Recognizing the need for high-quality, accessible and culturally-relevant professional development for artists, the Arizona Commission on the Arts created AZ ArtWorker, an artist-to-artist professional development program which facilitates dialogue and knowledge-sharing between Arizona artists, their national and international artist peers, and residents of Arizona communities.

AZ ArtWorker represents the largest and most comprehensive programmatic investment in individual artist training in the Arts Commission’s recent history. Through an innovative partnership with Arizona State University and the generous support of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Arts Commission offers AZ ArtWorker programs in fourArizona communities: Douglas, Phoenix, Sells, and Tucson. AZ ArtWorker provides an expansive learning platform, which includes:

  • Practical Training: Taught by international and Arizona artists and arts experts, sessions will focus on discipline-specific techniques, socially-engaged methodologies, and creative practices.
  • Experiential Activities: Artists will participate in site/studio visits, performances and artmaking.
  • Public Conversations: Artists will explore big ideas in art and community practice, connecting local and global approaches. Conversations will be open to the public and marketed to artists, arts/culture workers, educators and community leaders.
  • Entrepreneurial Training: Artists will participate in workshops taught by the PAVE Program in Arts Entrepreneurship and will receive digital tools supporting the business side of creative practice.

At their most targeted, AZ ArtWorker offerings provide opportunities for artists to participate in meaningful learning experiences in the communities where they live and work, featuring topical workshops, individual/ group consultations and networking opportunities to build strategic partnerships. At its most expansive, AZ ArtWorker generates community-focused programs, connecting communities and their artists in new and exciting ways.

AZ ArtWorker is off for the summer, but we’ll be back in Fall 2017!

AZ ArtWorker: Milta Ortiz

Join us on Saturday, September 23, 2017, for a free, interactive writing workshop on crafting a theatrical structure while working with community. The workshop will be led by Tucson playwright and theatre artist Milta Ortiz. 

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AZ ArtWorker: Betsabeé Romero

Join us for the closing of "Para Un Muro Ensimismado," Mexican contemporary artist Betsabeé Romero’s temporary art installation. During her Phoenix residency April 3-10, Romero collaborated with Arizona artists to create a site-specific project connecting global histories of migration and power.

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AZ ArtWorker: Entrepreneurial Workshop for Indigenous Artists with Linda Essig, Jacob Meders, and First Peoples Fund

Join us for a daylong professional development workshop with content crafted to serve Native American artists led by Linda Essig, Jake Meders, and First Peoples Fund. You will learn how to develop your entrepreneurial thinking skills, marketing basics, budgeting, and receive a free copy of the Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit.

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AZ ArtWorker: Betsabeé Romero

CALA Alliance and AZ ArtWorker, a program of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, are pleased to welcome renowned contemporary Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero for an artist residency in Phoenix, Arizona.

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AZ ArtWorker: Roundtable moderated by Adriana Gallego 

On Friday, Mach 3, 2017, as part of its AZ ArtWorker program, the Arizona Commission on the Arts convened a virtual panel of arts professionals from around the country for a roundtable conversation moderated by Adriana Gallego, artist and Deputy Director of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. A live audience convened at Raices Taller in Tucson to participate in the conversation.

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AZ ArtWorker: Angel Luzanilla Beltrán

In November 2016, AZ ArtWorker partnered with Xico, El Instituto Sonorense de Cultura, and the Arizona-Mexico Commission to present a Free one-time-only workshop with Internationally renowned Artista Angel Luzanilla Beltrán from  Cocórit , Cajeme, Sonora.   

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AZ ArtWorker: Richard Montoya

In November 2016, AZ ArtWorker will partner with Teatro Bravo to present a writing and acting workshop with Richard Montoya, co-founder of Chicano theatre group, Culture Clash. Participants will focus on the use of satire and humor to address social and culturally relevant content.  This workshop is ideal for playwrights and actors whose work addresses identity and social justice.  

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AZ Art Worker: Yadira De La Riva in Sells

In October 2016, AZ ArtWorker will partner with Tohono O’odham Community College, Shining Soul, and Red Ink Magazine to present a workshop and a performance led by visiting artist Yadira De La Riva. Participants will develop short dramatic works focused on reclaiming community narratives, some of which will be featured in a performance on October 27. 

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AZ ArtWorker: Yadira De La Riva in Tucson

In October 2016, AZ ArtWorker will partner with Spoken Futures to present a workshop with theatre artist and educator Yadira De La Riva in Tucson, Arizona. Participants will practice and develop the incorporation of physical, theatrical movement to their spoken word performances.

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AZ ArtWorker: Yadira De La Riva in Douglas

On the evening of October 22, 2016, residents of Douglas, Arizona, gathered to watch a performance by local youth and visiting theater artist and educator Yadira De La Riva. Only one act was presented in Douglas, however. The first act wasn't even presented in the United States!

