What We Do

About Us


"I want to recognize and congratulate the Utah Cultural Alliance on 35 years of championing – even fortifying – the arts and humanities in Utah. This organization is the voice of the arts and humanities in Utah. You empower and strength this community in terms of art and culture, fostering a sense of community that uplifts and benefits everyone. You are the guardians and the visionaries, and the creative leaders who are ensuring the arts and the humanities are alive and strong and contributing to our culture, to our lives, and to our economy." Scott Anderson, CEO Zions Bank

Founded in March 1980, Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA) is the statewide advocate for the humanities and arts. We amplify culture’s contributions to Utah's economic, family, and community life. Utah Cultural Alliance is also the manager of nowplayingutah.com, the statewide calendar of everything to see and do in Utah with heavy emphasis on the arts and humanities. The site sees 1.3 million unique visitors a year.

UCA programs:

  1. Advocacy // UCA lobbies for robust, fiscally responsible funding and constructive policy decisions that build culture’s presence and improve access to lifelong humanities and arts education. We create cultural champions among elected officials. We mobilize and unite the cultural sector into powerful advocates for themselves and our community.

  2. Amplify // UCA amplifies the public presence of culture and communicates its positive impact on community prosperity. Our tools include collecting data to demonstrate culture’s impacts, mapping, calendaring, and advertising the sector

Our membership-driven organization is comprised of more than 300 organizational and individual members representing some 79,000 cultural administrators and artists. 

Who we represent:

  • Arts — dance, digital, ethnic/non-western, film, folk, literature, museums, music, poetry, photography, presenting venues/producers, printmaking, pop culture, theatre, visual arts

  • Cultural Education — after-school, creative aging, lifelong, pre-K, private and public K-12 educators, private studios, university

  • Cultural Industries — architecture, audio/visual, broadcasters (TV, film, radio), creative directors, crafts/DIY, event production, fashion design, film, film post production, galleries, game designers, graphic design, historic rehabilitation, interior design, makers (woodworking, printmaking, metalworking, etc.), landscape architects and design/botany/horticulture, sound recording (including post-production), video game developers, zoos/aquariums

  • Humanities — archaeology, anthropology, archivism, art history, criticism and theory, comparative religions, cultural heritage identity, education, ethics, history, journalism, jurisprudence, libraries, languages, linguistics, literature, museums, natural history, philosophy, preservation, sociology, storytelling

Recent Accomplishments

  • Saved Middle School Arts education: We fought to reverse the school board's decision to make MS arts ed optional. We won in January 2018!
  • Saved Classical 89
  • Successfully lobbied for almost $9 million in new investments in Utah's nonprofit and for-profit cultural sector during the 2018 legislation session.
  • Lobbied UT's federal delegation to support funding for NEA, NEH, CPB, and IMLS. (increases for Fiscal Year 19!)
  • Utah is now home to over 40 RAP-type taxes and 8 public art programs.
  • Launched our Cultural Asset Map and Events Calendar.
  • Worked with the legislature to add a statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon to represent UT in DC's statuary hall.
  • Worked to lesson regulations impacting the cultural sector through bills at the legislature.
  • Added a number of cultural items to the list of state designations including the Spiral Jetty, Native American Rock Art, and the Utahraptor.
  • Hosted professional development trainings around the state.
  • Launched a mentorship program.
  • Impacted elections: Candidate recruitment. graded legislators, and surveyed 300+ municipal and general election candidates between 2017 and 2018 cycles
  • 100% of the state senate and 94% of the state house belong to our Cultural Caucus.
  • Newsletter 10,000; social media followers 6,000; website traffic 10K monthly 

Utahns for Culture (501c3) Mission // UCA amplifies our diverse arts, humanities, and cultural industries, in particular the contributions they make to Utah's economic, family, and community life.

Utah Cultural Alliance (501c4) Mission // UCAA is the statewide voice of Utah’s diverse humanities, arts, and cultural industries. As culture’s champion, we mobilize collective advocacy to foster a creative and thriving state.

Utah Arts and Cultural Coalition dba Nowplayingutah.com (501c3) Mission // To increase awareness about arts and cultural opportunities in Utah by providing a comprehensive events resource.

Vision // A Utah that recognizes culture’s transformative power. A Utah that values its cultural industries. A Utah that prioritizes their support through robust public and private investment in programming, attendance, and lifelong cultural education. 

CORE BELIEFS

  1. Stewardship: Utah’s dynamic arts & humanities organizations nurture Utah’s knowledge, heritage, and pioneering spirit.

  2. Community Development: Culture doesn’t just improve Utah’s quality of life; it defines life. Creative placemaking informed by cultural values fosters successful communities.

  3. Education: A strong humanities and arts education provides children with 21st century skills (e.g. innovative thinking, creativity, problem solving and collaborative skills) and boost self-esteem, better test scores, and increased employability.

  4. Economic Development: Our creative and knowledge industries directly and positively impact Utah’s economy.

  5. Tourism: A vibrant cultural scene attracts long-term investment from businesses both in and adjacent to the tourism and recreation sector, and provides a world-class experience for visitors.

  6. Collective impact: We work to create a Utah where creativity and knowledge-building thrive together, and where challenges are addressed head-on through innovation and collaboration.

VALUES

  1. Accessibility: We work to make humanities and the arts accessible to all: casual consumer to discerning critic, seasoned professional to the budding scholar and artist. 

  2. Culture: We affirm that the humanities, arts, and culture are vital to a meaningful existence and foster well-rounded, strong communities.

  3. Diversity: We celebrate all people and viewpoints and support a culture of inclusion and access for all Utahns. We work to make the cultural sector more diverse and inclusive to all.

  4. Integrity: We make responsible, ethical decisions and act in the best interests of cultural organizations and our members.