Central Arts Alliance, parent company of Phoenix Center for the Arts, Thunderbird Arts Center, and the Arizona Art Mobile, announced an innovative new partnership with another giant of the local arts scene, Arizona Art Alliance.

Over the next 18 months, Arizona Art Alliance will merge its operations into the Central Arts Alliance organization, bringing additional benefits to its league members, and guaranteeing sustainability for the future.

This partnership will form a vibrant and vital art force for artists throughout the state of Arizona, strengthening existing art services and delivering opportunities to a wider statewide audience. Existing Arizona Art Alliance programs, including the AZ Veteran Art Program, Extra Special Art, and Caring Thru Art, will continue to grow and thrive.

“I think this is an exciting evolution for us both,” says Central Arts Alliance Director, Joseph Benesh, “because both organizations serve artists in very different ways. Now, we’ll be merged to do more of what we do better and more efficiently. But, most important to me, is the enhanced benefits we can now provide to the communities we serve, including students of all ages and veterans.”

Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director of Arizona Commission on the Arts, states “It has been inspiring to watch these two arts organizations engage in the merger-exploration with such openness to the possibilities. This merger has not been born out of crisis, it has been born out of vision, strong financial practices, and careful stewardship of resources. And together these partners have tapped into some exciting potential: each organization leveraging its history, strengths, and relationships to provide more high-quality creative opportunities and more sustained arts-based services.”

Dempsey goes on to state “In the nonprofit arts sector there exists an idea, sometimes promoted by funders and authorizers, that organizational mergers are a shrewd solution to scarce resources. In many cases, I just disagree: I think there are often gross misunderstandings about the depth of administrative employment in arts organizations, and further, it is so very unusual to find organizations that can productively align their purpose, mission, and practices.”

Michael Brady, President of the Arizona Art Alliance states, “This partnership of our two organizations will generate opportunities for all Arizona artists – new opportunities and new universes to explore. The merger of our Visual Art Alliance with the Central Art Alliance will bring the different art mediums together to speak with one loud voice, making our Arizona Community more vibrant and relevant with even more art than ever!”