Your goal is our goal...

We plan to execute our goal by focusing our efforts on four major sectors...


State Legislation

After working in a successful partnership to secure $1.5 million for the Arizona Commission on the Arts in the FY2017 state budget, Arizona Citizens for the Arts will support the Arts Commission’s agency request of $2 million for FY2018 as a reasonable increase in the resources that will allow the Commission to support the nonprofit arts sector in its service to Arizonans.

Last year’s success required a vigorous grassroots advocacy effort paired with assistance from our professional lobbyists, the active support of the Governor-appointed arts commissioners and the support of community arts leaders and supporters. The need for advocacy was magnified because the Governor’s original executive budget did not include an allocation for the Commission.

This year, we are launching a larger effort to persuade the Governor to place the allocation for the Arts Commission in the Executive Budget he will introduce in January.

Then, we will focus on legislators who support the arts, and will orient new “freshmen” legislators who were elected in November 8 to the value and impact of Arizona arts and culture. Once again, our advocacy effort will be a partnership between our supporters, state arts commissioners and community arts leaders.

At the same time, we will keep our eye on any efforts to adjust taxes and school finance in case there are ways arts funding could be positively affected.   

We also will be monitoring discussions about taxing initiatives that might emerge. Serious discussion is beginning about the renewal of Proposition 301 which also provides major education funding. It is likely this will be an opportunity to address other perceived major funding needs like higher education and transportation.  Adding a funding component for the arts might be the best opportunity we will see for a reliable, sustaining public funding stream.

Arts Education

As we enter 2017, the Arizona Department of Education and the State School Board will continue to work on a state accountability plan to respond to the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)and revised standards for the Arizona A-F School Report card which evaluates the job individual public schools are doing to educate our young people.

We want arts to count in these plans. Arizona has high quality standards for how arts are to be taught in our schools, and ESSA specifically includes music and arts in its list of core academic subjects that constitute a “well-rounded education.”

We will be working to ensure that arts education and arts educators get full benefit of  ESSA in terms of funding, support for teacher training, use of arts education in school-based, education reform, and in programs that assist underperforming students.

We also will be taking our message about the value of arts education to local parent groups and local districts with the goal of more local resources being devoted to arts education programs.

In short, we’re looking for any way we can incent schools to offer more arts education, and to be sure arts education gets the credit it deserves as part of a well-rounded education.

Local Issues

The City of Phoenix and several other Arizona cities will hold elections for the City Council seats in 2017, and we will be looking at how we may partner with other culture and historic preservation groups to educate candidates and voters about the contributions of arts and culture in our local communities. 

Federal Issues

Arizona Citizens for the Arts will work closing with Americans for the Arts  (AFTA) as well determine what specific position the new Presidential administration will take with respect to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). On average Arizona Commission on the Arts receives around $800,000 a year from the NEA, and local arts organizations receiving another $1.4 million collectively for their projects.

At the same time, we will work to education members of the Arizona Congressional delegation to educate them about the impact of arts on our state, and the important contributions federal support makes to our local communities.

Here are specific comments about how AFTA is planning to work with the new Administration

General Nonprofit Support

Arizona Citizens for the Arts also supports the advocacy efforts of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits on federal and local issues that impact arts and culture organizations as members of the broader nonprofit community, e.g., charitable giving incentives, deductibility of charitable gifts, impact of employment law changes, etc.

Help us make a noticeable difference in the upcoming year by offering your financial support to our cause.