For Immediate Release
October 30, 2013
Contact: Steve Wilcox

Landmark Budget Allocation Translates Into New Grant Programs to Support Artist Entrepreneurs and Community Arts Programs

PHOENIX, AZ (October 30, 2013). Thanks to successful bipartisan efforts at the State legislature, the Arizona Commission on the Arts received a one-time budget allocation of an additional $1 million for fiscal year 2014. In addition to supporting the Arts Commission’s existing statewide grantmaking activities that promote arts education and access to nonprofit arts organizations, this additional funding has provided for the creation of a pair of brand new grant programs designed to support innovative initiatives, catalytic collaborations, and ventures that reflect a business unusual approach to the arts: Community Catalyst and Arizona Art Tank.

Signed into law by Governor Janice Brewer this past June, the $8.8 billion state budget for fiscal year 2014 included a one-time budget allocation of $1 million to the Arizona Commission on the Arts making this the first time in five fiscal years that the state arts budget will not show a decrease. This policy does not increase overall state spending as the funds are derived from interest earned by the state’s Rainy Day fund which would have otherwise lain dormant.

According to Arts Commission Executive Director Robert Booker, “We felt it was important that this new funding be utilized in such a way as to show, in very concrete fashion, the significant contribution our artists and arts organizations make toward improving Arizona’s livability, economic health, and competitiveness.”

Community Catalyst Grants support collaborations between local arts organizations and non-arts organizations in small and rural Arizona communities with populations under 100,000. United in a common goal and leveraging their combined skills, knowledge, and resources, arts organizations partnered with local for-profit or nonprofit businesses and institutions will be awarded between $5,000 and $10,000 to help them realize an art-based project or program designed to enrich their community. The power of the arts to bring people together, bolster economic development through tourism and outside investment, and enhance a community’s sense of cultural identity are well-documented. With these grants, The Arts Commission hopes to jumpstart initiatives with significant potential for real and lasting positive impact.

Arizona Art Tank employs an innovative review process to award grants of up to $10,000 to innovative artists and arts organizations. At public events presented in five cities across the state, top applicants will pitch innovative and entrepreneurial artistic ventures to a live audience and a panel of expert judges who will rank them based on such factors as creativity of approach, strategic soundness, and viability of envisioned outcomes. As arts funding models have shifted and new modes of production, distribution, and sale have emerged, artists have increasingly adopted the methods of the independent business person. Arizona Art Tank reflects these changes and celebrates a new class of artist: the artist entrepreneur.

Both programs launch on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Official guidelines can be found on the Arts Commission website, . In addition, Arts Commission staff will host a series of information sessions throughout November in cities across the state and online. A complete schedule of these public events and registration information can be found at

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 47-year-old agency of the State of Arizona charged with supporting a statewide arts and culture sector. The agency is governed by a 15-member Governor-appointed Commission and a professional staff grounded in the arts. The Arts Commission receives and administers funds from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts and directs this funding to programs which contribute to the growth and stabilization of the arts, impact student learning, nurture and develop artists’ craft and skills, preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities, and encourage participation by citizens of all ages and abilities.

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.