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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – On March 17, 2021, the Board of Directors for the Salt Lake City Arts Council Foundation approved through unanimous consent a recommendation for $41,000 in grants to 38 individuals Artists living or working in Salt Lake City, Utah and $10,000 in grants to 5 nonprofits working throughout the city. The individual artists were selected from a pool of 54 applicants and the nonprofits from a pool of 36, after a rigorous review and evaluation process conducted by a committee of professional artists, community members, and leaders in the arts and culture industry. Artist awards ranged from $500 – $2,000 and nonprofit awards ranged from $1,000 – $3,500.
The Artist Career Empowerment Grant program was designed to provide economic opportunity and benefits to both the individual artist recipients, as well as the arts and cultural sectors, the creative community, and the economic ecosystems of Salt Lake City. Artists receiving awards from this fund are composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds and artistic disciplines ranging from costume designers to audio engineers. In addition, these artists represent a wide swath of our community, with artists being selected from each district in the city. Finally, the Salt Lake City Arts Council is proud to support artists from varied and diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds through this granting opportunity. In total, 67% of awarded recipients self-declared a non-white racial or ethnic identity in their application.
Many artists supported by this grant program plan to purchase equipment directly related to their artistic practice or business. For example, one entrepreneurial artist plans to purchase professional grade photography equipment to expand their new business as a photojournalist. Another artist, a local independent filmmaker, intends to produce a short film series highlighting Utah’s diverse emerging and established leaders of color.
The Racial Equity and Inclusion Grant program was designed to cultivate greater and more consistent efforts from Salt Lake City’s arts and cultural nonprofit organizations as it relates to racial equity, inclusion, justice and liberation. Nonprofits receiving these awards all focus their operations on arts and culture, but are varied in their disciplines. For example, one recipient, Plan B Theatre Company, plans to use their award to address bias and discrimination in theatre spaces, and the Utah Film Center plans to screen and discuss films which highlight the “power to explore what it looks like to exist in the fullness of Black beauty, strength, and brilliance.”
This funding was made possible by Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall, with support from the Salt Lake City Council after approval of the budget amendments which directly supported this grant program. In Mayor Mendenhall’s 2021 Plan for Salt Lake City, Mendenhall outlined a vision for “Stronger, More Resilient, More Equitable SLC.” “I am thrilled to see both individual artists and nonprofits in Salt Lake City being supported with direct financial awards to help accomplish our plan. Artists and arts and cultural nonprofits in Salt Lake City are vibrant and diverse individuals and communities and contribute to the vitality of our neighborhoods, our downtown, and our economy as a whole. I can’t wait to see these artists and arts leaders continue their work with support from these grant programs.” said Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall.
We look forward to the 38 recipient artists enhancing their professional or emerging artistic careers through the use of these funds. Additional grant opportunities to support individual artists and nonprofit organizations dedicated to arts and culture will be announced in the coming months.