Epicenter's 2014 Annual Report

Images from Epicenter’s projects, programs, and adventures in 2014 (click image to view larger version)

Epicenter is truly maturing as we enter our sixth year of operations! Jack Forinash, Maria Sykes, and Chris Lezama (principals) remain dedicated to Green River, Armando Rios and Steph Crabtree stayed on board as Housing Specialists, Orion Stand-Gravois and Mirna Escalante joined the crew as a economic development VISTA and as a social services case manger respectively. We were honored to host Ryann Savino as a community development VISTA, Ellise Gallagher and Evan Rimoldi as architecture interns, and Jeff Adams as a Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps member. We continue to host Frontier Fellows who serve the community through all-ages workshops. We facilitated over twenty local economic development meetings through the Potluck and WealthWorks groups. Our biggest recent accomplishments include receiving the Rural Project of the Year Award from the Utah Housing Coalition, hosting our first literary event, starting a local beautification committee, and presenting on the work of Epicenter as far as Iceland.


Affordable Housing: Fix It First
Fix It First (FIF) is Epicenter’s award winning home repair program for elderly and income-qualified homeowners. In 2014, FIF hosted volunteer groups from the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America, Outward Bound, and Bike & Build, a total of 73 unique volunteers contributing 676 hours. Those volunteers, along with our summer intern Evan Rimoldi, helped complete 13 repairs on 10 different homes. In providing these solutions, Epicenter invested $11,134 into the local economy, along with 1027 staff hours in 2014 alone. We’re proud to report Fix It First was named “Rural Project of the Year” by the Utah Housing Coalition.

Economic Development: The Green River Trails System
Epicenter has been working with the National Park Service and the City of Green River to develop regional non-motorized trails. Since October 2013, a local trails committee has been formed with 8 committee meetings held, funding for planning has been secured, trails are on the ground at Monument Hill, and benches built by students from the University of Utah have been placed along future trails. The resulting Trails Opportunity Plan, outlining a vision, goals, maps, and trail standards, was adopted by City Council in January 2015. And underway already is the development of 23 miles of mountain biking trails in Tusher Wash and Coal Canyon with a completion date possible for fall 2015.

Arts & Culture: The Frontier Fellowship
Epicenter hosts artists-in-residence from around the globe through our Frontier Fellowship program. Fellows are creative professionals who immerse themselves in Green River for four weeks. In 2014, we celebrated the fourth year of the Frontier Fellowship, the 40th Fellow, and the production of a major community-powered publication, the Green River Magazine. The magazine captured the unique character of our town, and is the second publication created in partnership with returning Fellows, Nicole Lavelle and Sarah Baugh. This year, Fellows facilitated 13 creative workshops with 137 participants (79 unique/new participants) ages 5-85.

$128,201 in total income (77% increase)
$35,074 in program-generated income (23% increase)
$14,252 in private donations (109% increase)
11,320 hours clocked by staff members
11 Frontier Fellows (1,760 hours donated)
3 architecture interns


Partner Organizations & Major Donors
AmeriCorps VISTA, ASSIST, Arches Education Center, Atonement Lutheran Church (Boulder, CO), Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR), Bike & Build, City of Green River, Community Foundation of Utah, Eastwood Print & Copy, Ellen Meloy Memorial Fund, Emery County Economic Development, Fifth Ocean Consulting, General Electric Capital Solutions, Green River High School, GS & DD Eccles Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country, Melon Vine Food Store, P&D Ace Hardware, The Positive Action Community Team, Robber’s Roost Motel, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Sappi Ideas That Matter, SE Utah Association of Local Governments, SE Utah District Health Department, Steve & Juanita Sykes, The Tamarisk Restaurant, Union Pacific Foundation, United Way of Eastern Utah, The University of Utah: College of Architecture + Planning, USDA Rural Development, Utah Department of Workforce Services, Utah Division of Arts & Museums, Wells Fargo Foundation, West Winds Truck Stop & Restaurant
and The Wheeler Foundation

Dr. Gertrudis Agcaoili, Christian Ayala, Greg & Barbara Bassett, Dave & Suzanne Conine, Pam Dorr, Wes Funes, Magdalena Garmaz, Kelly Gregory, Ed & Dawn Higdon, Corbin LaMont, Paula LaMont, Keith & Sandy Massey, J. Taylor Massey, the Merkle family, Aimée O’Carroll, Ali Osborn, Justin Queen, Richard Quist, Ted Ranney, Gabe & Diane Rulewicz, Steve & Juanita Sykes, Dave Woodman, and Jennie West

Epicenter’s Board of Directors
Mr. Kent Johnson, Mayor Pat Brady, Comm. Ethan Migliori, Mrs. Carol Cohen, Mr. Rand Pinson, Mr. Nick Derrick, and Miss Charlotte Sullivan (ex officio)

2014 Frontier Fellows
Cyrus Smith, Michelle Benoit, Mary Rothlisberger & Molly Goldberg, Celia Hollander, Ryan Ford, Grayson Earle, Jordan Paul, Andrew Hamblin, Spence Kroll, and Eliza Fernand

Additional Supporters & Allies
Doreen Allen, Arby’s, Art of the Rural, Lee Anne Asay, Travis Bacon, Savannah Barrett, Sarah Baugh, Conae Black, Blimpie Subs, Kathy Brady, Comm. Keith Brady, Allen Burns, Tina Carter, Center for Rural Affairs, Jo Anne Chandler, Chow Hound, Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, Terry Coppin, Hayley Crooks, Jolene Dalton, Vicki Dinkins, Brian Depew, Gayna Dunham, Dunham Melons, Cathy Gardner, Tim Glenn, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Green River Bible Church, Green River Coffee Company , Green River State Park, Lamar Guymon, Kay Hatfield, Natalie Hert, Shlisa Hughes, Lisa Johnson, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Chad Kohlmeyer, La Pasadita, LDS Church, Nicole Lavelle, Lori Nay, Jackie Nelson, Kent & Emily Nelson, M12, Walt Maldanado, Miles Mattison, Denise McConnell, Mike McCandless, the Mecham Family, the Mendoza Family, Zoe Minikes, Ali Osborn, Larry & Cheri Packer, Chad Pinneo, Justin Queen, Ray’s Tavern, Duane & Penney Riches, Joshua Rowley, Kathy Ryan, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Ryann Savino, Richard Saxton, Shady Acres, Short Stop, Robert & Karen Smith, Julie Steuer, Patsy Stoddard, Kirsten Stoltz, Subway, Dan Teed, Megan Urban, Utah State University, CJ Vetere, Ed West, Jennie West, Nick Zdon, and Julie Zwalhen.

This year, we’re asking you, our supporters, to make a financial donation to Epicenter go here, and follow our progress at on Facebook throughout 2015. Thank you!