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Meet Jill Christenholz of 5 Arts Circle in Central Phoenix

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Christenholz.

Jill, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The idea for 5 Arts Circle came out of the blue…or rather the greens! While golfing in 1999, my foursome was comparing the arts in the Valley to those in our hometowns. Arts funding was notably lower here. I challenged them to secure private donations for the arts and that’s how 5 Arts Circle was born. Founder Howard Hirsh

Who we are:
5 Arts Circle is an Arizona 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that enlists a unique model of cultural support and community enrichment. Founded in 1999, 5 Arts Circle has since donated $4.6 million to the arts.

What we do:
5 Arts Circle serve and enliven the community by encouraging new, seasonal, and lifelong Valley residents to fund five preeminent visual and performing arts that are vital to cultural life in metro Phoenix:
• Arizona Opera
• Ballet Arizona
• Phoenix Art Museum
• Scottsdale Arts
• The Phoenix Symphony

Why we do it:
Three good reasons: For new, full and part-time Valley residents, our arts programming. We provide enhanced social and cultural experiences where artists and emerging artists, arts leaders, promoters and enthusiasts can connect. This stimulates understanding, engagement and support of the arts.5 Arts provides a steady, sustainable and meaningful source of unrestricted funds that our arts recipients rely on year after year immediately exposes and immerses them in the local arts scene.

Has it been a smooth road?
Since starting out as a small growing circle, with an annual tax-deductible gift of $6,000, it was hard to find people to join. As Phoenix, was growing and booming it became easier to find people committed to the arts.

Then the Great Recession hit and coupled with our aging membership, we struggled with membership. We are now back on an upward trajectory in our 18th season of supporting the arts.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with 5 Arts Circle – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Once a year, members make a tax-deductible gift of $6,000 to 5 Arts Circle. We then disseminate $1,000 to each of our five designated arts recipients. The remaining $1,000 helps fund our operations.

In appreciation, the five arts recipients extend to our members automatic inclusion in their equivalent-tier donor circle. Attached to these specific giving levels are a myriad of benefits ranging from invitations to special events, lecture series and free ticket exchange to advance subscription purchases and mixers with performers.
It’s simple. One check. Once a year. Five arts beneficiaries made more vibrant. 85-100 benefits with membership.

Arts & Beyond is a cultural enrichment series of our creation for the benefit of our members and corporate partners. Ever popular, members take advantage of 14-20 diverse and exclusive arts encounters each season. This signature series is so named because the offerings go beyond those annually hosted by our five beneficiary arts organizations. Sample programs include:
• Zoo veterinary encounter with a tiger
• Culinary arts programs
• Visits to artist studios
• Visits to private collections
• Behind-the-scenes tours

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Best: Phoenix is a large city with a small town vibe and has a very welcoming atmosphere.

Least: We do not have enough business headquarters that call Phoenix home.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Joshua Cutlip

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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