Two of Casa Grande's newest public facilities are already receiving national acclaim. Harvard University recently named both the Casa Grande Performance Institute and the Vista Grande Library as a "Bright Idea", thereby putting the projects in a prominent position amongst the nearly 600 applicants for the 2010 Innovations in American Government Award. Casa Grande was one of only seven cities nationwide to receive this distinction for multiple projects, and was the smallest of these jurisdictions. Other cities that received multiple recognitions include Boston, Dallas, New York City, Philadelphia, San Jose, and Seattle.
The Bright Ideas distinction recognizes creative and promising government programs and partnerships. For more than 20 years, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government has been honoring the country's most creative public sector initiatives through their Innovation in American Government Awards Program. This is the first year that the Bright Ideas program has been in effect, offering further recognition and promotion of creative government initiatives than was previously offered.