Press Release

April 2, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | [email protected] | 480-874-4626

Scottsdale Arts to Receive Emergency Grant from Piper Trust

Patrons socialize outside the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Photo: Scottsdale Arts

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Scottsdale Arts would like to extend its most profound thanks to the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust for the recent emergency grant to our organization. Earlier this week, the Piper Trust announced a number of grants totaling more than $6.3 million to multiple nonprofits, including $150,000 for Scottsdale Arts.

Scottsdale Arts has benefited greatly through the years from its four-decade relationship with the late Virginia G. Piper and the trust she established, including Piper Trust board members James D. Bruner and Laura R. Grafman. The Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is named for Grafman’s late husband. These generous donations through the years have enabled us to provide countless performances, exhibitions, and other arts experiences for art lovers in Scottsdale and throughout the Valley.

Through the years, the Piper Trust has given more than $4 million to Scottsdale Arts, including $1 million in 2000 that led to the naming of the main theater inside the Center for Virginia G. Piper. Each season, the Piper Trust is the title sponsor of the classical series in the Virginia G. Piper Theater with The Dayton Fowler Grafman Endowment for Classical Music as the presenting sponsor.

Among recent giving was a 2017 grant of $410,000 for comprehensive upgrades to our technology and our websites, including and the websites for each of our four branches and two signature events:,,,,, and

The Piper Trust’s new emergency grant funding is in response to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected Scottsdale Arts in a number of ways, including the current closure of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), as well as the cancellation of numerous events throughout our organization this spring. For more on Scottsdale Arts’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit

In addition to donating to arts organizations like ours, the Piper Trust is also donating to multiple human services organizations throughout the Valley.

“Now is the time for those who can—individuals and public and private sector organizations—to step in quickly and support our nonprofits,” said Mary Jane Rynd, president and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust in a press release. “They are serving on the frontlines and are essential to our health and economic vitality.”

Also included in the Piper Trust’s emergency funding is a $2 million grant to Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute to expand its automated rapid diagnostic testing to mitigate the viral spread and potential reoccurrence of COVID-19.



Through its dynamic partnership with the city of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational and outreach opportunities for the community, while fostering active engagement of individuals, businesses, education and government with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually. In conjunction with the city of Scottsdale, we also host more than 200,000 people annually on our campus through a robust rentals program.

MEDIA: For interviews, digital photographs or additional information please contact:

Brian Passey
Senior Communications Specialist
Scottsdale Arts
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 480-874-4626