Arts & Museums

Heritage & Arts Divisions

Utah Division of Arts & Museums Logo


Increased Funding for Cultural Groups

The significant investment in cultural funding made by the Legislature during this year's session will have a lasting and positive impact on arts and museums.

The budget bills approved during the final days of the session included an additional $2 million in one-time funding for grants to arts organizations and museums. This brought the total grant pool in fiscal year 2020, including federal funds, to approximately $3.6 million. The $2 million was lower than proposed by Governor Herbert or recommended by the appropriations subcommittee.

The new funding challenged the two-person grants team in the division, but they effectively managed a revamping of funding processes to account for an increase in funding requests. While required additional oversight by our grants team, they did not need additional staffing.

Along with distributing grants, Arts & Museums helps organizations secure funding from other sources.

A decade ago, Utah had one of the lowest amounts of performing arts funding from the Western States Arts Federation’s Tourwest Grant. After working with organizations through workshops and individual training, there was a 37 percent increase in last year’s funding to Utah from Tourwest, with 31 of 32 applications receiving this grant. This allowed towns such as Boulder, Kanab and Monticello to bring high-quality performances to their communities.

Read the Story

Utah Arts & Museums seeks to advance the quality of life for all through arts and museum experiences and cultural opportunities. 


Other Highlights

Social Impact Study

According to the results of our pilot Social Impact Study, museum visitation is correlated with statistically significant increases in health and well-being, intercultural competence, strengthened relationships, and continued education and engagement. We undertook this project with Thanksgiving Point to help participating institutions better understand and serve their audiences and to develop a tool we can replicate for museums big and small. With our help, eight museums used the “end of experience” survey, which measured 104 indicators of social impact and collected data from nearly 400 individual survey respondents who visited their “host” museum at least three times over three months. With these results, we are now working to create an adaptable social impact survey tool that will be available to all of the museums in the state.


Artifacts & Arts Center
Public Art Recognition

In June, Americans for the Arts honored Weber Valley Youth Center and artist David Griggs for his site-specific artwork, Where the River Flows, as among 50 outstanding public art projects created in 2018. The art installation was commissioned through Utah’s Public Art Program at the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. The Public Art Network Year in Review program is the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art in the past year.



A curated exhibit of living Utah artists commenting on and creating work in the context of the 150 year anniversary of the TCRR. This exhibition broke all attendance records for exhibitions in the Rio Gallery. Visitors, who signed the guest comment book, included patrons from ten other US states and five countries. Along with support from DHA, Spike 150 Commission and Arts & Museums, over 30 percent of the works in the exhibition were purchased and added to the State of Utah Alice Merrill Horne collection as legacy to the marking of this anniversary.


Healing Through Art
In response to teacher requests for trauma-informed arts education, Arts & Museums sponsored two nationally-known keynote speakers at two conferences. Dr. Girija Kaimal, principal investigator for several longitudinal research and evaluation studies in creative art therapies from Drexel University, spoke at the Utah Arts Education Association conference. Mickey Rowe (pictured), founder of National Disability Theatre and the first actor with autism to perform in professional theatres spoke at Arts Express. Both conferences had approximately 500 attendees.
Artifacts & Arts Center
Chase Home CPM

The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts was selected as the subject of a capstone study with the state's Certified Public Manager Program. The research team was comprised of a group with wide-ranging skillsets and dedication to improving the public benefit of the facility through a rigorous and thorough evaluation utilizing GPAS methodology. Findings were shared and recommendations given to improve organizational functioning and increase visitation, to the end of more fully supporting Utah's historically underserved populations and facilitate engagement with the broader community.


Fellowships and Awards

Custom saddle and boot maker Shane Deeter and Jim Jacobs, who works in grafted wood objects, were named the 2019 Visual Arts Fellows. Each received $10,000 to support their work. The division also honored artists throughout the state in their Statewide Annual and DesignArts exhibitions.


Performance Measures

The Division of Arts & Museums reports five performance measures to the Legislature. These measures support the division goal of supporting Utah's creative organizations and encouraging participation in the arts.

Percent of counties served by the Traveling Exhibitions program. GOAL: 69 percent


Number of museums provided in-person consultations annually. GOAL: 30


Number of museum professional who attend workshops offered by the division annually. GOAL: 200


Percentage of school districts served by the Arts Education program annually.


Number of museum professional workshops offered annually. Goal: 12


Programs & Budget

The administrative team oversees the Utah Arts Council and the Office of Museum Services. The purpose of the Utah Arts Council is to advance the arts in all their phases. Established in 1899, Utah has the proud distinction of being the first state in the nation to institute an arts agency. The division employs 15 full-time and three part-time staff members who provide outreach services, including technical assistance, professional development, and grants to nonprofit arts organizations.

The administrative unit of the division provides necessary travel for the Arts Council and Museum Services boards and grant advisory panels. It also provides operating supplies and maintenance for the Glendinning Office, Rio Gallery, the art storage facility, and the Chase Home Museum. The director and assistant director provide oversight of the division’s communications, web management, social networking, digitization, finances, and human resources. They also provide oversight of the division staff and programs.

Programs & Outreach
The Division of Arts & Museums has developed multidisciplined outreach programs, including: Museums; Arts Education; Community Partnerships; Folk and Traditional Arts; Literary Arts; Public Art; Traveling Exhibitions; Design Arts; Visual Arts. These programs emphasize resources along with technical and professional support to local museums, arts groups, artists, nonprofit arts organizations, schools, school districts, and rural and urban community arts programs throughout the state. These programs provide the baseline to achieve the division’s goals, which are to strengthen communities by investing in arts and museum infrastructure, support and preserve the work of Utah artists, cultivate a climate of lifelong learning, foster understanding and appreciation of arts and museums, ensure excellence, relevance, and inclusivity throughout all programs and services.

Museum Services
The mission of Museum Services is to advance the value of museums in Utah and to enable the broadest access to museums. The Division provides services to museums through grants, technical assistance, public awareness, best practices, collecting and disseminating research, and providing professional development opportunities. It also administers the certified local museum designation program. The museums grants program has a modest base budget available for Utah’s 250 museums. Grants can be used for operating, outreach, educational programs, and capital improvements.

Arts & Museums Budget Report