Arizona Citizen Newsletter
Issue: 25
November/December 2012
Message from the Director  


What a year 2012 has been!


Arts organizations continued to struggle in a tough economy and, sadly, several important ones were casualties. But Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts kept at it -- working with our advocates on behalf of arts and culture in our state.


We saw successes like making sure the Arts Commission was reauthorized for the full 10 years allowed under law, and in getting some grants dollars restored to the Arizona Arts Trust. We also saw arts-friendly mayors elected in several Arizona communities. We spoke up for arts funding in local city budget hearings, and we reached out to new community partners through our involvement with Arizona Town Hall and other civic groups.


Because 2012 was an election year, we launched a brand new voter and candidate education campaign called Vote smART that connected thousands of Arizona arts supporters with the candidates and the arts issues at stake in the elections.


And even though organizations continued to struggle in a tough economy, new economic data was released that showed that arts and culture is still a powerful economic driver in Arizona. One new study showed it generates more than a half billion in economic activity every year. Read about that and more in our Summary of Program Activities 2011-12.


As 2012 comes to an end - we are certain of two things. First, there is much work for us to do. Our commitment is to be prepared to do it in 2013 and beyond.  Second, we are profoundly grateful for the support from arts and culture organizations and our advocates all over Arizona


We credit our successes to all of you who've stepped up by becoming members of Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts, writing or calling your elected officials, supporting the Governor's Arts Awards and using Vote smART website.  


We send a special "shout out" to our arts organization members who participated in our Organizational Assessment Survey. Admittedly, it's a pretty "dry" way to describe a vital tool we will be using to plot our future work on your behalf. We learned a lot, and were pleased that the vast majority of you feel very positively about us.


You also told us how we can improve the services that are a priority to you:

  • Educating about arts public policy, the economic impact of arts and culture and the importance of arts education;
  • Advocating at the Capitol, with our Congressional delegation and in local communities;
  • Keeping you up to date about what other arts and culture organizations are doing;
  • Online communications through our newsletter, our Facebook page and action alerts.

Based on your input, you'll see some changes immediately, but expect a major effort when we launch a comprehensive strategic planning process in 2013. We'll keep you informed and we'll be asking for your help again.


In the meantime, here's hoping you are having a wonderful holiday season and preparing for a prosperous New Year.

And speaking of prosperity - your memberships and contributions help keep us in the black. If you've not become a paying member or renewed your membership this year now is the perfect time!





Catherine 'Rusty' Foley

Executive Director
Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts


Carolyn Allen to Chair
the 2013 Governor's Arts Awards

Longtime arts advocate Carolyn Allen, winner of the 2011 Shelley Award and

a current vice chair of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, will chair the 2013 Governor's Arts Awards, March 6 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.


Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 32nd annual event by visiting


Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have been recognized for the extraordinary contributions they make to the arts and culture community in the state of Arizona. The event is presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.


Allen was a consistent supporter of the arts during a political career that began in the Arizona House of Representatives in 1994, and continued in the state Senate in 2002, where she served until 2010. Previously, she'd also served in leadership roles with the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.


Reserve the date now, and stay tuned for more updates about the Governor's Arts Award nominees. 

Put Feb 4, 2013, on your calendar
for Arts Congress at the State Capitol



Hundreds of artists, arts-related organizations, advocates and business leaders representing tourism and economic development from across the state are expected at the Arizona State Capitol for the 27th annual Arizona Arts Congress from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4.


Sponsored by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts, registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on the Senate Lawn at the Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St.  


Arts Congress this year will be a special opportunity for attendees to introduce the importance of arts issues to 37 new legislators, as well meeting with veteran legislators.  Morning information sessions include advocacy training, updates on the impact of redistricting and other programs about arts policy issues. 


Registration fee is $25 and includes all information sessions, training materials and assistance scheduling legislator meetings.  Registration can be completed by visiting or by calling (602) 253-6535.


Sponsorships for arts organizations and small businesses also are available for $125 and include lunch, registration for four attendees, programs and recognition in Arts Congress materials.  For more information, visit
Arizona Capitol Times "Morning Scoop" To Focus on the Arts, Jan. 29

The impact of the arts on Arizona's economy and community life will be the subject of a panel discussion moderated by Arizona Capitol Times Editor Jim Small, as part of the newspaper's ongoing Morning Scoop Series.


Registration begins at 7 a.m., Tuesday January 29, at Alexi's Grill, 3550 N. Central Ave.  The panel discussion runs from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m.  Panelists include:

  • Arizona Commission on the Arts Chair Mark Feldman
  • Mesa Mayor Scott Smith
  • Arizona State Senator Steve Farley (D-District 9)
  • Arizona State Senator Michelle Regan (R - District 23)
  • Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Catherine "Rusty" Foley


Reservations are required.  Seating is limited to 100 people and a complimentary breakfast is provided.  To register and for more information, call Tracy Keller at (602) 889-7140.


MIM Founding President and Director To Leave His Position March 1

 Bill DeWalt, who oversaw construction, assembling of the core collection and building the team and organization at the Musical Instrument Museum, will leave the job on March 1.


DeWalt, also a member of the Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts board, will continue serving on the MIM Board of Directors for a period of time and will work as a consultant to museum through the end of 2013.


During his tenure, MIM has become a go-to venue for Arizona residents as well as for those visiting the Valley of the Sun.  The museum's reputation as a one-of-a-kind destination has been covered by media across the globe. Another Victim
of the Economy and Alliance for Audience became the latest nonprofit arts organizations to succumb to a difficult economy.


