Change Leader Random Acts of Art encourage creative engagement in communities, spearheaded by Change Leaders. RAAs can range from art projects to targeted community-based activities.
Review the funding guidelines here. To log in to the online application for this funding, Change Leaders can visit uamgrants.utah.gov. Please note: The online grants system works best if viewed in Chrome or Firefox web browsers.
Recipients of Random Acts of Art funding can access their final report form here.
Student-Original Orchestrations for Partnership Concert
This project commissioned university music students and an orchestrator to compose/arrange three children’s choral songs to be performed with the Oquirrh Mountain Symphony. This gave the music students an opportunity to hear their original compositions performed live. The three original pieces, Seize the Day, When You Believe, and Jupiter, were performed with the Oquirrh Mountain Symphony and One Voice Children’s Choir in concerts that occurred in Holladay, South Jordan, and Cottonwood Heights.
Empowerment through Visual Journals
Utah State University Art Education majors and Professor Dennise Gackstetter taught refugee and immigrant youth living in Cache County to create handmade books used as visual journals. The project included ongoing weekly journal activities that led to increased self-reflection, self-esteem, and empowerment. This project was a collaboration between USU Art Education, USU Center for Civic Engagement & Service Learning (CCESL), and the Cache County Extension 4H.
Vernal Chamber of Commerce Arts Partnership
This partnership gave Uintah School District students and local artists an alternative venue to display their artwork in (local businesses), which created more traffic in businesses. The Vernal businesses “donated” wall space on which the artwork was displayed on a rotating basis, and the students and artists provided the art to be displayed using professional frames and hanging system. A Gallery Walk was also created for community members to experience the artwork.
Nine students in Cedar City ages 13-18 received instruction on the history of public art and developed art-making skills through a Public Art Camp. Together with professional artists, they created a public mural for the Frontier Homestead Museum. The mural explores the history of Cedar City through photographs digitized and made available through Southern Utah University’s Special Collections and State Archives.
Yarn Bomb – Ogden Arts Festival
This project was designed to instill a sense of surprise, fun, pride and wonder in support of the Ogden Arts Festival. Over 40 volunteer knitters participated creating everything from owls and birds to monsters and socks for the metal statuary on Ogden’s Historic 25th Street. In addition to yarn-bombing, volunteers offered a knitting class to a local women and children’s shelter; class participants were invited to take part in the festival yarn-bombing.
Window Displays on Green River’s Broadway
This project utilized the window spaces of two downtown buildings to display works of art, historical photos, information about local tourist destinations, and other pieces that highlight the Green River community and its history. Displays rotate and were installed and created by Epicenter’s artists-in-residence, town citizens, high school interns, and other interested individuals. Creative and informational window displays inject character into downtown and inspire social, artistic, and economic vitality for Green River’s Main and Broadway intersection.
Plastique is a multi-disciplinary project spearheaded by Brolly Arts and Bad Dog Arts. It engages community and increases awareness about the environmental issue of plastic: its use, misuse, and lasting impact. The project is composed of performance art, an art exhibit at Urban Arts Gallery, art installations, community outreach projects, poetry, factual information, and film about the wonderful, horrible nature of plastic. The installation art was created completely out of plastic by artists, community members, and community organizations. Stand-alone pieces were used as part of the Plastique choreographic set design, and accompanying the performance was an exhibit made up of plastic. (Photo credit: Laurie Bray, choreography by Sofia Gorder)
Change Leaders and a Haitian community liaison facilitated an informal gathering to bring the “Once on This Island” company and members of the Utah Haitian community together to share a meal and stories, memories, and love of Haiti. The stories were audio-recorded and transcribed by artist Una Pett onto the leaves designed for the set; the leaves were later auctioned, with proceeds donated to Utah 2 Haiti. Members of Utah’s Haitian community were invited to the opening night performance of “Once on This Island.”
At the Utah Capitol, Arts Day on the Hill participants and legislators, assisted by artist Jennifer Elizabeth, were invited to contribute to a large painting of oil on linen depicting a serene landscape with formal architecture. Members of the Utah Art Therapy Association were present to keep dialogue going, at all times, about the psychological benefits of the creative process. The painting will be donated to a nonprofit organization or sold, with the proceeds going to the nonprofit organization. The goal of this project was to bring awareness to the power that art and the creative process play in facilitating physical and mental health, healing, and positive decision-making.
