May 18, 2020
Phoenix City Council Approves $2.6M in Federal Funds for Arts Relief
Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix City Council approved using $2.6 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding to help artists, along with nonprofit arts and culture organizations, hurting financially because of the global health emergency. The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture will administer grant programs in support of arts and culture organizations and individual artists across the city of Phoenix. Full grant guidelines and eligibility will be published at on Monday, June 1, 2020. In the meantime, we can offer the following details:

Organizational Support
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture will provide one-time emergency relief grants up to $50,000 to arts and cultural nonprofits. Organizations that completed a FY21 community arts grant application and are recommended for support would be immediately eligible to apply for emergency relief funding and receive a simple, supplemental application to complete. Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that did not apply for a FY21 community arts grant can be considered for emergency relief funding on a case-by-case basis.

Artist Support
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture will open an emergency relief grant for individual artists. This support would be for working artists, teaching artists, and artist-based contract workers who have experienced cancelled events and residencies or terminated contracts as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Grants would be up to $1,500 and events, residencies, or contracts for which an individual is claiming lost income must have been scheduled to take place March 1, 2020, or later.

“We are grateful to the Mayor and City Council for including the arts in their efforts to provide relief from the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Mitch Menchaca, director for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture after last week's vote. “Preserving the arts in Phoenix is essential to keeping everyone connected to the creativity and healing that art provides, not only to its makers but to the people who experience that art as well. This funding will ensure our local artists will be able to continue their great work.”
Microbusiness Grant Program
The City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department has launched a grant program for microbusinesses in our community. Microbusiness owners, solo practitioners, and entrepreneurs with fewer than five employees may be eligible for $5,000. This can include Phoenix individual artists, galleries, venues, and other small for-profit arts businesses that meet the eligibility criteria. 

To qualify, microbusinesses/solo practitioners/entrepreneurs must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Currently operate a physical/mobile location in the city of Phoenix.
  • The location must have been open in Phoenix since January 1, 2019.
  • Have experienced a gross sales decline of at least 25% as a result of COVID-19 in March and April of 2020, when compared to March and April of 2019.
  • No more than five (5) employees as of March 1, 2020.
  • No more than $1 million in gross total sales between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019.
  • Ability to share the financial impact of this grant on their business.
  • Not have previously been awarded funds from the Phoenix Small Business Relief Grant Program or any City of Phoenix Resiliency Grant.

Grants may be used to cover costs of operations, supplies, and materials, or rehiring employees. No repayment is necessary for grants. Grant funds must be used by November 1, 2020.

This funding is expected to go quickly, so please act promptly to submit your application. While funding is available, applying for a grant does not guarantee funds will be awarded. The Arizona Community Foundation administers the program.

To apply or to learn more information, please visit the  Arizona Community Foundation’s websiteVer en español.
Community Arts Grants Virtual Panels
The annual Community Arts Grants Program provides core operating or project support to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations of all sizes that have a primary mission to create, produce, or provide arts and cultural programming to enhance the quality of lives for Phoenix residents. Through the agency’s equity strategy, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture ensures outreach to all areas of the city and target applicants from all disciplines, budget sizes, underrepresented populations, and ensure all City Council districts are represented. Applications are up from the previous year, and the agency received new applicants this year.

Over the next two weeks, panels will meet to review FY21 eligible applications. Panels are made up of local artists and arts professionals, community laypeople, and out-of-state experts to ensure a thorough and unbiased review. Panel recommendations are forwarded to the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission to review and approve for funding, ensuring these organizations are good stewards of public funds.

Per the most recent guidelines from the federal government that no more than 10 people should be gathered in a room at the same time, these meetings will be convened virtually. The public is invited to listen to grant reviews. The panel schedule is as follows:

  • Project Grants: Cultural Festivals - Tuesday, May 19 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Project Grants: Youth Arts Engagement - Wednesday, May 20 - 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Project Grants: Artist Exposure: Thursday, May 21 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Operating Support Grants: CIEG III - Tuesday, May 26 - 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Operating Support Grants: CIEG II - Wednesday, May 27 - 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Operating Support Grants: CIEG I - Thursday, May 28 - 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

For more information on how to listen to the review or to see daily agendas, please visit
New Public Art in West Phoenix
Two new public art projects are nearing completion in west Phoenix. One enhances the sidewalk along the east side of 107th Avenue, between Indian School and Camelback Roads. The second improves the safety and appearance of an inactive city water well site at 73rd Avenue and Crittenden Lane, on the east side of El Oso Park. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of June.

Designed by the artist team Haddad and Drugan, and fabricated by Magnum Companies, of Phoenix, the 107th Avenue project features trees and sculptural shade structures inspired by the soaring maneuvers of birds and jets from nearby Luke Air Force Base. This project is in partnership with the city's Street Transportation Department.

On 73rd Avenue, artist Bobby Zokaites and landscape architects from Dig Studio transformed a vacant lot into a small plaza with desert plantings, shade trees, lighting, fences, a pathway, and a sculptural gateway. Both projects celebrate the great work that our construction trades accomplish in building a better Phoenix. This project is in partnership with the city's Water Services Department.
Left to Right: 107th Avenue Project and the 73rd Avenue Project
Statewide CARES Act Funding
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) allocated funds for state arts agencies and state humanities councils to regrant to arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arizona Humanities is honored to provide NEH rapid-response funding to non-profit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to $10,000 for non-profit organizations across Arizona with a history of providing public humanities and cultural programs that are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Visit the Arizona Humanities CARES Act Emergency Relief website for more information, including full eligibility and how to apply. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2020.
The Arizona Commission on the Arts will administer NEA CARES Act funding via the AZ CARES Grant program in support of arts and culture organizations across the state. Grants of $5,000-$7,500 will be awarded. Based on an estimate of 200 eligible applicants, this program will likely award up to 65 grants. This represents 33% of applications funded or a 1 in 3 opportunity to receive a grant. Visit the Arizona Commission on the Arts AZ CARES website for more information, including full eligibility and how to apply. The deadline to apply is June 2, 2020.
Youth Artists' Showcase
The Youth Artists' Showcase wrapped up earlier this month. The showcase is a celebration of art created by young people in Phoenix who are under the age of 20. Sponsored by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture's Youth Arts and Culture Council, this event was a space for young people to promote their creative projects and share their perspectives.​ Due to COVID-19, the Youth Artists' Showcase was held virtually. Follow the showcase online at the Youth Arts and Culture Council's Instagram or Facebook page.
Pitch Night Arizona
ArtPrize is teaming up with ArtWins Arizona to host Pitch Night Arizona — a one-night virtual event where an artist will leave with a $5,000 grant to create an ambitious outdoor installation at the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Eberhard Center during the eleventh ArtPrize event this fall, September 16 - October 4, 2020. ArtPrize is the world’s largest international art competition. It is also one the most attended public art event in the world, routinely attracting over 500,000 visitors. $250,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to participating artists, including one $200,000 grand prize.

Artists are invited to submit proposals and submissions may be for art in any medium. For the virtual event, five artists will be selected to give a pre-recorded five-minute presentation to a panel of five expert judges. The panel of judges will view all the presentations, then ask follow-up questions of the artists. The panel will select the winner, awarding the winning artist a $5,000 grant to realize their proposal at GVSU’s Eberhard Center during ArtPrize 2020. The entire Pitch Night finals event will be broadcast live online, with details to follow. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2020.