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City Council gives Scottsdale ArtWalk Gold Pallette Series $75K shot in the arm

Photo of Scottsdale ArtWalk location
The Scottsdale ArtWalk Gold Pallete Series, which is a beloved event for locals and an economic driver for merchants found part of the Arts District in Old Town. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/

Scottsdale ArtWalk Gold Pallete Series
remains staple of artistic expression

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

It’s ArtWalk season in the West’s Most Western Town — but that romantic stroll down the roads of the Arts District of Old Town Scottsdale is no junior enterprise.

Found part of a late November City Council agenda, the Scottsdale Gallery Association sought and received a one-year financial shot-in-the-arm for this year’s effort, records show. Scottsdale City Council obliged, Tuesday, Nov. 21, with a unanimous approval of a funding agreement for the Scottsdale ArtWalk Gold Pallette Series to the tune of $75,000 of which $50,000 was paid out prior to the event.

Emboldened through resolution No. 12666, the $75,000 funding will come from the current fiscal year Scottsdale tourism development fund, according to Karen Churchard, the city’s tourism director.

“Art and culture are an important component of Scottsdale’s overall tourism image and its product. Art events help increase national and international visibility for Scottsdale as a desirable tourist destination,” Ms. Churchard reported to City Council in late November.

“The Scottsdale ArtWalk Gold Palette is a series of seven Thursday night events now entering its sixth year beginning in December and concluding in June. The event series continues to draw tourists and residents and provide cultural and educational opportunities through art demonstrations and exhibitions.”

Mr. Churchard explains ArtWalk events in Scottsdale have deep community roots.

“Entering its 47th year, the traditional ArtWalk event continues to take place weekly around the ArtWalk Gold Palette series,” she said pointing out the Scottsdale Gallery Association are ideal candidates for the tourism event funding program.

“[The] Scottsdale Gallery Association Gold Palette Series qualifies for the fiscal year 2022-23 Community Event Funding Program, but the event producer elected to request a one-year event funding agreement due to the community event funding criteria restricting maximum funding up to 30% of the total event budget.”

Scottsdale City Council ultimately approved the one-year agreement and accommodated payment prior to this year’s Scottsdale ArtWalk Gold Pallette Series, which runs for the next several weeks and into 2023.

“The producer also requested a portion of the recommended amount to be paid prior to the event,” Ms. Churchard pointed out. “On Oct. 18, the Tourism Development Commission recommended that City Council allocate up to $75,000 from the Tourism Development Fund in support of the agreement.”

Ms. Churchard outlined last fiscal year the Scottsdale Gallery Association received $32,000 in tourism dollars for event funding.

“Funds were allocated toward event marketing and production,” she explained of previous allocations. “Prior the ‘Palette Series’ participated in the multi-year community event funding program and received annually $75,000 for three years.”

This fiscal year’s allocation will go toward similar endeavors, Ms. Churchard says.

“Proposed marketing and promotional benefits will focus on highlighting the Scottsdale destination and downtown through media and promotion,” she said. “The TDC recommended providing $50,000 in advance of the event. The final $25,000 will be provided once all contract requirements have been fulfilled.”

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