 

Governor's Arts Awards 
Celebrates the Arts Across the State

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More than 550 artists, advocates, educators and supporters gathered at the Herberger Theater for the 2012 Arizona Governor's Arts Awards late last month in a wonderful tribute to our best, brightest and most creative.


Governor Brewer offered her welcome to guests and KEZ's Marty Manning guided the program that featured performances by Desert Dance Theatre (both on stage and on the plaza), The Bad Cactus Brass Band and Childsplay's rousing "Hail to the Chiefs" from its critically acclaimed "Rock the Presidents."


And another big "thank you" to our major underwriters: Presenting Sponsor SRP; Arts Entertainment Sponsor Boeing; Commemorative Program Sponsor Resolution Copper Mining; Artist Award Sponsor Southwest Ambulance; and Venue Sponsor Herberger Theater Center.


And, most of all, congrats to the Governor's Arts Awards winners:


Artist Ed Mell, Artist of the Year; ASU Gammage Executive Director Colleen Jennings-Roggensack and Museum of Northern Arizona Director Robert Breunig, Ph.D., Individual Award; Beth Lessard, Ph.D., Tempe, Arts in Education - Individual Award; Arizona School for the Arts, Arts in Education - Organization Award; Arizona Cowboy Poet Gathering, Prescott, Community Award; and JP Morgan Chase, Business Award.  Thanks also to Collins College for its students' help with the video presentation.

To see photos of the event, visit our site.


Finally, it's that time of year again - to vote for the Governor's Arts Awards in the Sixth Annual Arizona Capitol Times, Best of the Capitol.

Poetry Out Loud
Reaches 13,000 Arizona Students

Joshua Furtado of Tucson Magnet High School will represent Arizona in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C., May 13-15, after earning top honors in the Arizona competition.  India Parsons of Westview High School in Avondale was the first place runner-up.


The partnership among the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the national Poetry Foundation and Arizona arts organizations and schools introduced nearly 13,000 students across the state to the best in poetry while building their public speaking skills and self-confidence.


Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch presented the awards.


For more information about Poetry Out Loud, visit

National Arts Index
Shows Industry is Beginning to Recover


The National Arts Index, which annually measures the health and vitality of the U.S. arts industry, shows an upward trend that began in 2010 following its all-time low in 2009.  


In 2010, the Index rose slightly to 96.7 from 96.3 in 2009 boosted by an increase in more than half of the 83 indicators.  The 2008 report showed that only one-third of the indicators were up.


Among the highlights:  arts attendance increased for the first time since 2003 with about one-third of the adult population attending a performing arts event in 2010, up from 28% in 2009.


Unfortunately, the challenges remain:  In 2010, 43% of nonprofit arts organizations had an operating deficit, down from 45% in 2009.  The arts' share of philanthropic giving dropped from 4.9% in 2001 to 4.5% in 2010 even though the amount of money given to the arts has increased over the past decade to $13.28 billion in 2010, according to Americans for the Arts.

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In This Issue
Arts Commission Reauthorized
Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture
Governor's Arts Awards
Poetry Out Loud
National Arts Index
Support Az Citizens
Become a Member Today

Member Spotlight


The Scottsdale Cultural Council is offering a free opportunity to celebrate the work of young artists with a collaborative presentation at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Wednesday, May 2.


Stories and Origins will feature students, educators and artists from across the Valley in share performances and art inspired by the traditions of teaching art.


For more information click here. 


Advocacy Spotlight


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In an effort to showcase how artists are helping to build and rebuild communities all over our country, Ovation, the only network dedicated to art, artists and all forms of artistic storytelling, is funding a national arts grant program called The innOVATION Grant Program.  Inspired by an upcoming documentary about community revitalization efforts in Detroit, Motor City Rising, Ovation is contributing $110,000 for the first year grants in a program managed by Americans for the Arts.


The program invites mayors, county executives or other elected leadership to endorse the most inspiring stories of artists helping to revitalize a community in their city.  Ovation will feature the most compelling submissions on its Facebook page and website.


Grant recipients will be selected based on creative, economic and community efforts to improve and enhance a specific region around arts and cultural activities.


Guidelines and application will be available online at after June 15.  Winners will be announced in October.  



Upcoming Events

Voter Registration Deadline for AZ Primary

July 28, 2012 

2012 State Primary Election 
August 28, 2012

Voter Registration Deadline for General Election 
October 8, 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