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Have You Heard of the Arizona Commission of the Arts?

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Today I have the honor and the pleasure to be speaking with Robert Booker, the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission of the Arts. He's going to be filling us in on the purpose and mission of the organization. 

After graduating from Augustana College in South Dakota, Robert had the chance to work for the South Dakota Art Council. Art councils were established in the mid-60's, and every state has one. They are funded by the national endowment for the arts. The Arizona Commission of the Arts provides resources for non-profit arts projects. 

Their mission is a simple one: they want everyone in Arizona to experience and participate in the arts. Their focus is on working with non-profit art companies to make them healthy, as well as helping to further the careers of local artists. 

The arts industry in Arizona generates $500 million a year. This does not include ticket prices for events, and that is why art is a significant factor in the economic recovery. When a small town has an art show, the restaurants fill up and the hotels sell out. Art really does drive other businesses.

Another important reason for the arts is that they educate children to succeed in the 21st century workplace, which values creativity over many other skills. Art education has been proven to enhance other learning, and so Robert thinks it's vital that people both learn about and experience more art. 

If you'd like to learn more about the arts movement in Arizona, you can reach Robert Booker at (602) 771-6501 or go to

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