Unlocking Arizona’s Creative Potential

The Arts Commission launched the Next50 initiative in its 50th anniversary year (FY2017). Next50 was conceived as “a series of engagements designed to empower communities to activate creative assets and co-create ideas to fuel Arizona’s next 50 years.” Predicated on a desire to make the process itself valuable to Arizonans, Next50 engaged a broad array of stakeholders in “actively imagining and devising ways for the arts and culture sector to position arts, culture, and creative practice at the center of a new, more productive narrative about the future of Arizona.” Internally, the Arts Commission staff also framed Next50 as a one-year period of listening, learning, story-gathering, and research, which ultimately led to the NextAZ plan.

NextAZ activities put you at the center, focusing on…

  • LISTENING to your stories, your triumphs and aspirations;
  • LEARNING about your unique talents, and your community’s challenges and opportunities; and
  • LEVERAGING – lending our creative and collaborative skills to help Arizonans, and Arizona communities, achieve their most significant goals.

NextAZ is meant to be adaptive, an extension of articulated values, and iterative in terms of precise tactics—shaped by Arizonans’ participation and contributions, and leading to service implementation that can expand, deepen, or contract depending on funding realities and labor capacity in a given year.