February 2015
topArts Learning Newsletter
This online newsletter from the Arts Learning Department at the Arizona Commission on the Arts provides relevant, current and important information from the local, regional and national Arts Learning and Teaching Artist fields.
Photo courtesy of Canyon Movement Company
photo courtesy Canyon Movement Company
Register for the 2015 Creative Aging Summit 

Join the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Mesa Arts Center on Friday, March 13, 2015 for Arizona's first-ever Creative Aging Summit: Arts Across the Aging Spectrum, with keynote speakers Susan Perlstein and Elizabeth Johnson.


Creative Aging is a national movement aimed at fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. Through dynamic presentations, facilitated dialogue and experiential, hands-on learning sessions, attendees will explore the potential of the arts to help older adults remain dynamic members of society, to support older adults with cognitive or physical disabilities, to give meaning and purpose to later life, and more.


Who should attend: Practitioners and providers, both experienced and new to the field of Creative Aging, including arts organizations, teaching artists and aging or healthcare service providers.


Registration for the full day--just $15! 

Click here to learn more
Photo by Jeff Smith
2015 Arizona Poetry Out Loud Regional and State Finals Competitions 
The 10th annual Poetry Out Loud competition is currently underway across the state. School-wide competitions are taking place on 46 campuses from Nogales to Window Rock. These school competitions will culminate in three regional competitions in Tucson, Tempe and Flagstaff this month and from there, nine finalists will compete at the Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix on March 12, 2015. The state champion will then move on to compete for a $20,000 scholarship at the national finals in Washington D.C. in April. All regional and state events are open to the public and admission is free.
Legendary horn player, Fred Fox
Legendary horn performer Fred Fox
University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Announces $20 Million Gift
The University of Arizona College of Fine Arts has received a $20 million gift to the School of Music from Alan and Daveen Fox, in honor of Alan's 100-year-old father, master teacher and legendary horn performer Fred Fox. 
Photo courtesy Opening Minds through the Arts
President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Releases Turnaround Arts Initiative Findings  
The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities has released the results of an independent study that reveals substantial gains in student achievement at schools participating in its Turnaround Arts Initiative.
Click here to learn more

Prescott Bluegrass Festival
Photo by Nancy Maurer
The Creative Age: Creativity and Aging in America: May 19-21, 2015│Washington, D.C.
The 2015 National Center for Creative Aging conference will align with the White House Conference on Aging focusing on the business of creative aging, the research of creative aging, and the practice of creative aging. Leaders in the field will be presenting best practices, program building tools, and methods that will be beneficial to developing your programs.
Click here to learn more
2015 NAEA National Convention: March 26-28, 2015│New Orleans, LA
The National Art Education Association National Convention is an annual event providing substantive professional development services that include the advancement of knowledge in all sessions, events, and activities for the purpose of improving visual arts instruction in American schools.

Arizona Commission on the Arts Grant Information Sessions 
The Arts Commission will present in-person and online information sessions in the weeks leading up to the March 19th application deadline for Community Investment Grants, Arts Learning Grants (Cycle A) and Festival Grants.
Tucson: February 10, 12:00-12:30 PM
Phoenix: February 11, 12:15-12:45 PM
Online: February 18, 12:00-1:00 PM
Online: March 5, 3:30-4:30 PM
Vans Custom Culture Competition  
Deadline: February 15 
The Vans Custom Culture art competition inspires high school students across the United States to embrace their creativity. Custom Culture invites art teachers to lead their students in the customization of four pairs of blank Vans sneakers. A group of five finalist schools will be flown to New York City where the winning school will receive a $50,000 donation to their art program and the chance to have their shoes produced and sold in Vans stores.
Arts Advocacy Day: March 23-24, 2015│
Washington, D.C.
Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.
Click here to learn more
Photo by Anne Guthrie, UofA Poetry Center
Photo courtesy of City of Phoenix
Arizona Commission on the Arts Grants for Organizations and Schools
Deadline: March 19, 2015
Arts Learning Grants provide matching funds for quality arts learning projects which support lifelong learning in, through and/or about the arts. Projects may take place in a variety of settings with learners of any age. Schools, school districts and nonprofit social service/community organizations are encouraged to apply.
National Endowment for the Arts' Arts Works Community-Based Arts Education Grants 
Deadline: February 15, 2015  
Art Works is the NEA's largest funding category, supporting the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.
Click here to learn more

College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts 
Deadline: April 13, 2015
These annual awards recognize and celebrate the achievements of arts initiatives for students in grades 6-12 that promote learning and creativity in exemplary and innovative ways. Awards are given in three categories: Arts Integration, Equity Through Arts and Civic Engagement/Professional Partnerships. 
Click here to learn more

Feel free to send us your comments, suggestions or a story idea you'd like to see in the next issue. Email:
To learn more about our programs and services at the Arizona Commission on the Arts, visit
Alex Nelson
Director of Arts Learning

Patrick Fanning
Arts Learning and Special Projects Coordinator

417 West Roosevelt Street 
Phoenix AZ 85003-1326  
tel     (602) 771-6501
fax     (602) 256-0282

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