|On behalf of the Staff and Commissioners of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, we thank you for your support in 2012. Your ongoing collaboration with us to ensure all Arizonans have meaningful opportunities to participate in and experience the arts continues to drive our work on behalf of Arizona’s arts and culture sector.
A few milestones from 2012:
- The Arts Commission achieved a 10-year reauthorization with bipartisan support from the Arizona State Legislature. HB2265’s success is attributable to a monumental statewide effort: a yearlong collaboration between artists, arts educators, administrators, board members, advocates and bipartisan elected officials.
- State Senator Al Melvin, working closely with the Arts Commission and members of the Arizona literary community, sponsored Senate Bill 1348 to establish a Poet Laureate position for the State of Arizona. The bill received broad bipartisan support in both State Legislative chambers and was signed into law by Governor Brewer in May 2012. The inaugural Arizona Poet Laureate will be appointed in 2013.
- Commissioners approved a renovation of grant programs for organizations and schools in alignment with grantmaking objectives of the Arts Commission:
- To put Arizona citizens first.
- To incentivize best practices and innovative strategies which prioritize fiscal ingenuity and encourage broad participation and engagement.
- To ensure that the state’s investment in arts and culture reflects Arizona’s diverse population and evolving demographics.
- In partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, the Arts Commission hosted the second Joint Arts Education Conference. The conference convened 175 arts education and arts learning providers from across the state for a full day of professional development, including in-depth sessions on the intersection between the Arts and Common Core Standards.
- The Arts Commission launched a new Fast-Track grant program, to support partnerships between arts and culture organizations, chambers of commerce and convention and visitors bureaus. The next deadline for this program is January 25, 2013.
- Social media efforts of the Arts Commission yielded 6600 likes on Facebook, and continue to provide a forum for resource-sharing and virtual convening.
- Efforts of the The Choice is Art campaign and the leadership of the Arts Commission secured over $30,000 in new support from individuals and foundations to the Arizona ArtShare Endowment.
- Arizona’s participation in Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages our nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation, grew to over 12,000 Arizona high school students and 52 schools from across the state.
- The agency relaunched and expanded the reach of its granting program for individual artists, the Artist Research and Development Grant. 2013 grantees were announced in late December 2012.
- The Arizona Commission on the Arts delivered funding to bring arts experiences to Arizonans in all areas of the state, through festivals, artist residencies, and exhibitions and performances that are unique to our state.
Arts experiences capture and crystallize things that are not always easy to say, hear or process. In our communities, the arts serve as a vehicle for celebration and grieving, and they can express a sense of inimitable identity. And always, but especially at this particular time in our country, we know that the arts can also be a tool for healing.
Keeping in mind the many roles the arts play in our lives, we celebrate the artists, arts educators, arts organizations and arts advocates who create and support the array of arts experiences offered in our state. We hope 2013 brings you and yours many opportunities to thrive and learn through the arts.
Bob Booker Executive Director Arizona Commission on the Arts