​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Phoenix Office of Arts and C​​ulture​​

Artists to Work Program

The 2023 cycle is now closed. 

The Artists to Work Program supports the creation and presentation of original, new or in-process artistic work by practicing Phoenix artists. Awarded artists will be required to complete a public presentation inside city of Phoenix boundaries that primarily benefits Phoenix residents.​

Due to the pandemic, the arts and culture sector was hit hard, with nonprofit arts organizations reducing their workforce with furloughs, layoffs, and eliminating artist contracts. Individual artists make their living from sales and commissions to individuals, from work at nonprofit arts organizations or creative businesses, or working jobs outside of the arts. Artist grants and fellowships are scarce in Arizona, and several arts funders have put their programs on hiatus. The Artists to Work program will help support individual artists who have lost income due to cancellations, budget cuts, closures, and lack of access to project support to funding due to the pandemic. 

This program is part of the funding the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture (POAC) received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through the Phoenix City Council.

In this first cycle our office received over 150 letters of interest from artists. Out of those, only 137 artists were eligible to be reviewed by panelists in step one of the application process, and only 49 artists were welected to submit a full application in step two. Only 20 artists were recommended funding. 

​View the awarded artsits here 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Overview

The Artists to Work grant program supports the creation and presentation of original, new or in-process artistic work by practicing Phoenix artists. Awarded artists will be required to complete a public presentation inside city of Phoenix boundaries that primarily benefits Phoenix residents.

Unlike other opportunities offered by the Office of Arts and Culture, for this grant, an application will be made in two steps. Those interested will first fill out a letter of interest, which will be reviewed by a panel. From there, only 45 applications will be invited to the second step of the applicatio​n process where they will respond to additional questions and supply support materials, which will then also be reviewed and scored. Please read on to learn more about this new process.​

This program is part of the funding the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture (POAC) received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through Phoenix City Council.

Award Cycle

Applying to the Fall 2022 cycle is a two-step process.

Step 1: Letter-of-Interest
The portal to submit a letter-of-interest (LOI) will be open from August 29, 2022, through September 12, 2022, at 5 p.m. (Arizona Time). The LOI will be accepted either as a written or video submission.

Step 2: Narrative and Support Materials
Those applicants who have been selected to move forward in the application process will have from September 16, 2022, through October 5, 2022, at 5 p.m. (Arizona Time) to submit their application.

Proposal Category

At the time of submission of the letter-of-interest, all applicants will be asked to declare one proposal category for their project. Each category has unique evaluation criteria, and applications will be evaluated by panelists using one of the lenses below.

Background and Proposal demonstrate (identify one primary focus):


Applicants must be:

  • City of Phoenix resident at both the time of LOI submission (September 12, 2022) and award notification (November 2022). Evidence of residency​ must be provided at the time of Step 1.
  • 18 years or older by September 12, 2022
  • A practicing artist who is currently generating original, new and/or in-process artistic work
  • Proposing a project that has art as the primary medium of the proposed project (literary, film, visual, dance/other performance, music, theater, interdisciplinary, etc.)

Applicants may not be:

  • A City of Phoenix employee, an immediate family member of POAC staff, or a currently serving Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission member
  • Applying on behalf of an artist team/collective, company, nonprofit, organization, fiscal sponsorship, or community group


Application and Support
August 29 – September 12 at 5 p.m.: Portal to submit Letter-of-Interest (LOI) is open (SurveyMonkey)
August 30 and September 6 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.*: WebEx webinar about eligibility, process, and LOI submission (*Staff to stay through 2:30 p.m. for any remaining questions.)
September 13 – 16: Eligibility review and selection
September 16: Selected applicants invited to submit full application (Email)
September 16 – October 5 at 5 p.m.: Portal to submit full application is open (MARGO online grants portal)
September 20 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.*: WebEx webinar about full application submission (*Staff to stay through 2:30 p.m. for any remaining questions)

Panel Review and Notifications
October 17 – November 4: Individual and full panel review
November 7: Notifications sent to applicants

Panel Review and Notifications
November 14 at 1 p.m.: You’ve Been Funded! What’s Next webinar session for awardees (WebEx)
November 14 – 28: Grants conditions reviewed and completed, and invoices processed January 1 – December 31, 2023: Award term

Review Process

Artists are awarded grants through a competitive process.

Step 1: Review

  • Staff will review LOI submissions checking first for eligibility.
  • All eligible letters-of-interest will then be reviewed by a group of conflict-free reviewers using a scoring guide (below). Reviewers will provide recommendations to POAC staff.
  • Applications will then be considered through the dual lens of equity and geographic parity in accordance with Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture's commitment for the program. No more than fifteen applicants per panel category (a total of 45) will be invited to complete a full application.





