For Immediate Release
Contact: Jaime Dempsey
(602) 771-6520

Communications and Research Director for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Casey Blake, takes on new role at Mesa Arts Center

PHOENIX, AZ (August 01, 2013) – After 6.5 years of service at Arizona’s state arts agency, the Arts Commission’s Communications and Research Director, Casey Blake, recently accepted the role of Public Relations Director for Mesa Arts Center (MAC) in Mesa, Arizona. She will begin her new professional role with MAC in late August 2013. 

Casey initially served as an intern for Deputy Director, Jaime Dempsey. In January 2007 Casey was hired as the Arts Commission’s Program Associate and Special Projects Coordinator. Later in 2007, during one of several agency staff realignments, Casey took on the role of Individual Artist Services Coordinator. In July 2009 she was promoted to Communications and Research Director.

According to Executive Director Robert Booker, “Casey’s significant experience in theatre and dance – as a practitioner, scholar and educator – informed all of her work at the Arts Commission: first in supporting programs, then in program development and eventually as a spokesperson for the agency. She carries with her a deep understanding of the challenges facing artists and arts professionals, which gave her a special insight into communicating with the diverse constituencies served by the Arts Commission.”

Deputy Director Jaime Dempsey said of the transition, “I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Casey since shortly after I started working for the Arts Commission, 7 years ago. In that time, the arts and culture sector experienced quite difficult times, with slashed budgets, job losses and myriad other persistent challenges. Working closely with agency leadership to provide additional support services and mitigate losses in grant funding for the field, Casey became more than just a trusted colleague: she is a sharp strategist, a steady hand on the wheel, and she has advanced the mission of our agency in innumerable ways. As much as I will miss working with Casey here at the Arts Commission, I am thrilled she’s been offered an opportunity to expand her skill set and extend her reach. In Casey Blake, MAC made a brilliant casting choice.”

Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Mesa and Executive Director of MAC, Cindy Ornstein, said of Casey’s new role, “We are delighted to have Casey Blake joining our team to manage our public relations strategies and implementation. Casey is passionate about the variety and quality of programming at Mesa Arts Center and it will be great to have her as a colleague. We know she will not only make significant contributions to our organization, but will continue to assist in moving our field forward by helping audiences understand the impact of our work.”

Casey’s last scheduled day at the Arts Commission will be Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 the Arts Commission launched a search to fill the position of Communications and Research Director. Information about the position and instructions to apply can be found at

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 Arizona citizens; 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.

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