With Utah’s cultural community, we celebrated Cultural Industry Advocacy Day on February 7, 2023, at the Utah State Capitol. More than 300 individuals representing arts, entertainment, film, humanities, libraries, museums, and STEM joined together in the rotunda to advocate for a friendly funding and policy environment that enables the industry to best transform lives.
The day was a great success, and it was wonderful to feel the energy and enthusiasm in the rotunda. Our director, Vicki Bourns, said she had the opportunity to hold a baby chick, visit with our colleagues around the state, learn how to differentiate scat, see artifacts galore, and watch Carl Camp (chair of our Museums Advisory Board) make wool thread, among a number of things. Our team enjoyed seeing many friends and colleagues. Our assistant director, Natalie Petersen, noted that “combining multiple sectors made for some very interesting connections, conversations, and collaborative possibilities.”
Staffer Jason Bowcutt said, “I really enjoyed connecting with people I have not seen in person since pre-pandemic. It was gratifying to see such a huge turnout. It allowed me to catch up with old friends, hear about their challenges and successes, and then meet new people working to advance arts and museums across the state.”
Staffer Jean Tokuda Irwin added, “I agree with Jason – wonderful reconnecting with friends and making new ones. I’m particularly excited about conversations about possible new collaborations for arts education in community settings. I am also grateful for a new opportunity offered to our office for spreading the successes of our Poetry Out Loud program.”
The Utah Cultural Alliance hosted a press conference announcing the latest data from the Kem Gardner Policy Institute on how our industry is faring. The good news is that jobs have almost recovered. The bad news is that performing arts, museums, motion pictures, sound recording, broadcasting, and publishing jobs have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Here are some links to coverage of the day in the media:
FOX13: “Utah’s arts and culture scene rebounds from COVID-19 pandemic”
KSL: “How Utah lawmakers are trying to fight fraudulent ticket sales”
ABC: “Cultural Industry Advocacy Day”
Image credit: Kirstin Roper