Scottsdale League for the Arts is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, volunteer organization of accomplished volunteers who support artists, arts programs and arts education through fundraising and special events. In order to offer continuous value and assistance to the arts, the League awards all net funds raised to a variety of arts focused organizations through a grants program each summer.

    The Scottsdale League for the Arts (SLA) was originally formed in 1978 as the Men’s League of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts with a mission to raise funds for capital improvements to the Performing Arts Center. Scottsdale League for the Arts hosts events throughout the year from simple meet-and-greet socials to a week-long epicurean extravaganza for nearly 30,000 people. The first Scottsdale Culinary Festival-TM was held in the atrium of the facility where it stayed for many years until its growing popularity led to a move outdoors.

    After the improvements had been made to the Center, the Men’s League continued producing what is now the longest running culinary festival in the country and donated the proceeds to Center programming. Thanks in part to the work we do, the great programming of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts thrives today.

    In 1992, SLA, together with the Arts in Education Council and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, began providing support for arts education in the public schools of Scottsdale Unified School District. In 2002, we broadened the scope of the grants program and instituted a formal grants process to increase our impact in the arts community. In all, we have given out more than $4 million to non-profit arts entities throughout Maricopa County.

    Scottsdale League for the Arts believes in the importance and power of the arts. Creative outlets offer a wide range of benefits to all, from those who imagine and construct to those who simply admire. The community at large also benefits from these programs which offer the opportunity for cultural growth and knowledge.

    The Festival, supported by more than 100 outstanding restaurants, resorts and caterers, is recognized as one of the finest and most unique events in the country. Events include once-in-a-lifetime dinner experiences like the Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner, chic cocktail celebrations like the much anticipated Eat, Drink and Be Pretty event, and, of course, the Festival s signature two-day event, the Great Arizona Picnic!”. This Picnic is one of Scottsdale s most notable traditions complete with tastings from dozens of restaurants, cooking demonstrations and appearances from nationally acclaimed chefs.

    All League Members are active in at least one Festival committee to ensure event success and maximize proceeds for charitable contribution. In addition to committee involvement, members attend monthly meetings for overall Festival planning and progress updates as well as monthly social events.

    If you are interested in becoming a member of Scottsdale League for the Arts or would like more information regarding the following documents, please contact the League office by emailing info@scottsdaleculinaryfestival.org or calling (480) 945-7193.


    Donor transparency and accountability are important to the members and staff of the Scottsdale League for the Arts.