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     Tonto Community Concert Association is part of Community Concerts, a nationwide organization began in 1922 as the “Organized Audience Movement”.  While America’s interest in great, live music was growing, the audiences to support such concerts were largely confined to major cities. 

     Columbia Artists Management began offering artists and assisting local chapters in 1928.  The original proposal was for a permanent concert association on a non-profit membership basis, raising funds through an intensive one-week campaign. Once the money was raised, artists would be engaged within the limits of the available funds. Sale of single admissions would be done away with — only members could attend the concerts. Thus was born the organized membership concert audience movement. In the 1950’s over 1,000 organizations existed across the US.  Community Concert Associations were formed in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and even, briefly, South Africa.

     Tonto Community Concert Association began in Payson in 1977 when founder, Barbara Skeete, with the help of Lee Johnson began working to develop a series.  In the fall of 1979, TCCA presented its first concerts at the Payson Junior High School Gymnasium. In 1980, a season ticket for three events cost $15.00.  Through the 1990’s the TCCA season a season cost only $50 and included eight shows. In 1993 Columbia Artists ended its relationship with Community Concerts. Groups were able to book artists from any agency and in 1999 Trawick Artists purchased the company and provided artists until 2002.  Financial hardships hit Trawick that season and Artists weren’t receiving fees. Many organizations folded that year, but, Board Members in Payson, kept the TCCA organization going.

     Today Live on Stage  a performing arts organization based in Nashville, provides an annual conference for local Community Concert members to attend, so they may select national/international touring artists for their annual season. TCCA shut down one season for covid and has since returned to presenting a full season.

     Tonto Community Concert Association, an all volunteer organization is stronger than ever, bringing in over $90,000 worth of entertainment each season to Rim Country audiences.  Nearly 600 patrons purchase season tickets, and 130 generous patrons donate to support the organization.  This season includes eight national/international touring artists for only $110-$130.00.  Grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Western Arts Alliance, The National Endowment for the arts and local businesses and individuals provide major support for the organization. Concerts are held at the 900 seat, Payson High School Longhorn Theatre.


TCCA's mission:  To provide culturally-enriching opportunities to Payson residents and surrounding communities, as well as to support fine art education within the Payson educational system. Every year, four daytime lecture/demonstrations are given free to local students of all grade levels. Students learn about the artists, their music and the business of touring.

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