We are the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement.

New Name. Better Alignment. The Utah Department of Heritage & Arts officially became the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement (CCE) on May 5, 2021. This name change better reflects who we are as a department, and it brings common goals to the forefront as it aligns us as a family of divisions. Just as the name Cultural and …

African Americans and Salt Lake’s West Side: Part One

Salt Lake West Side Stores: Post Twenty-FourBy Brad Westwood and Cassandra Clark The above photograph was described by the photographer as “Wright’s Card Club, Blacks, at 313 E. 8th S. [Salt Lake City, Utah], April 27, 1945;” Ray King, photographer; Salt Lake Tribune Negative Collection; Courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society. This post was updated and expanded in early …

Returning Home: Diné Poetry, Essays, Art & Journalism from Utah’s Intermountain Indian School (1950-1983, Brigham City)

Date: November 29, 2021 (Season 3, Episode 14: 102 minutes long). Click Here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. The above illustration is a cropped image of the cover of Drs. King, Taylor and Swensen’s book Returning Home: Diné Creative Works From The Intermountain Indian School (2021). The art featured is by Diné artist Robert Chee …

“Soul of God” – the Life & Works of Utah Raised Mexican Muralist Pablo O’Higgins – A Conversation with Susan Vogel, Fanny Guadalupe Blauer and Catherine Aviles

Date: February 28, 2022 (Season 4, Episode 5: 73 minutes (1 hr 13 min.). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. The above image is an untitled work by Pablo O’Higgins. Not-for-profit use courtesy of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here for more …

Utah & the Mormons First Fifty Years Together: A Conversation with LDS Church Historians Matt Grow and Scott Hales

January 24, 2022 (Season 4, Episode 3; 1 hour and 15 minutes). Click here for the Buzzsprout versions of this episode. The above image is of the U.S. Postal Service’s 3 cent 1947 commemoration stamp, which celebrated the arrival of the Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847 (courtesy of Wikipemedia Commons). Are you interested in …

Transcontinental Railroad tracks in Utah

‘Rails East to Ogden’ earns national recognition

A book about the history of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad has received the U. S. Department of the Interior’s Environmental Achievement Award. “Rails East to Ogden: Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad Story” is available as a free download from the Utah Division of State History. One of the book’s co-authors is Dr. Christopher Merritt, director of the Utah State Historic Preservation Office. Other …

The New Juneteenth Holiday & Utah’s Laws on Interracial Marriage (1888-1963)

June 2, 2022 (Season 4, Episode 9, episode length: 61 minutes) Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece Episode. Photograph caption: wife & husband, George and Lucinda Flake Stevens (Union, Utah Territory); they met at dance while George was working as a wagon freighter. Born in Mexico, George’s father was white and his mother Hispanic. Lucinda …

Examining the costs of the Iron Horse

By Jessica Nichole Begay Living on the Uintah & Ouray Ute Reservation, Larry Cessppoch said he’s used to the quiet. In Ogden to attend the Railroads in Native American Gathering, the sound of a train whistle woke him up.  “That must of been how it was for our Ute people when they had no knowledge of what was coming with …

Staking a Utah literary claim, word by word

A literary quilt: Maybe that’s the best metaphor to consider the Utah@125 nonfiction collection. It’s stitched together in six chapters, essay by essay, poem by poem, showcasing works by 125 Utah writers, each true story 125 words long, each word representing a year of official statehood. Forty-seven writers read their Utah@125 true stories on Indie Bookstore Day on April 30, …

The Enduring Value & Big Arguments of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s Book “A House Full of Females” (2017)

February 7, 2022 (Season 4, Episode 4: 67 minutes long), click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. The above photograph is of (beginning top left) Emmeline B. Wells, Mrs. Goddard, Mary Musser, Maggie Mitchell, Rachel Grant and Bathsheba W. Smith; Salt Lake City 13th Ward Relief Society group; mid-1870s; Charles W. Carter, photographer. Courtesy of …

‘Topaz Stories’: Voices rise from the dust

By Wendy Ogata | Photographs by Todd Anderson It took decades for Yae Wada to finally heal her righteous indignation. “I was bitter and I was angry, for many, many years,” she said. Wada was one of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry — most of them American citizens — imprisoned behind barbed wire and armed guards after Japan bombed Pearl …

Utah@125: Supporting Utah writers, nine readings at a time

By Ellen Fagg Weist More than 40 writers will tell true stories about contemporary Utah in simultaneous readings to mark Indie Bookstore Day on April 30. Eight readings will take place across the state at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at bookstores from Logan to Provo, with an additional reading on Zoom hosted by Torrey House Press (Register here). …