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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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1/25/2014 3:59:00 PM
Old Town Center for the Arts awarded $10,000 community catalyst grant
Old Town Center for the Arts in Cottonwood received a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. VVN/Jon Pelletier
Old Town Center for the Arts in Cottonwood received a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. VVN/Jon Pelletier

The Governor-appointed board of the Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded $111,000 in Community Catalyst Grants to 13 arts organizations based in small and rural communities throughout the state. This highly-competitive grant program awards funding of up to $10,000 to support community-focused partnerships between arts and non-arts organizations in Arizona towns and cities with populations under 100,000. Among the 2014 recipients was Cottonwood's Old Town Center for the Arts.

"We're thrilled to hear the news of the selection for the Community Catalyst Grant." In his comments, Robert Booker (Executive Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts) echoes a sentiment that has gained traction in communities all over the country. "Investment in the arts is an investment in the community, both culturally and economically. It is a philosophy and directive that the Cottonwood Economic Development Council, AZ Culture, Cottonwood Old Town Association, and Local First have all put into practice. It has been our mantra as well, and the City of Cottonwood has been tremendously supportive in that regard, from our initial planning and permitting process, through to our recent request for funding this past year."

The Community Catalyst Grant will be an interesting collaboration among several organizations to stage the "Cottonwood Cultural Challenge."

The "Challenge," a scavenger hunt adventure, will be fun for the participants and all involved, but just as important will be the opportunity to let folks from all over Arizona know about the "gem' that Old Town has become. The unique restaurants, the wine tasting rooms, the galleries, the shops, hotels, art & entertainment venues have this wonderful flavor that seems born of another era, or you might just say Old Town character.

"Juliana Brutsche, of AZ Culture, wrote an engaging synopsis of the Cottonwood Cultural Challenge for the submission of the grant. She did an amazing job of gathering information from each of the groups involved (Cottonwood Economic Development Council, AZ Culture, Cottonwood Old Town Association, Local First Arizona, Old Town Center for the Arts) to assemble the information for the grant process. Having been selected we now have the opportunity to bring together our combined expertise to fine tune the vision. We feel fortunate to be involved." - William Eaton

Old Town Center for the Arts will lead a collaboration between the Cottonwood Economic Development Council, AZ Culture, Cottonwood Old Town Association, and Local First Arizona to create The Cottonwood Culture Challenge, a scavenger hunt/reality TV project involving over 200 participants. This multi-tiered, multi-media cultural tourism project will increase awareness and enhance future tourism to the Cottonwood area.

Made possible by a one-time state budget allocation for Fiscal Year 2014, the Community Catalyst Grant program was designed to make significant investment in Arizona's small and rural communities through local arts organization-led partnerships.

"Partnerships between arts and non-arts organizations can be effective drivers of economic development, cultural tourism, civic pride, neighborhood revitalization, and youth engagement," says Booker. "An investment in such partnerships is really an investment in the whole community."

Applications were reviewed through a rigorous process led by Governor-appointed Commissioners. Funding recommendations were made by a panel comprised of volunteer experts and experienced practitioners from around the state. The panel met on Jan. 8 at the Arizona Commission on the Arts offices.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Now that's the way you do it.

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