Teachers, artists among recipients of Tempe arts grants


Tempe has  awarded 18 arts grants of up to $750 each to teachers, artists and arts organizations that are investing in the community through arts and culture programming.

The awards were in two main categories: Vibrant City Grants and School Arts Grants. The goal, say program officials, is to make funding for the arts more accessible and inclusive to community members that do not have the resources or are not eligible to apply for the city’s larger arts grants. Both categories encourage arts programming that is not in traditional art spaces and has an emphasis on serving a specific community

Vibrant City Grants activate Tempe through the inclusion of arts and cultural participation, celebration of diversity, building community connections, and supporting local arts through related performances, festivals and other activities. Community members are invited to attend and enjoy these unique art and culture offerings.

This year’s grant recipients and project locations are:

Art & Journal Writing Day Retreat for Teens & Grief, organized by artist Susanne Whitaker, is for teens to participate in an emotionally safe, one-day workshop to connect with other teens experiencing grief, identifying, and processing their personal stories through art, writing, yoga, and discussion.

Where: Escalante Multi-Generational Center

When: Saturday, Jan. 27 (10-4:30 p.m.)


OperaTunity is a free public performance of Hansel and Gretel by Arizona Opera Company. The opera and classic fairy tale teaches children the value of cooperation, creativity, and wariness toward strangers.

Where: Edna Vihel Center

When: Saturday, Feb. 10 (2-3:30 p.m.)


Black Horizons Fest, curated by performer/writer and producer, Leah Marche, is an ongoing cultural celebration of artistry and perspectives of the African Diaspora. The inaugural event will launch Black History Month 2018 with a spotlight on the arts and a focus on film.

Where: Valley Art Theatre

When: Live Storytelling on February 11, Film screening and panel discussion on February 12, and a workshop for filmmakers on Feb. 14


Artists for Change, lead by dancer, public speaker, educator, and creator Niamey Thomas, is an educational and networking event for artists, creatives, and designers to discuss ways of using art for social transformation. The night will include panel discussions & performances.

Where: Tempe History Museum

When: Wednesday, Feb. 28 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

Tides of India is a visual art showcase spiced up with performing arts, creating a ripple Indian culture and artforms in the western world. Dance teachers, students, and visual artist Swarna Sitaraman will collaborate to create a unique presentation adding life to stillness and capturing the moment of movement.

Where: Tempe History Museum

When: Sunday, March 25 (2-4 p.m.)


Connecting through Movement, lead by movement artists Allyson Yoder and Sydney Jackson, introduces contact improvisation as a bonding activity between a child and a significant adult figure in their life-whether a parent, grandparent, sibling, or mentor.

Where: Escalante Multi-Generational Center

When: March/April


School Arts Grants are available for arts programming for Tempe’s schools. Funds are available to expand and enhance the services already provided by school arts curriculum, programs and clubs. This year grant funding supported the arts programs in the Tempe Elementary School District, Kyrene School District and Tempe Union High School District and Tempe Preparatory Academy.

Aguilar Elementary School will produce a concert for second grade students. The students will sing, audition for solos, memorize dance parts, and learn speaking parts.

Carminati Elementary School will introduce their students to new genres of music from a jazz quartet and hip-hop workshop through their “Music in Our Community” program.

Compadre Academy art club students will learn about art and social action, and create ceramic bowls that will be donated to the Tempe Empty Bowls event in February.

Fees College Preparatory Middle School will produce the musical Seussical Jr. and provide their students with valuable experience in theatre production & will invest in equipment to expand their guitar program.

Kyrene Middle School students will learn how to use percussion instruments such as the marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, timpani, chimes  and maracas, instruments that are available to them beyond drums.

Laird School orchestra and band classes will update and expand their music library to give students more variety in and experience in their repertoire.

Marcos de Niza High School will develop a student-run gallery at the school. The gallery will provide students with an opportunity to not only display their artwork but to design, set and publicize student organized shows on a quarterly basis.

Rover Elementary School will expand its musical theater program by purchasing additional wireless audio equipment to make productions easier to hear and provide the student actors with the freedom to move around the stage as they sing or speak.

Tempe High School arts club students will experience the connection between the arts and where they live by creating a mural on their campus with professional artist Jake Early.

Tempe Preparatory Academy will produce a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and work to develop knowledge and appreciation for classical literature.


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