$1 Million Awarded to Willcox Theater and Arts to Boost Tourism

The Willcox Theater and Arts Program is the recipient of a $1 million grant from the American Rescue Plan. - Contributed Photo/Google Maps

Contributed article

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly announced a $1 million grant for the Willcox Theater and Arts, Inc. to support the local tourism industry’s continued economic recovery, thanks to the American Rescue Plan shaped by Senators Sinema and Kelly.

“Arizonans working in Willcox’s arts and entertainment industry were hit hard by the pandemic. Today’s $1 million grant we secured for Willcox will help the city economically recover, and emerge more vibrant than ever,” Sinema said.

“The renovation of these historic buildings will not only help conserve our state’s history, but will also increase tourism and support the local economy in Willcox,” said Kelly.

The grant will fund the construction of a brand-new event space in Willcox as well as the renovation of two historic buildings to incorporate a virtual reality studio and an exhibition center. 

Allocated through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program, the investment in Willcox will help the local tourism sector recover from the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Events in the new and revitalized spaces supported by the grant will attract new visitors to Wilcox, fueling additional growth to surpass pre-pandemic tourism levels.

The grant will be matched with $397,528 in local funds and, according to grantee estimates, is expected to create nearly 30 jobs and generate $90,920 in private investment.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, to correct the spelling of Willcox.