Arts Foundation Vision

Guiding principles, priority goals, and strategies

Vision for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our work. Through forward-thinking accountable leadership, the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona works to affect systemic change that fosters an accessible, diverse, inclusive, and equitable local arts community.

Yvonne Montoya, Dance in the Desert, 2022. Photo by Brian Halbach Photography

Arts Foundation Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Our concern with arts equity is put to action through intentional and communal planning. In the summer and fall of 2018, with support from community members, elected officials, grantees, prospective grantees, and others, we embarked upon a plan of action that culminated in a set of guiding principles, priority goals, and strategies. These were formally adopted in January 2019 to guide our work over the next three years and beyond. We believe these goals and strategies will help to grow how we serve the artists, arts organizations in our community, and the public. Since January 2019 we’ve been working on – and beginning to make progress toward meeting – these goals.

Below is a summary of what Arts Foundation has outlined as guiding principles, goals, and strategies through 2023.

Guiding Principles, Priority Goals, & Strategies

At the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, together with community partners, we have identified five priority goals for the 2018-2023 time period. These goals will guide how Arts Foundation moves forward indefinitely. For this strategic plan, the priority goals and strategies are listed separately, however, the strategies identified will contribute, together, to Arts Foundation achieving its goals.


Guiding Principles

The Arts Foundation’s work is guided by its mission and vision. From this mission, the following four guiding principles should inform all goals, strategies, and investments made.

  1. Diversity: Arts Foundation is dedicated to building collectivity among diverse constituents by supporting artists and organizations throughout the region. Diversity refers to race and ethnicity, language, geography, age, gender, and genre of art. We are committed to working to dismantle these lines that divide us through the arts.
  2. Equity: Equity is at the core of Arts Foundation’s mission. This includes, but is not limited to, equitable access to art among Tucson, Pima County, and Southern Arizona’s diverse communities; equitable access to resources by the arts community; and equitable economic development for the region. 
  3. Community: Arts Foundation believes that art is core to all aspects of the Tucson and Pima County communities and plans to explore its role in Southern Arizona broadly. Arts Foundation believes that art enriches community development at all levels.
  4. Creativity: Arts Foundation seeks to support creativity in our region, a fundamental task that shapes our daily operations. We work to nourish the energy that connects people, ideas, and communities.

Priority Goals

Given the challenges and opportunities identified in the previous section, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona has identified the following five priority goals.

  1.  Community impact: Arts Foundation’s mission is one of community impact: “to advance artistic expression, civic participation, and equitable economic growth of our diverse community.” Successful community impact will include: 
  • Increased capacity and professionalization of arts organizations. 
  • Increased financial sustainability of working artists. 
  • Increased diversity in artists and arts organizations supported by Arts Foundation. 
  • Increased participation with artists, arts organizations, and the broader community. 
  • Increased access and exposure to arts among Tucson, Pima County, and Southern Arizona’s diverse community. 
  1. Organizational sustainability: Arts Foundation aims to increase its budget
  • Secure a dedicated revenue source. 
  • Secure funding from private foundations. 
  • Secure additional public funding. 
  1. Arts coalition building: Arts Foundation aims to support the arts in the community beyond funding to meet a need identified by community members to build a strong coalition that can provide support among its members and advocate for the arts in a coordinated fashion. 
  • Connect artists, arts organizations, and the community more broadly. 
  • In addition to financial support in the form of grants, provide non-financial support and resources to artists and arts organizations. 
  1. Expand public art program: The Arts Foundation will explore opportunities to expand its public art program, both to increase its community impact and as a potential contributor to organizational sustainability. 
  2. Perception change: Arts Foundation considers that work to achieve the first four priority goals will naturally contribute to increased name recognition and a shift in perception about the role of the Foundation in the region, which was impacted in part by a name change that took place in 2016. With increased name recognition and perception change, which we hope to achieve through our community-based work, we aim for more community members to engage in our work and that of art organizations and artists in Southern Arizona. 
  • Increased name recognition of Arts Foundation in the community. 
  • Increased understanding of Arts Foundation’s work and role in the community among artists, arts organizations, and community members, broadly. 
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