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Outsourcing Folk Arts



As former directors of the Utah Arts Council, we are concerned about the Jan. 12 proposal to the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst by current director Margaret Hunt.

Hunt clearly states her intention, which is the “elimination of the Folk Arts Program,” accomplished by “contract(ing) out” the program and “eliminating” two full-time professional employees for a savings of $145,000.

The proposal by Hunt to abolish through outsourcing the nationally recognized folk-arts program, a complicated endeavor that serves many of the most underserved populations in the state, is ill advised. Such an approach is not just a poor one but a disastrous strategy that will bring to an end the nation’s model folk-arts program.

We recommend maintaining the Folk Arts Program, headquartered in the Chase Home at Liberty Park, as a core service of the Utah Arts Council—and not as an outsourced function as has been proposed—a costly approach that would ultimately bring demise to this exemplary service to the people of Utah.

Ruth Draper, Bonnie Stephens, Frank McEntire
Former directors, Utah Arts Council
Salt Lake City