5 Arts Circle seeks preservation of culture through support of the arts

Can you imagine a society where art doesn’t exist?

Howard Hirsch

Howard Hirsch

Arizona may not be considered a high-profile hub for artist expression, but depriving our community of art, or depriving any place of art for that matter, means halting society of progression. Without art, our very existence would be a black and white portrait, forever trapped in a fixed time. The arts foster forward thinking that makes for enrichment.

When I relocated to the Valley from Chicago, I aspired to do something about the Phoenix metropolitan area’s decline of funds for arts by starting 5 Arts Circle. My inspiration for this organization derived from a golf game several years ago.

A friend of mine told me that he wanted to donate his entire art collection to the Guggenheim Museum in New York. When I suggested donating the art here instead of the overcrowded Guggenheim, it didn’t come across as a natural option. The next day on the golf course, our foursome formally founded 5 Arts Circle and in its first year, 25 people raised $125,000.

This 2015-16 arts season, we are celebrating our 16th anniversary and have raised over $4 million for five of the Valley’s premier arts groups. We have been honored to support the Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Opera, Scottsdale Cultural Council, and Ballet Arizona.

While 5 Arts Circle has garnered support from numerous enthusiastic and generous supporters, a majority of the Valley’s major arts organizations still lack the endowments needed to keep going.

Much of that has to do with the fact that most Phoenix-area arts groups have a relatively low national profile. Contrary to popular belief, great art isn’t limited to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Art and expression is all around us, everywhere. 5 Arts Circle urges those who think otherwise to just look closer and seek out the gems Arizona has to offer.

Every dancer exerts all of their energy and passion into each audition, rehearsal, and performance. Why? Because they have a flaring love for art that they want to share with the world. Without support, these hard-working artists risk losing their home for expression. In exchange for our community’s support and donations, these dancers help Arizona to become richer in culture, entertainment, inspiration, and education.

5 Arts Circle gives people who want to get involved in local arts an easy way to become totally entrenched. Our organization has created a social, intimate community for its members. By joining our circle, you can help us continue to keep the arts alive in metro-Phoenix and bring our community closer together.

Editor’s note: Mr. Hirsch is the founder of 5 Arts Circle

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