HomeArtArtists › Arizona Citizens for the Arts Names Patrick McWhortor as CEO


Arizona Citizens for the Arts has named Patrick McWhortor as the new Chief Executive Officer for the organization. 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 to grow public funding and other support for the arts sector across the State of Arizona.

Arizona Citizens for the Arts is the leading statewide organization advocating for the arts and culture sector in Arizona. For more than 40 years, Arizona Citizens for the Arts (AZCA) has worked to promote arts-friendly public policy at the state level and in local communities.

“The Board of Directors for Arizona Citizens for the Arts is excited to welcome Patrick to the organization,” said Stuart Graff, AZCA 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 on-going 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 the President and CEO of the Cosanti Foundation 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 President & CEO of the Alliance for a decade, McWhortor 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 Board of Directors of the National Council of Nonprofits, including two years as the 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 crucial to the success of Arizona’s economy. Altogether these industries contributed $10.87 Billion to Arizona’s economy in 2019, employing nearly 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. 

For more information about Arizona Citizens for the Arts, go to www.azcitizensforthearts.org.