Flinn Foundation gives $40,000 for small Arizona arts groups

May 26, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

Ten Arizona arts-and-culture organizations will receive a combined $40,000 under a Flinn Foundation initiative that will support rural and diverse art galleries, festivals, dance classes, museums, workshops, and education.

The grants, distributed in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, provide funding to arts and culture organizations within smaller and rural communities. Each of the grantee organizations has participated in recent Arts Commission programs and initiatives.

The 10 grantees are from Bisbee, Clifton, Elgin, Flagstaff, Kykotsmovi, Miami, Nogales, Show Low, Tucson, and Yuma. Each organization received a grant of $2,500 or $5,000.

“Our hope is that each of these grants will make a difference to the community, enabling festivals to flourish, galleries to spotlight local talent, creators to engage the next generation, and so much more,” said Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “We are proud to be supporting the arts in these Arizona towns that add so much to our state’s vibrancy.”

Creative Communities Program Grantees

Art Depot, Clifton

Home to the Colors of Copper Art Show, a fine-arts and wine-tasting gala, the Art Depot is located in the historic Train Depot in Clifton. The mission is to provide arts, music, and cultural events and opportunities to the residents of Greenlee County. 

Arts Alliance of the White Mountains, Show Low

The Arts Alliance of the White Mountains and Center for the Arts showcases local artists and provides exhibits, shows, and special events for the community, including a gallery, gift shop, classes, and a concert series.

Barbea Williams Performing Company, Tucson

An Afrikan-centered performing company with an emphasis on Afrikan and Afrikan Latino dance, choreography, choreo-poetry, cultural folklore, story dance, and using dance to educate.

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum, Miami

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, based in a nearly 100-year-old school building, offers exhibits, education programs, lectures, collections, publications, and outreach programs to preserve and present the history and national environment of the Globe-Miami region.

Canelo Project, Elgin

Founders Bill and Athena Steen have been conducting workshops for 30 years and have built several small experimental buildings, including more than a dozen straw bale sheds and cottages that are available to tour. The main house and guest house are adobe.

Children’s Museum of Yuma County, Yuma

The museum is preparing to open its year-round location on Main Street in Yuma to create a lifelong experience through hands-on, interactive exhibits where children will learn by using their imagination and creativity.

Hilltop Gallery, Nogales

With a goal to bring arts and culture to underserved communities, Hilltop Gallery is the only permanent art collection in the region, with both exhibit and education activities that join the cultures and artists of the United States and Mexico. The gallery offers art classes for adults and youth, a walk-in studio for any medium, plus an art library.

KUYI Hopi Radio, Kykotsmovi

The 20-year-old, 69,000-watt radio station with online streaming serves the Hopi Reservation, Flagstaff, Tuba City, Winslow, and the I-40 corridor and has affiliations with Native Voice One and NPR. Hopi Radio provides locally produced content, entertainment, and exposure to other cultures through music and ideas.

MOCAF, Flagstaff

The Museum of Contemporary Art Flagstaff is an artist-run, artist-supporting organization dedicated to connecting artists and community.

Studio Mariposa, Bisbee

Studio Mariposa, run by Bisbee/Martha’s Vineyard artist Gretchen Baer, is a nonprofit that provides an opportunity for an average of 100 children per week in Naco, Mexico, to participate in art and music.

Flinn Foundation Arts and Culture Program

The Flinn Foundation primarily supports arts and culture in Arizona through the Initiative for Financial and Creative Health, which supplies funding and technical assistance to many of Arizona’s largest arts-and-culture organizations. The initiative helps them prioritize capitalization needs and design both financial and creative engagement strategies, while SMU DataArts provides access to standardized data.

The Flinn Foundation typically distributes up to $850,000 a year in arts-related grants.

The foundation started its formal programming to fund the arts in 1984. Dr. Robert and Irene Flinn, who established the Flinn Foundation in 1965, were strong supporters of the arts and recognized their importance in improving the quality of life for Arizona residents.

In addition to funding the arts, the Flinn Foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, the merit-based Flinn Scholarship, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.