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AZ ArtWorker: Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process

On Saturday, Septmber 17, 2016, Join Macarthur “Genius Grant” recipient Liz Lerman for an introductory workshop on her Critical Response Process (CRP), a facilitated structure for giving and getting feedback on artistic works in progress. Participants in this introductory workshop will have priority registration privileges for a one-day CRP intensive later this fall. 

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AZ ArtWorker: Painting Workshop with Claudio Dicochea

On June 25, 2016, join AZ ArtWorker and visual artist Claudio Dicochea for a workshop that will provide you with an understanding of paint as a material for artistic expression and painting as an activity that explores our sense of self and our sense of place.

Acompáñenos a un taller enfocado en la comprensión de la pintura como material para la expresión artística y la pintura como una actividad que explora nuestro sentido de ser y nuestro lugar en la comunidad.

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AZ ArtWorker: Cafesito con Claudio Dicochea

On June 24, 2016, join us for a conversation with visual artist Claudio Dicochea about the personal creative journey of artmaking as well as the social process of placing one's work out in the world.

Acompáñenos a una conversación con el artista Claudio Dicochea. Él hablará sobre su trayectoria artística, así como el proceso social de colocar su trabajo en el mundo.

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AZ ArtWorker: Cafesito con Margarita Cabrera

On June 11, 2016, join us for a meet and greet with Margarita Cabrera, a Mexican-American artist whose objects and activities address timely issues related to border relations, labor practices and immigration. Margarita will talk about her latest project Space in Between, a collaboration with ASU Art Museum, Desert Botanical Gardens and various community organizations.

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Land Tracings

Presented by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Charteuse

Featuring 2015 Artist Research and Development Grantees David Emitt Adams, Alex! Jimenez, P.Nosa, Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars

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AZ ArtWorker: Asset Mapping as a Tool for Community Empowerment

On May 21, 2016, join us for an interactive, hands-on workshop with Southwest Folklife Alliance. At Who Tells the Best Jokes? Who Makes the Best Tortillas? Asset Mapping as a Tool for Community Empowerment participants will gain a deeper understanding of the field of "place making" and its potential benefits for community prosperity.

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AZ ArtWorker: Re-Creations

On May 19, 2016, Jorge Merced, Associate Artistic Dirctor of New York's Pregones Theatre, will present a workshop on using literary and non-literary texts as inspiration and raw material for theater. The workshop will be presented in partnership with Tucson's Borderlands Theater and feature an introduction by Milta Ortiz.

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AZ ArtWorker: Artist Entrepreneur Workshop

In February 2016, Dr. Linda Essig, founder of the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship at ASU, presented this two-day interactive workshop based on the Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit--a comprehensive collection of digital tools designed to help artists support the business side of their practice.

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AZ ArtWorker: Asantewa Sunni-Ali

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, AZ ArtWorker, in partner ship with ASU Performance in the Borderlands and Black Theatre Troupe, will present a thought-provoking workshop with Asantewa Sunni-Ali--Solo Performance: Pathway to Radical Self and Community Reimagination.

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AZ ArtWorker: Anu Yadav

On November 4, 2015, AZ ArtWorker presented a workshop with actor and playwright Anu Yadav in Phoenix. At this intimate workshop, participants learned about theatre as a tool for community organizing and used techniques based on Theatre of the Oppressed to explore how personal story can be used to engage social issues. 

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AZ ArtWorker: Douglas

AZ ArtWorker launched in Douglas, AZ during the weekend of October 10-11, 2015. Coordinated with the border community's first bi-national art walk, a visit from internationally renowned artist Ana Teresa Fernández, and the debut of Repellent Fence, the largest bi-national land art installation ever exhibited at the US/Mexico border, AZ ArtWorker: Douglas engaged local and visiting artists, community members, and visitors from throughout the region and both sides of the border.

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This program is supported through a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.



AZ ArtWorker returns for a third year of artist-to-artist professional development and knowledge sharing! Join us on Saturday, September 23, for a free, interactive workshop on crafting a theatrical structure while working with community. The workshop will be led by Tucson playwright and theatre artist Milta Ortiz of Borderlands Theater and is presented in collaboration with CALA Alliance, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, ASU - SFDT Performance in the Borderlands and Cultural Coalition, Inc.
Space is limited so advance registration is required.
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Theatricalizing Oral Histories in Community: Milta Ortiz

September 23, 2017, 10:00am - September 23, 2017, 2:00pm

Join us for an interactive writer's workshop with Tucson playwright and theatre artist Milta Ortiz. Using Milta Ortiz’s docudrama play Más as a case study, workshop participants will learn about ...

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