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Salt Lake City Named Finalist for a Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge Grant

Salt Lake City Named Finalist for a Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge Grant

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that Salt Lake City has been selected as one of 17 finalist cities in the running to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. This unique grant program supports temporary public art projects that address important local civic issues in cities across the country. 

The Salt Lake City Arts Council’s proposed project, “Wake the Great Salt Lake” aims to address the shrinking of the Great Salt Lake by curating and installing several temporary public artworks by diverse local, regional, and internationally recognized artists that speak to this environmental crisis. The goal of the project is to educate and inspire both residents and visitors to identify possible solutions and take action on a local and national level. 

“Our City’s namesake, the Great Salt Lake, is facing a crisis that requires urgent attention and action. This project aims to raise awareness, educate, and inspire our community to protect this vital natural resource with global significance. Through the transformative power of art, we will engage people and catalyze change on this critical civic and environmental issue,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Our Arts Council team has established initial partnerships throughout internal City Departments, local nonprofits, artists, and are actively working to create partnerships with local tribal communities, scientists, diverse local community members and others. Salt Lake City was selected as a finalist from more than 150 project proposals received from cities in 40 U.S. states. This fall, Bloomberg Philanthropies will select up to 10 winning cities to execute their projects over the next two years.

“We consider it a tremendous honor to have the potential opportunity to create public art that brings people together on such an important issue facing our city.  Raising awareness for our Great Salt Lake through the power of the arts is an incredible responsibility, and we are looking forward to engaging with varied artists, partners and collaborators in the process,” said Felicia Baca, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council.“ Our city’s Public Art Program has received national recognition for our work in recent years, and this announcement serves as a reminder of Salt Lake City’s thriving and ever-expanding arts and culture community and the excellent work being done throughout our city.” 

Visit to learn more about the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge and stay tuned for updates on Salt Lake City’s proposed project. 

The mission of the Arts Council is to promote, present, and support artists, arts organizations, and arts activities in order to further the development of the arts community and to benefit the public by expanding awareness, access, and participation.