Unlocking Arizona’s Creative Potential

This year, as the Arizona Commission on the Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are proud to launch NextAZ, a visionary planning initiative designed to unleash the power of the arts in realizing Arizona’s brightest future.

Through innovative programs, strategic investment, exploration and convenings, NextAZ will empower communities to activate creative assets and co-create ideas to fuel Arizona’s next 50 years.

NextAZ activities put you at the center, focusing on…

  • LISTENING to your stories, your triumphs and aspirations;
  • LEARNING about your unique talents, and your community’s challenges and opportunities; and
  • LEVERAGING – lending our creative and collaborative skills to help Arizonans, and Arizona communities, achieve their most significant goals.

Our NextAZ begins today. Let’s create it together.

This area of the website will become home to invitations and information related to NextAZ community programming, research, and grantmaking, to result in innovative creative activities and products, intra- and cross-sector partnerships, publications, policy papers, interactive online tools, and an agency plan.

Visit this page for news and updates.



NextAZ begins with you – your voice, your values, and your imagination. You live and learn and work here. You make things happen. You build, explore, and innovate. In so many ways, you are a creative Arizonan.

So we want to know: what, or where, is your creative spark?

Your stories, talent, and dreams drive NextAZ. We want to learn from and with you. Your Creative Spark submissions help us to better understand your perspectives and aspirations, and consider changes to our service in response.

Below are just a few submissions we’ve already received. We hope you’ll share yours!


“Sandhill Crane” by Ashley Coll

I am a professional artist living in Tucson and my current work is inspired by the beauty I find in the landscape and local flora and fauna or in this case “fowla”. This is my latest painting part of a series depicting birds of Arizona.

Chris Boyd on Transforming Youth & Communities Through Art

We are constantly exploring the potential of creativity to alter the socially constructed reality of the world around us. We seek to collectively develop workshops, events, training, and opportunities to assist individuals and organizations with the process of promoting transformative change and arts based healing in the form of Socially Engaged Imagination.

“My Sekret War” by Rina Jajra

Glendale writer/actor/filmmaker Rina Hajra tells us about her first film, “My Sekret War,” a war drama set in 1990’s southeast Europe.

Elena Thornton on Advancing Community through Arts and Culture

“Arizona Consortium for the Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, all volunteer, community organization. The consortium’s vision is to establish a multicultural, multidisciplinary arts space/center. The center will provide a home for all activities and foster artistic growth for people of all ages through the participation in the arts.”

“Downtown Tucson Gazebo at la Placita Park” by Eric Jabloner

“From 2011 – 2014 a three year journey to document the architectural aspects of Tucson arizona. The Barrio to its landmarks. The joy of also inspiring other Tucson artists to do the same.”

“Driving by the fence in Agua Prieta” by M. Jenea Sanchez

“Creativity is always present in this place and it’s beautiful to witness the will of the artist claim this highly politicized border as a site for art practice.”

View all submissions »