New Strategies, Grants Announced to Support Arts and Culture in Arizona

June 29, 2011

By hammersmith

The Flinn Foundation, a major supporter of the arts in Arizona for more than 25 years, has announced a new three-part strategy of grants and services to support the statewide arts and culture community, anchored by a $500,000 program to increase audience participation.

“The Foundation’s grantmaking strategies in arts and culture continually evolve to reflect the changing dynamics of Arizona and the arts and culture sector in particular,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation.

“In today’s economic climate, with fewer resources available, it’s increasingly important for arts and culture organizations to boost earned revenue by expanding participation among patrons,” Jewett added. “Partnership and collaboration is equally vital. These goals are at the heart of this new statewide funding package.”

The three components include:

Participation Enhancement Program: A request-for-proposals is being issued this week to 20 eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations throughout Arizona to encourage strategies to expand and deepen audience and donor participation. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 will be awarded during 2011; those demonstrating success will be eligible for a second year of funding in 2012 at $25,000. Eligible organizations are those with a minimum annual operating budget of $2.5 million or organizations whose stated mission is audience development.

Regional Festivals: Collaborative arts and culture festivals provide opportunities for a broad range of participants to demonstrate the local and regional significance of Arizona’s arts and culture offerings. The Foundation has awarded grants of $10,000 to support three prominent projects in central, northern, and southern Arizona:

  • Central: Celebración Artística de las Américas (CALA), fall 2011. Showcasing the work of local, regional, and national artists that focus on Latin American themes and content in venues throughout Maricopa County.
  • Northern: Museum of Northern Arizona Hopi and Navajo Festivals, summer 2012. Longstanding festivals featuring the works of Native American artists.
  • Southern: Tucson Festival of Books, spring 2012. Highlighting the work of southern Arizona writers, both commercial and literary.

Arizona Town Hall Recommendations: The Foundation will work with colleagues in philanthropy and leaders in arts and culture to identify ways to assist in implementing the recommendations of the Arizona Town Hall on arts and culture held in Tucson in May. The event’s final report called for increased dialogue and convening among the arts and culture community to expand philanthropy, marketing, advocacy, education, and data collection.

The package will complement two grants totaling $235,000 awarded by the Foundation in late 2010 to support Arizona implementation of the Cultural Data Project. This is a national effort administered by the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts to strengthen the nonprofit arts and culture sector through the collection and reporting of standardized financial and organizational data. The Arizona effort, jointly supported by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and additional statewide organizations, is coordinated by the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment established in 1965 by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. In addition to arts and culture, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars Program, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

Since 1984, the Foundation has awarded $19 million to benefit the arts in Arizona, including direct grants to major and mid-sized organizations and additional programs to stabilize or enhance the arts sector.