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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Arts Give Back Through Utah Division of Arts & Museums Random Acts of Art

January 10, 2011
For immediate release

Through Utah Division of Arts & Museums Random Acts of Art

Feeding the hungry, bringing diverse communities together, repurposing trash, combating bullying, beautifying communities, teaching job skills to high risk youth…through the arts?

From Logan to Gunnison creative solutions are being brought to social and community needs through Random Acts of Art. Each project is spearheaded by a member of a statewide network of artists and arts administrators known as Change Leaders. There are over 100 Change Leaders in 42 cities and 19 counties across Utah that have been through intensive leadership training and continue to meet and collaborate in building their communities.

“The projects Change Leaders have shared with us are artistic responses to unique community needs,” says Division of Arts & Museums Director Margaret Hunt, “They aim for significant social impact through creative collaborations with minimal financial investment. We look forward to reporting on these projects as they unfold.”

The eight projects currently being planned are as unique as the communities they serve, employing artistic disciplines that range from fiber arts to music and addressing community issues as diverse as homelessness, recycling and bullying.
At-risk youth in Gunnison will engage in their communities and gain marketable skills by participating in conscious speaking workshops and training to work as historical interpreters.

--In Cache Valley it is a year of recycling, where instruments will be built with recycled objects in January, environmentally themed performances by ScrapArtsMusic and Repertory Dance Theater will be given in January and March, and a Junk Jam will be held at the gardener’s market in May.

--In May South Ogden will invite artists to propose transformative artwork to beautify two landmark million gallon water tanks. After a juried selection process, public input will be invited.

--In Salt Lake City in the spring of 2011, writers and storytellers will contribute cherished recipes and the stories that make them special to a Story Potluck community meal and public performance to benefit homeless shelters and food banks in Salt Lake City.

--Women in Salt Lake City’s Road Home shelter will learn the therapeutic arts of knitting and crochet and in June a separate but related graffiti fiber arts project in Salt Lake City will bring together diverse groups in Washington Square Park during the Utah Arts Festival to stage a “knit-in,” create a temporary knitted public artwork and tag (with knitted articles) statues and benches.

--In West Valley City young people will explore solutions to bullying through discussion, improvisation with Djembe African drums and the creation of a public art expression of respect.

--In June participants in the Summerfest Art Faire in Logan will visually demonstrate the importance of recycling by working with a local artist to create a sculpture from plastic bottles discarded at the festival.

For more information about Random Acts of Art, contact Wendi Hassan, whassan@utah.gov, 801-860-6396 or visit www.artsandmuseums.utah.gov.

About the Change Leader Institute
The Change Leader Institute is a professional certification program that focuses on developing leaders of change. Participants acquire new skills to help them gain a greater awareness of the needs of their community or organization and the ability to respond effectively. Official certification involves an intensive training course, completion of a community project, and on-going participation in professional development events. There are over 100 Change Leaders in Utah in 42 cities and 19 counties. Additional information on the Change Leader Institute can be found at http://artsandmuseums.utah.gov/resources/professional_development/.

About the Utah Division of Arts & Museums
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums is a division of the Utah Department of Community and Culture with a goal to promote innovation in and the growth of Utah’s arts and culture community. The Division provides funding, education, and technical services to individuals and organizations statewide so that all Utahns, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic status, can access, understand, and receive the benefits of arts and culture. Additional information on the programs and services can be found at www.artsandmuseums.utah.gov or by calling 801.236.7555.

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