July/August Newsletter
From the Executive Director

Dear Friends,


As you can see on the screen in front of you, Arizona Citizens for the Arts is launching the new fiscal year a new, fresh and dynamic "look." That means sharper graphics in our newsletter and e-communications, a website that is easier to navigate, and more timely information than ever on the issues that impact arts, culture and arts education in Arizona. 



All of these changes are designed with the sole objective of enabling us to be an even more effective voice as we carry forward our campaign to earn Arizona arts and culture the respect and community investment it deserves.


We invite you to recall how active we were in Fiscal Year 2015 by reviewing our newly-published "Year in Review". Read the articles online or download the PDF. I think you'll agree that Arizona Citizens for the Arts is prepared in Fiscal Year 2016 to build on a solid foundation of advocacy, outreach and relationship-building.


This year, we will return to the Arizona State Legislature and, despite the challenges we faced in FY15, we'll be working even harder with our legislative friends to restore funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts.


We'll keep building our relationship with the business community in search of new ways to encourage support for arts and culture. And we will activate our Arts Education and Advocacy Outreach Initiative to support a number of local school districts that will take bond issues and override requests to the ballot this fall.


By next summer, we will launch our voter and candidate education efforts for the 2016 elections, focusing on the State Legislature, but also monitoring local and federal elections. All year long we also will be in the community and the media vigorously promoting the public value of arts, culture and arts education in the economy and community life in Arizona.


Over the next several months we'll also be refining our new "communications" look, and we welcome your suggestions for improvements.


Most importantly, we appreciate your continued involvement in our advocacy efforts and, as always, we also appreciate your financial support which does so much to sustain us.  





Catherine "Rusty" Foley



What's Inside


Stay Updated

City of Phoenix Elections are August 25

Early voting has begun for the August 2015 Mayor and City Council election. Phoenix voters will elect a Mayor and council members representing Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7. Voters in Phoenix will head to the polls on August 25. If needed, a runoff election is scheduled Nov. 3.


Those up for reelection include Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who is being opposed by Anna Maria Brennan and Matt Jette.


Council candidates running for reelection are Thelda Williams (District 1), Bill Gates (District 2), Daniel Valenzuela (District 5) and Michael Nowakowski (District 7.    Running against them are Sabrina Price (District 1),  Michelle Lombino (District 3); Felix Garcia and Michael Aaron Gidwani (District 5); and Barbara A. Hunt and Sean N. Shields (District 7)...


Pima County voters will decide fate 

of $815 million bond program this fall

Arts and culture venues as well as parks and recreation facilities stand to be huge beneficiaries if Pima County voters approve three of the seven County Bond propositions on the Nov. 3 ballot.


Supporters also project that voter approval of the entire bond package will create thousands of new construction jobs,and provide significant economic benefits for Pima County whose population is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years.


Key ballot propositions for arts and culture supporters are:



Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) 

preserves arts education as "core subject"

Teachers and students moved a step closer to the end of the No Child Left Behind era when the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) in June.  Contained in the bipartisan legislation crafted by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are 11 arts-friendly provisions, according to Americans for the Arts. 


The Senate will now need to work with the U. S. House of Representatives on a final bill that can be signed into law.  The House passed its own bill (H.R.5) earlier in June, but without any Democratic support. That version contained two "pro-arts" provisions, but does not retain arts as a core academic subject...


Prop 104, the MovePhx Initiative, 

supports Phoenix's future quality of life

Between now and August 25, Phoenix voters also will have the chance to vote on Proposition 104, a proposal to create a 0.7 cent sales tax to fund $23 billion in transportation improvements that also will include public art enhancements to further stimulate local community and economic development. 


The tax will replace the current 0.4 percent sales tax, and enable the city to expand the light rail system to the south and west, build a connection to the ASU West campus, and build a streetcar around downtown Phoenix.  Bus frequency will increase by 70 percent and a "Bus Rapid Transit" will be developed along some of downtown's heaviest routes...




