Salt Lake County Arts Funding Threatened – Act NOW to Save It!
by Sue Martin
If you care about Salt Lake County’s support for visual arts – specifically, the county’s art collection – now is the time to weigh in on budget deliberations by the county council.
Salt Lake County has an extraordinary collection of art by Utah artists, consisting of 570 pieces spanning 150 years. The collection not only reflects a history of diverse styles and forms of art in Utah, it is an investment that appreciates in value each year. Remarkably, the collection is always on display, free for public enjoyment – in the country government center and in libraries and other public buildings.
Annual expenditures to expand the collection have varied. From an acquisition budget of $45,000 in 2008, the funds were cut to $35,000 in June, not surprising considering the economic conditions and need to cut budgets overall. During budget proposals for 2010, however, the acquisitions budget was completely eliminated; Mayor Carroon acted quickly to restore it to $10,000.
In budget hearings next Tuesday, Nov. 17, Councilman David Wilde (whose district includes Murray, Taylorsville, West Valley City, and northern precincts in West Jordan) is expected to propose eliminating the acquisitions budget altogether.
Total elimination of funding for art acquisition reflects a devaluing of the art collection as a public service, as an investment, and of local Utah artists whose work is purchased and added to the collection each year. These are local residents and business owners attempting to make a living while contributing to the state’s economy.
Please take the time to contact the County Council and support continued funding for acquisitions for the Salt Lake County art collection. Call council offices at 801 468-2930. Or send an email to council members (email addresses are available at http://www.council.slco.org/html/contact.html).
Elected officials pay attention when they hear from just three constituents, so your voice counts!
Here is a link to the County Council districts map: http://www.council.slco.org/html/distmap.html
The County Council:
At Large: Randy Horiuchi 801.468.2936
At Large: Jenny Wilson 801.468.2934
At Large: Jim Bradley 801.468.2939
District 1: Joe Hatch 801.468.2933
District 2: Michael Jensen 801.468.2933
District 3: David Wilde 801.468.2933
District 4: Jani Iwamoto 801.468.2933
District 5: Jeff Allen 801.468.2933
District 6: Max Burdick 801.468.2933
Go here — http://www.council.slco.org/html/contact.html — to send them an email.
The Salt Lake County Council approved its 2010 Art Acquisition Budget at $10,000.00. The Salt Lake County Art Committee thanks all those who contacted their representatives (November 18, 2009)
UTAH’S ART MAGAZINE SINCE 2001, 15 Bytes is published by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Categories: Public Issues