Arizona Commission for the Arts announced on January 11 that 10 Arizona artists had been awarded a total of $50,480 in research and development grants, as well as the Bill Desmond Writing Award.
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Valley-based artists who received up to $5,000 in funding include Juan Freitez of Phoenix, Carla Keaton of Tempe, Cristóbal Martínez of Mesa, and Lois Roma-Deeley of Scottsdale. Tucson's Annie Guthrie, Melani "Mele" Martinez, Lisa Molomot, and Milta Ortiz were awarded grants, too, along with M. Jenea Sanchez of Douglas and Shawn Skabelund of Flagstaff. With the exception of Melani “Mele” Martinez and Ortiz, who are performing artists, the grantees are visual, digital media, and literary artists.
Guthrie is also the recipient of the Bill Desmond Writing Award, which grants $1,000 to "excelling nonfiction writers."
The grantees were selected from a pool of 102 applicants by a panel that included ASU's Hilary Harp and Jacob Meders, Leah Marche of Black Poet Ventures, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum poet in residence Eric Magrane, Safos Dance Theater co-founder Yvonne Montoya, and Helen Padilla, owner of Helen Padilla Studio. Lisa Barnes chaired the panel as the Governor-appointed Commissioner of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.