In order to get funding for the arts, Joseph Benesh says, you have to show up. When he accepted the position last June as Executive Director of the Arizona Citizens for the Arts—a statewide arts advocacy agency—he vowed to get to know the entire state, not just Maricopa county.
I need to get to know the people and know what’s happening in the communities so I can advocate for the town and help legislators know what they’re funding.
His focus is on K-12 arts education, fighting to keep programs alive. He is especially interested in Native-American advocacy and passing along traditional arts.
For more than 35 years, it’s been our special job at Arizona Citizens for the Arts to promote the value of our nonprofit arts sector and advocate for public funding and private philanthropy to make sure the arts are available and accessible to every citizen of our wonderful state.From the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website
In Winslow, Benesh toured several key properties in Winslow’s Historic Entertainment District, including the La Posada, El Gran, Snowdrift, and John Suttman’s gallery and metal workshop, along with the Motor Palace Mercantile, the 66 Motor Palace, and the in progress Flatbed Ford Cafe and Sleepin’ on the Corner AirBnb upstairs. He believes art should expand to include food, fashion, architecture, and culture.
On that note, he will be heading a panel at the Arizona Good Business Summit:
The Arts in Arizona: Showcasing the Stages of Community Development
The 2020 Arizona Good Business Summit will bring over 500 businesses and community leaders together in Downtown Phoenix to discuss the dynamics and complexity of doing business in today’s world. We are in the midst of a time that demands leadership to create change in conventional thinking, disrupt business as usual and inspire the business community to form powerful relationships that build a stronger Arizona.
As a new business in an arts-driven community, Joseph asked us (owners of the Motor Palace Mercantile) to participate in Thursday’s panel—thus giving another window on our community and a way to showcase how our town continues its upward path.
Next week, I’ll share an update on the conference, so stay tuned.
Until next time…