A public art installation on a vacant Redevelopment Agency-owned building located on the NW corner of 500 West and 400 South showcases the vitality of Salt Lake City’s west side and invites community members to take a closer look. The building is located directly north of the viaduct that transports drivers into the city’s west side. This project involved hanging ten vinyl artworks created by west-side residents on the building’s boarded-up windows and garage doors. The project is called “Drive-By Art” for three reasons: 1) it reconfigures a negative image linked to crime in urban areas; 2) Salt Lake residents can literally drive by and experience the art installation; and 3) it features culture and creativity, and was community-driven and implemented.
Local artists teamed up with the Big Brother Big Sister organization in Southern Utah to turn bowling pins into works of art. Along with many pins created by independent artists, six collaborative pins were created by a team that included an artist, a “Big,” and a “Little.” Team pins increased visibility of BBBS and the shared impact this program has on the lives of many community youth. Collaborative bowling pins, along with other pins created by students and local artists, went to auction during the local Gallery Walk event to raise awareness.
This quilting art project was created as a channel for pregnant teenagers between 14 and 17 years old enrolled in Horizonte Instruction and Training Center to learn new skills that would benefit their families and futures. It has also helped them acquire the knowledge to be prepared for motherhood. Completed quilts were displayed at parent/teacher conferences at the Horizonte School. The quilts will also be displayed at Arts Day on the Hill.
This project brought visual arts workshops to Utah County health care and assisted living facilities to promote “creative aging” for those with Alzheimer’s. Carlyn Barrus (BFA in printmaking and MFA in community-based art) was selected to facilitate the workshops. These visual arts activities helped Alzheimer’s patients create instantaneous experiences that did not rely on recall or ability.
The Boulder Arts Council hosted an arts project event where instruction and arts materials were provided for Boulder youth to create works of art. Over half of all youth (grades K-12) in the community participated in the project. These pieces were used for a two-month exhibit in the Boulder Community Center Gallery, and several pieces were selected to be made into banners for a beautification project at the recycling center.
In coordination with the construction of the Sugarhouse Streetcar project, Hawkwatch International commissioned a mural on their building (2240 S 900 E). Children from Sorenson Unity Center and local neighborhoods helped paint birds on the mural wall. Through the project, Hawkwatch International developed relationships with the Boys and Girls Club and the Sorenson Unity Center that yielded live bird presentations and connections with the children and the birds.
The Brigham City Fine Arts Center and Box Elder County Tourism came together to create a project that would beautify downtown Brigham City. The “Main Street Flyway” features artists’ renditions of local birds found at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. The birds are hung on lamp posts along Main Street. Many segments of the community came together for the project’s unveiling, including artists, Heritage and Cultural Arts board members, the press, the Mayor and the City Council.
The Gr8West Institute, in an effort to celebrate Salt Lake City’s River District, constructed a community themed mural directly adjacent to the Sorenson Unity ArtPark. Artists gathered ideas from children in the community and after some brainstorming and planning, created an abstract aerial view of the Glendale neighborhood. The purpose of the mural project was to inject vitality into a fledgling park space using art.
The Utah Storytelling Guild, in partnership with Bridgerland Literacy, hosted A Festival of Words for the Cache Valley community. The four hour festival featured workshops and performances in which words played a major role such as storytelling and ASL (American Sign Language) activities. The festival concluded with a special storytelling concert in the evening. One of the Festival’s goals was to inform participants about the troubling trend of illiteracy in their community. Another goal was to help people understand the power of oral and spoken words in an age of texting and e-mail.
Utah Arts Alliance, in partnership with People Productions, brought artists and community members together to create a quality piece of public art outside the SLC Arts Hub. The project kicked off with a community/ volunteer event in which over 40 individuals contributed to a portion of the mural on the south end of the building. Sections of the community mural will continue to evolve as new artists are invited to add to the mural on an ongoing basis.
