Gov. Doug Ducey Bends On Arizona Arts Funding

Published: Sunday, July 5, 2020 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, July 6, 2020 - 7:18am
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Alonso Parra
Jaime Dempsey

Arizona’s “skinny budget” that passed earlier this year did not include $2 million in funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

But Friday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced in a press release he pulled money from the state’s Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund to bridge the gap.

Calling the arts community, “… fundamental to our state’s cultural identity and expression,” Ducey stated the fund will “... help lift up those facing hardship due to COVID-19 and support economic recovery.”

The money will be administered by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which supports 90,000 jobs in a $9-plus billion industry each year.

Following the announcement, Mark Feldman, Governor-appointed chair of the commission, stated in his own release, “We are grateful for the Governor’s recognition of the vital role the arts play in the State’s recovery from the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We share his vision of a strong and vibrant arts sector acting as an engine for innovation and healing. We are proud to support this essential field and we continue to find inspiration in the resilience and creativity of Arizona artists and arts workers.”

Artists and supporters from around the state underscored the economic multiplier of the commission’s work and petitioned for the funding which has never been a permanent budget item.  

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