Expanding Opportunities: Craft Lake City and The ArtAbility Scholarship



(Design by Brenda Payan-Medina | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eliza Delgado, Arts Editor


Craft Lake City DIY Fest is a local art festival that is held each year in August. The festival is filled with local-centric art, music, science and more. The festival brings in many artists, vendors, entrepreneurs and performers to celebrate their creativity. Craft Lake City is hosting a new scholarship this year called the ArtAbility Scholarship in collaboration with the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council. Here is what the scholarship means to the community being represented.

What is the ArtAbility Scholarship?

I had the honor to speak to Morgana Faye and Liz Vowles, both of whom work for Craft Lake City. Vowles said that the ArtAbility Scholarship is “designed to benefit people with disabilities who aspire to use their passion, skills and talents to build small businesses as an artisan.”

The ArtAbility Scholarship helps provide artists with disabilities with special resources that many artists don’t have access to and gives upcoming artists hands-on mentorship from past DIY Fest artists before, during and after the event. It also covers the festival booth fee, which is normally about $250-350 depending on the size of the booth, to help the artist get set up. 

The UDDC and Craft Lake City

Faye explained the ArtAbility Scholarship is mirroring a previous program called the Artisan Scholarship and Mentor Program, created in 2017. The program is designed to give upcoming artisans an opportunity to showcase their work at the DIY Fest with help from Craft Lake City and special mentorship from someone involved in the festival. The ArtAbility Scholarship mimics the same opportunities, but the key difference is that it is open to first-time and returning exhibitors who identify as disabled. 

Vowles explained the idea was brought to the Craft Lake City crew from the UDDC in hopes to “improve representation of people with disabilities in community settings in order to encourage and integrate inclusive and healthy communities.”

“The UDDC recognizes that it is tough to find employment that fits your needs,” Faye said. “Self-employment opens up all these abilities for a flexible schedule, being your own boss, setting your own hours and having your own freedom. That is why I think this is important, because [it’s] providing this opportunity where an artisan can learn how to launch their own business and work for themselves.” 

Vowles and Faye also expressed how the scholarship will help to amplify the disabled community’s voice.

“That is our goal here,” Faye said. “We do only have one scholarship available this year, but are hoping to grow and get more funding to increase participation. … Ideally, artisans from all walks of life can participate in the DIY Fest, figure out how to earn some revenue, get their art out there and network with other creatives.” 

Vowles also explained that the UDDC is hosting their in-person application assistance day. The application assistance day is held to help those in need of access to a camera to capture their artwork, those who don’t have access to a computer and to help with the application process. The goal for both the UDDC and Craft Lake City is to help those in need of a jump start on their application process in any capacity.

Take Home Message

“The responses have been really positive,” Vowles said. “This is our first time doing this specific scholarship and working closely with the UDDC in being able to feel informed, how to communicate our vision and in order to market this scholarship to this specific community through their network and community partners. We hope to grow this in future years. Our objective is to continue to offer as many scholarship options as possible as well as to diversify our scholarship offerings.”

Vowles and Faye were both informative and passionate about the intentions of Craft Lake City and the UDDC being to help artisans who identify as disabled to promote their artwork and businesses. 


[email protected]