We asked artists and cultural leaders to share their top wish for the metro Phoenix arts scene in 2020. Here’s a revealing look at what they said. (Editor’s note: Some comments have been edited for clarity and length.)
A major film production studio located in south Phoenix. If the governor would restore the film tax credit, Arizona could be the “go-to” place for major motion pictures.
Bob Booker, artist
In 2020, the sustainability of arts organizations will depend on their ability to raise and set aside dedicated cash reserve dollars in their annual budget. Without it, organizations are subject to the whims of the market, funding sources, and ticket sales.
Rosemarie Dombrowski, poet laureate, city of Phoenix
What Phoenix is still lacking is a poetry festival, something that celebrates our literary artists and makes them more visible and accessible to the general public (and each other). I’d like to see our poetry scene get some national attention.
Jeff Falk, artist
I would like to see a renewed coming together of the arts community. Artists and art spaces working and being supportive of one another.
Erin Joyce, fine arts curator, Heard Museum
My wish is for further unsettling and disrupting of colonial institutional frameworks that are harmful and marginalizing. It is important for institutions to acknowledge their colonial histories and be open to new and evolving dialogues about representation.
Ron May, founding artistic director, Stray Cat Theatre
I wish the houses were full of audiences. I wish people were lining up outside of theaters. I wish people were almost ready to throw themselves into traffic because they can’t get a ticket to a play or a musical.
Miguel Angél Monzón, gallery director, Modified Arts
My greatest wish is the unification of all the art hubs throughout the Valley. I would love to see a broader coalition coming together to solidify Phoenix as an arts destination for collectors and artists.
Beatrice Moore, director, Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation
A rebellion against our own expectations of ourselves as artists by striving to think outside the box: the gallery box, the cool box, the “look-at-me” box, all those boxes we put ourselves into. Use our collective energies, and conversations, large or small, to interact with communities in surprising, transformative ways.
Cindy Ornstein, executive director, Mesa Arts Center
The Valley’s residents and civic leaders will fully embrace and advocate for the critical role of arts, culture, and creativity in giving Arizona its competitive edge — leading to increased investments in the arts.
Patricia Sannit, artist
I always want to see the development of more and better venues, open to artists at different stages of their careers. As it is more and more difficult for commercial spaces to succeed, more nonprofit and city-owned spaces can fill the void. However, this year especially, the big ask is for the Phoenix Art Museum to start growing again!
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Gilbert Vicario, chief curator, Phoenix Art Museum
To be a global leader in arts and culture. In order to do this, metro Phoenix must continue to evolve into a community of visually literate artists, arts advocates, and spectators that are excited to make history rather than to dwell on it.
Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO, Scottsdale Arts
I hope that we will bring visionary new leadership to the Valley, stabilize our legacy institutions, develop a stronger culture of philanthropy, innovate like crazy, and collaborate without fear.