Arizona Commission on the Arts Announces New Organizational Programs Manager

The Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, announced today the hire of Claudio Dicochea to the position of Organizational Programs Manager. The position was previously held by Kristen Pierce Kent, who left the agency in October 2019.

An accomplished visual artist and educator, Dicochea previously served as Research Associate, Strategic Communications Associate, and Advocacy Leadership Institute Coordinator for the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC), a service organization dedicated to the promotion of Latinx art and artists in the United States and Latin America.

Raised on the Mexico-United States border in southern Arizona, Dicochea earned degrees from the University of Arizona, San Francisco Art Institute, and Arizona State University.

“Claudio is an extraordinary arts practitioner, educator, thought leader, and service provider, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with him as an Arts Commission team member,” said Jaime Dempsey, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “In keeping with our abiding commitment to statewide service, Claudio will initially split time between Phoenix and Tucson, while also traveling to cities, towns, and neighborhoods across the state. In this locational experiment for our agency, we aim to discover if this working arrangement can provide Arizona arts organizations with greater access to resources and support.”

As Organizational Programs Manager, Dicochea’s first major undertaking will be facilitating a collaboratively developed, community-engaged renovation of the Arts Commission’s Community Investment Grant program (CIG). The CIG program, which provides general operating support to 200+ nonprofit arts organizations, constitutes 65% of the Arts Commission’s annual grantmaking.

The 2020 renovation process, the first in eight years, is intended to ensure that the CIG program remains responsive while bringing the program into closer alignment with the Arts Commission’s central mandate as it relates to equity, access, and geographic parity.

“Gathering and analyzing data from a variety of sources, listening to a broad spectrum of voices, while remaining committed to transparency, the Arts Commission endeavors to make Community Investment Grants more relevant to the needs of the arts and culture sector, and distribute support more fairly and equitably throughout the state,” the agency reported in November.

With Dicochea as a primary collaborator, the agency will engage a wide range of constituents from across Arizona in an ongoing dialogue about the needs of communities, arts practitioners, arts organizations and collectives, barriers to access in our programs, and a more equitable distribution of resources.