Flinn Foundation, Piper Trust Announce Strengthening Arts Initiative

April 5, 2010

By hammersmith

A total of $1.25 million will go into a one-time arts and culture initiative resulting from redirecting remaining grant funds from the wind-down of Metro Phoenix Partnership for Arts and Culture (MPAC).

The Flinn Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, MPAC’s two major funders, have designated the outstanding funds for the Flinn-Piper Strengthening the Arts Initiative. The initiative has two parts:

  • The Flinn Emergency Fund for Arts Organizations comprising $500,000 in unrestricted grants to 21 arts and culture organizations (list follows).
  • The Piper Arts Restructuring and Transformation Fund (ART Fund) of up to $750,000 to implement new nonprofit structures, processes and collaborative ventures to increase revenue and reduce costs. Piper Trust previously made one-time unrestricted grants to 39 arts and culture organizations.

The Flinn fund will make grants to Maricopa County arts and culture organizations that had received funding historically from the Flinn Foundation. Grant amounts are based on the annual operating budgets of the 21 arts and culture nonprofits.

Flinn does not provide general operating support as a rule but has made an exception given the urgent needs of arts and culture organizations, according to Jack Jewett, president and CEO, Flinn Foundation.

“The arts and culture institutions that play such an important role in our community continue to face severe challenges in the midst of the ‘Great Recession,’ ” said Jewett. “We hope these modest grants will provide at least temporary relief in meeting immediate operating needs.”

Piper Trust will use the ART Fund to award two-year grants of $50,000 to $150,000. Successful projects will investigate and implement new business methods that change the organization’s business model and approach to mission to promote long-term financial stability. The grants are not intended for short-term, cash-flow needs or current core operating costs.

“The daunting new arts and culture world of changing demographics and persistent economic insecurity requires arts and culture organizations to examine new ways to do business,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, Piper Trust president and CEO.

Organizations eligible for the program are Piper Trust arts and culture grantees with annual operating budgets over $250,000. The Trust will send application information directly to the 36 eligible Maricopa County organizations. Piper Trust hopes to award the ART Fund grants by mid-August.

The Flinn Foundation and Piper Trust also have agreed to co-sponsor a four-day April 2011 Arizona Town Hall about the impact of arts and culture on Arizona’s economy. A survey of Town Hall members revealed the need to address the creation of a vibrant statewide economy incorporating arts and culture. Each organization will make a grant of $25,000 for the program.


Actors Theatre
Arizona Jewish Theatre Company
Arizona Opera
Arizona Science Center
Arizona Theatre Company
Ballet Arizona
Black Theatre Troupe
Desert Caballeros Western Museum
Heard Museum
Herberger Theater Center
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Boys Choir
Phoenix Chorale
The Phoenix Symphony
Phoenix Theatre
Scottsdale Cultural Council
Symphony of the Southwest
Theater Works
West Valley Arts Council
Xico, Inc.


About Flinn Foundation:
The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. The nonprofit philanthropy supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the arts, and the Flinn Scholars Program. Since 1984, the Foundation has awarded $18 million in grants to advance the arts in Arizona.

About Piper Trust:
A private independent foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors Virginia Galvin Piper’s philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening community in Maricopa County (Arizona). By investing in nonprofits and encouraging strategic planning for the future, Piper Trust strives to make Maricopa County a stronger, more nurturing and vibrant community. The Trust’s grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education and religious organizations.