The AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI) offers small teams, made up of diverse members of your community, a unique opportunity to explore the many ways creativity can be put to work for positive community impact. AZ CCI teams will become members of an active learning network, with opportunities to learn from and with local and national experts, as well as peers from other Arizona cities/towns and neighborhoods.

The AZ CCI will take place over 12 months, and will include:

  1. AZ CCI Learning Sessions: Four 2-day AZ CCI gatherings in the Phoenix area. Learning sessions are designed to provide each team with knowledge, skills, and tools to select and collaborate with an artist and implement creative community listening and engagement strategies.
  1. Embedded Artist Residency: A 5-month residency to take place in your community. The focus and format of each artist residency will be collaboratively-designed once selected artists join each team.
  1. Targeted Trainings: Up to 2 half-day site visits in AZ CCI team communities, as well as interactive web-based training or mentorship calls. Teams will have the opportunity to identify areas for customized training and learning to aid in goal implementation.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (ASU HIDA), with guidance from Southwest Folklife Alliance, are seeking applications from teams representing Arizona cities/towns and neighborhoods to participate in the inaugural AZ Creative Communities Institute.

The AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI) offers small teams, made up of diverse members of your community, a unique opportunity to explore the many ways creativity can be put to work for positive community impact.

AZ CCI teams will become members of an active learning network, with opportunities to learn from and with local and national experts, as well as peers from other Arizona cities/towns and neighborhoods.

AZ CCI Call for Community Partners

The application period for the AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI) is now closed. The Guidelines below are provided only for reference.

AZ CCI Call for Community Partners

The application guidelines provide a complete overview of the AZ Creative Communities Institute, eligibility and team composition requirements, and step-by-step application instructions. Please review the application guidelines thoroughly before applying.

Maribel Alvarez

Elizabeth Burden

Leia Maahs

Maria Rosario Jackson

Liz Lerman

Michael Rohd

David Martinez III

Michael Soto

Sarah Sullivan

Xanthia Walker

Diverse teams representing Arizona cities/towns or neighborhoods, were invited to apply. Nine were selected to participate.


AZCCI: Team Yuma

Our project will culminate with 3 "paint by number" murals placed in strategic areas of Yuma County including south county, the foothills and Yuma central. The murals will be created at unique events set up at each site and members of the greater Yuma community will receive "golden ticket" invitations (art summons) to attend the event an paint a portion of the mural.

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AZCCI: Team Tempe

Tempe Playlist: Saturn Sessions is a locally-inspired audio project that will capture and celebrate the talents of local creatives (musicians, poets, spoken word artists, emcees, singers and storytellers) who live, work and/or study within the 85283 and 85284 zip codes. The objective of this project is to highlight the diverse sounds of these artists and connect them to a broader audience.

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AZCCI: Team South Phoenix

Team South Phoenix's project will be an effort to strengthen our community by connecting local Artists with local organization and the demographics they serve in a joint effort to beautify their respective spaces. While doing so providing interested artists an introductory to working with grants and raising awareness to resources said organizations offer. Ten artists will be selected and paired with one of two locations based on their preference.

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AZCCI: Team Globe

Story Collection Project: Globe-Miami is full of interesting stories and exciting people. To help bridge social, racial and generational divides that keep our area from achieving its potential, the Globe Team has decided to launch a video story collection project. The story collection will begin with the painted rocks grassroots project “Globe Rocks” which involves painting and hiding rocks locally. Painted rock story jams will serve as prompts for story collection.

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AZCCI: Team Flagstaff

A Flagstaff Team made up of employees from Coconino County Victim Witness,Coconino County Adult Probation, and Creative Spirits Art Studio is bringing the community beautiful art. Our team desires to obtain a greater understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship and express that via art with community input.

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AZCCI: Team Eastlake

Sustainable brand creation in and of the historically rich Eastlake area by utilizing various art forms (walking/biking tour, community engagement jazz series, asset mapping and interactive website) to attract residents, Eastlake visitors and new audiences into the Eastlake areas to experience its cultural and historical assets, elevate positive perceptions and contribute to an inclusive and reimagined Eastlake.

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Casa Grande

A community engagement process culminating in a festival of creative experiences located in Historic Downtown's Arts and Culture District. The festival experience will reflect the vision of the Creative Communities Team, artists and residents who participate in this process.

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Barrio Anita

Archival research, community meetings and collection of oral histories will culminate in a two night event featuring large projections of oral histories, shadow theatre, heritage food demonstrations, mariachi performances, spoken word poetry, and interactive activities.

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AZ Creative Communities Institute is a program of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, with guidance from Southwest Folklife Alliance


AZ Creative Communities is funded in part by a grant from the Surdna Foundation, awarded to the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University as part of its Thriving Cultures grant program.