Paradise Valley resident named 5 Arts Circle executive director

Jill Christenholz (submitted photo)

Jill Christenholz (submitted photo)

5 Arts Circle recently named Jill Christenholz as its new executive director and announced the 2016-17 Board of Directors.

Long time Paradise Valley resident, Ms. Christenholz, is a supporter of the local arts and has remained a member of 5 Arts Circle, which is a social group supporting five pre-eminent visual and performing arts organizations in metro Phoenix, since being founded in 1999, according to a press release.

Ms. Christenholz, who joined the board in 2004, is the founder and owner of Desert Paradise Properties, a local real estate brokerage, and Maverick Designs, which is an interior design firm, the press release said. She replaces interim director Erin Stapp who is relocating out of state.

While the organization’s new administrative director is Michele Cohn, the 2016-17 Board of Directors are:

  • Chairman Howard Hirsch
  • President/Treasurer Harry Papp
  • Vice President Merle Rosskam
  • Treasurer Larry Gutsch
  • Director Makenna Albrecht
  • Director Ellen Andres-Schneider
  • Director Rhett Butler
  • Director Deborah Cookson
  • Director John Ellerman
  • Director Mimi Horowitz
  • Director Bernard Kirk
  • Director Mary Patino
  • Director Randy Schilling
  • Director Gretchen Wilson

5 Arts Circle serves and enriches the community by encouraging seasonal and lifelong Valley residents to financially support five premier arts organizations: Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, the Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Arts, and The Phoenix Symphony, according to the press release, adding that members contribute an annual tax deductible $6,000 distributed among the five arts groups.

As a result, 5 Arts members are counted among each organization’s donor circles, qualifying them for over 80 collective donor benefits.

“To date, our committed 5 Arts Circle members have donated more than $4.3 million,” said Harry Papp, president of 5 Arts Circle, in the release. “Beyond dues, our members contribute through ticket purchases, individual donations, fundraisers, and volunteering.”

Ms. Christenholz is responsible for developing 5 Arts Circle’s Arts & Beyond, an annual series of diverse and exclusive arts encounters produced exclusively for members.

“We really appreciate these opportunities to create friendships with other arts lovers while supporting local arts and culture,” Randy Schilling, a long time 5 Arts board member, said in a prepared statement.

5 Arts Circle has 16 events this 2016-17 arts season, offering its members a behind-the-scenes experience with art venues and influencers. Events include a private tour of the Emphatics Fashion Exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum, a dessert reception at the Arizona Opera; a viewing of its Riders of the Purple Sage; and, a studio spotlight at Ballet Arizona.

For more information about 5 Arts Circle, go to

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