Arizona Art Tank to Grant Arts Funding Before Live Audience

The Arizona Commission on the Arts is shaking things up this month with Arizona Art Tank, a new funding initiative designed to give public awards to entrepreneurial arts ventures across the Valley. At Art Tank events, top applicants will have six minutes each to pitch their ideas to a selection panel and a live community audience.

The top four propositions selected by the committee will receive funding between $4,000 and $10,000, with an extra $500 going to the venture that wins the popular vote of the audience.

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"Arts funding is not as easy to come by as it used to be," says Arts Commission Executive director Robert Booker. "As arts funding models have shifted and new modes of production, distribution, and sale have emerged, artists and arts organizations have increasingly adopted the methods of the entrepreneur. We felt it was a good time to reflect that shift and try something a little different."

Normally, grant propositions are done exclusively through writing, but there are clear benefits to addressing a panel of judges in person.

If the idea sounds familiar, you're probably thinking of the semi-annual Good 'N Plenty artist grants presented at SMoCA Lounge. Coincidentally, SMoCA Lounge's Tania Katan will also be hosting one of the Art Tank events next week.

To spread the wealth, Arizona Commission on the Arts is holding two separate Art Tank forums: Arizona Art Tank West will take place in Peoria, and Arizona Art Tank East will take place in Chandler.

The applicants have already been narrowed down from a larger pool. Projects were evaluated based on a criteria of impact, responsiveness, and visibility. Favor was given to projects that "represent the entrepreneurial spirit of risk-taking and innovation."

Arizona Art Tank West will feature Art4All in Partnership with Phoenix Center for the Arts (PCA), Julie Hapton & Tania Katan, Ben Reichert with Game CoLab, BlackPoet Ventures, West Valley Arts, WHAM Art Association, Orange Theatre, Page One Literary Center, Rising Youth Theatre, and TumbleTees.

Arizona Art Tank East will feature: ASU Pave Program, Adriene Jenik and Kara Roschi with ASU's School of Art, City of Mesa Department of Arts and Culture/NEDCO, Judy Durocher & Sherry Lenich in collaboration with Viva Voci, Inc., Send A Poet (Arizona Community Media Foundation), and The Black Mustache Old Fashioned Melodrama Co. at the Tuscany Theatre.

Arizona Art Tank is free and open to the public. Art Tank West will take place on Tuesday, January 28, at Peoria Community Center. Art Tank East will take place on Wednesday, January 29, at The Chandler Center for the Arts. Both nights doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the main event will begin at 7. For more information, visit

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