Peoria rewards $50K in grants to arts organizations

Peoria Unified School District’s Arts & Cultural Festival was awarded a $3,000 grant from the city of Peoria for Fiscal Year 2019. The award was one of many from the city as part of their Art Grant Program to enhance culture in Peoria. [David Collie/Peoria Unified School District.]

By Philip Haldiman
Independent Newsmedia

Peoria is rewarding 19 grants to art organizations totaling $50,000 for Fiscal Year 2019.

Theater Works, Peoria Unified School District, Ballet Arizona and Center Dance Ensemble were among the top  recipients.

Spokesman Tim Eiden said the grants are expected to provide organizations with financial capacity to participate in city-sponsored events, enhance arts programs at Peoria Unified School District schools, bring the arts and arts activities to underserved populations and assist arts organizations with building a significant presence in Peoria.

This year marked a 63 percent increase in participation since Fiscal Year 2017, with 26 applications.

Mr. Eiden said that in Fiscal Year 2018 the maximum award for each arts grant went up from $2,500 to $5,000, making the grant process more worthwhile to potential applicants as it is a competitive process with reporting requirements.

This year, applicants requested a total of $103,680, up 166 percent compared with Fiscal Year 2017, when a total of $38,960 was requested, according to a city document.

The Peoria Arts Commission is actively getting the word out to nonprofit arts organizations about the arts grants in Peoria, Mr. Eiden said.

“Our goal is to provide rich, diverse arts experiences in Peoria, and one way to accomplish this goal is through the support of art program grants for a variety of qualified organizations,” Mr. Eiden said. “We want arts organizations to see the opportunity to create art in Peoria to add to the quality of life of our residents, and to create an arts supportive culture.”

Single grant awards for Fiscal Year 2019 ranged from $1,200 to $4,700. Individual awards were available up to $5,000.

The city awarded 14 grants in Fiscal Year 2018 and 15 grants in Fiscal Year 2017, according to a city document.

Similar to last year, the base budget of $25,200 for the grants was augmented by a one-time supplemental amount of $24,800 for a total of $50,000.

The grants were assessed in five categories: applicant history, the grant request, project/organizational quality, project/organizational capability and project budget. Each application was scored individually by panel members and ranked based on total score. Staff compiled the funding requests in various amounts and presented them to the Peoria Arts Commission that made final recommendations to city council.


Grant winners
Since 1991, the arts division in Peoria has proposed and managed the Art Grant Program, in which several nonprofits are afforded support in delivering programs and services to residents in the areas of visual and performing arts. The goal of the program is to help organizations and schools with financial support enhancing art-centric events and activities benefiting Peoria residents.

On May 15, the Peoria Arts Commission held a public meeting and unanimously approved the following recommendations (nonprofit and program) totaling $50,000 to the City Council that approved them June 5.

TheaterWorks, AdaptiveWorks Ed Programming: $4,700

Ballet Arizona, Dance AZ program: $4,600

Center Dance Ensemble, Performances in Peoria Schools: $3,800

PUSD, Swift Shakespeare: $3,500

PUSD, Arts & Cultural Festival: $3,000

Theater Works, PuppetWorks Blacklight: $3,000

Act One, Field Trip Program: $2,500

WHAM Art Association, At Risk Teens Art Program: $2,500

Childsplay, Peoria School Touring Shows: $2,400

PUSD, Performance/Artist in Residency: $2,400

Northwest Valley Connect, Intergenerational Mural: $2,400

WHAM Art Association, Peoria – Public Mosaic Mural: $2,400

Arizona Broadway Theatre, Theater for Young Audiences at Sunrise Mountain Library: $2,000

Arizona Broadway Theatre, Theater for Young Audiences at Main Library: $2,000

Ironwood Band Community Foundation, music performances in Peoria: $2,000

Phoenix Symphony, Classroom Concert Series: $2,000

Southwest Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare in the Park – Peoria: $1,800

Friends of the Library, library arts events: $1,800

West Valley Art Museum, Children’s Art Studio: $1,200


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