The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona received a 2:1 challenge grant in 1986 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to establish a fund that would be used to support small- and medium-sized arts organizations based in rural communities. Since 1987, 343 unrestricted operating grants have been distributed totaling $476,390. Through a competitive process held in Spring 2015, a total of $30,000 was awarded to the following organizations:

Bisbee Radio Project. Dedicated to creating an awareness of local interests and providing socially responsible programming via station KBRP.

Central School Project (Bisbee). A nonprofit arts cooperative focusing on preserving the building where they are housed in addition to fostering an appreciation of the arts and providing artists with an affordable work space

Cowboy Poets, Inc. (Sierra Vista). The promotion of our western cultural heritage by means of voice and verse.

Patagonia Creative Arts Association. To support, advance, and promote cross border and cross cultural awareness through participation in all areas of the arts.

Patrons of the Arts/Hilltop Gallery (Nogales). To enhance arts and culture in the region.

Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts/The Mingus Project (Nogales)       To provide life-long learning in and through the arts.