June 21, 2019
Preserving Our Public Art Treasures
Bicyclists and hikers will notice a bright new presence in Moon Valley Park: a gleaming coat of orange and green paint on the beloved Grasshopper Bridge. Spanning Cave Creek Wash at 7th Avenue, the award-winning bridge was designed by artist Ed Carpenter and engineer Jerry Cannon. It takes the form of two grasshoppers whose flexed legs serve as structural supports. It highlights one of the many ways in which artists and designers hired through the Public Art Program have combined talents to invent new forms for bridges and other urban essentials in Phoenix. Kudos to our Street Transportation Department partners, who helped to carry out the repainting. 

Across town, Arts and Streets also recently completed a thorough cleaning of the Magic Carpet terrazzo floor in the Camelback Underpass. Designed by artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar, the underpass provides a beautiful and safe pedestrian passage between Biltmore Fashion Square and the Esplanade, beneath Camelback Road at 25th Street. The floor’s remarkable color and craftsmanship show the skilled hand that local terrazzo workers had in bringing the artists’ ideas to life.

These projects are possible thanks to funds that the Phoenix City Council provides to preserve the more than 200 major works of public art the city has built since 1986, when the Public Art program was founded.

Are there projects in your neighborhood that need maintenance or preservation work? If so, contact us at arts.culture@phoenix.gov. To learn more about the Public Art Program and the city's art collection, please visit www.phoenix.gov/arts/public-art-program.
Grasshopper Bridge, Cave Creek Wash at 7th Avenue (left) and the Magic Carpet Terrazzo, beneath Camelback Road and 25th Street (right).
Arizona Commission on the Arts Awards Research and Development Grants to 31 Artists, including Six Phoenix Artists
The Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, has awarded $5,000 Research and Development Grants to 31 artists throughout the state. Awarded through a competitive application and review process, Research & Development (R&D) Grants support Arizona artists as they work to advance their artistic practice, expand their creative horizons, and deepen the impact of their work. This year, thanks to a new public-philanthropic partnership between the state agency and the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF), and through funding from the Newton and Betty Rosenzweig Fund for the Arts, the number of available awards more than doubled, from 15 to 31.

Grantees represent a variety of artistic disciplines and reside in communities throughout the state. Funded projects include a four-mile long mural, a children’s book about transracial adoption, a celebration of women in jazz, and an experimental fusion of break dance and the Colombian social dance style known as Cumbia.

Congratulations to these Phoenix artists:
  • Sally Ball
  • Heidi Hogden
  • Saskia Jordá
  • Stephanie Lucas
  • Amanda Mollindo
  • Saretta Morgan

Arizona Mexico Commission
Individuals interested in touring or showcasing art in Mexico, or presenting Mexican artists can learn more by participating in an event hosted by the Arizona Mexico Commission. The Commission’s art and culture committee will hold an open meeting as part of the AMC’s larger 60th-anniversary summit that you can attend!

The committee will meet on Wednesday, June 26, from 1-4PM at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa. The meeting is free and open to all (if you want to participate beyond the committee meeting, then you will need to register for the entire summit). Register for the committee meeting by Monday, June 24.

The committee meeting will include a “state of the arts” presentation with representatives of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Instituto Sonorense de Cultura. It will also include an exciting opportunity to learn about doing business and cultural exchanges in Mexico from attorney Patrick Welch and artist Gennaro Garcia. The meeting will conclude with updates from those attending, so if you are doing (or wanting to do) bi-national work with Mexico, then please come and share your work.
To learn more about the Arizona Mexico Commission, please visit www.azmc.org.
NEA Grant Deadline is Thursday, July 11
Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program. Through project-based funding, the NEA supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Projects may be large or small, existing or new, but a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required.

Matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000. No grants will be made below $10,000. Grants of $100,000 or more will be made only in rare instances, and only for projects that demonstrate exceptional national or regional significance and impact. In the past few years, well over half of the agency's grants have been for amounts less than $25,000.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, July 11, 2019. To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, the NEA strongly recommends that potential applicants register/renew their Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least June 19, 2019 and submit to Grants.gov by at least July 2, 2019.
Arizona Opera and Arizona Theatre Company Collaboration
Arizona Opera and Arizona Theatre Company announced a two-city (Phoenix and Tucson) collaboration granting mutual administrative and artistic “resident” status. In Phoenix, Arizona Opera is making administrative space available for Arizona Theatre Company’s Phoenix-based and itinerant staff operations. The collaboration allows ATC exclusive use of approximately 500 square feet of space for offices. Arizona Theatre Company will also be given preferred rental terms for artistic spaces. Arizona Opera will have resident administrative and artistic privileges at the Temple of Art and Music in Tucson, which is operated by Arizona Theatre Company.

Billy Russo, managing director of Arizona Theatre Company says, “There is a synergy between our organizations as we have both experienced the great benefits and challenges that come with being part of the cultural landscape of two cities. By coming together we share not only bricks and mortar, but an understanding of the opportunities and responsibilities that come with a dual city operation.”

The Arizona Opera building is owned by the City of Phoenix, managed by the Office of Arts and Culture, and was constructed through appropriations from the 2006 General Obligation Bond Issue, and private funds raised by Arizona Opera.

The Arizona Opera Center (top) with Billy Russo, managing director of Arizona Theatre Company, Joseph Spector, president and general director, Arizona Opera with Dwight Walth, director of cultural facilities, Office of Arts and Culture during the build out of ATC's offices at the Opera Center.
Forbes: Why It's Good Business to Support the Arts
The economic impact of the arts is well documented. According to a report, the growth in arts and cultural economic activity made up 4.3% of the U.S. gross domestic product for 2016. That equates to more than $804 billion in economic activity for that year alone. There are many reasons why promoting local arts and cultural nonprofits can help to improve communities. Promoting the arts can also positively impact the bottom line for companies that support these organizations.

For one, companies today are increasingly rated by their community involvement, ethics and social responsibility. Many corporate visionaries see the value of deeper cultural engagement and being connected to the community. Such engagement opens opportunities for companies to stand out in the eyes of consumers, employees and investors. It’s also a way to stand out from the competition.

Businesses should recognize that supporting arts and cultural programs can help to build their surrounding communities. The stronger the community is, the better the business opportunities can be for a company. A city with a vibrant artistic and cultural scene often attracts better talent, and a company that is directly involved with that vibrancy is set up to better retain and grow that talent. Businesses that support local arts and cultural organizations can add value to their corporate brand and their bottom line.