Park City poised to create a municipal Arts and Culture Department
December 10, 2018
Park City could consider creating a municipal department to manage arts and culture, a move that would elevate those programs and policies to the same status as long-established functions like law enforcement and planning and zoning.
Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council on Tuesday are scheduled to discuss the topic during a broader talk about the municipal budget. The prospects of City Hall creating a department dedicated to arts and culture could be a highlight on Tuesday. Leaders only occasionally make such dramatic institutional changes to the Marsac Building.
A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting on Tuesday outlines a proposal to create what is referred to as the Arts and Culture Department. The proposal also entails the creation of a staff position to manage the department. The report describes a department as one that would "develop and oversee strategic direction of Arts and Culture in the Park City community" through work with the elected officials, other municipal staffers and not-for-profit organizations.
The department would also hold a pivotal role as an arts and cultural district is developed in Bonanza Park. City Hall is leading the efforts to develop a district off streets like Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. The Sundance Institute's Utah offices and the Kimball Art Center are expected to be the anchors of a district.
The report outlines that City Hall staffers also want to create an arts and culture manager post within the municipal ranks. It says a district, once completed, "will require a full department staff similar to other programmed municipal facilities," such as the Park City Library and the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center.
A list of staffers and departments has to date been assigned the work that would be shifted toward a new Arts and Culture Department.
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The development of a district is an ambitious City Hall project that is designed to boost Park City's status as an arts and cultural destination. The involvement of the Sundance Institute and the Kimball Art Center puts two well-established organizations as the anchors of a district. The Kimball Art Center plans to move into a permanent building from the temporary quarters along Kearns Boulevard where it is now located. The Utah headquarters of Sundance would relocate from the Silver Star development on the edge of Thaynes Canyon.
The upcoming City Council discussion illustrates the importance officials have placed on the creation of a district. They see an arts and cultural district as something that could be an important step as Park City attempts to diversify the economy from one that has largely relied on the related industries of skiing and development to one that also offers Parkites and visitors a vibrant off-the-slopes experience.
The City Council meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Marsac Building. Testimony about the arts and cultural proposals would be taken as part of a broader City Council hearing about revisions to the municipal government's budget for the 2019 fiscal year.