Utah Division of Arts and Museums celebrates 40 year anniversary in Glendinning Home

By Linda Derhak


The Utah Division of Arts and Museums celebrated the residency of their historic home for 40 years on Oct. 19. The Utah Division of Arts and Museums provides more than 500 outreach services. They are responsible for the promotion of the arts and Utah museums. The Glendinning Home features works of art from both upcoming and established artists. It is free to walk through and enjoy the art, and every third Friday of the month they participate in The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll from 6-9 p.m.

This organization is crucial to promoting the arts in Utah. Utah overall is ranked third in The United States for growths in the arts and culture industry for employment. Their visual arts program has a strong connection with The University of Utah.

David Wicai, Marketing and Communications manager, explained the connection. “We do work with students and artists to build their capacity for what sorts of things they’re going to need to do if they decide to pursue an art career after school,” he said. “Pitching to a gallery, framing, hanging. A lot of that stuff that’s left behind.”

Community members gather to the opening ceremony of the Glendinning Home. Courtesy of David Wicai.

The organization also partners with University organizations such as The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) and Red Butte Garden. The Utah Division of Arts and Museums is currently conducting a social impact study with these two aforementioned organizations. Wicai said, “We’re looking to measure the impact the museums have on communities and it includes students of the University to measure what sorts of impacts museums have on their lives. Whether it’s higher educational attainment, or health and well-being, intercultural competency, empathy, and family and social relationships. We partner with a lot of the arts and cultural organizations that are part of the University that serve not only students but the general public.”

If students are interested in participating in their newest study, they can visit here to learn more. As a part of the study, participants explore UMFA three times over three months. They take a self-reflective test that speaks to the impact that the museum may have had on them.

The Utah Division of Arts and Museums’ doors are always open to help students interested in pursuing the arts. Wicai said, “In general, we do have some staff within our office that always works with the University to provide guest speaking opportunities, that talk to students that are interested in becoming art administrators, artists, and trying to help people understand what that next step looks like once they leave school.”

They also have strong ties within the museum industry. There are over 250 museums in the state of Utah. There are ample opportunities for students to get involved. Emily Johnson, Museum Services Specialist said, “We have workshops and other opportunities. We try to be as responsive to those opportunities as we can. If there’s any students that want a museum workshop on a particular topic we would love to hear about it so we can put something together. Whether that be fundraising for a museum or marketing or caring for a particular kind of object, we are always open to suggestions and recommendations.”

The office’s goal is to be a connector for communities. Wicai said, “[Communities] big or small. Even rural communities. They can come to us and we can connect them with someone in a community they’re not very familiar with. We want to be that middle person or that go-to office for connecting with people in the cultural community throughout the entire state of Utah and helping artists organizations and museums grow through increased capacity and professional development and technical assistance for the work that they do.” The office is a great central resource hub for professional development, technical assistance and research and data on the industry.

[email protected]