From the Publisher
The importance of Tucson’s diverse and prestigious arts scene to our economic sustainability can’t be overstated. These words from Tucson Metro Chamber President & CEO Michael Guymon could not be more true. Our region flourishes as a mecca of the visual and performing arts, with the pillars of a symphony, ballet, opera and professional theater company, as well as renowned museums and a backdrop of more than 2,600 arts organizations, nonprofits and businesses.
Southern Methodist University DataArts, which partners with local arts organizations nationwide, found that 37 Tucson arts organizations—36 with budgets under $5 million—generated more than $34 million in salaries and benefits. Statewide, the economic impact of the arts is $9.6 billion. Freelance journalist Loni Nannini offers an overview of this economic powerhouse, and let’s face it, we’re just scratching the surface of this sector’s expanding scope.
Tucson received some big news toward year’s end when American Battery Factory chose our city to build its first billion-dollar “gigafactory.” President and CEO Paul Charles chose Tucson because he wanted a forward-thinking area concerned equally about a skilled workforce and the environment. ABF said the capital investment in the gigafactory will be about $1.2 billion with an economic impact of $3.1 billion for the state. Tucson-based Sion Power also announced it would expand its facility that manufactures electric vehicle batteries, adding 150 jobs to the already 100 here.
Roche Tissue Diagnostics recently unveiled its new 60,000-square-foot manufacturing building in Marana in its effort to meet a growing global demand for cancer-detecting instruments and tests. The new Marana manufacturing building opens up a large amount of space in Oro Valley to increase reagent production.
Enhancing our region’s economic vibrance for more than two decades has been the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. Honoring its 25th anniversary as a key nonpartisan, policy-focused organization, SALC boasts more than 140 C-suite executives who forward a unified business voice and a drive an enhanced quality of life. SALC’s meetings could be called the region’s version of a Davos or a G20 of the Southwest–essentially a summit of the region’s best business minds. Freelance journalist Romi Carrell Wittman offers an in-depth, 60-page report on this organization’s siginificant progress for the region.
Celebrating an impressive 90 years here, Radiology Ltd. is the region’s top radiology practice trusted for its patient care excellence, technology and employee dedication. President and Chairman Dr. David Jeck said, “Quality has always come first. In all of our decisions, we don’t compromise on quality.” Freelance journalist Tara Kirkpatrick files an in-depth report on the company, whose successful model will likely expand beyond Southern Arizona in the future.
Freelance journalist Valerie Vinyard profiles The Gregory School, which has prepared future leaders for more than 40 years. The school was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, which will be matched, to help enhance its innovative Friday Exploration curriculum. The Gregory School is the only Arizona school to receive this funding.
Opening in January in the University of Arizona Student Union is the new African American Museum of Southern Arizona, the only one of its kind in Arizona. With many educational features, the new museum will attract all ages. As Founder Beverely Elliott said, “Our vision is to serve as a resource and provide the community with lessons on tradition and heritage.”
We hope you enjoy this epic issue. As always, we are grateful for our loyal readers, our advertisers and our committed editorial team.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner