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The arts are thriving in Arizona. This year, the state is investing additional money in arts and culture in communities across the state.

State funding to the Arizona Commission on the Arts rose from $1.5 million in the previous fiscal year to $2 million in 2019, a 33 percent increase. The allocation comes from accrued interest on Arizona’s rainy-day fund.

Of the 233 grants awarded across the state this month, 23 recipients are located in Coconino County, with Flagstaff arts organizations and programs receiving a total of $169,000.

“With their action in the FY2019 state budget, Governor Ducey and state legislative leaders made a strong statement about the value of arts and culture in Arizona,” says Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “Their message is clear: Arizona’s arts sector has a significant role to play in unleashing our state’s boundless potential, with its wealth of positive outcomes on community and economic resilience, lifelong learning and individual ingenuity. Arizona creativity is a wise and productive investment.”

These grants are awarded though three distinct programs: Festival grants, Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnership Grants and Community Investment Grants.

Festival grants support organizations in their efforts to provide quality arts and cultural programming through community festival activities.

Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships Grants support school and community partnerships aimed at teaching and learning in arts education, as well as arts integration in Arizona Title I schools.

And Community Investment Grants provide operating support to nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies and tribal cultural organizations whose mission is to produce, present or teach the arts and to provide arts-based services.

At its quarterly meeting in June, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a state agency that also administers funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, approved $2.65 million in grants to Arizona nonprofit arts organizations, schools, festivals and community-based programs.

Among local recipients are the TILT Aerial Theater Festival ($3,000), Theatrikos Theatre Company ($5,000), the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival ($5,500) and the Museum of Northern Arizona ($40,000).

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