5 Arts Circle, a 501(c)(3) social group that supports five preeminent visual and performing arts organizations in metro-Phoenix, announced that Jo Marie McDonald is the new executive director. The organization celebrated its 15th anniversary this 2014-2015 arts season, notably reaching a milestone of raising over $4 million since its inception.

“Jo Marie brings a wealth of experience, revived perspective and passion to 5 Arts Circle,” stated Howard Hirsch, founder of 5 Arts Circle. “Her knowledge of the Phoenix-area landscape and commitment to the Arts serves to support our mission to make a significant and positive impact to the social and economic life of our community well into the future.”

McDonald was the vice president of Phoenix Community Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit leadership organization focused on creating a stronger Greater Downtown Phoenix. McDonald played an integral role in the creation of the Arizona Center and, for over 30 years, she supported efforts for new and restored office buildings, museums and performing arts centers, sports stadiums, city, county, state and local federal municipal buildings (including City Hall, the expanded Phoenix Convention Center and new college buildings for Arizona’s three universities), TGen and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, Valley Metro Rail, CityScape, residential developments, hotels, parks and streetscapes, and the Human Service Campus.

“My experience has always been focused on enhancing the quality of life and economic vitality for our community,” said McDonald. “What I have found to be so complex and multi-layered is the call from the ‘People’ for the Arts. There is no place in the world that is or ever has been great that exists without a strong, vibrant and living commitment to the Arts.”