Executive Director Matt Lehrman, who co-founded the organization in 2003, told the Arizona Republic that despite a year-long effort to "reinvent the business model," he and the board of directors had "exhausted all available resources."


Lerhman said that The Culture Pass will most likely be maintained by the Phoenix Art Museum, which launched the idea.  Culture Pass offers free admissions to museums and performances through Valley libraries.


The Ticket Marketplace has been replaced by the national website  Discussions continue to determine if and how the online calendar of arts and cultural events will be maintained.


"I am heartbroken because for me this was never a job," Lehrman told The Republic.  "This is a passion."

"Fiscal Cliff" Negotiations Pose Threat to Charitable Tax Deductions for Arts

Among the items included in the White House/Congressional negotiations to resolve the "fiscal cliff", are possible limits on the degree to which charitable contributions are tax deductible. Numerous studies show that if tax deductions are capped and charitable contributions are lumped in with other eligible deductions, charitable contributions will drop dramatically, dealing a critical blow to health and welfare agencies and nonprofit arts organizations. Private sector contributions to the arts are already at near-historic lows, and research from Americans for the Arts shows that higher income individuals (those most likely to be impacted by a limit on charitable deductions) tend to give more to the arts.  


Negotiations between President Obama and House Majority Leader John Boehner are reading a critical point.  Call or email the White House, (202)-456-1111 as soon as possible to deliver this message:


The President's limit on charitable deductions hurts front line nonprofits serving people in need and arts organizations contributing to the stability and vitality of our local communities. Don't hurt the helpers. Don't limit charitable deductions!    

 More information about this issue is available from the following sources:,, and Arts Blog USA .

You Can Make Our Day - Volunteer

Arts Congress, the Governor's Arts Awards and even our day-to-day activities running our office - Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts always has need of volunteers who'd like to help us meet our mission of serving the arts and culture community.  Visit our new Volunteer Page for more information and to sign up, or visit  and click on Get Connected.

Coming up soon: Arts Congress 2013, February 4 at the State Capitol, and the 2013 Governor's Arts Awards, March 6 at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix.

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In This Issue
Governor's Arts Awards Chair
Arts Congress, Feb 4.
Morning Scoop
Fiscal Cliff
Az Citizens

Organization Spotlight



Former Arizona Citizens for the Arts board member Dale Erquiaga, most recently a senior advisor to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, has been named Executive Director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation.


Erquiaga, who also chaired the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) told the New Times that his short-term goals are to continue Roosevelt Row's successful programming and fundraising activities, as well as oversee implementation of major national grants received by Roosevelt Row.


Foremost among the grants is a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" grant received jointly by Roosevelt Row, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and the ASU Art Museum. The "Our Town" program granted $5 million in 44 states to invest in creative placemaking activity that reinforces a "district's identity by improving the perception of safety, bringing artwork to the street and creating connections and access to established institutions."


 Rebecca Rothman, City of Phoenix Public Art Project Manager, is the grant manager.
Advocacy Spotlight

 All across our state,  Arizona mayors are recognizing that community excellence in the arts is an important contributor to building vibrant communities.  Recently, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who has consistently said that the arts are a priority for him, presented the first-ever "Mayor's Arts Awards" at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts. 


The awards recognize the cultural richness of Phoenix and the excellence of visual and performing arts in the community.


The honorees were: 

Scorpius Dance Theatre, Dance Organization Award

Downtown Chamber Series, Music Organization Award

Hugo Medina, Public Art Award

Rising Youth Theatre, Theatre Award

Eugene Grigsby, Visual Artist Award


For more information, visit


Further north, Adele Seronde received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 5th Annual Sedona Mayor's Arts Awards early this month in ceremonies at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.


Seronde, a painter, poet and environmentalist, focuses her efforts on animals and landscapes.  


Other honorees recognized by Mayor Rob Adams were the Sedona Film School, formerly the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking;  Patty Miller from the Sedona Visual Artists Coalition; and Fisher, who provided the seed money for the theater that carries her name and is the official home of the Sedona International Film Festival.


The awards ceremony is a project of the Sedona Arts and Culture Commission in partnership with businesses, local government and the arts community.
Dates to Remember
Morning Scoop
January 29, 2013

Arts Congress
February 4, 2013

Governor's Arts Awards
March 6, 2013 
AzCA LogoColor
Board of Directors


Joel Hiller  

President, Arizona Citizens 

Brenda Bernardi 

Vice President, Arizona Citizens 

  Tom Chapman

Vice President, Arizona Action

Karen Falkenstrom


Dawn Brown 


Jeff Rich 


Steve Martin 

Past President, Arizona Citizens  

Barbara Fenster

Chair, Membership Committee

Lynn Tuttle
Chair, Finance Committee 



Allan Affeldt  

Winslow Arts Trust 

Jason Baran

Salt River Project
Representative Kate Brophy McGee

Arizona House of Representatives
Jennifer Burns

Consulting & Policy Development 

Sam Campana  

Audobon Arizona

Bill DeWalt

Musical Instrument Museum

Mary Dryden

Tucson Symphony Orchestra League  

Representative Steve Farley 

Arizona House of Representatives

Mark Feldman

Miller-Russell & Associates

Phillip C. Jones

Community Volunteer 

Cathy Knapp  

Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP 

Robert Knight 

Tucson Museum of Art
Kate Marquez

Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance

Rick Pfannenstiel

 Pfocus, LLC
Jackie Thrasher

Retired Arts Educator