It was a good year for the arts at the Utah Legislature, according to Julie Fisher, director of the Department of Heritage and Arts. Of course, those who didn’t get funded didn’t feel the love quite so much.
“There really is no fairness in this,” Fisher reminded attendees at the Utah Cultural Alliance legislative wrap-up meeting Monday at the Rio Grande Depot.
Representative Becky Edwards’ bill to name Spiral Jetty the State Work of Art passed the House, but did not receive a vote in Senate, so did not pass. Jim Dabakis’ Arts and Cultural Education Spending bill, which would have required a school district, charter school, and institution of higher education to
spend a certain amount of state funds on arts and cultural education, also failed in the Senate.
Other arts-related bills were more successful. Bills that passed and are now on the governor’s desk awaiting a signature are: Brian Shiozawa’s SB0137, which allows counties to impose a sales and use tax to fund publicly owned recreational, zoological, botanical and cultural institutions (similar to Salt Lake County’s ZAP tax); Brian Wilson’s House Bill, which makes it more difficult to create historic districts; and two amendment bills that will be of more interest to staff at arts organizations than the general public— one that amends the requirements for obtaining a charitable solicitation license, and another that affects incentives for state-approved production by a motion picture company.
Happy organizations for Fiscal Year 2017 include:
Alive! Exhibit at the Leonardo: $200,000 total from 2 bills 1x
Amazing Earthfest: $10,000 1x
American Festival Chorus: $50,000 1x
BTSALP (Beverly T. Sorenson Arts Learning Program): 5 million ongoing + 750,000 1x: Every elementary school in the state gets once-weekly instruction from a professional in art, music, dance or drama.
Harvey Harris Cluff House: $30,000 1x
Competitive Grant Program for Cultural Activities $100,000 ongoing + $350,000 1x (This money goes to Arts and Museums. Fisher says $450,000 will be put into a competitive process, the details haven’t been worked out, but it won’t all go to one organization.)
Desert Star Theater: $100,000 1x
GIGI’s Playhouse: $15,000 1x ( Down Syndrome Achievement Center)
Hale Theatre: $100,000 1x
Hill Aerospace Museum: $150,000 1x
Historic Festivals: $25,000 1x
Innovation International Choreographic Festival: $100,000 (Ballet West) 1x
Reuben Clark Historic Farm: $35,000 1x
Living Planet Aquarium: $200,000 1x
Moab Music Festival: $25,000
Natural History Museum: $200,000 1x
Odyssey Dance Theater: $100,000 1x
POPS (Professional Outreach Programs to Schools – connects professional arts organizations’ education programs with schools across the state (typically Utah Symphony and Utah Opera.) $500,000 ongoing + $125,000 1x for Resident Artist Programs.
Salt Lake County Children’s Theatre: $15,000 1x
Sports Hall of Fame $58,000: 1x
Sundance: $500,000 1x
Thanksgiving Point Biosphere: $750,000 1x
Topaz Museum: $50,000 1x
Tuacahn: $100,000 total from 2 bills 1x
Utah Arts Festival: $150,000 1x
Utah Humanities: $35,000 ongoing + $50,000 1x
Utah Shakespearean Festival: $25,000 1x
UVU Performing Arts Building: 32 million over 3 years
Utah Symphony Tour ($300,000) was funded for 2016 “because they need their money right away.”
Wendover Museum: $400,000 1x
A graduate of the University of Utah, Ann Poore is a freelance writer and editor who spent most of her career at The Salt Lake Tribune. She was the 2018 recipient of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Artist Award in the Literary Arts.
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