Flinn Foundation awards $60,000 to rural arts groups

December 19, 2018

By Matt Ellsworth

Six Arizona arts-and-culture groups, from Globe to the international border, have received a combined $60,000 in grants as part of a Flinn Foundation-supported program designed to spur engagement between the small-town organizations and their communities.

The Creative Communities Program provides funding to arts and culture organizations within small and rural communities that have participated in the AZ Creative Communities Institute, a program of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, and Southwest Folklife Alliance, a nonprofit affiliate of the University of Arizona.

The AZ Creative Communities Initiative brings together small teams of local leaders and artists to learn from one another and local and national experts in the arts. The teams enrich their communities through projects that have ranged from murals painted by the public to development of a video-based story collection.

The grantees are from Casa Grande, Douglas, Globe and Yuma. The six Arizona arts-and-culture organizations will be awarded $10,000 each in 2018.

Creative Communities Program Grantees

Blackbox Theatre Foundation, Casa Grande

BlackBox Foundation is a nonprofit organization formed in 2012 that produces quality community theatre and other arts events, supports arts education and classes for youth and teens, and advocates for the arts in Casa Grande and Pinal County.

Border Arts Corridor, Douglas

The Border Arts Corridor in southeastern Arizona supports local arts projects, workshops, performances, lectures, exhibitions, film viewings, and binational collaborations. The group also is working to restore the Grand Theatre to provide a vibrant cultural center in downtown Douglas.

Littlewood Fine Art and Community Co-op, Yuma

Littlewood Fine Art and Community Co-op offers gallery and studio space to Yuma residents to encourage working artists. The organization also provides classes, gallery exhibitions, internships and special events with a focus on painting, ceramics, music, wood working and other arts.

Yuma Art Center and Historic Yuma Theatre, Yuma

The Yuma Art Center each year produces several theatre productions, more than 20 visual-arts exhibitions and 50 classes, offers a summer mural program, screens dozens of films, and coordinates festivals and special events. The Historic Yuma Theatre, which dates to 1912, has nearly 650 seats.

Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program, Globe

For more than 20 years, the youth of Globe-Miami and the surrounding area have participated in Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program’s live-theater opportunities and programs in local schools. Teen alumni of the SYMTP perform more difficult productions before elementary-school students and for sold-out community audiences.

Casa Grande Main Street, Casa Grande

Casa Grande Main Street promotes and markets the Casa Grande historic downtown district and is an advocate for downtown revitalization and historic preservation, while also hosting downtown events such as the street fair and car show.

Flinn Foundation Arts and Culture Program

The Creative Communities Program complements the Initiative for Financial and Creative Health, launched by the Flinn Foundation in 2013. Through that initiative, the Foundation provides funding, technical assistance, and data to nearly 20 of Arizona’s largest performing-arts organizations, museums, and cultural pillars to help them prioritize capitalization needs and design both financial and creative engagement strategies. The Foundation gives roughly $850,000 a year in arts-related grants.

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. The Flinn Foundation began formal programming to fund the arts in 1984 and is one of Arizona’s largest private funders. The Foundation administers Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap and provides grants to advance the state’s bioscience sector, and supports the Flinn Scholars Program and Arizona Center for Civic Leadership