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New Utah Arts & Museums Change Leaders Certified – 20 May 2014

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Utah Arts & Museums recognized 11 certifying graduates of the Change Leader Institute, an innovative leadership development program for people interested in advancing their communities through culture and the arts. The certifying Change Leaders are:

Laura Brown, Moab Music Festival, Moab
Jenny Elizabeth, Jenny Elizabeth Fine Art Studio, Orem
Laura Gelfand, Utah State University, Logan
Julie Hollist, Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, Logan
Virginia Lee, Pioneer Craft House, South Salt Lake
Chris Lezama, Epicenter, Green River
Roger Morandi, Oquirrh Mountain Symphony, Herriman
Todd Robert Petersen, Southern Utah University, Cedar City
Samantha Sedivec, Salt Lake County’s Zoo Arts & Parks Program, Salt Lake City
Carrie Snow, LDS Church History Museum, Salt Lake City
Kathleen Stevenson, Weber State University ArtsBridge, Ogden

“The Change Leader network is enhancing Utah’s communities and beyond with exciting arts and cultural projects,” said Lynnette Hiskey, Director of Utah Arts & Museums. “We are delighted to welcome these newly certified graduates to the growing network, and we look forward to following their progress as they engage with fellow Change Leaders and with their communities.”

Change Leaders acquire communication and community-building skills in a three-day intensive training course and then design and complete a certification project applying what they have learned. Once certified, participants join a network of more than 180 Change Leaders across Utah who regularly convene, partner on projects, mentor each other and generate positive change. In recent years, the program has spread to Idaho and Colorado.

Among the ranks of Change Leaders are artists, museum professionals, mayors, executive directors, volunteers, professors, government employees, entrepreneurs and many others. What they have in common is a connection to arts and culture and a level of engagement in their communities.

Certification projects allow Change Leaders to use their training in a practical, individually meaningful way. Projects for this class of Change Leaders included:

  • Working with several departments on the quick-turnaround move and barcoding of 6,300 artifacts during a museum remodel
  • Turning unexpected executive turnover into an opportunity for strategic planning
  • Connecting higher-education art students to secondary-education classrooms
  • Rural economic development and downtown beautification
  • Navigating complex landlord/tenant relationships
  • Collaborating to bring a group of nationally known artists to three Utah university art museums in conjunction with an exhibit
  • Raising public and legislative awareness of the value of art to a healthy society and the benefits of art therapy
  • Finding creative solutions to organizational needs by enlisting board and staff members in defining the problem and designing a solution
  • Redesigning a website to better serve the needs of constituents and raise program awareness
  • Helping an institution of higher education implement a major curriculum shift
  • Taking the time to ask difficult questions when an association’s efforts have stalled

For more information about the Change Leader Program or a list of certified Change Leaders, visit or contact Wendi Hassan, whassan@utah.gov801.860.6396.