Arizona Legislature budget includes $2M for arts statewide

The $10.4 billion fiscal year 2019 budget passed by the Arizona Legislature includes a $2 million appropriation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Derived from interest accrued on the state’s Rainy-day Fund, this allocation will not increase overall state spending, according to a press release.

“This $2 million allocation acknowledges the vital role that artists and arts organizations play as community leaders, contributors, and creative catalysts,” said Jaime Dempsey, executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

“Our sincere thanks to Governor Ducey, his staff, and Arizona’s state legislators for their foresight and leadership in supporting arts and culture. We are honored to work in partnership with our elected leaders, as they know what we know: investments in arts and culture directly benefit Arizonans in myriad positive ways.”

According to Mark Feldman, chair of the agency’s Governor-appointed board of Commissioners, arts and culture area a vital part of the Arizona economy.

“The arts are an economic driver, enhance the education of our young people, and create opportunities for dialogue and understanding among and within Arizona’s diverse communities,” he said. “This funding will create, expand, and improve opportunities for Arizonans to engage in the arts across our great state. We are honored to serve as stewards of this public support.”

The Arizona Commission on the Arts administers funding from both the state and federal government in support of programs that contribute to the growth and stabilization of Arizona’s arts sector, enhance student learning, nurture artists’ creative and professional development, preserve the rich traditions of Arizona communities and ensure all Arizonans can participate in and experience the arts.

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