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Peoria has a new plan to expand the market for local artists and makers

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 5:05am

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City of Peoria
Doug Boyd installs Reading Rhino. It will be on display at Peoria Main Library through June 2023.

The Peoria City Council recently adopted a new arts and culture plan. It was crafted in part with input from more than 800 survey responses from town residents and businesses.

Feedback promoted six priorities for the plan:

  1. Enhance the distribution of art and ensure geographic equity in the future. 
  2. Provide enriching cultural engagement opportunities for residents and visitors. 
  3. Celebrate the culturally diverse history and future of Peoria.
  4. Build and grow the food ecosystem. 
  5. Empower and expand the market for local artists and makers. 
  6. Support tourism, both homegrown and beyond. 

“Geogaphic equity” includes ensuring a better distribution of public art in the north and northwest as the city has continued to grow in those directions, according to Marylou Stephens, director of arts, culture and library services.

She said building and growing a food ecosystem was also integral to survey respondents because, “You don’t just go out to a movie. You go out for a movie and dinner. You don’t just go out to a play. You’re grabbing cocktails and so, what we found is that people were frustrated because they felt like they had to drive to downtown Phoenix or Scottsdale to have a date night.”  

Stephens also said the plan will guide the city for the next decade and expand the market for local artists and makers.

Recently the city doled out $75,000 in grants to local arts programs. Interested artists can search for opportunities here.

List of the grant recipients:

  • ABT Performing Arts Inc.: Theater for Young Audiences Program, $5,000
  • Arizona Opera: OperaTunity Program in Schools, $5,000
  • B3 Theater Inc.: An Evening of Feminist Theater, $3,000 
  • Ballet Arizona: DanceAZ School Residency Program, $5,000
  • Central Arizona Flute Ensemble (CAFE Flutes): CAFE Concert and Singalong, $3,500
  • Childsplay Inc.:  In-School Theater Performances , $5,000
  • Drum Arizona Inc.:  Community Drum Circles - Native American and African, $5,000
  • Fighter Country Talent Squad: Music at Second Saturdays and Peoria Events, $3,000
  • HEAL HER Art/American Legion Auxiliary Unit 62: Women Veteran Art Expo at Rio Vista, $3,000
  • Mind and Body Child Development Center LLC dba Mind and Body Kids: Preschool Picasso Art Classes, $3,000
  • One Step Beyond Inc.: Arts and Ceramics Studio Programs, $3,500
  • Preserving Hometown Experiences Music Fund: Music at Second Saturdays, $3,000
  • ProMusica Arizona: Women in Song Performances, $3,500
  • Theater Works: Theater Alive Youth Education Program, $5,000
  • Theater Works: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Production, $5,000   
  • Theater Works: The Lion King Jr. Youth Works Production, $4,000
  • West Valley Arts Council: Creative Aging Program, $3,000
  • WHAM Art Association: Free Art Classes for Teens - Main Library, $3,750
  • WHAM Art Association: Free Art Classes for Teens - Sunrise Mountain Library, $3,750