The AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI) offers small teams, made up of diverse members of your community, a unique opportunity to explore the many ways creativity can be put to work for positive community impact. AZ CCI teams will become members of an active learning network, with opportunities to learn from and with local and national experts, as well as peers from other Arizona cities/towns and neighborhoods.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (ASU HIDA), with guidance from Southwest Folklife Alliance, are seeking applications from teams representing Arizona cities/towns and neighborhoods to participate in the inaugural AZ Creative Communities Institute.

The AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI) offers small teams, made up of diverse members of your community, a unique opportunity to explore the many ways creativity can be put to work for positive community impact.

AZ CCI teams will become members of an active learning network, with opportunities to learn from and with local and national experts, as well as peers from other Arizona cities/towns and neighborhoods.

The AZ CCI will take place over 12 months, and will include:

  1. AZ CCI Learning Sessions: Four 2-day AZ CCI gatherings in the Phoenix area. Learning sessions are designed to provide each team with knowledge, skills, and tools to select and collaborate with an artist and implement creative community listening and engagement strategies.
  1. Embedded Artist Residency: A 5-month residency to take place in your community. The focus and format of each artist residency will be collaboratively-designed once selected artists join each team.
  1. Targeted Trainings: Up to 2 half-day site visits in AZ CCI team communities, as well as interactive web-based training or mentorship calls. Teams will have the opportunity to identify areas for customized training and learning to aid in goal implementation.

Diverse teams representing Arizona cities/towns or neighborhoods, including those within Arizona’s tribal nations.

Teams must be made up 3-4 committed individuals who love their communities, are interested in learning, and can dedicate themselves to the duration of the AZ CCI.

Teams are expected to coordinate, facilitate, and promote the artist residency, site visits in the community, and other related public events. For this reason, it is critical that at least some team members possess the capacity to “authorize” such activities and can devote focused attention to the team’s work over the 12-month engagement.

Please review full application guidelines for more information on eligibility and team composition.

Maribel Alvarez
Associate Research Professor, School of Anthropology, and Associate Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona; Executive Director, Southwest Folklife Alliance; ASU Cultural Policy Fellow; Community Arts Expert

Liz Lerman
Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Founder, Dance Exchange; MacArthur “Genius” Grant Recipient

Maria Rosario Jackson
Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Senior Advisor, Arts and Culture Program at the Kresge Foundation; Expert in Urban Planning and Community Revitalization

Michael Rohd
Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Founding Artistic Director, Sojourn Theatre; Executive Director, Center for Performance in Civic Practice

  • David Martinez III
    Advocacy & Outreach Specialist, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance; Vice-Chair, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Policy Council
  • Sarah Sullivan
    Co-Founder/Artistic Director, Rising Youth Theatre
  • Ashley Hare
    Managing Director, Rising Youth Theatre
  • Xanthia Walker
    Co-Founder/Artistic Director, Rising Youth Theatre
  • Michael Soto
    Community Organizer and Policy Advisor on Equity and Community Justice

Deadline: 11:59pm, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Brad DeBiase
Operations & Special Initiatives Coordinator
Arizona Commission on the Arts
(602) 771-6502
bdebiase@azarts.gov 

The application period for the AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI) is now closed.

The application deadline was 11:59pm, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Guidelines below are provided only for reference.

AZ CCI Call for Community Partners

The application guidelines provide a complete overview of the AZ Creative Communities Institute, eligibility and team composition requirements, and step-by-step application instructions. Please review the application guidelines thoroughly before applying.

Q: The general timing of the AZ CCI Learning Sessions makes a difference as to how we compose our team, in terms of whether sessions are likely to take place during the week or on weekends. When will the Learning Sessions be scheduled?

A: All of the Learning Sessions are likely to take place on Fridays and Saturdays. In fact, Learning Sessions 1 and 2 (of 4), have now been scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 25-26, and Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2017.

Q: The community I reside in has a population under 125,000, is not an incorporated city or town, and/or does not have a municipal government or paid staff. Are we eligible?

A: Yes. You have already taught us a lot about the variety of governance structures in Arizona communities! If you live in a community that is unincorporated and/or does not have a designated municipal government or paid employees, you are encouraged to consider other forms of elected or appointed leadership in your community as you compose your team. Perhaps your county officials might participate, or you have an elected community college board, or maybe your town has a community council that authorizes certain activities. You might also consider leadership provided by neighborhood or merchant associations, tourism and visitors committees, et cetera. The point is to ensure that teams have members with some authority over and experience with city/town or neighborhood processes and systems, such that once a team establishes goals and strategies, it can move forward without extraordinary impediments. For more information about ideal team characteristics, check out the AZ CCI Call for Community Partners.

Q: My community already has a specific arts-based project in mind. Can the AZ CCI program provide us with funding to support it?

A: Possibly. Additional funding will be available to the selected teams to coordinate, promote, and implement AZ CCI program components. To be clear though, the AZ CCI is not a project grant. The AZ CCI is meant to provide collaborative learning opportunities for selected teams, who will invite artists to co-design community-engaged residencies in and with cities/towns or neighborhoods. It is possible you will collectively decide to pursue something similar to the project you already have in mind, but it is far more likely that your team will find fresh inspiration and discover new opportunities in the AZ CCI process.

Q: How many teams will be selected to participate in the AZ CCI?

A: Between 7-9 teams will be selected.

Q: Who do I contact if I’m confused or stuck or need a sounding board?

A: Start with Brad DeBiase at (602) 771-6501 or bdebiase@azarts.gov and he will route your inquiry to the right person.