For Immediate Release

May 10, 2016
Contact: Steve Wilcox

FY2017 State Budget Includes Additional $1.5 Million for the Arts

Phoenix, AZ (May 10, 2016) – The $9.6 billion fiscal year 2017 budget signed today by Governor Doug Ducey includes a $1.5 million appropriation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The additional funding represents a 50% increase over the 49-year-old state agency’s current fiscal year budget. Derived from interest accrued on the state’s Rainy Day Fund, this one-time allocation will not increase overall state spending.

“We thank the statewide advocacy network of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and our champions in the State Legislature, on both sides of the aisle, for securing this funding,” said Robert Booker, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “As we enter our 50th year as Arizona’s state arts agency, we are proud to have earned this bipartisan vote of support.”

Established by the state legislature in 1967, the Arizona Commission on the Arts administers funding from both the state and federal government in support of programs that contribute to the growth and stabilization of Arizona’s arts sector, enhance student learning, nurture artists’ creative and professional development, preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities, and ensure all Arizonans can participate in and experience the arts.

After several years of reductions, the agency’s General Fund appropriation was eliminated in fiscal year 2012. During the same recession-era budget balancing efforts, the $20 million Arizona ArtShare Endowment, built over twelve years with bipartisan support, was also eliminated. The loss of these funding streams represented a more than 60% reduction in the Arts Commission’s budget between fiscal years 2008 and 2012.

“With the additional funding allocation for next year, the state’s leadership acknowledges the vital role that Arizona’s artists and arts organizations play in their communities as innovators and creative catalysts,” said Booker. “The arts are an economic driver, enhance the education of our young people, and create opportunities for dialogue and understanding among and within Arizona’s diverse communities. This funding will create, expand, and improve opportunities for Arizonans to engage in the arts in communities across the state.”

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.