Harrod Blank –  Multidisciplinary Artist, Filmmaker, and Founder of Art Car World

ARTISTORIES Harrod Blank In this episode, we hear from Harrod Blank, Multidisciplinary Artist, Filmmaker, and Founder of Art Car World. Harrod shares the story of how he established Art Car World in Douglas, Arizona, which houses one of the country’s most...

Tucson Flourishes as Arts Mecca

The Arts: An Economic Powerhouse
Statewide, the rich tapestry of traditional, Indigenous, contemporary and emerging forms of arts and culture account for more than 86,000 jobs and contribute $9.6 billion to the economy annually, according to 2020 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2021, Southern Methodist University DataArts (which partners with local arts organizations nationwide) found that 37 Tucson arts organizations – 36 with budgets under $5 million – generated more than $34 million in salaries and benefits to local residents and physical expenses (rent and repairs) paid to local businesses.

In Southern Arizona, this translates into real dollars for dining, lodging, retail and industries such as architecture, construction, commercial real estate, technology, industrial and interior design services. A 2020 study by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance revealed the nonprofit arts and cultural sector generates 10,000-plus jobs and $87.7 million in annual revenue. 

“Prior to the COVID pandemic, statistics indicated that for every dollar spent attending a performance, an additional $5 to $7 dollars are generated in the local economy. We can tell you what is happening on all of the stages in Tucson, but as an industry, we must promote awareness about the economic impact of these performances,” said Chad Herzog, executive director of Arizona Arts Live.

The importance of Tucson’s diverse arts to economic sustainability can’t be overstated, said Michael Guymon, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber.

“All economically viable and successful communities have an abundant arts scene and Tucson is distinguished by offering every element of performance art: music, opera, dance, drama and vocal arts,” said Guymon. “We also have a vibrant visual arts scene with venues like the Tucson Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, where I previously served on the board of directors. We also have incredible murals, public art and other amenities typically found in major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.”

That profile is enhanced by safe housing and neighborhoods, education, health services and more that create “Livable Communities.” They result in a competitive edge over other cities as determined by the Economic Blueprint created in conjunction with Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development arm.

“Our original economic blueprint, which was developed 15 years ago and is still our guidepost today, notes that economically competitive communities have high standards for livability. We identified a vibrant arts and culture community as one of those standards,” said Joe Snell, Sun Corridor Inc. president and CEO.

Seeking community Members to join Thrive in 05 panel!

We are looking for community representatives from the zip code 85705 to join the panel to select artists for Thrive in the 05 Storytelling Public Art. • No experience is required. • A love for public art is encouraged! • If selected for this project, participants will...

THE LOCAL ARTS AGENCY FOR TUCSON AND SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is a local arts agency that proudly serves our region’s creative economy through Grantmaking, Public Art, Advocacy, and Professional Development.

Grants

The Arts Foundation Grants and Sponsorships is proud to provide funding for all individual artists, arts organizations, and community-based arts projects throughout Tucson, Pima County, and Southern Arizona, including tribal lands South of the Gila River.

Somos Uno | We Are One

Somos Uno | We Are One

Public Art

The Arts Foundation manages the public art process for the City Tucson and Pima County from start to finish alongside our partners in the in City and Couty offices. We support project teams that oversee the production and installation of artwork in public facilities, transportation projects, neighborhood centers, parks and more.

Call to Artists: THRIVE IN THE 05 STORYTELLING PUBLIC ART 

Call to Artists: THRIVE IN THE 05 STORYTELLING PUBLIC ART 

ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES

The Arts Foundation provides opportunities and resources for artists and arts organizations in Tucson and Southern Arizona bringing together a comprehensive collection of in-house and community opportunities, including calls to artists, job listings, and news.

Arts Directory

The Arts Directory is your comprehensive listing of artists, and arts organizations, who work across our service region in Southern Arizona. Our directory serves as a connector for creatives and community entities to find one another for opportunities like collaborations, exhibitions and job opportunities!

Programs

Arts Foundation programs provide opportunities for professional development, networking and collaboration across the arts ecosystem in Southern Arizona and beyond.

Creative Flowers

Creative Flowers

News

Explore the latest in news, resources, opportunities, and happenings in the Southwest Borderlands. 

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