A one-time investment of $5 million in support of Arizona’s arts sector is reaching communities throughout the state with today’s announcement of grants awarded to nonprofit organizations, festivals, and arts learning programs.

On August 23, 2023, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, announced 367 grant awards totaling $5,425,146. Grants were awarded to a diverse array of organizations and programs spread across the state, from world-class museums to rural arts centers, from an intergenerational community mural program in Nogales to the 40th Annual Grand Canyon Music Festival.

For a full list of grantees and their awards, click here.

Grants are awarded through a competitive application and review process. The Arts Commission reported a substantial increase in grant applications submitted this year, a reflection of the arts sector’s growth, diversification, and resilience.

Grants were awarded in four categories:

Creative Capacity Grants provide general operating support to arts and culture organizations of all sizes whose primary mission is to produce, present, teach, or serve the arts.

This year, 280 organizations were awarded Creative Capacity Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $57,500. Award amounts are based on the organization’s size and their application’s performance in the competitive review process. The number of organizations applying for Creative Capacity Grants increased  21% over last year, from 238 to 288.

Festival Grants support organizations in their efforts to provide quality arts and cultural programming through community festival activities. Grant awards range from $2,500 – $5,000.

Applications submitted for Festival Grants increased 62% this year over last. Ultimately, 64 organizations were awarded funding in this grant cycle, up from 35 last year.

Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants support projects that foster meaningful arts learning experiences in community settings for adult learners of any age.

Youth Arts Engagement Grants support programs focused on young people ages 24 and under that occur outside of traditional school hours.

The Arts Commission administers two rounds of Lifelong Arts Engagement Grants and Youth Arts Engagement Grants each year. The agency is now accepting applications for the second round of grants through September 14, 2023.

Application and Review Process

In accordance with the Arts Commission’s strategic plan and governing statutes, schools and nonprofit arts organizations are awarded grants based on such factors as organizational capacity, public benefit, and fiscal practices.

Grant applications are reviewed within rigorous panel processes which are open to applicants as well as the broader public. Review panels are chaired by Governor-appointed Commissioners and are composed of diverse community leaders, educators, arts administrators, and working artists from rural, urban, and suburban areas throughout Arizona.

Funding the Arts in Arizona

Positioned as a one-time appropriation from the State’s General Fund, the additional $5 million allocated to the Arts Commission for Fiscal Year 2024 budget represents a significant boost to the agency’s primary funding streams: the Arts Trust Fund, which contributes an average of $1.3 million to the agency’s annual budget, and a state partnership grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which contributes $940,000 on average.

Additionally, the agency received a $50,000 Community Grant from Wells Fargo this year to be distributed through the Creative Capacity Grant program.

These funds are distributed throughout the state as grants, but also in the form of programs and services that contribute to the growth and stabilization of Arizona’s arts sector, enhance student learning, nurture artists’ creative and professional development, and preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities.