News release from the Arizona Comission on the Arts:
The $10.4 billion fiscal year 2019 budget passed this morning by the legislature includes a $2 million appropriation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Derived from interest accrued on the state’s Rainy-day Fund, this allocation will not increase overall state spending. Governor Doug Ducey, who touted the increased arts investment in a Tweet earlier in the week, is expected to sign the budget bills before the weekend.
“This $2 million allocation acknowledges the vital role that artists and arts organizations play as community leaders, contributors, and creative catalysts,” said Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “Our sincere thanks to Governor Ducey, his staff, and Arizona’s state legislators for their foresight and leadership in supporting arts and culture. We are honored to work in partnership with our elected leaders, as they know what we know: investments in arts and culture directly benefit Arizonans in myriad positive ways.”
According to Mark Feldman, Chair of the agency’s Governor-appointed board of Commissioners, “The arts are an economic driver, enhance the education of our young people, and create opportunities for dialogue and understanding among and within Arizona’s diverse communities. This funding will create, expand, and improve opportunities for Arizonans to engage in the arts across our great state. We are honored to serve as stewards of this public support.”
Feldman added, “We are also grateful to arts supporters across the state, the statewide advocacy network of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, Governor Doug Ducey, and bipartisan elected leaders in the State Legislature, whose steadfast support ensured the inclusion of this funding in the state budget.”
Established by the state legislature in 1967, the Arizona Commission on the Arts administers funding from both the state and federal government in support of programs that contribute to the growth and stabilization of Arizona’s arts sector, enhance student learning, nurture artists’ creative and professional development, preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities, and ensure all Arizonans can participate in and experience the arts.
One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 51-year-old agency of the State of Arizona and a leading force in the creative and professional development of Arizona’s arts sector. Through robust programs, research initiatives, and strategic grantmaking, the Arts Commission catalyzes arts-based partnerships that strengthen Arizona communities through the arts.