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2014 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards To Be Presented at Mountain West Arts Conference

For immediate release                      


10 April 2014                          


2014 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards

To Be Presented at Mountain West Arts Conference


SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary R. Herbert and Utah Arts & Museums have announced the recipients of the 2014 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards:

  • Spy Hop Productions, Education Leadership in the Arts Award
  • Shirley Ririe, Co-Founder, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Individual Leadership in the Arts Award
  • City of St. George (Mayor Jon Pike), Community Leadership in the Arts Award
  • Timpanogos Storytelling Institute, Organization Leadership in the Arts Award

“I’m pleased to congratulate this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards,” said Governor Herbert. “They have diligently promoted the arts, improving the lives of Utahns with their visionary leadership and dedication. They have bettered the education of our children, the economy of our state, and the quality of life in our communities.”

The Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards recipients will be honored at a luncheon during the Mountain West Arts Conference, May 1, 2014, at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City.

Spy Hop Productions’ mission is to mentor young people in the digital media arts to help them find their voices, tell their stories, and be empowered to affect positive change. Founded in 1999, Spy Hop provides more than 1,600 youth between the ages of 7 and 21 with hands-on and mentorship-based programs in film, music, audio, and digital design. The organization has received numerous awards, including the Peabody Award in television broadcasting. Both the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts consider Spy Hop to be one of the country’s leading youth development organizations.

Shirley Ririe is a national leader in the dance world. She served on the committee that developed National Standards for Arts Education K-12 in 1994, as the U.S. delegate to Dance and the Child International, on the National Advisory Committee for Young Audiences, and as a consultant on programs for PBS. During her 35-year performing career, she performed lead roles in choreography by Jose Limon, Helen Tamiris, Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, and Merce Cunningham. Ririe has traveled the world as a guest teacher and performer, and has choreographed more than 100 works, both for the company she co-founded, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, and other companies.

The City of St. George, under the leadership of Mayor Jon Pike, has actively supported, encouraged, and funded art throughout the community. Through the St. George Arts Council, awards are given to artists and arts organizations. The city has overseen a historic water-walk winding through town, threading its way among sculptures depicting figures involved in the city’s creation. The city owns and operates the St. George Art Museum, sponsors a free outdoor concert series, and hosts the St. George Art Festival, which boasts 110 participating artists and more than 30,000 guests and tourists. St. George recently purchased a historic movie theater, which will be transformed into an arts complex.

The Timpanogos Storytelling Institute began 25 years ago with a festival that drew a few hundred people. Today, the three-day Timpanogos Storytelling Festival surpasses the size of any storytelling festival in the nation — including the National Storytelling Festival — with an audience of more than 28,000 people. The institute offers week-long intensive retreats, helps bring national storytellers to perform for the community several times a year, and holds a national-level storytelling conference each spring. The institute has fostered respect for the art of storytelling on local, state, national, and global levels.

The Mountain West Arts Conference is one of the largest gatherings of the Utah arts community, including artists, administrators, educators, students, and arts supporters. The 8th annual conference will be a day of networking, workshops, and performances. The conference will feature sessions on a number of topics — including youth engagement, grant writing, arts in rural communities, individual giving trends, and hands-on art — from presenters with regional and national expertise. Keynote speaker Doug Borwick, Ph.D. will discuss building sustainable “mission models” for the arts, emphasizing a focus on relationships with the community.

“The conference is a chance to gather, network, celebrate accomplishments, learn new skills, enjoy artistic experiences, and be informed about regional and national issues,” said Lynnette Hiskey, Director of Utah Arts & Museums. “Each year we look forward to it, and each year we come away with a fresh, energized outlook.”

Luncheon reservations and conference registrations can be made online Registration is $95 for the full conference, including the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards luncheon, or $55 for the luncheon alone. Group and student rates are available. Educators can receive points toward Utah Educator’s License recertification. Table sponsorship opportunities are available; call Lynnette Hiskey at 801.236.7551. For more information, visit or phone 801.236.7555.

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