The transition from one decade into the next is traditionally a period of reflection on the past and planning for the future. In this spirit, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will ring in the 2020s with a community-engaged renovation of our flagship grant program, the Community Investment Grant.
Community Investment Grants (CIG) provide operating support to Arizona nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and tribal cultural organizations, whose primary mission is to produce, present, teach, or serve the arts. Awarded through a comprehensive application and public panel review processes, CIGs constitute over 65% of the Arts Commission’s annual grantmaking.
Since launching this iteration of our operating support program in 2012, the Arts Commission has awarded over $13 million dollars in CIGs to Arizona nonprofit arts organizations. On average, the CIG program provides meaningful support to 200+ organizations annually.
The 2020 renovation is intended to ensure that the program remains responsive to the evolving needs of Arizona’s arts sector, while bringing the program into closer alignment with the Arts Commission’s central mandate as it relates to equity, access, and geographic parity.
The CIG program renovation will follow the model the agency employed last year to renovate its Research & Development Grant (RDG) program. The RDG renovation was conducted via a partnership with the Arizona Community Foundation and engaged diverse panels of artists in dialogue, moderated by independent facilitators, about what artists need from Arts Commission support, barriers to access in our programs, and more equitable funding structures.
Lessons learned through the RDG renovation will inform the upcoming reimagining of the CIG program. Gathering and analyzing data from a variety of sources, listening to a broad spectrum of voices, while remaining committed to transparency, the Arts Commission will endeavor to make Community Investment Grants more relevant to the needs of the arts and culture sector, and distribute support more fairly and equitably throughout the state.
We look forward to sharing news and insights from this process over the coming year. We’ll also be offering many opportunities for Arizonans to participate in this effort and provide feedback. Watch this space!