We are pleased to announce that Governor Ducey has signed HB2051, reauthorizing the Arizona Commission on the Arts as an agency of the State of Arizona for eight years. This is the fifth time the agency has been reauthorized since its establishment in 1967.

Before reaching the Governor’s desk, HB2051, which was sponsored by Representative Justin Wilmuth, passed out of each of its committees with unanimous 8-year recommendations for continuation, then passed out of the House, 44 to 14, and out of the Senate, 28 to 1.

In reauthorizing the Arts Commission as a state agency, the Governor and legislature have reaffirmed the vital role that Arizona’s arts sector has to play in building Arizona’s brightest future. Engagement in the arts fosters creativity and creativity is among our most abundant natural resources, a wellspring of renewable energy that fuels innovation, economic development, community cohesion, and personal well-being.

Through the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the State of Arizona invests in the creative potential and capacity of Arizona’s communities.

Though the Arts Commission has a 55-year record of exemplary service and enjoys strong bi-partisan support in the legislature, reauthorization was not guaranteed. This outcome is a direct result of the combined efforts of artists, educators, administrators, board members, and arts advocates across the state.

On behalf of the Arts Commission’s staff and board of commissioners, we’d like to express our deepest gratitude to Arizona Citizens for the Arts for their partnership in this effort, and their leadership in coordinating this statewide network of arts supporters. Our thanks to all who participated.

Even with reauthorization passed, these tireless champions of arts and culture remain hard at work, encouraging their representatives in the House and Senate to support a $5 million ongoing allocation from the State’s General Fund to the Arizona Commission on the Arts in Fiscal Year 2023 and beyond. Such a commitment would afford the agency year-over-year stability it has not known since before the great recession and ensure the agency’s capacity to provide meaningful support to a growing statewide arts sector.

If you are curious how you can participate in this effort, visit the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website: https://azcitizensforthearts.org/arts-advocacy-center/legislativeactioncenter/

Finally, as we celebrate our reauthorization, the staff and board of the Arizona Commission on the Arts renew our commitment to the people and organizations that comprise Arizona’s arts sector. We are proud to support the amazing work you do to serve your communities through the arts. Thank you for all that you do. Together, we can imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

With sincere gratitude,

Anne L’Ecuyer
Executive Director
Arizona Commission on the Arts

Mark Feldman
Board Chair
Arizona Commission on the Arts