Nov 20, 2023 - News

Phoenix names grant winners for concerts, festivals and other park events

Encanto Park in Phoenix. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board on Thursday approved 55 applications, totalling nearly $327,000 for its new Park Activation Neighborhood Grant Program.

Context: The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and provides funding for nonprofit and neighborhood groups to hold events at local parks.

  • Applicants were eligible for grants of $1,000-$10,000 for events including movies, concerts, food truck festivals, youth sports, farmers markets, safety and community celebrations.
  • The parks largely serve residents of low-income census tracts with high percentages of households who live below the poverty line.
  • The events must be free, or at least have free components.

Zoom in: The city received 161 applications with over $1.3 million in requests from Aug. 21 through Oct. 6.

  • The program had only $332,000 available for applicants, so an internal committee evaluated them to ensure the greatest number of grants were awarded citywide in a fair and balanced way, parks director Cynthia Aguilar wrote to the board.
  • Some are one-time events, while others are recurring, parks spokesperson Adam Waltz told Axios Phoenix.

Between the lines: Winning applicants included:

  • A spring festival at El Oso Park hosted by the Estrella Super Moms Block Watch
  • A farmers market at Esteban Park hosted by Roots For Life in the Community
  • A twice-a-year youth sports event at Edison Park hosted by Rising Families Inc.
  • The Arizona Informant Foundation's 2024 Valley of the Sun Juneteenth celebration at Eastlake Park.

What's next: The city will begin issuing checks in January for the earliest events.


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