31 Arts Organizations Split $165,000 in Sustainability Grants

December 6, 2011

The Drawing Studio received a $10,000 grant.

Thirty-one local arts and culture organizations will receive a combined $165,000 in sustainability grants from the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

These grants fund nonprofit organizations to address priorities that will help them sustain, thrive and grow during these challenging economic times, according to Leia Maahs, TPAC grants and community cultural development manager.

“As government funding for the arts diminished, TPAC re-envisioned its grants process and focused on using public monies to strengthen our local arts and culture organizations and grow the vitality of our city’s creative culture for the long term,” Maahs said.

The sustainability grants are funded by the City of Tucson and distributed by TPAC.

The grants are a direct response to the current economic climate. They support creative thinking and leadership in the nonprofit arts and cultural sector.

TPAC awarded eight $2,500 grants, seventeen $5,000 grants and six $10,000 grants. A total of 46 organizations applied, detailing the challenges they were facing and how the grant would sustain operations, strengthen management capacity and further the mission of the organization.

“These grant awards are resources that will support the dynamic adaptability of our cultural community as it moves through this sputtering economy,” said Roberto Bedoya, TPAC’s executive director. They also affirm the public’s support of Tucson’s diverse art organizations and their valuable contribution to our civic well-being.”

Recipients of the $10,000 grants were among the first to submit information through the Arizona Cultural Data Project, part of a national database sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Organizations input detailed background including financial, programmatic, demographic and operational data one time, then continue to access and update the information into the future.

To date, Arizona is one of 11 states participating in the project that began in 2004 after four years of research and a $2.3 million investment by The Pew Charitable Trusts in the Cultural Data Project. Until then there had been no standardized system for gathering cultural data.

As use of the database expands, local organizations will have increased visibility and opportunities. Funders around the nation use this information plan and evaluate grant-making activities.

In addition to TPAC, other organizations in Arizona using this database for grant funding include the Arizona Commission on the Arts, City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flinn Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The database also helps participating organizations to easily track trends and benchmark their progress through sophisticated reporting tools.

Through sustainability grants, the new database project, economic impact research and other activities, TPAC is committed to building better, stronger nonprofit arts and culture foundations in the community that will support and grow the creative economy, Maahs said.

The grant recipients are:

$10,000 – Arizona Theatre Company, Loft Cinema, The Drawing Studio, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

$5,000 – Beowulf Alley Theatre, Borderlands Theatre, Chax Press, Ballet Arts Foundation, Kore Press, Live Theatre Workshop, NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre, Odaiko Sonora, Pan Left Productions, The Tucson Arts Brigade, Tucson Literacy Movement, Tucson Meet Yourself, Tucson Pops Orchestra, Warehouse Arts Management Organization and ZUZI! Dance Company.

$2,500 – FUNHOUSE Movement Theatre, Lead Guitar, Safos Dance Theatre,

Sons of Orpheus – The Male Choir of Tucson, Studio Connections of Arizona, Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, The Symphony Women’s Association and Winding Road Theatre Ensemble.