Rising Youth Theatre at Lightrail

Vibrant Artist Cohort

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The Vibrant Artist Cohort (VAC) is for performance-based artists who are ready to advance their creative careers, and deepen their administrative skill sets. Artists who participate in the program will develop all aspects of their career through workshops, one-on-one mentorship, artistic support, project development, and financial support. Artists in the program will work towards creating a project that supports their long-term goals and activates Tempe through the inclusion of arts and cultural participation, celebrating diversity, building community connections, and/or supporting local artists.

Who should apply?

The VAC is for individual artists with a performance-based practice such as theatre, dance, music, and spoken word.  Applicants should be interested in developing a professional career in the arts and be interested in focusing on the creative, critical, and professional aspects of an artist’s career. Applicants must live in Maricopa County, be available to attend all workshops in-person, and be able to create a performance-based program in Tempe. Anyone who will be enrolled or teaching full-time at a university between July 2019-June 2020 is not eligible to apply.

Artist Stipend

$1500 - Cohort participants will receive $500 stipend for participating in a 6-month mentorship program, and upon completion will receive a $1000 Vibrant City Grant to develop a performance-based program in Tempe in Spring 2020.

Time Commitment

The VAC is a 12-month program that runs from July 2019 to June 2020. Participants will be required to attend 6, 3-hour workshops from July to December. The times will be determined based on the availability of VAC members.


May 6, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m.

How to Apply

Step 1: Download Guidelines PDF

Step 2: Prepare your application questions

Step 3: Meet with staff for feedback and mentorship
(Email julie_akerly@tempe.gov to schedule an appointment)

Step 4: Complete Online Application

2018-2019 Vibrant City Cohort

Michelle Marji is a dance artist, social activist, teacher, and avid rock climber. She performs and choreographs dance with an emphasis on improvisational practice, and awareness of her social landscape. Her goal is to bring communities together over common interests and knowledge sharing.  Website

The Rae Lydia Project acts to inspire and educate Tempe's homeless population, who often don’t get the privilege of something so integral to the human experience, often taken for granted. TRLP offers music to those who have the least access to it and need it the most. Website

Diane Silver is a contemporary mixed media artist whose artwork explores the fragility and ephemeral nature of memory through paintings based on her recollections and installations of our collective memories. Diane exhibits both nationally and internationally with her work in many private collections. She is represented by Gebert Contemporary, Scottsdale, AZ. Website

Wicked Pitch of the West is a women’s a cappella group based in the East Valley. This diverse, multi-generational chorus brings music into informal community settings. The group is led by Cary Burns who has been directing the Tempe Community Chorus since 1998.

Red Beach is an enhancing lifestyle brand which focuses on empowering the younger generations by providing resources in order to cultivate their creative expression. We focus on providing clothing, food, shelter and artistic entertainment. We do it because we believe everyone deserves a chance to live their best life. 

Tempe Artists Guild members are passionate about creating art, becoming better artists, displaying our work, and doing art-related service projects that benefit Tempe residents. We believe that by encouraging the artist through education, exhibition and supporting art-related community projects and programs, we enrich the community. Website


Julie Akerly
Arts Engagement Specialist
(480) 350-5175

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