An Arts Advocacy Conversation in Salt Lake City, UT

By     Mar 23, 2015

Field Notes

These articles were originally featured on Field Notes, National Arts Strategies' ArtsJournal blog where we mine, distill and contextualize ideas; provide frameworks that anyone can use; and offer everyone in the field the opportunity to discuss the underlying issues.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts represents an arts institution that sits within and reports to an institution run by folks outside the field - The University of Utah. A staff member of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts speaks with University President, David Pershing on he views and values the arts.

  1. When I say “the arts,” what does that mean to you?

The term, “the arts,” symbolizes to me all that is stimulating to the sense in a profound way in the performing arts – from beautiful music (a single voice or a choir, or a single instrument or an orchestra, to an interesting visual piece (a painting, a drawing, a photograph, or a sculpture), to collaborative art (as seen on the big screen of “live” at the theater).

  1. Where do you see arts in your community?

At the University of Utah, we are lucky to have some real “gems” as part of our campus that showcase art in its various forms: the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Pioneer Theatre Company, the Natural History Museum of Utah, Red Butte Gardens, David Gardner Hall, Kingsbury Hall, which showcase art in a variety of forms. Additionally, faculty often showcase their art in any number of the buildings on campus, so I don’t have to travel far to enjoy art.

  1. Tell me about a moment you connected with arts personally.

My strongest art moment was the first time I saw Les Misérables as a young man. Over the years, I have seen the play multiple times, and I love theater in the West End (London). It was especially meaningful to me to be in the audience when Les Mis was performed at the Pioneer Theatre Company at the University of Utah in the spring of 2013.


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