Hugs For All

A Message from Director Joseph Benesh

I want to hug you. If you want to claim your free hug stop by my office. Either way, I thank you. We had a landmark year in 2012 and it’s thanks to you. If you’re receiving this email you might be a student of the Center, an instructor, artist, or someone interested in the arts (or all of the above). You know the difference the arts make in our lives and community. Here are some highlights from last year:

* Ongoing construction on our new front entrance, which was completed in May
* We added more classes, including printmaking and fibers
* Artlink and Rising Youth Theatre became residents of the Center
* We started some outreach with South Pointe Junior High, then as the year grew, we also added Phoenix Day, and the Terraces of Phoenix
* Classes grew by 47% which necessitated hiring a Program Manager: the fabulous Marta

* Three, three-week camps for youth with record-breaking numbers
* We took on the theater, which meant hiring a Technical Director – we found that in the awesome Jim
* New partnerships with No Festival Required and Bloody Hero Film Festival, bringing film to our theater

* We added Roosevelt Row as a new resident
* A gallery show and new scholarship in memory of a former photography student
* Our classes grew by 93% from the previous year (wow), which allowed us to hire Carvette, our new ASU Public Ally, and Tobie, our marketing assistant
* A beautiful new brand thanks to Response Creative
* Lastly, we launched the tremendously successful Phoenix Festival of the Arts. We had over 80 different booths (artists & arts organizations), about 80 different performances, and over 80 muralists painting Phoenix’s longest mural ever (one of the longest in the world). We also had a children’s corner, amazing food trucks, and a beer & wine garden. The Festival had upwards of 6,000 attendees. And if this was the first year, imagine what we can do next year!

As you can see we did a lot. I want to thank our amazing board, our skilled instructors, dedicated volunteers, savvy students, and you. Thank you for your commitment to the arts. Art saved my life, now I’m just happy to give back.

Joseph Benesh