On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the recipients of the first round of grantmaking for fiscal year 2017. 12 Arizona arts programs are among the recipients. Collectively they were awarded $185,000.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts congratulates all of this round’s grant recipients and thanks them for their contributions to Arizona’s communities.

Fiscal Year 2017

Categories Awarded: Art Works, Art Works: Creativity Connects, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships in Poetry. The grant category is listed with each recommended grant.

Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival (aka Grand Canyon Music Festival)
$15,000 Grand Canyon, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Arts Education

To support the Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP). Navajo, Hopi and Salt River Pima Maricopa Reservation students will study one-on-one with a Native American composer-in-residence, creating original compositions to be recorded and performed by a professional quartet. NACAP students will participate in a complete composer experience from inspiration to notation, to performance and recording of their own works. Students will rehearse directly with professional ensembles and the ensembles will perform the students’ compositions at venues such as the Navajo Nation and Heard Museums and other community centers, as well as at the Grand Canyon Music Festival.

City of Litchfield Park, Arizona (On behalf of Community and Recreation Services Department)
$10,000 Litchfield Park, AZ
Grant Category: Challenge America

To support the Litchfield Park Native American Fine Arts Festival. A juried visual art exhibit will feature the work of as many as 100 Native American master artists. Festival activities will also include artist demonstrations and performances such as storytelling and hoop dancing, drumming and music performances, and art-making activities for children. Guest artist and Grammy-nominated Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai and his quartet will perform at the festival.

Phoenix Film Foundation
$10,000 Phoenix, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Media Arts

To support the 2017 Phoenix Film Festival. Dedicated to supporting the artistic appreciation, educational opportunities, and growth of independent film in Arizona, the festival showcases independent short and feature films, documentaries, and international cinema. Free educational seminars with visiting artists, children’s filmmaking events, and arts awareness programs will accompany the festival’s offerings. Previously screened works include “Miss India America” by Ravi Kapoor, “Frances Ha” by Noah Baumbach, and “Sunshine Superman” by Marah Strauch.

Scottsdale Cultural Council
$30,000 Scottsdale, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Local Arts Agencies

To support Canal Convergence: Water + Art + Light, a public art project within Arizona’s canal network, and associated outreach activities. Produced as a partnership between the local cultural council and public utility company, the program will activate an urban space with public arts and cultural engagement. Canal Convergence will feature temporary, interactive art installations through commissioned work by local and international artists. Additionally, educational and community programming will include a variety of arts workshops as well as activities designed to address topics such as water conservation and sustainability.

Childsplay, Inc. (aka Childsplay)
$10,000 Tempe, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Theater & Musical Theater

To support a production of “The Yellow Boat.” The play was written by Childsplay Founder David Saar and is based on the life of his son Benjamin, who was born with congenital hemophilia and died in 1987 at the age of eight of AIDS-related complications. The play shares a story about the power of imagination, love, and family in the face of grief and addresses topics including illness and death in a way that is developmentally appropriate for young people. “The Yellow Boat” will be performed for students and families at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Performances on weekends will be open to the public and weekday matinees will serve a diverse crosssection of elementary and middle school students in Arizona.

Santa Cruz Valley Art Association (aka Tubac Center of the Arts)
$10,000 Tubac, AZ
Grant Category: Challenge America

To support the community-wide Santa Cruz Valley Open Studio Tour. The program will include a tour of local artists’ studios throughout lower Pima County and Santa Cruz County. The tour will also include a preview of an exhibition by the same local Arizona artists. The Open Studios Tour will be expanded this year to the Spanishspeaking Arizona cities of Sahuarita and Nogales. The tours will be offered in Spanish, with an accompanying bilingual catalogue, website, and workshops to provide a wide array of experiences for the Latino audience.

Borderlands Theater Teatro Fronterizo, Inc. (aka BorderlandsTheater)
$10,000 Tucson, AZ
Grant Category: Challenge America

To support “Shooting Columbus,” a new theater work. A collaborative effort between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Arizona artists will combine elements from interviews with tribal elders and community members with movement, media, and traditional theater for a site-based, immersive, interactive performance. The guest artists are members of the Shooting Columbus Collective, a group of artists of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Following development of this new theater work, the artists will be joined by traditional Indigenous dancers and musicians from the Tohono O’odham and Pascua-Yaqui nations for a public performance.

Kore Press, Inc. (aka Kore Press)
$10,000 Tucson, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Literature

To support the publication and promotion of a new poetry collection, as well as activities to promote a recent anthology. The press plans to publish a book of poetry by Sueyeun Juliette Lee. In addition, the press will conduct extended outreach and publicity for its recent publication “Letters to Our Future: An Anthology of Innovative Writing by Black Women,” including developing new digital content for an online archive.

Loft Cinema, Inc. (aka The Loft Cinema)
$30,000 Tucson, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Media Arts

To support the 2017 Loft Film Fest and related programming. Showcasing classic and contemporary documentary, narrative, short, and animated films, the festival’s screenings will be accompanied by panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions with artists, producers, directors, actors, writers, and critics. In addition to the festival, the Loft Film Fest on the Road program will offer free screenings at museums, schools, and community centers in southern Arizona, intended to serve audiences including immigrant and Native American communities.

Tucson Museum of Art (aka Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block)
$10,000 Tucson, AZ
Grant Category: Challenge America

To support a series of community events featuring regional artists. Visual artists Kimi Eisele, Eli Burke, and Beth Whitfield will each develop and lead an engaging art event based on his or her own specific process and approach. The artists will select a piece of artwork from the museum to be the inspiration for these activities. The each event will be held in the museum plaza to create a casual atmosphere and welcoming space. The program will serve the low-income community and provide a free, engaging and inviting environment for all audience members.
Tucson Symphony Society (aka Tucson Symphony Society)
$15,000 Tucson, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Arts Education

To support the Young Composers Project (YCP). Elementary through high school students learn to compose original works for orchestra by working with professional composers and musicians. Students regularly interact with the professional musicians and ensembles, writing sketches for these professionals and receiving critique and input. The young composers learn basic theory, ear training, score reading, and use Finale software in the YCP lab. The program culminates in public reading sessions of the students’ original works performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and the TSO String Quartet.

University of Arizona
$25,000 Tucson, AZ
Grant Category: Art Works – Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works

To support Project Together at the ArtWorks Studio. Project Together provides opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to articulate grief for the death of a parent, caregiver, or a close family member through artmaking in disciplines such as dance and visual arts.The program will integrate expressive arts with community processes including peer support groups and an art exhibit, where individuals receive multiple opportunities for expression, reflection, and connection during the grieving process.

Images (left to right): The Loft Cinema (photo courtesy of the Loft Cinema, Tucson); Annual Litchfield Park Native American Fine Arts Festival (photo courtesy of City of Litchfield Park); NACAP composer-in-residence Raven Chacon working with students at Chinle High School (photo courtesy of Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival).