Arizona Citizens for the Arts Names Patrick McWhortor CEO

Patrick McWhortor has been named the new CEO of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the leading statewide organization advocating for the arts and culture sector in Arizona.

McWhortor, well-known within the Arizona public policy and nonprofit communities, will focus on building the organization’s engagement with arts and community leaders as well as lead its work in growing public funding and other support for the arts sector across Arizona.

“The board of directors for Arizona Citizens for the Arts is excited to welcome Patrick to the organization,” said Stuart Graff, Arizona Citizens for the Arts chairman and president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Patrick’s experience building effective organizations and successfully executing a public policy agenda at the Arizona Legislature will serve our arts and culture sector tremendously. We look forward to working with Patrick as we advocate for the reauthorization and ongoing funding for the Arizona Commission on the Arts this upcoming year, as well as initiatives relating to arts education in our state.”

McWhortor brings a wealth of knowledge to the role with more than 30 years of experience in nonprofits, business and government. Recently, he served as Cosanti Foundation president and CEO, overseeing a $4 million operation with 80 employees and volunteers, including a for-profit social enterprise subsidiary. Previously, McWhortor founded the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, growing the organization into a $1.3 million operation serving nearly 1,000 members and establishing Arizona Gives Day. As the Alliance president and CEO for a decade, he represented nonprofit interests at the Arizona Legislature, with state agencies and in the U.S. Congress, and supported nonprofits with hands-on assistance, including leadership development, management coaching and resource development. He is also known in national circles, having served on the National Council of Nonprofits board of directors, including two years as chair.

“The arts have been an integral part of my life from a young age, and I am honored to be selected as the new CEO of Arizona Citizens for the Arts,” said McWhortor. “The arts and culture industry impacts many parts of our everyday life that are often taken for granted, but in fact, are essential to creating and maintaining thriving communities. Arts programs across the state benefit diverse populations such as students, underserved communities, people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, Tribal Nations, and rural cities and towns, and are improving the lives of all Arizonans. I look forward to working with our broad and diverse arts community to educate our leaders about the critical importance of this industry.”

The arts, culture, events and entertainment sectors are essential to the success of Arizona’s economy. Together, these industries contributed $10.87 billion to the state’s economy in 2019, employing 89,033 creative workers who earned a combined $5.59 billion. Through tickets sales for events and attractions, the arts and culture sector supports local businesses, restaurants, hotels and transportation in their surrounding communities.

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