January 22, 2014
Contact: Steve Wilcox

Arts Commission Invests $111,000 in Grants to Arts Organizations in Small & Rural Arizona Communities

PHOENIX, AZ (January 22, 2014). In January 2014, the Governor-appointed board of the Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded $111,000 in Community Catalyst Grants to 13 arts organizations based in small and rural communities throughout the state. This highly-competitive grant program awards funding of up to $10,000 to support community-focused partnerships between arts and non-arts organizations in Arizona towns and cities with populations under 100,000.

Made possible by a one-time state budget allocation for Fiscal Year 2014, the Community Catalyst Grant program was designed to make significant investment in Arizona’s small and rural communities through local arts organization-led partnerships.

“Partnerships between arts and non-arts organizations can be effective drivers of economic development, cultural tourism, civic pride, neighborhood revitalization, and youth engagement,” says Arts Commission Executive Director Robert Booker. “An investment in such partnerships is really an investment in the whole community.”

Applications were reviewed through a rigorous process led by Governor-appointed Commissioners. Funding recommendations were made by a panel comprised of volunteer experts and experienced practitioners from around the state. The panel met on January 8, 2014 at the Arizona Commission on the Arts offices.

The 2014 Community Catalyst Grant recipients are:
Arts for Border Children (Douglas); The Bisbee Radio Project (Bisbee); Canyon Movement Company (Flagstaff); Casa Grande Arts and Humanities Commission (Casa Grande); Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts (Wickenburg); Dry Creek Arts Fellowship (Flagstaff); Flagstaff Cultural Partners (Flagstaff); Grand Canyon Music Festival (Grand Canyon); Old Town Center for the Arts (Cottonwood); Safos Dance Theatre (Tucson); Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts (Nogales); Topock Art Guild (Topock); Williams Alliance for the Arts (Williams)

Community Catalyst Grantees:

Arts for Border Children will partner with Chiricahua Community Health Centers to install permanent, site-specific public artwork throughout its Pediatric Center of Excellence (PCE) in the rural, underserved community of Douglas, Arizona. The installation will not only establish a “playfully engaging, visually stimulating atmosphere”, but will also provide a highly visible centerpiece for community outreach efforts. Arts for Border Children will also provide related art education opportunities to local youths centered on the project.

The Bisbee Radio Project will partner with the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum to develop a mobile application that will provide a depot for all content related to their continuing Copper Chronical project. This collaboration has already successfully produced more than 35 programs in its first year, but will expand to reach a new demographic and drive a new form of economic development and cultural tourism in Bisbee.

Canyon Movement Company will partner with Flagstaff Northern Arizona Parkinson’s Support Group to provide dance/movement opportunities for Parkinson’s patients through the Dance for Parkinson’s program. The classes will be designed to engage the participants’ minds and bodies, and create an enjoyable, social environment that emphasizes dancing while contributing to physical therapy.

Casa Grande Arts and Humanities Commission will partner with the Casa Grande Main Street Program on the development of a Railroad Art Plaza in the Casa Grande Historic Downtown. This public art plaza will commemorate the railroad’s history in Casa Grande, while at the same time attracting more visitors and merchants to the city’s downtown area.

Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, and the Town of Wickenburg will collaborate to revitalize the downtown South Tegner Street area with new cultural facilities and expanded arts programming. Among other benefits, the project will increase foot traffic in the corridor; improve the town’s ranking as a cultural tourist destination; and serve as a key stimulus to Wickenburg’s economy.

Dry Creek Arts Fellowship will partner with Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare to reboot The Expressive Arts Discovery Program. Comprised of four arts-focused workshops, each offered free of charge to 8-10 participants currently receiving treatment at the Cancer Center, the program aims to “engage patients in self-healing, through their own creativity, by providing a comfortable environment for them to share in the experiences they have had in receiving cancer treatment.”

Flagstaff Cultural Partners and Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau will join forces to plan and execute a local marketing campaign to increase awareness and use of their local event promotional website, Increased use of the site will benefit the local arts community as well as local businesses by guiding residents to events throughout the city.

Grand Canyon Music Festival will partner with the Grand Canyon Association and NavajoYES on research and development of the Grand Canyon Oral History Project. Gathering representatives of the many diverse communities that call the Grand Canyon home, the project will provide a contemporary forum for the exchange of ideas among all of the Grand Canyon community’s stake holders and result in the collaborative development of a new piece of chamber music.

Old Town Center for the Arts will lead a collaboration between the Cottonwood Economic Development Council, AZ Culture, Cottonwood Old Town Association, and Local First Arizona to create The Cottonwood Culture Challenge, a scavenger hunt/reality TV project involving over 200 participants. This multi-tiered, multi-media cultural tourism project will increase awareness and enhance future tourism to the Cottonwood area.

Safos Dance Theatre and The House of Neighborly Service will work together to improve access to the arts in the city of South Tucson. The Color the Mural! project is centered around the painting of a mural by community residents, but will also incorporate dance and musical performances as well as other community events in this multi-generational, civic pride building project.

Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts will partner with the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce on Jazz on the Border: The Mingus Project. Designed to increase cultural tourism to Nogales by attracting jazz and history enthusiasts from around the world to the local birthplace of Jazz legend Charles Mingus, the partners will collaborate to create and distribute promotional materials for print and online distribution.

Topock Art Guild and the Kiwanis of the Colorado River will work together to build Mastodon Crossing, a ground level sculpture that will give the appearance of fossils buried in rocks, on the grounds of Topock’s Totally Terrific Family Playground. The project will increase cultural tourism to the region and share a bit of Topock culture and history.

Williams Alliance for the Arts will partner with the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and the Flagstaff Community Foundation to secure professional advice and guidance from nationally recognized Artspace consultants as to the feasibility of establishing the Williams Center for the Arts, a proposed live/work, multi-purpose arts facility in the City of Williams, Arizona.

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 an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizonans; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue.

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, or
Images available upon request.