Artistic background

Vaguely refers to experience, education, and/or informal or formal artistic training

Includes some specificity, but experience, education, and or/informal or formal artistic training may be unclear or confusing

Clearly and specifically tells a story of an artistic path and background of experience, education, and/or formal and informal training that led the applicant to the current moment of their artistic practice

Artistic identity

Vaguely explains oneself as an artist but doesn’t communicate a vision or purpose tied to the artist identity

Speaks somewhat to vision, purpose, and/or themes in one’s work.

Able to identify confidently as an artist Clearly and articulately communicates  

Draft Proposal

Vaguely refers to arts project

Specifies arts project but lacks connection to artist statement (background and identity)

Specified arts project shows a clear connection to the artist statement (background and identity)

Step 1: Letter of Interest Questions

  1. Select the primary focus of your proposal:
    • Community-integration
    • Experimentation/innovation
    • Commitment to artistic growth
  2. Tell us about your artistic background. Consider learning experiences and accomplishments (informal or formal education and training, residencies, cultural and creative participation, awards or grants, etc.) that formed you as an artist and contributed to the artist you are today. Be specific and include dates, if possible (300-word limit or 2-minute video)
  3. Tell us about your identity as an artist. Consider touching on the following themes (300-word limit or 2-minute video) :
    • artistic discipline/form (what form do you practice?)
    • artistic vision and purpose (what inspires the creation of work?)
    • past and/or current ideas in your work
    • influences and guides (who/what influences your life today as an artist?)
  4. Tell us about the project you would like to make happen using these grant funds. This is a rough proposal and can evolve/change if awarded. (250-word limit or 2-minute video)

Step 2: Narrative and Support Materials

A panel per discipline comprising conflict-free artists and arts workers will review all completed applications and ultimately select projects for funding based on the evaluation criteria shown below.

An application is considered complete if it has responded to all the narrative questions and has included the required attachments (artist resume, artist statement, and work samples). Project budget will not be scored by panelists but is required to be considered a complete application.

Step 2 evaluation criteria and scoring rubric will be available by September 16, 2022.

Recommended Projects

Applicants will be recommended for funding by the panel to complete and present new in-progress or completed work between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. After they are recommended for funding, they will need to complete the following:

  • Register as a City of Phoenix vendor or confirm previous registration
  • Attend a “You’ve Been Funded! What’s Next” new grantee meeting facilitated by POAC grants staff
  • Sign a grants conditions form that agrees to the following:
    • Participate in a public presentation of in-process or completed grant-funded work within city of Phoenix boundaries by January 30, 2024, either:
      • Coordinated and sponsored by POAC, or
      • Coordinated and sponsored by the awardee
    • To use POAC logo when promoting public presentation of grant-funded work
  • Payments are made in two installments: 1.  Upon submission of the grants conditions and completion of vendor registration and 2. Completion of the public benefit event.

Eligible Use of Grant Funds

  • Direct project expenses (including research costs and awardee/subcontractor artist fees)
  • Supplies and materials
  • Equipment/space rentals
  • Insurance, licenses, permits
  • Publicity/marketing
  • Transportation
  • Documentation
  • Technology (non-equipment)

Ineligible Use of Grant Funds:

  • Organizations
  • Capital equipment
  • Any division of local, state or federal government.
  • Religious projects or projects within a larger religious or proselytizing event/organization
  • Debt reduction
  • Re-granting
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Expenses related to the construction of facilities
  • Food and beverage for receptions and hospitality functions
  • Fundraising projects
  • Political projects
  • Academic-related projects (e.g., theses, applied projects, etc.)

Final Report

Applicant agrees to complete a brief final report by January 30, 2024, detailing how grant award was used to enable the creation and presentation of new work. While this is not a reimbursement grant, by agreeing to the grant conditions, a grantee will keep a log of purchases with details as it relates to use of grant funds. The final report may ask the grantee to provide that information at a later date, if needed.​​​​​​


 ​ The Basics

​Application: 2024 application cycle will open in September, 2023
Amount Awarded: $7,500
Number of Awards: 20
Eligible Disciplines: All Disciplines 
Residency Eligibility: Phoenix, Arizona only
Deadlines: TBD

Application Materials and Links

2023 Artists to Work Guide
2023 FAQ
Programa de Subvención Artistas a trabajar 2023​
Register for orientationView orientation webinar
 ​Password: A2W_webinar

Staff Contact

Sarah León Moreno,
Grants and Community Engagement Director,

Schedule virtual meeting here:  calendly.com/sarah-leon-moreno​​