For Immediate Release
November 14, 2016

Contact: Steve Wilcox
[email protected]

Arizona Commission on the Arts Deputy Director Elected to Board of Grantmakers in the Arts

The Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, is pleased to announce that the agency’s Deputy Director, Jaime Dempsey, has been elected to serve on the board of directors for Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a national association of public and private arts and culture funders. Dempsey’s addition to the board coincides with the completion of Robert C. Booker’s term as Chair of the GIA board of directors. Booker is Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Grantmakers in the Arts is the only national association of both public and private arts and culture funders in the US, including independent and family foundations, public agencies, community foundations, corporate philanthropies, nonprofit regrantors, and national service organizations across the US and into Canada. GIA provides leadership and service that advances the use of philanthropic and governmental resources to support the advancement of arts and culture.

“The Arizona Commission on the Arts is widely recognized as one of the nation’s boldest and most innovative public funders of the arts,” said Steve Wilcox, Communications Director for the Arts Commission. “Dempsey’s election to GIA’s board of directors following Booker’s tenure is an acknowledgement of the vital role that Arizona’s state arts agency and its leaders play in arts sector thought leadership at a national level. In addition to bringing her considerable experience and expertise in all aspects of the arts funding ecosystem to GIA’s board, Dempsey ensures that a distinctly southwestern perspective is represented in the highly influential national organization.”

Jaime Dempsey is Deputy Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona that provides leadership, services, and grants supporting a statewide arts and culture sector. Prior to joining the Arts Commission, Dempsey developed community programs and partnerships as the first program manager for the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, where she also taught courses in arts leadership and nonprofit arts management. Previously, she managed programs for Idaho’s nexStage theatre and Sun Valley Center for the Arts. Dempsey has served on the board of directors for DataArts (formerly Cultural Data Project) since 2012, and recently completed board service with Phoenix LGBTQ Pride. In alignment with her passion for public policy and community empowerment, Dempsey recently completed a fellowship with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership’s Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. Dempsey studied theatre and anthropology at Arizona State University.

Robert Booker is the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Before accepting the position in Arizona in 2006, he served as the Executive Director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, Prior to his State Arts Council work, he worked for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the education division. He has served as President of the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), as a trustee for the Western States Arts Federation and Arts Midwest, the Minnesota Museum Educators Association, Arts over Aids and the Minnesota AIDS Project. Booker currently serves on the board of the National Center for Creative Aging, is Co-Chairman of the arts committee for the Arizona Mexico Commission and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy at the Arizona Community Foundation.


About the Arizona Commission on the Arts

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 49-year-old agency of the State of Arizona and a leading force in the creative and professional development of Arizona’s arts sector. Through robust programs, research initiatives, and strategic grantmaking, the Arts Commission catalyzes arts-based partnerships that strengthen Arizona communities through the arts.

For more information about the grants, services and programs of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, visit

We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

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To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact the Arts Commission offices at (602) 771-6502.

Images available upon request.