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Local Arts Agencies

Local Arts Agencies work to foster and support the arts in their communities. Whether they take the form of councils, boards, committees, government entities or nonprofit organizations, they are at the heart of community arts participation and play an important role in advocating, encouraging and developing arts and cultural awareness. They frequently interface with local government, acting as a critical resource for community-building and raising the quality of life.

Local Arts Agency Definition for the Utah Division of Arts & Museums

Cedar City Arts Council Final Friday Art Walk

Cedar City Arts Council

A Local Arts Agency (LAA) is the primary organization in a defined geographical area that supports and advances the arts in service to the community by engaging residents, identifying and addressing community needs, reflecting community demographics, contributing to the quality of life, building community identity, supporting artists and arts organizations, and speaking as a unified voice for arts and culture. A Local Arts Agency is differentiated from other community arts organizations by its responsibility for fostering the arts throughout the community and by offering various types of arts services and/or activities that are often multidisciplinary in nature.

A Local Arts Agency can be an agency of local government, a nonprofit organization, or a hybrid of the two.

 


Designation

Alta Community Enrichment

Alta Community Enrichment

LAA’s must be recognized by their municipality through a Local Arts Agency Designation Agreement that must be signed by both a Local Arts Agency representative and a municipality representative (mayor, council person, city/county administrator) to qualify for Utah Arts & Museums Local Arts Agency grants. The designation is valid for two years, and the LAA must regularly perform three out of the ten activities outlined on the Designation Agreement.

Typical activities of Local Arts Agencies include:

  • Promoting/providing access to diverse art forms
  • Addressing cultural diversity and traditional arts
  • Regional fundraising for the arts/grantmaking
  • Cultural assessment and planning
  • Caring for a community’s art collections
  • Producing/presenting programs not otherwise available
  • Supporting the creative economy/economic development
  • Managing art facilities or venues
  • Advocating for the arts
  • Providing services to artists and arts organizations

Network & Services

Some of the networking opportunities and services we provide for Local Arts Agencies:

2016 Local Arts Meetings:

Local Arts Meeting are public meetings that allow us to connect with Local Arts Agencies, as well as the artists, arts administrators, arts educators, and museums in the area. This is a chance for you to tell us how we can better serve you, your organization, and community.

We will be offering a “Training in Ten,” a ten-minute workshop at this year’s Local Arts Meetings. The training will cover program evaluation and effective ways to use your evaluation measures in grant applications.

Resources from Training in Ten:

Resources from the Local Arts Agency Census:

All meetings to occur at 5:30 pm unless noted

  • July 21: Tooele, Tooele Applied Technology College
  • July 28: Ogden, Eccles Community Art Center
  • August 11: Cedar City
  • August 16: Vernal, Uintah County Library
  • August 17: Duchesne, Duchesne County Branch Library
  • August 23: Utah County, Utah County Health and Justice Building

    Local Arts Meeting

    Local Arts Meeting, Ogden

  • August 30: Logan (to occur at 12:00 pm during the Cache Valley Arts Summit)
  • August 30: Brigham City, Brigham City Fine Arts Center (4:00 pm)
  • September 2: Helper, Helper City Library (12:00 pm)
  • September 12: Springdale, Canyon Community Center
  • September 13: Kanab, Kanab Hospital (5:00 pm)
  • September 14: St. George (to occur during the Washington County Arts Summit)
  • September 19: Summit/Wasatch County, Summit County Library (Kimball Junction Branch)
  • October 12: Davis County, Bountiful/Davis Art Center
  • TBD: Sanpete/Sevier County

Leadership & Professional Development

Professional Development Funding Opportunity

Conference and Training Support – Local Arts Agency Staff, Board, and Volunteers

The Community Arts Program provides funding support for Local Arts Agency staff, board members, or volunteers to attend relevant conferences or training. These conferences provide opportunities for those associated with Local Arts Agencies in Utah to expand their skill sets and network with other arts and non-arts organizations.

Professional Development Funding Guidelines
Professional Development Funding Application

Opportunities at the Utah Division of Arts & Museums

The Change Leader Program is a professional development course and an active network of course graduates committed to bringing about positive change in communities through arts and culture. It is particularly valuable training for Local Arts Agencies because of its strong emphasis on community building. Ideally at least one representative of each local arts agency will participate in the Change Leader Program. Following the three-day intensive Institute, participants complete a certification project. These certified Change Leaders then mentor each other and continue to meet through ongoing conferences and networking events.

The Mountain West Arts Conference is a region-wide gathering that provides opportunities for innovation, networking and professional development. Several sessions each year are programmed to meet the needs of local arts agencies, including the Local Arts Agency Summit. The conference is designed to help individuals and organizations in the arts access essential resources and create lasting connections throughout Utah and the Mountain West. The conference is also part of a long-term effort to sustain the creative industry by providing opportunities, education, tools, information and resources that serve all contributors to the arts.


Advocacy

Local Arts Agencies are often the main catalyst for sharing information with the elected officials who make decisions affecting arts and culture and should participate in public policy discussions that affect their communities. Effective advocacy hinges on continuous education and communication between supporters (advocates), their decision-makers (local politicians, state and federal legislators) and the public. For more information on advocacy events, click on a link below:


Resources

The Creative Vitality Index is an annual measure of the economic health of the arts-related creative economy in Utah. This relative score includes for-profit and nonprofit arts-related creative enterprises and the key support and service activities that sustain them.

More resources:

Connect with us on social media:

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Questions? Contact Hilary Amnah at hamnah@utah.gov or 801.236.7544.

Download an information sheet on the Community Arts program.