Local Arts Agencies work to foster and support the arts in their communities. Whether they take the form of councils, boards, committees, government entities or nonprofit organizations, they are at the heart of community arts participation and play an important role in advocating, encouraging and developing arts and cultural awareness. They frequently interface with local government, acting as a critical resource for community-building and raising the quality of life.
A Local Arts Agency is the primary organization in a defined geographical area that supports and advances the arts in service to the community by engaging residents, identifying and addressing community needs, reflecting community demographics, contributing to the quality of life, building community identity, supporting artists and arts organizations, and speaking as a unified voice for arts and culture. A Local Arts Agency is differentiated from other community arts organizations by its responsibility for fostering the arts throughout the community and by offering various types of arts services and/or activities that are often multidisciplinary in nature.
A Local Arts Agency can be an agency of local government, a nonprofit organization, or a hybrid of the two.
Typical activities of Local Arts Council include:
- Promoting/providing access to diverse art forms
- Addressing cultural diversity and traditional arts
- Regional fundraising for the arts/grant-making
- Cultural assessment and planning
- Caring for a community’s art collections
- Producing/presenting programs not otherwise available
- Supporting the creative economy/economic development
- Managing art facilities or venues
- Advocating for the arts
- Providing services to artists and arts organizations
Local Arts Agency’s must be recognized by their municipality through a Local Arts Agency Designation Agreement that must be signed by both a Local Arts Council representative and a municipality representative (mayor, council person, city/county administrator) to qualify for Utah Arts & Museums Local Arts Agency grants. The designation is valid for two years, and the Local Arts Council must regularly perform four out of the fourteen activities outlined on the Designation Agreement.
Local Arts Agency Resources
For more information regarding local arts agencies and resources, please contact us.
Community Engagement Coordinator