Cultivating arts-based solutions to complex community issues.


The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona has developed several initiatives stemming from advocacy efforts and community conversation:

  • The Arts + Learning Initiative
  • The Arts and Culture Facilities Initiative

Arts + Learning Initiative

In 2017, Arts Foundation launched an Arts + Learning initiative to learn from the community how the arts was – and could be – utilized and promoted for learning across sectors and demographics. The year-long initiative resulted in this report, which can now be used by the community to ensure we continue to work together to grow our advocacy efforts for, and collaborative opportunities within, the arts.

Arts and Culture Facilities Initiative

How can the The Arts Foundation partner with the City of Tucson and other public and private entities to identify opportunities for the development of affordable, public-owned spaces for arts and culture?

We consulted with ArtSpace, a nonprofit facilities development organization, to create a framework for identifying and assessing space and facilities development needs and opportunities. You can read the full  Creative Spaces Consulting Report here.

This work interest in the preservation and animation of cultural spaces. The P.L.A.C.E. Report, and our initial investment in art-based civic engagement projects, highlights how place-making and place-keeping should inform the built environment.

In 2006, The Arts Foundation published the Pima Cultural Plan. In it, an agenda was set to advance the growth and expansion of performance, exhibition, studio, rehearsal, instruction, office, storage, incubator and cultural business space.

Dozens of arts and cultural organizations are in need of affordable space in the context of our local economy. We are partnering with public and private community leaders, policy makers, and philanthropists to identity and leverage resources that address this goal.

“The final product of culture is not a commodity, it is a society.”

– Jeff Chang


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Arts+Learning Planning Initiative and Survey

About the initiative

When did the arts become only an elective or after school program?

We believe the arts are integral to a well-rounded education. The Arts Foundation is focused on bringing real solutions to support arts education. We are currently developing a series of forums to bring together artists, organizations, social scientists, and educators to address this issue jointly. Over the next year, our goal is to facilitate an ongoing conversation around arts education, to put together a solid understanding of our community’s needs, and imagine new partnerships. The plan is to have these conversations inform a larger convening in late 2017.

Arts+Learning encompasses, connects, and expands outreach and educational resources by institutions, job training programs, and teaching artist programs. It involves people of all ages from all walks of life, whether they consider themselves an artist or not.

The Arts Foundation advocates for all forms of artistic expression, regardless of genre or media. Geographically, we are interested in engaging both Tucson and other Southern Arizona communities. We promote the value of artistic expression itself, as well as the affirmation that the arts are essential to efforts toward civic engagement, equity, emotional, and economic well-being.

We will be posting dates and more detailed information soon. Please visit our Contact Us page to stay informed on these initiatives.


About the survey

The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is collecting opinions around region-wide arts learning. We want to collect as much information as we can from individual community members, educators, teaching artists, creatives, administrators, funders, and public officials to help us gather insightful content.

Click here to take the survey.


“Our responsibility is not to teach kids what they already know, where they know it, but to build bridges … that make that local knowledge relevant for them and for us all.”

– Maribel Alvarez, Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology and Associate Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona



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