Growing Arizona’s Arts Advocacy Ecosystem


Episode # 115


Patrick McWhortor and Sabrina Estrada from Arizona Citizens for the Arts

March 25, 2024


In episode 115 of Framing the Hammer, we speak with Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Patrick McWhortor and Director of Community Engagement, Sabrina Estrada.
A photograph features a desert road in Arizona, with an Arizona highway sign that reads "The Grand Canyon State welcomes you". On the right side, Patrick McWhorter's face (a light skinned man with short dark hair, oval glasses and a salt and pepper beard) and the Arizona Citizens for the Arts logo are shown.

A central element of the 4A Arts 2024 agenda is the exploration of Arts + Communities. It’s delightful to see art bringing people closer together, inspiring pride in small towns and big cities, and molding a sense of identity that enhances all our lives. And episode 114 of Framing the Hammer dives directly into the impact of Arts + Community. 

But first a little context: 4A Arts is thrilled to have launched a new initiative entitled “Organizing for the Arts” (O4A) in which we provide capacity and bandwidth to state arts advocacy organizations for grassroots organizing of citizen advocates. What does that mean? We’re organizing more people to fight for the creative economy. 

For starters, we’re working with Arizona Citizens for the Arts (AZCA). They are the primary advocate for arts funding in the state of Arizona and they’re just two people doing all the work! This exposes the discrepancy and lack of support in arts advocacy. So we’re giving them marketing support to build their allies. 

In episode 114 of Framing the Hammer, we speak with Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Patrick McWhortor and Director of Community Engagement, Sabrina Estrada (who left AZCA at the end of February to pursue another career path.) During the conversation, both Patrick and Sabrina shared great stories about recent cultural experiences they had around Arizona. 

A 4A Arts quote icon, showing quotation marks

“It isn’t just professional artists who are artists.” - Patrick McWhortor

Patrick was thrilled to experience the Stairizona Trail “History by the Foot”. Arizona is dotted with 800 miles hiking on the Arizona Trail. In the community of Globe, Arizona, two enterprising creatives, Regina Ortega-Leonardi and Thea Wilshire of “I Art Globe” spearheaded the effort to enhance the multiple trails (and stairs) of the 

Starizona Trail with 35 different art installations. The motifs and murals highlight historic moments, cultural touchstones, and full creativity of artists and groups from across the region and state. 


Sabrina had recently visited WHAM (What’s Happen’n Art Movement) in Surprise, Arizona. She was thrilled by the sense of community fostered by this art center that brings so much to the West Phoenix area. Also, in the interest of active participation in the arts, Sabrina inspires us all with her participation in the Phoenix Community Choir

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