Phoenix Awards $865K in Community Art Grants

Work by Bruce Munro previously exhibited at Desert Botanical Garden.
Work by Bruce Munro previously exhibited at Desert Botanical Garden. Lynn Trimble
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture recently awarded $865,346 in Community Arts Support Grants. A total of 63 grants were awarded to 54 organizations, following approval by the Phoenix City Council on Thursday, July 6.

That's the same amount of money they awarded last year, to a total of 55 organizations.

The Office of Arts and Culture has operated its Community Arts Support Grant program since 1986. Only nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts and cultural organizations serving Phoenix are eligible to apply for these grants.

The fiscal year 2017-18 awards span six categories, including three for general operating support. Additional awards support festivals, arts education, and rental support for primary users of Phoenix cultural facilities including Herberger Theater, Orpheum Theatre, and Symphony Hall.

Criteria for grant funding varies by grant type, but artistic quality or value is a significant factor for general operating, festival, and arts learning grants. Several organizations received more than one type of grant.

click to enlarge Taking a good look at Bryan David Griffith's work at Phoenix Art Museum. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Taking a good look at Bryan David Griffith's work at Phoenix Art Museum.
Lynn Trimble
Three staples of the metro Phoenix arts scene that received both General Operating Support and Rental Support grants were the big winners in this round of grant funding.

Phoenix Symphony Association received grant funding totaling $105,604. Arizona Theatre Company, which recently hired David Ivers to replace longtime artistic director David Ira Goldstein, received a total of $82,151. And Ballet Arizona, headed by artistic director Ib Andersen, was awarded a total of $70,054.

Other Rental Support grant recipients include Arizona Opera, Center Dance Ensemble, iTheatre Collaborative, and Valley Youth Theatre. Both Center Dance Ensemble and iTheatre Collaborative, as well as Arizona Theatre Company, are resident companies of Herberger Theater Center.

The largest General Operating Support Level One grants went to Desert Botanical Garden, which received $53,819, and Arizona Science Center, which received $41,324. Nine additional organizations, all with annual budgets of at least $2.5 million, received this type of award.

Those include Arizona Opera, Arizona Theatre Company, Ballet Arizona, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Heard Museum, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Symphony Association, and Phoenix Theatre. Awards in this category totaled $348,499.

click to enlarge Guests attending an exhibition opening at Heard Museum. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Guests attending an exhibition opening at Heard Museum.
Lynn Trimble
The largest General Operating Support Level Two grants were awarded to Free Arts of Arizona, which received $17,923, and Valley Youth Theatre, which received $16,755. Free Arts provides art experiences and mentoring to youth who’ve experienced violence, homelessness, or family trauma. Sixteen organizations received a total of $187,347 through these Level Two grants.

Additional recipients include Arizona Jewish Historical Society, Black Theatre Troupe, Great Arizona Puppet Theater, Jazz in Arizona, Phoenix Boys Choir Association, Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Phoenix Children’s Chorus, Phoenix Chorale, Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix Film Foundation, Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children, Rosson House/Heritage Square Foundation, and Xico.

Nine organizations with budgets of less than $250,000 received General Operating Support Level Three awards. Those recipients include Alwun House Foundation, Artlink, Cultural Coalition, Grand Canyon Performing Arts, iTheatre Collaborative, MusicaNova Orchestra, North Valley Symphony Orchestra, Rising Youth Theatre, and Young Arts Arizona.

Festival grants totaling $39,150 went to 13 organizations, including African Association of Arizona, Arab American Festival, Arizona Lao Association, Arizona Matsuri, Artlink, Cultural Coalition, Flamenco Por La Vida, Furious Style Crew, India Association of Phoenix, Irish Society in Arizona, Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, Phoenix Blues Society, and Teatro Bravo.

click to enlarge Exploring the gallery space for Xico Arte y Cultura. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Exploring the gallery space for Xico Arte y Cultura.
Lynn Trimble
Seven organizations that partner with schools, businesses, or other community groups received a total of $20,350 in Arts Learning grants. Those recipients include Young Arts Arizona, Ballet Theatre of Phoenix, Essential Theatre, Kids in Focus, Movement Source, Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, and School of Hip Hop PHX.

There’s another bit of related news as well.

The city's fiscal year 2017-18 budget, which was approved on June 21, included an increase of $20,000 to the grants program budget. Those funds will be allocated for youth-oriented programming through a new grant-making process in fall 2017.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble