As chairman of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and a longtime supporter of the arts in Arizona, I am energized by the many opportunities on the horizon.
And, now because of the collaborative work of Senator Bob Worsley; Representative Kate Brophy McGee; and Gov. Doug Ducey, a $1.5 million investment in Arizona’s arts sector was included in the Fiscal Year 2017 state budget that was recently passed and signed into law.
It has been a challenging several years in Arizona as the economy has slowly recovered from the recession. Budget cuts in the public sector and reduced philanthropy in the private sector have severely impacted nonprofit arts organizations.
That’s why the above-mentioned elected officials, in addition to business leaders and grassroots supporters of the arts, banded together to support an important effort to enrich Arizona’s arts sector in a way that will benefit every corner of our state.
Even with the unprecedented funding challenges Arizona has faced in recent years, leaders like Rep. Kate Brophy McGee and Sen. Bob Worsley have fought for our communities, persistently making the case that a vibrant arts sector is a key ingredient of a healthy and improving economy.
Throughout the process this year, Rep. Brophy McGee and Sen. Worsley were steadfast advocates, working with the governor’s office to ensure that arts funding was included in the final legislative budget presented to the governor.
The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports local nonprofit arts organizations that provide arts education to young people, boost tourism, help attract businesses and support local economies. This restoration to the Arts Commission budget will help ensure that the arts sector continues to make a strong contribution to making Arizona a place where we all want to live, work and play.
I got to see firsthand the difference that strong leadership from Governor Ducey, Rep. Brophy McGee and Senator Worsley made in advancing the arts sector’s mission this year. I want to thank them, along with local business supporters and everyone who participates in the arts in one form or another, for making this year’s $1.5 million investment a reality.
I am excited to discover the many ways the arts sector will maximize this funding to support important work in communities across Arizona.
Editor’s note: Mr. Feldman is the chairman of Arizona Commission on the Arts