Yuma arts groups receive $14,681
Four local arts organizations are applauding news that $14,681 is coming their way this summer.
The Arizona Commission on the Arts announced that Yuma's grants for the year are $5,400 each for Ballet Yuma and Yuma Arts and Culture Commission, $2,328 for Yuma Ballet Theatre and $1,553 for Yuma Fine Arts Association.
“The services these organizations and schools provide are valuable to the citizens of our state,” said Robert Booker, executive director for the state arts commission, “and the modest but critical investment in our nonprofit arts industry helps revitalize communities, brings visitors and generates revenue for other sectors.”
The arts commission announced a total of 267 grants totaling $1,517,564 to community organizations, local arts agencies and schools. Recipients are required to match their state grants dollar for dollar.
The commission's annual funds for Ballet Yuma “greatly assists the organization's year-round efforts in support of the company's high educational standards and artistic excellence, which are recognized on the national level,” according to business manager Steve Hennig.
The Yuma Arts and Culture Commission has received its annual grant since 1995, when it was created. The grant money helps fund the manager's salary for the arts and culture division, which oversees the city's creative ventures such as the Yuma Art Center.
“The Yuma Art Center was envisioned to be an incubator to grow the arts in Yuma by being the cultural centerpiece where performing groups may showcase their talents, visual artists may exhibit their creativity, and all of us may access our own creativity through a class or by participating,” said Roberta Ukura, assistant director for Yuma Parks and Recreation.
Ukura said the center's participation numbers tell a “story of success” with 1,185 visual artists showcased last year and 2,375 performing artists taking the stage.
Yuma Ballet Theatre board president Candice Orduno-Crouse said the grant will provide much-needed support as the dance organization prepares for its 33rd season. “Receipt of such funds represents the state of Arizona's continued recognition of YBT's long-standing tradition of bringing the joy of professional ballet and dance to the Yuma community.”
Carolyn Bennett, executive director for Yuma Fine Arts, said she is thankful not just for the arts commission's support but also for legislative representatives who voted to continue the commission as a state agency.
“This grant funding goes into general funds and helps toward expenses such as liability insurance, which can be quite costly when we exhibit artwork valued at thousands of dollars.”
Grant recipients are chosen each year through what Booker calls a “rigorous application and review process” overseen by governor-appointed commissioners. Grant funding comes from the Arizona Arts Trust Fund and state funding provided through the National Endowment for the Arts.
Features editor Darin Fenger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6860.