July 15, 2019 

Contact: Steve Wilcox
[email protected]

The Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, announced today that Gabriela Muñoz has been hired in a new role with the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts’ National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation at Arizona State University, and will leave her Artist Programs Manager position at the end of July. The Arts Commission has opened a public search to fill the vacancy.

Gabriela Muñoz joined the staff of the Arts Commission in December 2015. As Artist Programs Manager, Muñoz led the agency’s AZ ArtWorker initiative, supported by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. In this initiative Muñoz worked alongside artists, educators, and arts administrators to provide opportunities for artist-to-artist professional development and cross-community dialogue. Working closely with partners in Phoenix, Tucson, the border town of Douglas, and in the Tohono O’odham Nation community of Sells, Muñoz developed responsive, culturally-relevant programs that engaged hundreds of Arizona artists.

In 2018 Muñoz set about redesigning the Arts Commission’s Research & Development Grant (R&D Grant). With support from Arizona Community Foundation (ACF), Muñoz conducted an extensive review of the program, soliciting input from Arizona artists representing communities that had been historically under-represented in the program’s applicant pool. Based on their feedback, Muñoz restructured the application and review process to encourage greater diversity of applicants and a more equitable distribution of funds. As a result, the agency received twice as many applications as it had the previous year and as part of a partnership with ACF, doubled the number of R&D Grant recipients.

“Gabriela has been an extraordinary colleague and contributor, providing such valuable leadership in our efforts to reimagine artist-focused programs as an authentic dialogue with Arizona artists, makers, and tradition bearers,” said Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director at the Arts Commission. “She is always adaptive, collaborative, and courageous, and never loses sight of the goal: to center artists’ voices in work relevant to their needs and advancement. We are grateful for her service to the state via the Arts Commission and look forward to partnering with Gabriela in her new role, in new ways.”

Alongside the announcement of Muñoz’s departure, the Arts Commission has issued a call for applicants for the Artist Programs Manager position.

The Artist Programs Manager provides thought leadership, conceptual and managerial oversight related to programs supporting individual artists practicing in diverse creative disciplines across Arizona.

The position’s responsibilities include but are not limited to: artist professional development programming, project management for the AZ ArtWorker initiative, the Artist Research and Development grant program, and engagement with international, national, state, regional and community-level arts networks.

In alignment with the Arts Commission’s mission, the Artist Programs Manager is expected to prioritize ethical engagement and active dialogue with an array of artists, and persistently drive toward increased transparency and a more equitable distribution of resources.

The ideal candidate is a creative, energetic individual who values the agency’s mission and authentic community participation. The ideal candidate also has experience working alongside artists, arts workers, and community representatives to plan multipart projects, and possesses strong leadership skills, the ability to engage others in productive collaboration, and an interest in ongoing learning.

The full job description and application instructions are posted at http://azarts.gov/news/artist-programs-manager/.