The Arizona Commission on the Arts announced it’ll be distributing more that $1 million in grants to nonprofit art organizations, local art agency schools and community organizations in Maricopa County during the 2014 fiscal year.

According to Communication Research Director Casey Blake, grants that were distributed throughout Maricopa County ranged from $1,000 to $60,000, depending on the size of the organization.

When the Arizona Commission on the Arts is reviewing organizations for grant processing, it looks at how organizations are serving Arizona citizens, if they’re using best practices and innovative strategies, and is there a capacity of public funds, Blake said.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts distributes grants annually throughout Maricopa County, with all required submissions to be completed by March.

“The applications are then reviewed by volunteer panelist from all across the state who have a variety of expertise in the arts, community service, and nonprofit businesses,” Blake said. “They review the applications and then make recommendations to the governor-appointed commissioners. They then ratify those recommendations, and we make that announcement in July.”

The Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the state of Arizona, with its mission focusing on every individual being able to experience the arts, Blake said.

“Our agencies offer programs, services, and grants for the arts and culture agencies all across the state, primarily the nonprofit arts and culture industries,” Blake said. 

More than 254 grants will be awarded across the state of Arizona for the 2014 fiscal year through Community Investment Grants, Festival Grants, and Arts Learning Grants.

“These grants go to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, schools and community organizations so they can deliver arts and culture experiences to their community,” Blake said.

The Arts Learning Grants given through the Arizona Commission on the Arts are designed for schools who work with a teaching artist or an art organization in the community to provide an arts experience in their schools, Blake said, adding that in no way does it replace the arts education that is occurring in the school. She said it’s solely an additional program that deepens the arts experience in schools.

Of the organizations that received grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Keystone Montessori in Ahwatukee received an Arts Learning Grant, which ranged from $1,700, Blake said.

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