Lack Of Arts Funding In Arizona Comes With Hard Costs To Economy

Published: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 5:00pm
Updated: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 7:31am
Alonso Parra
Jamie Dempsey is the executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

The state budget for the 2021 fiscal year passed with a huge hole for arts funding in Arizona.

Last year, the Arizona Commission on the Arts received $2 million in state funding. That allocation was zeroed out by state legislators in the budget they passed.

Jamie Dempsey is executive director for the commission and said they are part of an important ecosystem in the state’s economy.

“We are part of a creative sector that in Arizona supports 90,000 jobs and is a $9-plus billion industry each year. This is a time when we really need to be thinking about what we invest in," Dempsey said. 

Dempsey will appear on PBS’ "Arizona Horizon" in a recorded town hall Friday evening and field previously-submitted questions concerning arts funding.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget plan originally submitted to the Legislature did include a $2 million allocation for the state agency.