Arts council goes digital to help people dial up
While the Democrats busy themselves in Denver with efforts to get out the vote, organizers in Summit County are trying to get out the art.
The Park City Summit County Arts Council wants patrons, painters and performers to get click happy with its Web site pcarts.org in an effort to help locals network and buy locally made wares.
The Web site, launched in March, is hardly new in the World Wide Web where fast is always getting faster. It does, however, have networking tools that include an art and events calendar, an artist directory, marketing tools and grant resources for visual and performing artists in the county.
The council is dabbling with its online palette to get the word out about an artist networking event Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. Organizers say the meeting will be held at the Cattlemen’s Building in Oakley to help connect those who make art with those who sell and market it.
The council promotes a variety of nonprofit organizations in Summit County such as Arts Kids, Mountain Town Stages, The Kimball Art Center, the Egyptian Theatre, the Sundance Institute and the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.
Laura Lamando, program manager of the arts council, says outreach programs are key to making local art scenes thrive. "The purpose of our organization is to be a central resource to all artists in Summit County," she said. "We’re trying to give artists another way to find work."
The nonprofit organization sponsors an artist from the Park City Professional Artists Association to attend the Park Silly Sunday Market and awards a handful of scholarships per year.
Lamando, who is a professional photographer, says the arts scene in eastern Summit County is growing. "There’s not shortage of opportunities," she said. "I don’t think we would be growing or surviving if we didn’t have a great arts scene. It’s the artists that keep us alive."
Kathy Hunter, executive director, says the Park City Summit County Arts Council has worked with the Park City Chamber/Bureau to find strategic marketing tools to measure the success and importance of art in the county. One of those tools, Hunter said, was to host an annual media tour every February in New York. "These events have increased the interest of reporters resulting in more in-depth coverage for Park City," she said. "We want to spread an awareness of the caliber and variety of art we have in Park City. And it’s a complete package. We always talk about art and culture [together] and there’s a reason for that. Our culture is our story, it’s who we are. Our art is a way of expressing that and coming together."
Painters with a paper trail
The Park City Summit County Arts Council was started more than 25 years ago. But only recently has the foundation begun working closely with the Utah Arts Council to apply for grants and use itself as a marketing tool to promote the arts. Hunt explained that what has changed in the last 25 years in the number of successful independent organizations in the county.
Today, the county spends about $1 million a year promoting arts and cultural events. The focus of the marketing campaign now encompasses Kamas, Coalville, Oakley and other towns outside of Park City proper as interest in the arts there has swelled, according to Hunter.
"There is incredible talent in eastern Summit County," she said. "I think it’s just a realization that people want more programs to help kids who are interested in the arts."
The Park City Summit County Arts Council’s artist outreach meeting is being held at Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Cattlemen’s Building in Oakley to help artists network and market their wares. The event is free and open to the public. To learn more or to register as a local artist, go to http://www.pcscarts.org.
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