Waking the Waters: How Public Art Aims to Revitalize the Great Salt Lake

In an ambitious move to address the environmental and economic challenges posed by the declining condition of the Great Salt Lake, the Salt Lake City Arts Council has launched the “Wake the Great Salt Lake” grant program. This initiative is designed to support temporary public art projects that bring attention to the lake’s dire situation, fostering a deeper community engagement and awareness through creative expression.

The program is set to fund a range of artistic endeavors from July 1, 2024, to September 30, 2025. It invites individual artists, creative residents, and organizations with a significant local impact in Salt Lake City to propose projects that either directly or indirectly tackle the issue of the Great Salt Lake’s decline. With a budget allocation aimed at supporting approximately 7-12 projects, the grants will vary from $5,000 to $50,000, offering substantial backing for impactful artistic creations.

Eligibility for the grant spans a wide array of disciplines including visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, music, new media and technology, socially engaged practice, performance art, land/installation art, film/video, experimental art forms, conceptual art, and architecture. This broad spectrum ensures that the program is inclusive of diverse artistic expressions, encouraging innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to addressing environmental concerns.

The selection process for the grants is meticulously structured, involving an initial review committee and curator selection based on criteria such as alignment with project goals, potential for inspiring future artistic endeavors, diversity, sustainability, innovation, and feasibility. This rigorous assessment ensures that the funded projects not only resonate with the thematic focus of the grant but also hold the potential for a lasting impact on the community.

Applications for the “Wake the Great Salt Lake” grants opened on March 7, 2024, and are set to close on April 18, 2024, providing a window for artists and organizations to submit their proposals. The application process includes specific eligibility criteria and funding limitations, with a clear emphasis on adhering to the provided budget template. Additionally, the program offers support resources, a FAQ section, and contact information to assist applicants through the submission process.

Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, this grant program represents a significant effort to leverage the power of art in addressing critical environmental issues. By funding projects that spotlight the declining state of the Great Salt Lake, the Salt Lake City Arts Council aims to inspire not only a creative but also a collective response to one of the most pressing challenges facing the region. Through this initiative, art becomes not just a medium of expression but a catalyst for environmental awareness and action.


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dabodab is best described as a blog about various things DiY. Music, zines, graphic arts, print, crafts, publishing, local and personal history, business, app development and AI. I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective read more.

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