Epicenter to receive Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award

Epicenter will be receiving one of four 2015 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards on May 7, 2015 at the Utah Division of Arts and Museum’s annual Mountain West Arts Conference. The awards recognize those qualities that advance the arts for the people and communities in our state and are Utah’s highest honor in the arts. The recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards are:

-Organization Leadership in the Arts Award: Plan-B Theatre Company
-Education Leadership in the Arts Award: Carrie Trenholm
-Local Arts Agency Leadership in the Arts Award: Epicenter
-Individual Leadership in the Arts Award: Kathy Cieslewicz

Since being founded in 2009, Epicenter has diligently focused on providing housing options for local residents, working with local leaders on community and economic development projects, and promoting arts and culture in Green River. With housing, Epicenter developed Fix It First, a critical home repair program that functions through a privately-funded low-interest revolving-loan fund; designed and built the first ever Habitat for Humanity house in Green River; and provides technical assistance to local residents needing help with social services. In the arena of community development, Epicenter facilitates “Potluck,” a group of local leaders and business owner/managers focused on developing Green River’s tourism industry in a sustainable way. In the arts, Epicenter runs an arts residency program called the Frontier Fellowship whereby artists work with teens, youth, and local experts to create participatory publications, art works, and exhibits.

Epicenter was designated a Local Arts Agency by the Green River City Council and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums in May of 2014. Local Arts Agencies work to foster and support the arts in their communities. Epicenter frequently interfaces with local government, acting as a critical resource for community-building and raising the quality of life in Green River. The City of Green River and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums identified five services Epicenter provides making it a Local Arts Agency: Epicenter provides access to diverse art forms that promote public participation; performs cultural and community assessments and planning that encourages input from community members; produces and presents programs not otherwise offered with the region, such as public arts projects and workshops; and provides and manages facilities and venues for the creation and presentation of the arts.

In tandem with being a Local Arts Agency, Epicenter’s Maria Sykes and Chris Lezama completed the Utah Division of Arts and Museum’s Change Leader Program in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The Change Leader Program is a professional development course and an active network of course graduates committed to bringing about positive change in communities through arts and culture.

The 2015 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards luncheon will take place during the Mountain West Arts Conference on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 12:30pm at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center located at 1355 W. 3100 S. West Valley City, Utah. To attend the awards ceremony luncheon, you can purchase a ticket online here.