WHY GREEN RIVER?
We’d like to think we chose this location, but really this place chose us. Epicenter’s founders were invited to work in Green River as AmeriCorps volunteers. They stayed because they fell in love with the place, the people, and the possibilities. Epicenter was incubated in PACT, the local community center which continues to inspire us. Our work continues to be supported at the local level through donations and grant funding, participation, and partnership. Epicenter is nothing without our local support, as well as local criticism, from which we learn daily.
Why do we do this work?
We’re not in Green River to “save the town.” We’re here to celebrate the past, present and future of this place, and alongside the community, work incrementally and intentionally to identify and build on our town’s assets. We gather necessary data where there is none, listen to our neighbors, and base our projects on the wants, needs, beliefs, and emotions present in our community. We are dedicated to this town and our work, but we’re not perfect; we’re constantly building on what we do and redefining how we do it. We work on multiple scales to achieve our goals—from nation-wide networking and knowledge building all the way down to the construction details on a single-family house.
Rural & Proud Since 2009
Since Epicenter’s humble beginnings, we’ve maintained a holistic approach to our work which we believe to be critical to our success. Our process combines art, design, and unconventional thinking to achieve with our community things many thought impossible with limited resources: we renovated a collapsing building with an inconceivably tight budget, hosted dozens of artists and designers from across the world, and created our own grassroots home repair program responsible for critical repairs in over fifty local homes.
Develop Epicenter as a model for other rural communities.
Full strategic plan document coming soon!
As Epicenter's executive director, Maria leads with a contagious passion for rural places. After graduating from Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Sykes moved to Green River to co-found Epicenter in 2009. Sykes has been working in rural community development around the globe for less than a decade, but the work has been honored many times, including by Utah Governor Gary Herbert.
A detail-oriented builder and do-er, Steph holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Utah known for the Design Build Bluff program working in the Navajo Nation. Though she was born and raised in Utah, Steph has traveled as far as Nepal to serve communities through design. Steph now calls Green River home and leads Epicenter’s housing initiatives.
With years of non-profit and healthcare experience, Annalee is an incredibly skilled and compassionate advocate for individuals and the whole community of Green River. Her family was one of the early town pillars who developed the east side of town where Annalee now lives with her family on their self-proclaimed “funny farm.” Annalee coordinates Epicenter's various initiatives with local residents.
Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow
Originally from Louisiana, Lindsey spent six years working as an architect in Dallas, Texas, after receiving her BArch at Louisiana Tech (2010) and MArch at Kansas (2012). She approaches community development through a patient and iterative process that combines housing, the arts, and cultural exploration making her a perfect fit for Epicenter's Enterprise Rose Fellowship position from Jan 2019 - Dec 2020.
Danny holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) at the University of Arizona. While working at Epicenter Danny worked on the Waypoint: Green River downtown plan and Our Futures exhibit. He now works as a freelance designer in Los Angeles and continues to assist our operations remotely.
Jarod is a freelance designer, administrator, and rural advocate in Nashville, TN. Originally from rural Kansas, Jarod studied Graphic & Web Design at John Brown University, and has worked with nonprofits in Hungary, Romania, and the United States. In 2016, he joined Epicenter as an AmeriCorps VISTA and continues to assist our operations remotely.
ROSE ARCHITECTURAL FELLOWSHIP
selected as host organization (2018)
UTAH DESIGN ARTS ’18
works selected to be exhibited (2018)
UTAH MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
featured artist in ACME Lab (2018)
NONPROFIT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Emery County Business Chamber (2015)
UTAH DESIGN ARTS ’15
awarded Juror’s Prize (2015)
awarded to Maria Sykes by The Community Foundation of Utah (2015)
UTAH GOVERNOR’S LEADERSHIP IN THE ARTS AWARD
Gov. Gary Herbert (2015)
RURAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Utah Housing Coalition (2014)
YOUNG GUNS FINALISTS
awarded by Curbed (2014)
awarded to by the Design Futures Council (2013)
awarded to Maria Sykes by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums
Board of Directors
Jason Wheeler – Board Chair
Salt Lake City
Joshua Rowley - Interim Vice Chair
Green River, UT
Ren Hatt - Secretary
Green River, UT
Ruth Linford - Treasurer
Dijana Alickovic - Housing Committee Chair
Salt Lake City, UT
Ethan Migliori – Financial Advisor
RCAC Rural Housing Specialist
Former State Director Of USDA Rural Development Of Utah
Financial Managing Consultant
RCAC Financial Management Specialist