In 2014, the Arizona Community Foundation, in partnership with Republic Media and Morrison Institute for Public Policy initiated The New Arizona Prize, a philanthropic prize competition.

The New Arizona Prize

The New Arizona Prize was conceived as a philanthropic initiative to create the Arizona of tomorrow, a place where innovation thrives, where ingenuity is supported, and where the best thinking is harnessed to create long-term solutions to persistent needs. It aligns with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s work and The Arizona Republic’s extended series of issues central to our state’s future.

After months of research and consultations with experts representing political, policy, business, nonprofit, entrepreneurial, and academic interests, it was agreed that the sustainability of Arizona’s water future warranted broad attention and investment. A roadmap took shape with meaningful opportunities to raise the public’s consciousness, motivate people to become more educated about and compelled by the subject of water, and ultimately drive the development of new and innovative solutions to our water consumption needs.

Recognizing the public’s increased level of consciousness, understanding and concern as a critical pre-cursor to supporting products, services and businesses in response to the sustainability of Arizona’s water future over the next 15 to 25 years, three related challenges were developed.

The first challenge

The first challenge under The New Arizona Prize banner was aimed at rewarding a strategy to raise the public’s consciousness of the looming water issue. Learn more about the Water Consciousness Challenge.

The second challenge

The second prize challenge focused on inspiring entrepreneurs to showcase the development of products, services and businesses that would facilitate more efficient water use. Read about the Water Innovation Challenge.

The third challenge

Water Public Art Challenge Logo

The third challenge under The New Arizona Prize banner encourages artists to design a temporary public art project that emphasizes the historical importance of water to life in the Valley of the Sun. Learn more about the Water Public Art Challenge.

In memoriam


The New Arizona Prize would not have been possible without the committed leadership of Sue Clark-Johnson, who passed away in January 2015.

Sue was president and publisher of The Arizona Republic for many years before being tapped to lead Gannett Media's newspaper division in Washington, D.C. Following her retirement, Sue returned to Arizona and served as Executive Director for Morrison Institute for Public Policy and was elected to the Arizona Community Foundation's Board of Directors.

Sue was able to unite these three organizations to create The New Arizona Prize, and while she was not with us to see the winner of the first challenge, her legacy lives on with each compelling innovation.