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Arts Leaders Gather at Mountain West Arts Conference – 20 April 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — On Thursday, May 5, the Utah Division of Arts & Museums will host its 10th Annual Mountain West Arts Conference, where arts leaders and advocates gather to share ideas, access essential resources, and create community connections.

The conference will welcome game designer Colleen Macklin as the keynote speaker and a featured presenter. Macklin serves as an associate professor at Parsons The New School for Design. She is also the founder and co-director of PETlab, a place for testing prototyping methods and the process of collaborative design with organizations interested in using games as a form of public interest engagement.

“As I’ve been making games for change–and struggling through these issues–I have arrived at the position that providing more transparency about how games work is key,” Macklin said. “This might mean providing players with opportunities to encounter, reflect on or modify the game’s rules or it might mean co-designing games with stakeholders, which is what I have been doing with the Red Cross recently. Ultimately, I want to demystify games, how they interact with us, and how we interact with them.”

Gov. Gary Herbert will also recognize four leaders in the arts during an awards luncheon. The recipients are James Rees (Provo), Dr. Craig Jessop (Logan), Utah Arts Festival (Salt Lake City), and Zion Canyon Arts & Humanities Council(Springdale).

The Mountain West Arts Conference includes sessions on topics such as, building community through poetry, social media strategies, diversity and inclusion, art therapy. Storytelling through data, and using cultural heritage tourism to create successful partnerships.

For more information, visit the Utah Division of Arts & Museums Web site at or call 801.236.7554. Interviews with awardees or presenters should be coordinated through Josh Loftin at 801.245.7205 or through Laura Durham at 801.236.7553.