The Oquirrh Mountain Symphony hosted several hands-on family activities throughout South Jordan to bring families together and introduce children to orchestral instruments. During these free events, parents and children worked together to build paper replicas of musical instruments, then were shown how to handle the instruments through group demonstrations.
Gunnison City and the Casino Star Theatre Foundation worked together to repair the damage done to the Sanpitch Dragon during the severe floods in 2011. This beloved 218-foot-long mosaic inhabits the Sanpitch River Walk under Highway 89 and “roars” in traffic.
To help raise awareness about local artists and their work, Garden City launched a summer farmer’s market. Each week the market highlights the work of different artists in the area. Market-goers can listen to live music and watch artists create new pieces all while shopping for bread, produce, and crafts.
In an effort to help future generations comprehend and appreciate the history of the United States, the South Jordan Public and Cultural Art Board (PACDB) presented sticker kits to 5th graders in South Jordan. The kits are chronological snapshots of American history and when pieced together create a magnificent waving flag. This project coincided with the schools’ history curriculum and enhanced students’ understanding of American history.
The Helper Train Mosaic was created to bring Helper residents together through a project that commemorates an important aspect of Helper’s industrial history. Children were shown how to create the mosaic tiles during the summer Art-In-The-Park program. The mosaic was unveiled at the 2012 Helper Arts and Music Festival and commemorated with a small dedication ceremony and a plaque of all who made the project possible.
Heart & Soul launched its first Porchfest, a celebration of music and the arts where residents and Heart & Soul artists performed on front porches to an audience that moved from house to house. Porchfest represents the essence of Heart & Soul’s mission by bringing music and performing arts to people who are isolated from the community. Eleven porches, seventeen bands and almost a thousand people came out to in support of Heart & Soul and the healing power of music and community.
The Cache Valley Center for the Arts (CVCA) launched a season of Greening the Arts with a ScrapArtsMusic performance. Children turned trash into upcycled musical instruments, rehearsed during a junk jam with a local musician, and performed at the Gallery Walk. In April, CVCA held the first Earth Day celebration in downtown Logan. Over 450 people attended the four hour event which featured performances, demonstrations, and the unveiling of CVCA’s first public sculpture.
Weber Arts Council and the City of South Ogden invited artists to propose transformative artwork to beautify two landmark million gallon water tanks. The call for entries yielded 28 proposals which were opened to public input and reviewed by a selection committee. The winner was announced at the city’s 75th anniversary celebration.
Storytellers and writers united in a common cause to support The Road Home, an organization that helps families cope with homelessness. A fundraiser community meal in Salt Lake City brought the aromas of the recipes and the voices of the authors together in a memorable evening of food and performance. A cookbook containing the stories will be released, with proceeds continuing to benefit the homeless.
Thursday nights at 6 p.m. women in the Women’s Shelter learn the therapeutic arts of knitting and crochet with donated yarn and needles. The Knitting Circle participants collaborated with community fiber artists to participate in the graffiti knitting project during the Utah Arts Festival. This project is ongoing and yarn and needle donations are welcome.
Diverse groups, including children, adults, homeless individuals and business owners, united by a passion for fiber arts, staged “knit-ins” and created a temporary knitted public art installation in Washington Square Park during the Utah Arts Festival. The project went viral and gained national media attention. The group even knitted a sweater for a Mini Cooper.
In West Valley City young people explored solutions to bullying through discussion and improvisation with Djembe African drums. Plans are underway to create an expression of respect through a participatory public art installation.
Artists helped those attending the Summerfest Arts Faire create a large statue from cast-off items. Covered with paper mache and painted in bright colors, the sculpture was a popular attraction during the three day arts festival and continues to be on public display. A second, more durable sculpture was created from discarded metal pans, bells and tubes. People were encouraged to make music by hitting this sculpture with drum sticks. Other works were created from plastic shopping bags.
College students mentored six high school students at risk for non-graduation. Over the course of a year they engaged the students’ interest in visual arts, music and film, interfaced with students in their school arts courses, and brought students to experience arts events at the Utah State University campus. All of the participants not only graduated from high school but enrolled in college.
Sanpete Youth Theatre Initiative
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.
The Art of Healing
An exhibit will be displayed at the Kane County Hospital to provide a respite for patients and their families, and to introduce new audiences to art in a public space.