New Arizona arts standards adopted 

by state board of education


"Artistic literacy" -- the ability of students to create art, perform and present art, respond or critique art and connect art to their lives and the world around them - is at the heart of the Revised Arizona Academic Standards in the Arts for K-12 schools.


Adopted this spring by the Arizona State Board of Education, the new standards are being introduced to Arizona schools during the 2015-16 school year with full implementation the following year. Trainings and webinars will be offered by the Arizona Department of Education...  


Arizona groups win grants to support 
nationwide Latino history project

Seven Arizona institutions are among more than 200 libraries, museums and other nonprofit organizations nationwide who have been awarded Latino Americans: 500 Years of History programming grants totaling more than $1 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Library Association.


Arizona organizations receiving grants are the Arizona Historical Society (Tucson), Arizona Humanities Council (Phoenix), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum (Miami), Chandler Gilbert Community College, City of Chandler Public Library and Phoenix Public Library Association...



National Endowment for the Arts wants to hear your story

During the 50th anniversary year of the signing of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, which created the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities, they want to tell your story.


Beginning Sept. 29, the date President Lyndon Johnson signed the Act, the NEA will begin posting stories on its website and across social media. 


Member News: Phoenix Center for the Arts hits the big 4-0
That the Phoenix Center for the Arts made it to its 40th anniversary is a milestone on its own.  In 2011, City of Phoenix budget cuts put the Center on the list to be closed.


But the community wouldn't let that happen, organizing, forming committees and speaking in one very loud voice.  The Center's operations were turned over to an existing nonprofit, the Phoenix Center for the Arts Association.  With the change, the Center went from a foundation for the arts in Phoenix to a dynamic community center for the visual and performing arts...


Advocacy Update

Frustrated over the state of education funding in Arizona? 

This fall there may be something that you can do in your very own neighborhood for
your local public school. Many school districts all over our state will hold elections in November that usually get very little attention. These are special elections either to authorize bonds to fund school district capital expenses, or so-called "override" elections which allow local schools to assess local tax adjustments that put money directly into local classrooms... 

Sponsor Spotlight: CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

Founded in 1925, CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company, a leading advocate of workplace safety, also promotes community health.


In the last three years, CopperPoint donated more than $250,000 to direct scholarship or educational programs, and made more than $6.4 million loans and grants to various K-12 inner-city schools for improvements and expansion.  In that time, the company also contributed $239,000 to organizations supporting young entrepreneurs and youth outreach...  


Board of Directors


Michael Vargas, Arizona Public Service


Thomas Wilson, Arizona Museum of Natural History, Vice President

Phil Jones, Retired Arts Administrator


Rick Pfannenstiel, Pfocus, LLC


Laurie Goldstein, Freescale Semiconductor


Vincent VanVleet, Phoenix Theatre


Suzanne Walden-Wells, DMB Associates Inc., Member-At-Large





Allan Affeldt, Winslow Arts Trust

Representative Kate Brophy McGee, Arizona House of Representatives

Jennifer Burns, Consulting and Policy Development

Sam Campana, Chair Emeritus

Tom Chapman, Arts Advocate

Andrea Dillenburg, Tucson Symphony

Senator Steve Farley, Arizona State Senate

Mark Feldman, Miller-Russell & Associates, LLC

Chuck Goldstein, EMCARE

Laurie Goldstein, Freescale Semiconductor




Cindy Gresser, Smoki Museum

Joel Hiller, Yavapai Indian Cultural Center

Anne Kleindienst, Polsinelli P.C.

Robert Knight, Tucson Museum of Art

Steve Martin, Childsplay 

Bernadette Mills, West Valley Arts Council

Yvonne Montoya, SAFOS Dance Theatre

Maureen O'Brien, Musical Instrument Museum

Jeff Rich, Rich-Gillis Law Group

Leah Fregulia Roberts, Arizona School for the Arts

Lynn Tuttle, Arizona Department of Education