The city of Peoria recently distributed more than $100,000 of the Arts Enhancement Initiative grants to 19 organizations. The awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 and these organizations will produce 27 arts programs in the city with that money.

“The arts add to the exceptional quality of life that we know and love in Peoria, support our mental and general well being, and highlight the unique characteristics of our residents and our community,” says Mayor Cathy Carlat. “Our city is not complete without a strong representation of the arts, and I’m pleased to see us taking action to get these dollars back into our community as quickly as possible.”

In May, the city of Peoria opened up arts grants applications to Peoria-based schools and for-profit and nonprofit organizations. A five-person panel consisting of city staff, community members, and arts commission members reviewed and scored all of the applications in a competitive grant scoring process. All of the programs will benefit Peoria residents in the coming fiscal year. The programs range from visual art for preschoolers to entertainment for seniors and performing arts for all residents.
“These 19 organizations have contributed immensely to the arts and culture of the Peoria community, and have provided opportunities for residents and visitors to engage in outstanding programming,” says Marylou Stephens, Peoria’s arts and events manager. “On behalf of the Peoria Arts Commission, I am thrilled to support these organizations through this arts enhancement initiative.”

Here are the grant recipients:
• Act One: Spring school arts field trips, $3,000
• Arizona Broadway Theatre: Youth theatre and performance troupes, three programs, $15,000
• Arizona Opera: OperaTunity Program in Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) schools, $5,000
• Ballet Arizona: Dance AZ program in PUSD schools, $5,000
• Childsplay: Imagine Together Online, $5,000
• Free Arts for Abused Children: Trauma Informed Arts Programs, $2,500
• HeARTsy: Art videos and kits, $5,000
• Iron Key Studio: Stained glass window art at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, $5,000
• Klos Enterprises: Encore Room Entertainment, two programs, $5,000
• Lora’s Academy of Dance: Everybody Dance Now/Virtual Dance Recital, two programs, $7,000
• Marilyn’s Academy of Dance: Dance Recital/Toy Drive Christmas Show, $1,000
• Mind and Body Kids Early Childhood Education Center: Preschool Picasso, $4,168
• Musician First Music: Family Folk Dance Night, $1,500
• Phoenix Conservatory of Music: After school programs and scholarships, $5,000
• Phoenix Symphony: Classroom Concert Series, $4,000
• ProMusica Arizona Chorale and Orchestra: Women in song performances, $4,910
• AZ Street Market: Virtual Second Saturdays/local business support, three programs, $4,500
• TheaterWorks: PuppetWorks/Interactive Theatre Program, two programs, $10,000
• WHAM Art Association: Community art projects in PUSD schools, two programs, $9,415

For more information about arts programs in Peoria, visit