Salt Lake City–Arts and cultural nonprofit organizations throughout the Salt Lake Valley will receive an economic boost in funding approved by Salt Lake County Council on 28 August 2018. The County’s Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP) program is a voter-approved fund devoted to supporting arts, culture, and recreation. Based on recommendations from ZAP’s Tier II Advisory Board, $2.2 million will be distributed among 183 organizations over the next year.
“County residents have shown they support arts and cultural offerings that all families can enjoy,” said Mayor Ben McAdams. “I look forward to enjoying some of the unique and interesting arts venues supported by this most recent ZAP funding.”
The approved funding is split between 183 ZAP Tier II organizations. The Tier II category includes community symphonies, historical museums, dance companies, visual arts programs, theatre companies, art and ethnic festivals, folk arts groups, botanical gardens, and more. Recipient organizations span every district in the County. This year ZAP saw a 7% increase in Tier II applicants, with 20 new organizations, evidencing the growing arts and cultural offerings in Salt Lake County.
“This is one of our most successful programs,” said County Council Member-at-Large Jenny Wilson following the vote to approve funding. “The people decide this one, in creating the revenue stream. Having had the benefit in the past to work for a nonprofit organization, I look at this list and the depth and support we are giving, and I think many of these organizations exist because the taxpayers in this county have said ‘This is a priority’.”
This year’s applications from ZAP grantees show these dollars being well utilized. In the past year, ZAP-supported organizations have seen 2.8 million participants, of which 1.7 million were free admissions to events and programs.
One such example is Heart & Soul, a Salt Lake County nonprofit bringing live local music to disadvantaged and isolated individuals. “With ZAP funding we serve people who primarily are not served by other performing arts projects. Heart & Soul brings over 900 live concerts each year to Salt Lake County residents.” said Janna Lauer, the organization’s executive director. These performances represent a small fraction of county residents being reached through ZAP funding.
The ZAP Tier II advisory board volunteered 400 hours reviewing 185 applications, and 30 hours scoring and determining funding amounts. Scoring prioritizes organizations that demonstrate strong artistic vibrancy, the benefit to the public, and sound organizational management.
“The numbers [from last year’s work] presented—18,000 events, 30,000 volunteers and so on—just say a lot about the County itself, about [the] people funding ZAP and helping out these small groups. We appreciate it,” commented Gordon Wolf, chair of the ZAP Tier II Advisory Board.
About Salt Lake County ZAP
Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks Program facilitates community supported arts, culture, and recreation grants. The ZAP Program Initiative has been voted on and renewed by Salt Lake County residents since 1996. One cent of every $10 spent in the County partially funds over 200 County arts and cultural organizations, as well as over 30 parks and recreational facilities.